Count Arthur Strong (TV series)

Count Arthur Strong is a BBC sitcom written by Steve Delaney and Graham Linehan. Delaney portrays the title character in the series, a stage creation of Delaney's who has also featured in the BBC Radio 4 programme Count Arthur Strong's Radio Show![1]

Count Arthur Strong
Created by
Based onCount Arthur Strong's Radio Show!
by Steve Delaney
Written by
  • Steve Delaney
  • Graham Linehan
Directed byGraham Linehan
ComposerJon Boden
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original languageEnglish
No. of series3
No. of episodes20
Executive producers
  • Richard Daws
  • Jon Rolph
  • Gregor Sharp
ProducerRichard Boden
Running time30 minutes
Production companies
  • Komedia Entertainment
  • Delightful Industries
  • Retort TV
Original networkBBC Two (2013)
BBC One (2015–2017)
Picture format16:9 1080i
Audio formatStereo
Original release8 July 2013 (2013-07-08) –
14 July 2017 (2017-07-14)
External links

On 8 August 2017, the BBC announced that the show had been cancelled after three series.


The series begins with the meeting of Count Arthur Strong, an eccentric, septuagenarian, former music hall performer, with Michael Baker, the bookish son of his former comedy partner.[2]

The television project heralds a new chapter in the life of Count Arthur Strong as compared to the character in the radio series: none of the characters from the radio programme are featured (Geoffrey, Wilf Taylor, Sally Marsden etc) and the series is set in London in and around Arthur's home and his local café[3] rather than in Doncaster. The café is run by its belligerent Turkish owner Bulent who is helped by his sister Sinem; the other main characters are the regular pension-age customers at the cafe.


  • Steve Delaney as Count Arthur Strong, an elderly, pompous, out-of-work actor from Doncaster with delusions that he is a show-business legend. The character has been described as "a mixture of physical and mental clumsiness, mirthful malapropisms and Tourettic tics, whose pride forbids him from ever conceding fallibility, even as his world crashes around him".[4]
  • Rory Kinnear as Michael Baker, a writer. Michael, a shy, bookish, often childlike, effeminate and pathetic man, is using Arthur's anecdotes to help write his late father's biography.[5]
  • Chris Ryman as Bulent, the irascible, hot-tempered owner of Arthur's local café, who is constantly irritated by Arthur's bumbling.[5]
  • Zahra Ahmadi as Sinem, Bulent's younger sister with a mischievous sense of humour.[5]
  • Andy Linden as John the Watch, an enigmatic regular at the café and close friend of Arthur's.[5]
  • Dave Plimmer as Eggy, a quiet, gentle, melancholy café regular obsessed with the supposed evils of eggs and other conspiracy theories.[5]
  • Ruth Posner as Katya, a café regular and Arthur's greatest fan. (Series 1)[5]
  • Bronagh Gallagher as Birdy, a café regular (Series 3)


In 2009, it was reported that Delaney would be working on making a television version of Count Arthur Strong's Radio Show! for Talkback Thames and BBC Two,[6] and further that Graham Linehan and Jeremy Dyson were working on a project for TV called Count Arthur Strong's Entertainment Game.[7] The quiz show format was subsequently dropped in favour of a sitcom.[8]

The series was recorded in front of a live audience from January to February 2013 at Pinewood Studios.[9] The first episode of Count Arthur Strong was recorded on 10 January 2013 at Pinewood Studios. Written by Steve Delaney and Graham Linehan, it co-starred Rory Kinnear as the son of the recently deceased Max Baker, Count Arthur's erstwhile comedy partner. Michael Baker (Kinnear) sets out to track down Count Arthur after the death of his father in order to write a biography.


Series overviewEdit

Series Episodes Originally aired
First aired Last aired
1 6 8 July 2013 (2013-07-08) 13 August 2013 (2013-08-13)
2 7 6 January 2015 (2015-01-06) 17 February 2015 (2015-02-17)
3 7 19 May 2017 (2017-05-19) 14 July 2017 (2017-07-14)

Series 1 (2013)Edit

The first series was shown on BBC Two.

No. # Title Directed by Written by Original air date
11"Memory Man"Graham LinehanSteve Delaney & Graham Linehan8 July 2013 (2013-07-08)
Michael Baker tracks down Count Arthur Strong, a music hall performer and former partner of Michael's recently deceased father, for help with his father's biography.
22""Graham LinehanSteve Delaney & Graham Linehan15 July 2013 (2013-07-15)
Michael gives Arthur a laptop in return for helping him write his father's biography.
33"The Radio Play"Graham LinehanSteve Delaney & Graham Linehan22 July 2013 (2013-07-22)
Arthur is given a small role in a radio play when the original actor is unable to attend the recording.
44"Arthur's Big Moment"Graham LinehanSteve Delaney & Graham Linehan30 July 2013 (2013-07-30)
The customers lock themselves in to the café's back room during a riot. Arthur takes the opportunity to entertain this captive audience with his one-man musical act.
55"Doctor Two"Graham LinehanSteve Delaney & Graham Linehan6 August 2013 (2013-08-06)
After Michael is bitten by one of Arthur's dog-sitting dogs, he and Arthur pay a visit to the hospital. Their friend Katya comes with them but dies unexpectedly.
66"The Seance"Graham LinehanSteve Delaney & Graham Linehan13 August 2013 (2013-08-13)
The café clientele are depressed after the death of Katya. Arthur holds a seance in an attempt to contact her to say a final goodbye.

Series 2 (2015)Edit

The second series of Count Arthur Strong sees a shift to BBC One and a later time slot of 10:35pm.[10]

No. # Title Directed by Written by Original air date
71"The Heist"Graham LinehanSteve Delaney & Graham Linehan6 January 2015 (2015-01-06)
Michael returns, to discover that Arthur has written a novel, which is now sitting in his agent's office. However, when Michael learns that Arthur's book is full of salacious gossip about her, he and the café gang stage a heist to retrieve the manuscript.
82"The Day the Clocks Went Back"Graham LinehanSteve Delaney & Graham Linehan13 January 2015 (2015-01-13)
A broken heart and the clocks going back leads to a mix-up at 3,000 feet, where Arthur is mistaken for a flying instructor.
93"We're Listening"Graham LinehanSteve Delaney & Graham Linehan20 January 2015 (2015-01-20)
Spurred on by sleepless nights and noise pollution on his street, Arthur decides to run for local elections.
104"Stuck in the Middle"Graham LinehanSteve Delaney & Graham Linehan27 January 2015 (2015-01-27)
A conman rues the day he tangled with Arthur.
115"Still Life"Graham LinehanSteve Delaney & Graham Linehan3 February 2015 (2015-02-03)
When a documentary team start to do a profile of Michael, Arthur's new career as a living statue threatens to steal the show.
126"The Affair"Graham LinehanSteve Delaney & Graham Linehan10 February 2015 (2015-02-10)
In the aftermath of yet another 'trouser fire', Arthur moves in temporarily with Michael.
137"Fame at Last"Graham LinehanSteve Delaney & Graham Linehan17 February 2015 (2015-02-17)
Arthur gets a job as a television psychic and the resulting fame starts to go to his head.

Series 3 (2017)Edit

The third series started on 19 May 2017 on BBC One, at the earlier timeslot of 8:30 p.m.[11] Broadcasts were delayed in the first half of June due to the 2017 UK election and moved to BBC2 due to Wimbledon, while the episode "Safari Park" was pushed to the end of the series' broadcast due to the death of a zookeeper in late May.

No. # Title Directed by Written by Original air date
141"Count Arthur's House of Horrors"Graham LinehanSteve Delaney & Graham Linehan19 May 2017 (2017-05-19)
Arthur is enlisted to rid a haunted house of its demonic occupants.
152"Arthur the Hat"Graham LinehanSteve Delaney & Graham Linehan26 May 2017 (2017-05-26)
Michael is summoned for jury duty and some of John the Watch's old criminal associates take an interest in Bulent's cafe.
163"Safari Park"Graham LinehanSteve Delaney & Graham Linehan14 July 2017 (2017-07-14) (originally scheduled for 23 June 2017)
Michael finds himself with a whole new family on a birthday outing, but Arthur's money-saving schemes cause chaos.
174"The Soupover"Graham LinehanSteve Delaney & Graham Linehan23 June 2017 (2017-06-23)
What begins as a day spent together at Arthur's home sampling soup, turns into something somewhat more bizarre.
185"The Three Wishes"Graham LinehanSteve Delaney & Graham Linehan (with additional material by Graham Fellows)30 June 2017 (2017-06-30)
Arthur attempts to build bridges with a surprising figure from his past. Guest starring Fellows in character as John Shuttleworth.
196"The Lucky Streak"Graham LinehanSteve Delaney & Graham Linehan7 July 2017 (2017-07-07)
Arthur mistakenly becomes a Scientologist while in search of free biscuits, and his life and luck change.
207"Untrue Detective"Graham LinehanSteve Delaney & Graham Linehan16 June 2017 (2017-06-16)
A knock on the head results in Arthur joining the police force as a high-ranking detective. It's up to Michael and the gang from the cafe to bring him back to reality.

Broadcast historyEdit

The first episode of six was broadcast on BBC2 on 8 July 2013, with one episode each week airing thereafter.[12] The first episode was watched by 971,000 viewers, less than half of BBC2's slot average over the previous three months.[13] Episodes 4, 5 and 6 were subsequently moved from Mondays, 8.30 pm, on BBC Two, to Tuesdays, 8 pm, on the same channel.[14]

The second series aired on BBC One rather than BBC Two. The series was recorded at Pinewood Studios between 6 June 2014 and 18 July 2014. The second series began broadcasting on BBC One on 6 January 2015.[15]

The third and final series was recorded at Pinewood Studios in August 2016. It was due for broadcast later that same year,[16] but was pushed back to 2017.



The first series of Count Arthur Strong was nominated for three British Comedy Awards – Best Sitcom, Best New Comedy and Steve Delaney being nominated for Best Comedy Breakthrough Artist.[17] Steve Delaney and Graham Linehan were nominated as Best Comedy Writers at the 2014 BAFTA Craft Awards[18] and the show was also nominated for Best Situation Comedy at the 2014 BAFTA awards.[19]

Home mediaEdit

The first series of Count Arthur Strong was released on 19 August 2013. In September 2013, BBC WorldWide recalled all the DVDs due to a picture fault.[20] Series two of Count Arthur Strong was released on DVD by Network on 26 September 2016.[21] Series 3 was released by Network on DVD on 17 July 2017 with a Complete Series 1-3 Boxset released by Network on 26 February 2018.


  1. ^ "Count Arthur Strong – News". August 2012. Archived from the original on 11 February 2009. Retrieved 19 May 2013.
  2. ^ "Count Arthur Strong – BBC2 Sitcom – British Comedy Guide". Retrieved 17 May 2013.
  3. ^ "Count Arthur Strong". Retrieved 17 October 2015.
  4. ^ "Arthur Series Commissioned by BBC2". Retrieved 17 October 2015.
  5. ^ a b c d e f "TV Show new character details released". 1 July 2013. Retrieved 9 August 2013.
  6. ^ Burrell, Ian (18 May 2009). "Count Arthur strikes comedy gold for his devoted creator". The Independent. Retrieved 18 May 2009.
  7. ^ "BBC Two Counts on Arthur". Chortle : The UK Comedy Guide. 27 May 2010. Retrieved 30 June 2010.
  8. ^ "Count Arthur Strong gets a BBC Two sitcom series". Retrieved 17 October 2015.
  9. ^ "Count Arthur Strong – Production Details". Retrieved 19 May 2013.
  10. ^ "Count Arthur transfers to BBC ONE". Retrieved 17 October 2015.
  11. ^ "Count Arthur Strong series 3 air date confirmed". Retrieved 20 August 2017.
  12. ^ "TV Series to air 8th July on BBC2". Retrieved 20 June 2013.
  13. ^ Plunkett, John (9 July 2013). "BBC2's Count Arthur Strong draws fewer than 1m". The Guardian. Retrieved 9 July 2013.
  14. ^ "Count Arthur Strong > Episode Guides". Retrieved 4 August 2013.
  15. ^ "Graham & Steve interview". Retrieved 14 February 2014.
  16. ^ "BBC – BBC One announces brand new series of Count Arthur Strong – Media Centre". Retrieved 17 October 2015.
  17. ^ "The British Comedy Awards - The British Comedy Awards". Retrieved 20 August 2017.
  18. ^ "Television Craft in 2014 - BAFTA Awards". Retrieved 20 August 2017.
  19. ^ Ben Lawrence (18 May 2014). "TV Baftas 2014: the winners in full". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 19 May 2014.
  20. ^ ""Count Arthur Strong" Count Arthur Strong (DVD) at BBC Shop". BBC Shop. Retrieved 17 October 2015.
  21. ^ "Count Arthur Strong – Series 2 (DVD) - Count Arthur StrongCount Arthur Strong". Retrieved 20 August 2017.

External linksEdit