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Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps

Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps
Title card seen throughout series run
Created by Susan Nickson
Written by Susan Nickson (2001–09)
Daniel Peak (2003–06)
Karen Laws (2004–05)
Jon Brown (2006–09)
Tim Dawson (2008–09)
Kate Wincup (2008–09)
Robin Taylor (2011)
David Cantor (2011)
Directed by Gareth Carrivick (2001–05)
Becky Martin (2006)
Nick Wood (2006–2009, 2011)
Geoff Posner (2009)
Starring Ralf Little
Will Mellor
Natalie Casey
Sheridan Smith
Kathryn Drysdale
Beverley Callard
Hayley Bishop
Luke Gell
Lee Oakes
Freddie Hogan
Georgia Henshaw
Thomas Nelstrop
Opening theme "Two Pints of Lager Theme" by Christian Henson
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 9
No. of episodes 80 (list of episodes)
Location(s) Runcorn, Cheshire
Camera setup Multi-camera
Running time 30–45 minutes
Original channel BBC Two (2001)
BBC Choice (2002)
BBC Three (2003–11)
Picture format 576i (16:9 SDTV)
Audio format Dolby Digital 5.1
Original release 26 February 2001 – 24 May 2011
External links

Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps is a British comedy television series sitcom that ran from 26 February 2001 to 24 May 2011 and starred Sheridan Smith, Will Mellor, Ralf Little, Natalie Casey, Kathryn Drysdale and Luke Gell. Created and written by Susan Nickson, it is set in the town of Runcorn in Cheshire, England, and originally revolves around the lives of five twenty-somethings. Little departed after the airing of the sixth series with Smith and Drysdale leaving following the airing of the eighth series. The ninth and final series had major changes with new main cast members and new writers.

The core cast have been augmented by various recurring characters throughout the series, including Beverly Callard, Lee Oakes, Hayley Bishop, Alison Mac, Thomas Nelstrop and Jonathon Dutton. The show was first broadcast in 2001 on BBC Two. The title was inspired by the 1980 hit single “Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps Please” by Splodgenessabounds.[1] On 23 July 2011, it was confirmed that the series would not be returning due to BBC Three wanting to make room for new comedies and feeling that the series had come to a natural end following the departures of most of the main cast members.[2]

As of March 2014, VIVA bought the rights to the series, broadcasting series 1-9, Monday to Thursday. As of 31 July 2015, Viva is now on Freeview channel 58, and is only available to viewers who have devices which are compatible with Freeview HD, Freeview Play, YouView or EE TV in selected areas of the UK. It will be broadcasting from 9:00am until 11:00am. thus making it unlikely that anymore episodes of the series will be broadcast by VIVA.


  • Background 1
  • Series 2
  • Episodes 3
  • Cast 4
    • Main 4.1
    • Supporting 4.2
  • DVD releases 5
  • Filming locations 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8


The show has its origins in prewar cockney pub satire such as "down the boozer for a ruby" and "one pint for the bus" The original Executive Producer of the show, Geoffrey Perkins, saw writer Susan Nickson's work on Channel 4's Lloyd's Bank Film Challenge, entitled "Life's A Bitch", which starred Sean Hughes and Kathy Burke. At just 14, Nickson was asked by Perkins (who was also Head of Comedy at the time) to come and work with the BBC after a few years; consequently, Nickson created Two Pints when she was just 18.

The BBC tried to persuade the producers of the Channel 4 soap opera Hollyoaks to get Will Mellor and Natalie Casey to work with them when they appeared in the show. Ralf Little and Sheridan Smith were cast soon after completing work on another BBC sitcom, The Royle Family. Although initially reluctant, he agreed to audition when he realised that Two Pints would be very different from The Royle Family. Kathryn Drysdale was brought in after producers saw her perform at drama school.

The original cast from 2001–2006:
(back) Ralf Little (Jonny), Will Mellor (Gaz)
(front) Kathryn Drysdale (Louise), Sheridan Smith (Janet), Natalie Casey (Donna)

The show's unbroadcast pilot starred Little and Mellor, though the characters of Janet, Louise and Donna were portrayed by Clare Buckfield, Lucy Punch, and Maxine Peake. Little and Smith, and Mellor and Casey, play couples Jonny and Janet, and Gaz and Donna. Mellor and Casey had previously portrayed an onscreen couple in Hollyoaks. Smith stated how lucky she was to work with Little after starring together before, as playing such a close couple would have been awkward for both. Mellor stated in a past interview how he sees Casey as a younger sister—which makes kissing scenes a bit awkward. Smith also classes Casey as the "mummy" in the show, due to her knowledge and problem-solving skills. Typically, episodes end with a particularly dramatic scene, such as Jonny breaking the news to Janet that her parents turned down his request for her hand in marriage.

BBC Two broadcast the first series, BBC Choice screened series two but was re branded as BBC Three shortly before it screened series three, and has shown the first run of each new series ever since. BBC Two also repeated the show, though only once, previously shown every Thursday. Series four ended with Jonny being shot by armed police, and viewers were asked to vote, by text or phone, on Jonny's fate. Series five began with a funeral, which was revealed to be that of Donna's mother, Flo. Some series are accompanied by a special programme exposing errors that occurred during the filming. The show, titled Two Pints of Lager Outtakes, features interviews with cast and crew, each explaining the difficulties of getting various scenes to be performed as expected.

The outcome of the final episode of series eight was decided by the public, who in episode seven were asked to vote whether Gaz should be with Donna or Janet. Following the final episode of series 8 which was broadcast on 10 May 2009 showing the audience's views and opinions of the show and who Gaz should be with;[3] the audience chose Donna, with 76.9% of the vote. The final episode concluded with Donna at Gaz's bedside.

Although Two Pints is largely comedy, it sometimes, especially at the end of a series, becomes more dramatic and serious. Such storylines have included Janet and Jonny's split, Jonny's shooting and Janet's imminent departure as a cruise singer.

Will Mellor has described the show as being "driven by sex and alcohol" and the show is known for its adult, sometimes scatological humour, mostly involving references to sex and private bodily functions. Vulgar language is also used, except that the word 'fuck' is uttered only once during the last episode of each series.[4]


The first six series with the original cast including Ralf Little ran until 2006 when Little said he would not return to the series, saying he thought the character had come to a natural end. Will Mellor hinted at the series continuation in television interviews, one being Loose Women, and more or less confirming it on The Paul O'Grady Show, with statements such as "we'll keep on making it". Ralf Little announced during an interview for This Morning on 19 September 2007 that he would not be returning for the following series due to an overwhelming schedule, and Jonny Keogh was therefore killed off-screen in the first episode of the seventh series.

An eighth series was confirmed by Will Mellor in an interview in the Metro on 21 April 2008, in which he said that they would be filming the series from November 2008 to January 2009.[5] In January 2009, the BBC announced recording dates for the next series at BBC Television Centre from 1 February to 3 April. A special edition for Comic Relief was also recorded on 25 January. The eighth series began airing on 8 March 2009 starting with a Comic Relief special, which featured characters from Coming of Age and Grownups, as a curtain raiser, with subsequent episodes as normal. Natalie Casey, Kathryn Drysdale, Luke Gell, Will Mellor and Sheridan Smith all returned and the new character of Wesley was played by Thomas Nelstrop.[6]

Two special episodes of Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps were filmed in 2009.[7] The first was set a few minutes after the ending of the previous episode, its cast being limited to Janet, Wesley and Tim, and was recorded on 13 August 2009 at BBC TV Centre. It was a musical extravaganza set entirely inside the Archer and was broadcast on 15 December 2009. The second, "Sliding Gaz", was recorded on 18 August 2009 and shown on 22 December 2009.[8] The cast consists of Donna and Gaz only and shows Donna in a "sliding doors" technique, imagining Gaz being healthy and also paralysed.

In April 2010, it was revealed that the show was to return, albeit 'refreshed' by the BBC, which could mean cast changes, and the loss of the creator of the show, Susan Nickson, who is reportedly moving on to work in America.[9] Location filming for series 9 is set to begin in Runcorn on 25 January as reported in The Runcorn Weekly News.[10] To celebrate the tenth anniversary of the show the official BBC website uploaded many of the viewers' favourite clips as well as Will Mellor and Natalie Casey presenting a 5-minute video about the 10 things you didn't know about the show. A plot summary of the new 2011 Ninth Series was then revealed by the BBC.[11] Original cast members Sheridan Smith and Kathryn Drysdale announced in 2010 that they would not be returning to the show. They were written out of the series and their departures were mentioned in the first episode of series 9. On 23 July 2011, following a decline in ratings and feeling the series had come to a natural end following the departures of half of the main cast members the BBC decided that the series would not return for a tenth series.


Series Episodes Premier Finale
1 6 26 February 2001 (2001-02-26) 2 April 2001 (2001-04-02)
2 6 15 April 2002 (2002-04-15) 2 May 2002 (2002-05-02)
3 10 23 February 2003 (2003-02-23) 27 April 2003 (2003-04-27)
4 8 15 February 2004 (2004-02-15) 4 April 2004 (2004-04-04)
5 14 2 January 2005 (2005-01-02) 4 March 2005 (2005-03-04)
6 10 26 February 2006 (2006-02-26) 30 April 2006 (2006-04-30)
7 8 13 January 2008 (13 January 2008) 9 March 2008 (2008-03-09)
8 8 15 March 2009 (15 March 2009) 10 May 2009 (10 May 2009)
9 6 26 April 2011 (26 April 2011) 24 May 2011 (24 May 2011)



Actor Character Duration Series
Will Mellor Gaz Wilkinson 2001–2006, 2008–2009, 2011 1-9
Natalie Casey Donna Henshaw
Sheridan Smith Janet Keogh 2001–2006, 2008–2009 1-8
Kathryn Drysdale Louise Brooks
Ralf Little Jonny Keogh 2001–2006 1-6
Luke Gell Tim Claypole 2008–2009, 2011 7-9
Georgia Henshaw Cassie Claypole 2011 9
Freddie Hogan Billy McCormack


Actor Character Duration Series
Beverley Callard Flo Henshaw 2001–2003 1-3
Lee Oakes Munch Wilkinson 2003–2005, 2008 3-5, 7
Hayley Bishop Kelly Crabtree 2004–2006 4-6
Thomas Nelstrop Wesley Presley 2009 8

DVD releases

Season Date released # of episodes # of discs Special features
The Complete First and Second Series 18 August 2003 12 2 Subtitles
The Complete Third and Fourth Series 6 September 2004 18 4 2003 Musical special
The Complete Fifth Series 5 September 2005 14 3
The Complete Series 1-4 24 October 2005 30 5
The Complete Sixth Series 4 September 2006 10 2 Behind the scenes
The Complete Series 1-6 16 October 2006 54 10
The Complete Seventh Series 21 April 2008 8 2 Behind the scenes
The Complete Eighth Series 14 September 2009 9 2 Comic Relief Special
The Complete Ninth Series 13 June 2011 6 2 2009 specials

Filming locations

Many of the places featured in Two Pints are real:

  • The Archer is the former Waterloo pub at 88 High Street in the Old Town area of Runcorn, near the canal, and for the series is renamed after the series' first script editor, Paul Mayhew-Archer, who was later replaced by Jon Brown. The Waterloo closed in December 2012, and has been converted into a Buddhist temple.[12] (Series 1 features a second pub called The Mayhew.) The Waterloo is only used for the exterior shots whereas the interiors are recorded in the studio at BBC Television Centre in London.
  • The power station featured in the credits is Fiddlers Ferry Power Station in between the neighbouring towns of Widnes & Warrington
  • Sayer's Bakery where Janet works is also real, being located at 30 Church Street, Runcorn Old Town.
  • Gaz's workshop (Brindley Autos) can be found on Brindley Street in the northwest of the town under one of the rail bridge's arches.
  • The Castle ruins featured in the opening title sequence are those of Halton Castle, in the east of the town.
  • The exterior of Gaz and Donna's flat is also real and can be found opposite the indoor market near Alcock Street and the bus station in the Old Town.
  • Janet and Jonny's house can be found at 9 Clarks Terrace, in the Weston Point area of Runcorn.


  1. ^ Mark Lewisohn. "Guide to Comedy: Two Pints Of Lager And A Packet Of Crisps". BBC. Retrieved 14 July 2007. 
  2. ^ Robertson, Colin. "Two Pints stars are told to sup up". The Sun. 
  3. ^ 7 April 2009, 16:47 BST (7 April 2009). "TV – News – 'Two Pints' audience to choose finale". Digital Spy. Retrieved 15 September 2010. 
  4. ^ "Two Pints of Lager Outtakes". Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps. 2008-03-09. 
  5. ^ 21 April 2008, 10:50 BST (21 April 2008). "Television – News – Mellor confirms 'Two Pints' return". Digital Spy. Retrieved 15 September 2010. 
  6. ^ "Press Office – Network TV Programme Information BBC Week 11 Sunday 15 March 2009". BBC. Retrieved 15 September 2010. 
  7. ^ [2]
  8. ^ "The BBC lights up Christmas with a selection of new seasonal delights". BBC News. Retrieved 15 September 2010. 
  9. ^ "BBC set to refresh Two Pints Of Lager – News – British Comedy Guide". 8 April 2010. Retrieved 15 September 2010. 
  10. ^ Runcorn Weekly News – BBC Comedy to use Linnets FC
  11. ^ Two Pints Of Lager And A Packet Of Crisps - BBC3 / BBC2 Sitcom - British Comedy Guide
  12. ^ "Europe | Transformation of Runcorn pub into Buddhist temple nearly complete". 2013-03-14. Retrieved 2014-06-28. 

External links

  • Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps at BBC Online (Last Updated March 2008)
  • Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps at the British TV Comedy Guide
  • Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps at the British Comedy Guide
  • Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps at the Internet Movie Database
  • Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps at BBC Programmes
  • Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps - Series 3, Episode 10 - Script at BBC Online
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