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Brotherly love in Sky Max’s Mr Bigstuff

Brotherly love in Sky Max’s Mr Bigstuff

Danny Dyer’s been in everything from film thrillers to game shows – and now he’s co-starring with Ryan Sampson in new Sky Max comedy Mr Bigstuff

By Chris Miller, Feature Writer

For suburban couple Glen (Ryan Sampson) and Kirsty (Harriet Webb), life is mundane but happy. Things may not be perfect, but they’ve got each other and that’s all they need. That is, until Glen’s estranged brother Lee (Danny Dyer) turns up on their doorstep, an alpha male with nothing more than a biscuit tin of their father’s ashes to his name.


But this is no happy family reunion. Lee’s past quickly starts to catch up with him, and the trio’s lives begin to unravel faster than the cheap carpet that Glen sells for a living. This is Mr Bigstuff, an irreverent new six-part comedy starting on Wednesday 17 July at 9pm on Sky Max, about family dynamics and how we all find happiness in different ways.


With a script written by co-star Sampson, Mr Bigstuff is packed with laugh-out-loud moments of physical comedy – you’ll be amazed what they can do with a rolled-up carpet – and lines that’ll make you guffaw. But it’s more than just comic high jinks. The show explores modern masculinity, relationships both fraternal and romantic, and the roles we all choose for ourselves in life. It finds the extraordinary in the everyday, and packs a surprisingly emotional punch.


Here’s why we’re looking forward to Mr Bigstuff


It brings Ryan Sampson’s talents to the fore

Ryan Sampson is probably best-known as free-spirited Lancashire libertine Tommo, part of the ensemble in Sky Max’s Brassic; he also starred in Ancient Rome-set sitcom Plebs, and has had high-profile roles in The Crown (as Dudley Moore), Doctor Who and alongside Sean Bean in The Frankenstein Chronicles. Sampson created and wrote the comedy series Waiting, in which he starred with Harriet Webb – who plays his fiancée Kirsty in Mr Bigstuff.


All the way back in 2013, we also loved Sampson in Jessica Hynes’ suffragette comedy Up The Women: he played Thomas, unable to take on any physical task because of his weak wrists. “Ganglions!” So we’re delighted to see his talents brought to the fore as the writer and star of Mr Bigstuff.


It gives Danny Dyer his first proper comedy role

We’ve seen and loved Danny Dyer in plenty of roles, from crime dramas to horror movies, as well as more than a thousand episodes of EastEnders as pub landlord Mick Carter. We’ve seen him host game shows The Wall and Cheat, and front a variety of factual shows like How To Be A Man and Danny Dyer’s Right Royal Family. He’s guest-starred in a couple of comedies, like Plebs (where he worked with Sampson) and Henpocalypse!, but this is his first opportunity to really get stuck into a star comedy role.


Dyer’s charismatic and charming, and even some of his more serious dramatic roles come with an edge of his natural wit. But in Mr Bigstuff he revels in the chance to play a real disruptor, a character who turns others’ previously staid lives upside down, an unapologetic agent of chaos who gets plenty of laughs. And like the show itself, he goes to some emotional places. 


With Dyer’s move into comedy, we’ve put together a quiz about his colourful acting career – scroll down to find out how much you know about him.


The rest of the cast is pretty impressive too

Harriet Webb, who plays Kirsty, is known for her key role in the award-winning I May Destroy You, but she’s been in a number of other well-received shows such as Big Boys, The Split, Sandylands and White Gold, as well as co-starring in Waiting with Sampson.


Glen’s carpet-store boss Ian is played by Adrian Scarborough (Bloods, Gavin & Stacey, Crashing), while Fatiha El-Ghorri – fresh from a stint as a writer on the acclaimed We Are Lady Parts – is his no-flips-given colleague on the shop floor. Clive Russell (Sherlock Holmes, Ripper Street), Victoria Alcock (People Just Do Nothing) and Geoff Bell (The Curse, Rise Of The Footsoldier: Vengeance) round out the cast.


It’s perceptive about modern masculinity

We’ve seen lots of TV about men’s roles in 21st century society. From US comedy like Modern Family or New Girl to British comedy drama like Brassic or the BBC’s recent Men Up, as well as factual programmes like Channel 4’s exposé of Andrew Tate and Dyer’s own documentary How To Be A Man. Mr Bigstuff confronts these intriguing themes head-on, from Glen and Lee’s feelings towards their late father, to the influence of other father figures like Uncle Ron (Russell), to their attitudes towards their responsibilities and to each other.


Glen in particular is desperate to establish his place in the world, stress that contributes to his, ah, bedroom issues and nervy disposition. And while cocksure Lee might seem more comfortable in his skin, his vulnerabilities emerge. Kirsty, meanwhile, is stuck between these two men while still trying to figure out where she fits into gender roles.


It’s horribly relatable

It's been said many times: you can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your family. Once Lee and Glen are in each other’s lives, they’re stuck with one another, no matter how different they are or how wildly divergent their goals are. However bad things get, there’s a shared bond there, and a whole archive of family stories and legends keeping it in place. We can all relate. Right?



Spoons haven’t played such a big role on screen since The Matrix. And this time, there very much is a spoon.


How well do you know Danny Dyer?

Take our quiz to find out how much you know about the legendary actor’s career…


When is Mr Bigstuff on TV?

Mr Bigstuff begins on Wednesday 17 July at 9pm on Sky Max, with the second episode following straight after. It will also be available from Sky Max on demand.


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