|Rab C. Nesbitt|
|Created by||Ian Pattison|
|Written by||Ian Pattison|
|Directed by||Colin Gilbert|
|Starring||Gregor Fisher, Elaine C. Smith, Tony Roper, Barbara Rafferty, Andrew Fairlie, Brian Pettifer, Iain McColl, Eric Cullen, Iain Robertson|
|Theme music composer||David McNiven|
|Opening theme||Theme from Rab C. Nesbitt|
|Ending theme||Theme from Rab C. Nesbitt|
|Country of origin||Scotland, United Kingdom|
|Original language||Glaswegian Scots|
|No. of series||10|
|No. of episodes||66 (inc. 6 specials) (list of episodes)|
|Production location||Govan, Glasgow|
|Running time||30-50 minutes|
|Original network||BBC1 (1988), BBC2 (1990-2014)|
|Picture format||4:3 (1988–1998), 16:9 (1999), 1080i (2008–2014)|
|Original release||22 December 1988 –|
18 June 1999
|Preceded by||Naked Video|
Rab C. Nesbitt is a Scottish comedy series which began in 1988. Produced by BBC Scotland, it stars Gregor Fisher as an alcoholic Glaswegian who seeks unemployment as a lifestyle choice. Rab C. Nesbitt was originally a recurring character in the BBC2 sketch series Naked Video (1986–1990).
The pilot episode, made for BBC Scotland in 1988, was a Christmas special entitled Rab C Nesbitt's Seasonal Greet, which was broadcast on 22 December 1988 and then repeated on the network the following year. The first series began on 27 September 1990 and continued for seven more, ending on 18 June 1999.
The show returned for a one-off special on 23 December 2008. The special sees several important developments, which carry on into the series: Gash now has a daughter, Peaches; Mary and Ella have set up in business together as cleaners (and Jamesie, Rab and sometimes Gash all work for their company, House Mice); and Rab himself has converted to Christianity and given up alcohol.
A ninth series of six episodes began airing on 21 January 2010. The show's return received a good critical response and high audience figures, leading to a tenth series being commissioned by the BBC for broadcast in 2011. Filming for the series commenced in February 2010, and began broadcasting in October 2011. Following a two-year break, Elaine C. Smith confirmed on her Twitter page that a new year's special had completed filming on 10 October 2013, and was aired on BBC Two on 2 January 2014.
Ian Pattison created and wrote all 65 episodes, and Colin Gilbert produced and directed all 65 episodes as well. Topics include alcoholism, Neo Nazis and sexually transmitted infections. Often several normally unapproachable subjects were used in the same episode. The series is also known for its uncompromising use of Glaswegian accents and dialect, and its technique of breaking the fourth wall by frequently having Rab address the viewer directly.
The series has featured guest appearances from the likes of Norman Lovett, Peter Mullan, Rikki Fulton, Mary Lee, Anita Dobson, Timothy Spall, Stanley Baxter, Kevin McNally, Clive Russell, Jerry Sadowitz, Viv Lumsden, Sylvester McCoy, Russell Hunter, Peter Capaldi and then-unknowns David Tennant, Ashley Jensen, Ford Kiernan, Greg Hemphill, Karen Dunbar, Jane McCarry and Paul Riley. Series 10 episode 2 notably featured an appearance by Scottish singer Susan Boyle who was the runner-up on Britain's Got Talent in 2009. The series was taken live on tour in 1991, known as Rab C. Nesbitt: In the Flesh, thus meaning that no new series was broadcast that year. A live recording of the tour was released on VHS in 1992 as Rab C. Nesbitt: Live. Two script books accompanying the series have also been released, alongside Rab's autobiography, a novel entitled A Stranger Here Myself.
In October 2016, it was announced that plans were in place for Rab C. Nesbitt to return with a series of live shows at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow, following in the footsteps of Still Game.
"John William Pure Mad Mental Intae Yoor Body Simpson Craig Gemmell Chib The Bam Rib-Racker No Real Young Rebel Ya Bas St. John McGurn aka Young Young McGurn". Portrayed by Maurice Roëves in That's Entertainment. a local "psychotic, with cannibalistic tendencies" who regularly threatens to eat people who displease him. McGurn's family burgle and vandalise local houses with impunity. Unfortunately for Jamesie Cotter, he chose to "whap the meat oop" McGurn's daughter Tracey, a fact that very nearly got him eaten himself. In spite of the fact that "no decent human being could hope to strike up a rapport with him" he seems to be quite agreeable towards Rab, entrusting him with his darkest secret: he is a cannibal with false teeth. He commits suicide by jumping from the terrace of a tower block, killing a police inspector, two social workers and a psychologist in the process.
"Gash Nesbitt Sr". Portrayed by Sylvester McCoy. Rab's brother, who he named his son after. Gash Sr. was once highly intelligent but very sensitive, and developed mental illness either following or coinciding with a period of particularly intense ill treatment by Rab B. Nesbitt, their father. Gash is usually a resident of a special home, yet managed to escape (or merely unconsciously wandered away) to be briefly taken in by the rest of the Nesbitt family during the episode "Father".
"Isa Nesbitt Anna Welsh" (older) & "Ann-Louise Ross" (younger). Rab's mother, a typical Govan housewife, described as being so self-conscious she would put a dish-towel over her knees while watching television because she thought Trevor McDonald could see up her skirt. Rab is shown to have been very close to her, as he describes her as "one of the finest human beings ever to walk this Earth". She died during a gallstone operation in Series 4.
"Robert "Rab" B. Nesbitt". Portrayed by Ronnie Letham. Rab's cantankerous father, described by Gash Sr. as "a monster, a vile, cruel, unpredictable sadist". He blamed his failure on his family and frequently accused his children of holding him back and ruining his life. His moods reduced his wife Isa to a nervous wreck. His preferred victim was his gifted but sensitive son Gash, whom he ultimately drove to insanity through humiliation and abuse. He died from a heart attack when Rab C. finally stood up to him.
"Old Shep". Seen in That's Entertainment". Rab's pet canary which he trains to attack people's groins. Rab is shown to be very fond of his pet and refers to him as a "pit bull canary". Shep was killed during Young Young McGurn's suicidal dive from a tower block, and was given a Viking funeral, with an empty beer can as the boat and part of a Corn Flakes box as a sail.
"Peter The Warlock". Portrayed by Peter Mullan from 'Life Has Meaning'. a Devil worshipper who, after feeling insulted by Rab, places a hex on him, resulting in a dart embedding itself into Rab's cranium. Owns a cloak allegedly once owned by Aleister Crowley (but is most often seen naked) as well as a dog with a unicorn-like horn. Last seen sprinting naked down the street pursued by a furious, pitchfork wielding, Rab.
"Davina". Portrayed by David Tennant. a transgender barmaid who, despite highly speculated gender, holds the affection of everyone.
"The Dosser". Portrayed by Russell Hunter in Ethics. A tramp who attempts to kill himself by jumping into the River Clyde within sight of Rab, who rescues him. The Dosser then blackmails Rab into taking care of him by threatening to commit suicide if he doesn't. In the end, Rab hires a hitman to get rid of him but attempts to call him off when he discovers that the whole thing is a scam.
"The Hitman". Portrayed by Freddie Boardley in Ethics. A hitman hired by Rab to do away with the tramp who is conning him. Appears to have made his career choice by reasons of enjoyment rather than necessity, as when Rab asks him to desist from the murder but keep the money he responds "keep the money, I'll just dae the malky anyway!" In response Rab hits him over the head with a trashcan cover, and he falls into the river, sinking from sight; this prompts Rab to say "An' I always thought shite floated."
"Mambo". Portrayed by Kevin Bridges. Seen living in a lift after he is kicked out of his house for keeping a dolphin in a bathtub. The dolphin had bit his hand off so he decided to get a dog (a Jack Russell). Jamesie pays him 50p to watch his bed which he was planning to give to an immigrant living in a flat but when he comes back Mambo and the bed and all of his possessions he had in the lift are gone. He is last seen by Ella coming down the street with the bed.
"The Heebie Jeebie". Voiced by Russell Hunter in Drink. is a pink elephant that only Rab can see (Cotter can see it at the end of the episode) it tries to convince him not to give up drinking.
"Chingford Steel". Portrayed by Richard E. Grant. The government minister for work who Mary takes hostage and was made to dress up like Rab and make a ransom video in Scottish accent. He was later freed.
Main article: List of Rab C. Nesbitt episodes
|1989||Celtic Media Festival||Best Entertainment Programme||Won|||
|1991||Royal Television Society||Best Situation Comedy||Won|||
|Rose d'Or||Special Mention for 1991 Episode "Holiday".|||
|1992||BAFTA Scotland||Best Entertainment Programme||Won|||
|1994||BAFTA||Best Comedy Programme||Nominated|||
|1997||BAFTA Scotland||Best Entertainment Programme||Nominated|||
|2009||BAFTA Scotland||Best Entertainment Programme||Won|||
|2011||BAFTA Scotland||Best Entertainment Programme||Nominated|||
|2012||BAFTA Scotland||Best TV Actor: Gregor Fisher||Won|||
|Best TV Actor: Elaine C. Smith||Nominated|
|1||21 August 1998||3.70||5|
|2||28 August 1998||3.23||5|
|3||4 September 1998||2.73||8|
|4||11 September 1998||2.94||10|
|5||18 September 1998||3.16||13|
|6||25 September 1998||3.46||5|
|1||14 May 1999||2.71||11|
|2||21 May 1999||3.09||9|
|3||28 May 1999||2.80||9|
|4||4 June 1999||2.70||11|
|5||11 June 1999||2.47||8|
|6||18 June 1999||2.20||19|
|Clean||23 December 2008||3.70||2|
|1||21 January 2010||2.28||24|
|2||28 January 2010||2.02||25|
|3||4 February 2010||1.94||27|
|4||11 February 2010||1.70*||N/A|
|5||18 February 2010||1.66||30|
|6||25 February 2010||1.74||27|
|1||5 October 2011||2.32||7|
|2||12 October 2011||1.92||16|
|3||19 October 2011||1.40*||N/A|
|4||26 October 2011||1.50*||N/A|
|5||2 November 2011||1.40*||N/A|
|6||9 November 2011||1.30*||N/A|
|Hoodie||2 January 2014||2.32||16|
(*) Asterisk indicates overnight figure.
The first five series were initially released on VHS in the 1990s, with each series being split into two parts, with three episodes on each video. "Seasonal Greet" and "Fitba" were each released on separate VHS volumes. A "best of" compilation was also released on VHS. DVD releases of the series began in July 2004, with John Williams productions issuing series one through five on DVD, with "Seasonal Greet" available on a separate DVD volume, and "Fitba" and "Home" being released together on a separate DVD volume. A complete box set of series one through five was later released, including "Fitba" and "Home" but omitting "Seasonal Greet". 2|Entertain then purchased the rights to the series, releasing series six through eight on separate DVD volumes, and all together as one DVD box set, on 15 October 2007. 2|Entertain released "Clean" on DVD three days after its initial airing on TV. In 2009, a complete box set of series one through eight and all subsequent specials was released, making "More" available on DVD for the first time ever. DVDs of series nine and ten were subsequently issued in 2010 and 2011 respectively, leaving the 2014 special the only episode yet to be released on DVD.
|Series||Episodes||DVD release date|
|Seasonal Greet||1||29 November 2004|
|1||6||5 July 2004|
|2||6||18 October 2004|
|Fitba & Home||2||26 February 2007|
|3||6||28 May 2005|
|4||6||1 August 2005|
|5||6||4 December 2006|
|1-5||32||8 October 2007|
|6||6||15 October 2007|
|7||6||15 October 2007|
|8||6||15 October 2007|
|6-8||18||15 October 2007|
|Clean||1||26 December 2008|
|1-8||53||19 October 2009|
|9||6||1 March 2010|
|10||6||12 December 2011|
Johnny Depp based his Glaswegian accent for the role of Tarrant Hightopp, The Mad Hatter in the 2010 film Alice in Wonderland, on Rab C Nesbitt's.
((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)