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Lead Balloon

 (111)
7.8200615
Rick Spleen is a world-weary comedian who ends up doing far too many corporate jobs to pay the bills.
Starring
Jack DeeRaquel CassidySean Power
Genres
Comedy
Subtitles
English [CC]
Audio Languages
English
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  1. 1. Rubbish
    4 October 2006
    29min
    15
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio Languages
    English
    A lame government TV recycling campaign backfires spectacularly for Rick.
  2. 2. Wayne
    11 October 2006
    30min
    15
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio Languages
    English
    Rick's sleep is disturbed by the paperboy Wayne, who is very punctual and very noisy.
  3. 3. £5000
    18 October 2006
    29min
    15
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio Languages
    English
    A punch-up at an awards ceremony results in a black eye for Rick.
  4. 4. Allergic
    25 October 2006
    29min
    15
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio Languages
    English
    Rick discovers he may have inadvertently killed one of Britain's best-loved entertainers.
  5. 5. Pistachio
    1 November 2006
    30min
    15
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio Languages
    English
    Rick buys himself a scooter but worries that it makes him look gay.
  6. 6. Fatty
    8 November 2006
    29min
    15
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio Languages
    English
    An appearance on daytime TV results in public humiliation for Rick.

More details

Directors
Alex Hardcastle
Supporting actors
Anna CrillyRasmus Hardiker
Season year
2006
Network
BBC Worldwide
Purchase rights
Stream instantly Details
Format
Prime Video (streaming online video)
Devices
Available to watch on supported devices

Other formats

Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

111 global ratings

  1. 72% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 12% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 4% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 7% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 5% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United Kingdom

A. DavisReviewed in the United Kingdom on 20 December 2010
5.0 out of 5 stars
Great comedy, well worth watching
Verified purchase
I have been a big fan of 'Lead Balloon' since the first episode, its a well written and very funny comedy.
Jack Dee plays a comedian who gets into some truly cringeworthy situations and says the most inappropriate things, you'll cring and laugh!
If you like BBC comedies like 'Outnumbered' or 'My Family' then give this a go it might well appeal.
For me its not maybe as good as 'Outnumbered' but is better than the later series of 'My Family'.

The characters are well written and you have sympathy at times for them and at other times despair at the situations they get into.
The scripts work well and the idea of having a comedy about comedians has been worked well with some very good lines.

Once I've seen these episodes I'll be getting seasons 2 and 3 and hoping the BBC commission a new series!
StormSworderReviewed in the United Kingdom on 08 June 2010
5.0 out of 5 stars
One of the best comedies for years
Verified purchase
Rick Spleen is a failed comedy writer who is forced to do all the kinds of TV jobs no-one else wants (dressing up as the Earth and having muck tipped over him in a programme about pollution, etc). As if that weren't bad enough, his daughter and her deadbeat boyfriend regard him as a piggy bank and he is forever involved in misunderstandings with his neighbours and TV colleagues.

This is quite possibly the best comedy series for years. I should point out that it's not "Only Fools and Horses" laugh-out-loud comedy, but is instead more deadpan comedy-drama. But it's still hilarious and never has a dull moment. Jack Dee is at his best here, playing a character who invokes both humour and sympathy. Both this and Series 2 are well recommended.

Come on, BBC. Where's the Series 3 DVD release?
R.M.F.Brown (Author)Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 14 November 2015
4.0 out of 5 stars
Decent British comedy
Verified purchase
A very charming, funny, and tightly scripted comedy. Initially, I was sceptical about this, as British TV is littered with the corpses of comedians who failed to make the transfer from the stage to the screen (usually it's the other way round)

But this works. Jack Dee plays it deadpan, which has always been his main strength IMO, and the rest of the cast offer some solid support. Michael from the café is suitably annoying, much to Dee's chagrin.
One person found this helpful
WisperingDReviewed in the United Kingdom on 16 January 2017
4.0 out of 5 stars
BEWARE: Digital version, Season 1 episode 3 "£5000" audio goes out of sync 20 minutes in
Verified purchase
Love the series, Love watching it in HD on Amazon Video. Just one issue - Episode 3 of season 1 has an audio sync issue 20 minutes in, where it's a good several seconds out and makes it completely unwatchable. I reported this to Amazon a couple of years ago and they offered a refund. But I didn't want a refund for the whole series so kept it, hoping they'd re-upload the episode. It's still the same years later!
One person found this helpful
L.WReviewed in the United Kingdom on 08 June 2016
5.0 out of 5 stars
A great first season
Verified purchase
A great first season focusing on the life of a grumpy second rate comedian and his family. The episodes are simple but well done and full of funny observations and quirky character traits.

The series has a slightly desaturated look where a lot of the warmth has been removed. The home has lots of dark blue, turquoise and white in it. The house feels very real nicely decorated but with enough clutter to also look real and lived in.
Og OggilbyReviewed in the United Kingdom on 23 December 2008
5.0 out of 5 stars
Who needs canned laughter?
Verified purchase
'Lead Balloon' is simply one of the funniest TV sitcoms of the last ten years. Everything about it is so finely tuned and brilliantly realised - from the Rick Spleen / Jack Dee lead character, through all of the superb support characters, bolstered by an inventive and delightfully understated script, 'Lead Balloon' just works incredibly well. It burns slowly but surely, and Rick Spleen is but the latest in a long line of brilliant Brit comedy curmudgeons. Learn to love him!
One person found this helpful
Chainsaw CharlieReviewed in the United Kingdom on 12 November 2017
5.0 out of 5 stars
Highly amusing - loved it
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Not really a fan of JD when he's doing his standup stuff but this show is a real comic gem and suits his style perfectly. Loved every episode of every one of the four series.
Anonymous BobReviewed in the United Kingdom on 04 December 2019
5.0 out of 5 stars
Excellent British Comedy
Verified purchase
Jack Dee is as miserable in this as you'd expect and it's a very entertaining comedy. The teenage characters in this are particularly amusing, as is the cafe owner. Definitely worth a watch!
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