People Like Us is a
British radio and TV comedy programme, a spoof on-location documentary (or mockumentary)
written by John Morton, and starring Chris Langham as Roy Mallard, an inept
interviewer. Originally a radio show for BBC Radio 4 in three series from 1995
to 1997, it was made into a television series for BBC Two that was broadcast
from September 1999 to June 2001.
Each episode featured the affable, bumbling Roy Mallard following a day in
the lives of representatives of a particular career or lifestyle. This he does
in his own manner. A comedy of wordplay and misunderstanding, People Like Us
could be a metaphor for life in that, while the protagonist is an idiot,
everyone else is a bigger idiot – Mallard's questions are usually sensible yet
There were hints (particularly in "The Photographer" – with Bill
Nighy) that Mallard is unattractive – his subjects often ask in passing if he
is married, and their reactions range from surprise to incredulity when he
tells them he is. Another recurring theme is Mallard's quest for a coffee – or
even lunch. At the end of each episode the cast was never credited. Instead,
over Dave Brubeck's " Unsquare Dance", statements of the kind,
"Roy Mallard would like to thank Chris Langham" appear.
The character of Roy Mallard was based on an exaggeration of the writer John
Morton himself. Morton had been a fan of Chris Langham's performances since
seeing him on Smith and Jones, and had Langham's voice in mind when he was
writing the scripts.
The radio show was awarded "Best Radio Comedy" at the British
Comedy Awards in both 1996 and 1997 as well as winning a gold Sony Radio Award for