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The Irish Mail on Sunday - TV Week - - YOUR TV WEEK - So­phie Heath

De­spite hav­ing the words writer, di­rec­tor, ra­dio pre­sen­ter, co­me­dian and ac­tor on his CV, it’s taken Stephen Mer­chant a long time to es­cape the shadow of Ricky Ger­vais – even if he does stand more than six and a half feet tall. How­ever, this promis­ing new se­ries (made by HBO in Amer­ica), adapted from his smash hit stage show of the same name, proves that Ger­vais’s fre­quent col­lab­o­ra­tor is per­fectly able to fly solo; his su­per­star side­kick isn’t even in the small print. Mer­chant takes cen­tre stage as a lonely English­man search­ing for love in Los An­ge­les. But when it comes to chat­ting up women, sui­cide, abor­tion and mar­i­tal break-up aren’t what most would re­gard as ideal sub­ject mat­ter, Stephen – even when backed by a droll sense of hu­mour… Wed­nes­day, 10pm, Sky At­lantic.

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