Programme: The Life And Times Of Vivienne Vyle
Broadcast: 2007   (BBC2)
Episodes: 6 (1 series)
Starring: Jennifer Saunders, Conleth Hill, Miranda Richardson, Jason Watkins
Written by: Jennifer Saunders, Dr Tanya Byron
Produced by: Jo Sargent
Exec Producer: Jon Plowman
Production: Saunders and French Productions

Daytime talk-show host Vivienne Vyle is a straight-talking protagonist. She is Ricki Lake, Jeremy Kyle and Dr Phil all rolled into one. But her ambition knows no bounds - she wants to be Oprah!

Flattened by a blundering security guard on set following a punch from a guest, Vivienne is hospitalised and begins to question her future as a talk-show host - until her manic producer, Helena, reveals that, following recent dramas, ratings have doubled. Cue an ever-more determined Vivienne who embarks on a quest to book the guests with the most tragic stories to tell.

The influx of troubled visitors to the show sparks a new recruit to the behind-the-scenes crew, in the shape of show psychotherapist Dr Jonathan Fowler.

BCG Review:

The fault of this new comedy was that it was more of an interesting educational piece about how cheap chat shows are made, rather than a funny sitcom.

It was well performed (thankfully Jennifer Saunders wasn't in her attention-seeking shouting mode) and offered a spot on re-creation of the daytime chat show scene, so full marks there - unfortunately though it just wasn't that funny.

We think the problem lies in the fact that real daytime chat shows are now almost beyond parody. If we wanted to laugh at episode titles like "I'm Marrying My Sister!" or see a host shouting at chavs we might as well tune into Jeremy Kyle, the real thing - Vivienne Vyle offers no new comedy in that regard.

It remains to be seen whether Vivienne Vyle will be given a second season. Writers Jennifer Saunders and Dr Tanya Byron have indicated they'd like to do another series so it is now over to the BBC to decide.


Our forum thread has more opinions.

Vivienne Vyle Character Guide  |  Vivienne Vyle Episode Guide

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