Bob Mortimer might be on to something when he says that he and his comedy partner Vic Reeves “write idiots quite well”.
After all, these are the men who came up with lab coat-wearing Les, who had a fear of chives but loved spirit levels, The Man with the Stick, Tom Fun and the Bra Men, among others.
So it should come as no surprise to find that their new sitcom - their first to be filmed in front of a live studio audience - will feature similar weird yet wonderful folk.
The big surprise is, perhaps, that it’s been commissioned by BBC Two.
When the Beeb cancelled Shooting Stars, it seemed that its love affair with Vic and Bob had come to an end, and that they’d have to find a new home for their brand of inspired lunacy.
However, the broadcaster wasn’t ready to give up on the boys just yet, preferring instead to challenge them to devise a new comedy, and they duly obliged. The duo also star in the series, which is set in a fictional version of Bob’s home.
“I live there with Vic and my Norwegian son Erik,” says Bob. “All I want is a quiet life but this is impossible due to the antics of Vic’s mates Beef, Bosh and our next door neighbour Julie, who all treat my flat as a second home.
“I am boring and staid but underneath this bluster is the fact that Vic and everyone else bring some fun into my life.”
In the first episode, Bob has a date with a lovely lady lined up - he’s going to woo her during an evening of watching Conan the Barbarian. Unfortunately, a broken TV, a break-in, a gas leak and the arrival of an ex-con could scupper his chances of romance.
It sounds just as bonkers as everything else Vic and Bob have ever been involved in, but why put themselves through the trauma of performing in front of an audience? After all, their previous sitcom, Catterick, wasn’t done that way.
Vic reckons he doesn’t care one way or another, but for Bob: “Performing in front of an audience gives you an extra 10 per cent energy and the chance to react to the instant feedback. Having an audience in the studio makes you perform rather than just act.”
The series also gives them a chance to work with some of their mates. Among them are Matt Berry (fresh from his own Channel 4 sitcom, the wonderful Toast of London), Dan Renton Skinner (who appeared on Shooting Stars as his comedy character Angelos Epithemiou), Morgana Robinson and Daniel Simonsen; Nikki Amuka-Bird and Reece Shearsmith also make guest appearances.
“We could hear their voices and imagine their stupid faces as we wrote every line,” says Bob.”