LIFE’S TOO SHORT

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ABC1, tonight, 9.05pm ★★★★ It’s the new mock­u­men­tary from com­edy ge­nius Ricky Ger­vais, but early episodes sug­gest it may strug­gle to reach the heights of his pre­vi­ous shows The Of­fice and Ex­tras. To be fair though, they are two of TV com­edy’s all-time greats. If Life’s Too Short has one key prob­lem to over­come it is that it seems a bit de­riv­a­tive. You can imag­ine some of star War­wick Davis’s one-lin­ers com­ing out of the mouth of Ger­vais char­ac­ters David Brent ( The Of­fice) or Andy Mill­man ( Ex­tras). But while Life’s Too Short is patchy and has been branded by some as of­fen­sive to lit­tle peo­ple, the opening episode, with a guest ap­pear­ance from Liam Nee­son, de­liv­ers one of the fun­ni­est scenes in TV in years. The show is a star ve­hi­cle for Davis, who plays an ex­ag­ger­ated ver­sion of him­self — the UK’s No.1 go-to-dwarf ac­tor. Like Brent and Mill­man, Davis is de­luded and self-ob­sessed. He’s meant to be run­ning an agency for ‘‘lit­tle’’ ac­tors, but keeps steal­ing all the good roles for him­self. He’s so ego­tis­ti­cal that it’s im­pos­si­ble not to ap­plaud when one of his schemes ends in em­bar­rass­ment.

DD

Funny men: War­wick Davis with Ricky Ger­vais and Stephen Mer­chant.

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