|People Just Do Nothing|
|Directed by||Jack Clough|
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of series||5|
|No. of episodes||27 (list of episodes)|
|Running time||25–30 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Roughcut TV|
|Original release||20 July 2014 –|
17 December 2018
|Followed by||People Just Do Nothing: Big In Japan|
People Just Do Nothing is a British television mockumentary sitcom, created and performed by Allan Mustafa, Steve Stamp, Asim Chaudhry and Hugo Chegwin. The programme follows the lives of MC Grindah, DJ Beats and their friends, who run Kurupt FM, a pirate radio station broadcasting UK garage and drum and bass music from Brentford in west London. Stemming from a niche style of comedy that began in the grime scene, the programme originally began as a series of online shorts that became popular enough that the group were asked to make a pilot episode for BBC3's Comedy Feeds. The first series was released on BBC Three in July 2014, with the fifth and final series airing on BBC Two in 2018. A film continuation, People Just Do Nothing: Big In Japan, is set to be released in 2020.
In 2017, the show won the BAFTA award and Royal Television Society award for Best Scripted Comedy. Many of the actors in the show have gone on to tour as a musical act, in character as their personas from Kurupt FM.
- 1 Premise
- 2 Cast and characters
- 3 Production
- 4 Episodes
- 5 Reception
- 6 Broadcast history
- 7 Kurupt FM live
- 8 Film adaptation
- 9 Notes
- 10 References
- 11 External links
People Just do Nothing is a mockumentary, in which the characters give interviews to the camera and are taped in a loose, documentary fashion. An off-screen interviewer is occasionally heard. The "documentary" follows the fortunes of "Kurupt FM", a pirate radio station broadcasting UK Garage from a flat in Brentford, west London. The main characters are MC Grindah, DJ Beats, DJ Steves, and their entrepreneurial manager, Chabuddy G. The show follows their personal lives, with a strong focus on their relationships with their respective female partners such as Miche and Roche.
All of the characters have an inflated sense of their own talent and success; Steve Stamp, who portrays Steves, said "A lot of talented people don’t have enough confidence, but then there’s a lot of stupid people with no talent who have loads of confidence ... All our characters are super confident; they’re just not good at what they do." The characters fail to recognise their lowly status, with Grindah regularly making comments like "We're going global, but you will very much have to be in the Brentford area to hear us." The show plays off their stupidity; Rachel Aroesti of The Guardian has said, "Every character is really, quite comfortingly, dense, and their inability to read scenarios correctly is the source of nearly all the comedy." The show was summarised by Jamie Clifton of Vice as:
You don't need to know anything about garage to get it; the humour is in the hopelessness. Most of the principal characters are completely deluded in some way – Chabuddy, who believes his wife loves him, when she clearly does not. Or Grindah, who claims to reign over all MCs from a pirate station that only broadcasts five miles into London. You laugh at their failures, but it's a weird kind of schadenfreude because every character is so endearing you want them to succeed, not relentlessly embarrass themselves in front of a TV crew.
Cast and characters
- Allan "Seapa" Mustafa as Anthony "MC Grindah" Zografos, the MC and founder/leader of the radio station. Despite his limited success, Grindah proclaims himself to be a musical genius.
- Hugo Chegwin as Kevin "DJ Beats" Bates, the principal DJ. Beats is a loyal friend of Grindah but is often mistreated by him, much to the dismay of his partner, Roche.
- Asim Chaudhry as Chabud "Chabuddy G" Gul, a failed local entrepreneur. Enthusiastic and ambitious but severely deluded, his hare-brained ideas usually bring chaos to the group.
- Steve Stamp as Steven "Steves" Green, a lackadaisical drug user and the runt of the litter. His nan originally owns the flat from which the station broadcasts. It is hinted he is more gifted than it seems.
- Daniel Sylvester Woolford as Decoy, a laid-back DJ at the radio station. It is implied that Decoy is the biological father of Miche's daughter Angel. Often acts as a comedic straight man to the rest of the group.
- Lily Brazier as Michelle Louise "Miche" Zografos (née Coleman), Grindah's girlfriend and, later, wife. She works at a hair salon, and idly dreams of becoming a celebrity.
- Ruth Bratt as Roche, Beats' girlfriend, a security guard at a local cash and carry and former bouncer. Roche loves Beats but is averse to the radio station, especially to Grindah. Like Decoy, acts as a comedic straight woman to the group.
- George Keywood as Craig, Roche's son from a former marriage, in his late teens he is mostly at home playing video games. Originally disliking him, Craig eventually comes to view Beats as his dad. His imposing size is often used as a comic foil as his family unconsciously appear to regard him as a vulnerable young child.
- Olivia Jasmine Edwards as Angel Zografos, Miche's young daughter. Grindah accepts Angel as his daughter, but it is implied she was fathered by Decoy.
- Maria Louis as Aldona (series 1–2), Chabuddy's unloving ex-wife from Poland who frequently uses him for financial gain. Despite her robbing and dumping him, Chabuddy frequently reminisces about Aldona.
- Marvin Jay Alvarez as Fantasy (series 2–5), a DJ at Kurupt FM, though not usually involved with the antics of the station.
- Victoria Alcock as Carol (series 2–5), Miche's promiscuous and flirtatious mother. In series 5 Carol and Chabuddy are in a relationship.
- Tiff Stevenson as Tanya (series 2–5), Miche's boss at the salon.
- Pamela Lyne as Steves' nan (series 2–3), Steves' outgoing and playful grandmother, who also supplies him with various drugs.
- Petra Letang as Tia (series 3), an employee at Chabuddy's short lived Champagne Steam Bar.
- Cally Lawrence as Jackie (series 3–5), an older hairdresser at the salon.
- Richard David-Caine as Sam (series 4–5), Chabuddy's boss at Sonoda, an electrical shop.
The four main actors were friends for years before they began making the show. They were brought together through Hugo Chegwin; he had known Steve Stamp since childhood, became friends with Asim Chaudhry at college, and met Allan Mustafa through a mutual friend. They all had experience DJing or MCing on pirate radio in their youth, and no ambition to be actors. Mustafa said, "I rapped at the time, but we never really ended up making music. We just watched The Office a lot and smoked weed." In the late 2000s, Chegwin and Stamp had a "fake garage crew" on a real station called KuruptFM. Chegwin and Mustafa began creating characters and filming them, and were further inspired when they watched the BBC documentary series Tower Block Dreams, about London and Essex's underground music scene, and found the participants amusing. MC Grindah was based on a pirate radio boss from the series. Stamp and Chaudhry became involved, and the foursome began improvising material and putting it on YouTube under the name "Wasteman TV".
The YouTube videos were seen by producer Jon Petrie, who worked with Ash Atalla – a former producer for The Office – at Roughcut TV. Petrie later explained, "It wasn't fully-formed, but the more you watched it, the more you could see there was proper detail to the characters. I had no idea about garage, really, but I just loved them as comic creations." Atalla arranged to produce a pilot episode for BBC Three, released in August 2012. The pilot was the most shared video on iPlayer that month, and the BBC ordered a full series.
Many journalists have commented that the show is heavily influenced by The Office. David Renshaw has said, "At times, Grindah’s delusion in relation to his own success, talent and likeability is a mortifying dance away from full David Brent." Chabuddy G has been described as "an Asian Del Boy", of Only Fools and Horses. The actors have named their primary influences as The Office, This is Spinal Tap, Alan Partridge, Ali G, Laurel and Hardy, and Mike Leigh.
Writing and filming
Writing credits go to Allan Mustafa and Steve Stamp, but the cast are given freedom to improvise their dialogue and sometimes film scenes spontaneously. By the third series, Mustafa estimated that material was "70/30 percent improvised". Chaudhry explained, "When you've been doing a character for six years, you can just snap into it – you know how they'd react in any situation", adding that he is continuously inspired by his father, "because he's like a real Chabuddy G, just not as ridiculous". The dialogue is often heavy with 21st century London slang. Much of the filming took place at Chesterton Court on the South Acton housing estate, before it was demolished. Series three was shot in Peckham, south-east London. All locations are based on the Haverfield Estate in Brentford, where Chegwin and Stamp grew up, though in the pilot the estate was stated to be in Eastbourne.
|First aired||Last aired|
|Pilot||17 August 2012|
|1||4||20 July 2014||3 August 2014|
|2||5||15 July 2015||12 August 2015|
|3||6||17 August 2016||21 September 2016|
|4||6||15 August 2017||19 September 2017|
|5||6||12 October 2018||17 December 2018|
|Title||Original air date|
|Beats and Sniper are getting a munch from Maccy d's but its long and Beats wants every sauce. Sniper feels he's getting mugged off when he bumps into Steves, their squat raving day dreaming wasteman friend.|
|0.2||"Pirate Radio Special"||2011|
|Sniper and Beats have found a new secret location to do their pirate radio set. Ryland, some mug who they rent the studio from is monging them right out and Beats has a word with him so he knows who's boss. Sniper introduces us to the Kurupt FM family and a surprise visit from Steves causes controversy when an old beef is ignited between Kurupt FM and Lively FM.|
|0.3||"Fight Fire With Fire"||2011|
|Following their declaration of war against DJ Funky and Lively FM, Sniper and Beats seek help from local gangster / T Mobile salesman Chabuddie G. His advice leads them back to Ryland's studio to make a diss record.|
|0.4||"The F Word"||2011|
|Sniper calls an emergency meeting at the local barbers to discuss the funky beef, appropriate music to play and other important Kurupt FM chamunity issues.|
|Sniper and Beats are finally recording their first music video but there are bare issues and nobody is allowed to be mugging off the chamunity.|
|Title||Original air date|
|1a||"Comedy Feeds: People Just Do Nothing Pilot"||17 August 2012|
|Mockumentary that follows the lives of people connected to west London pirate radio station Kurupt FM. MC Sniper is released from a very short stretch in jail and finds that the station is having problems with its transmitter, threatening his comeback set.|
Series 1 (2014)
|Title||Original air date|
|1||1||"Secret Location"||20 July 2014|
|After receiving noise complaints from a neighbour, the members of Kurupt FM decide to soundproof the flat from which they broadcast. They enlist the help of local entrepreneur Chabuddy G, who devises a creative solution using egg boxes and factory second packets of peanuts in return for Kurupt airing his commercial.|
|2||2||"Angel's Birthday"||27 July 2014|
|Grindah is tasked with organizing his daughter's fifth birthday party. After his last-minute negotiations with Argos break down, Chabuddy G steps in to offer an adapted version of his hen's night party package. Meanwhile, DJ Beats flunks a job interview for Tie One.|
|3||3||"Competition"||3 August 2014|
|Kurupt FM run a listener competition, presenting the prize personally to the winner. Chabuddy G's wife's brother comes to visit from Poland, but their apparent closeness raises questions about the true nature of their relationship.|
|4||4||"The Website"||3 August 2014|
|The Kurupt crew ask Chabuddy G to design a website for their radio station. He agrees, in return for being allowed to play a DJ set on air. Steves attempts to obtain a crisis loan from the Job Centre. Strapped for cash, DJ Beats is forced to play at a friend's wedding reception to save the station and his washing machine.|
Series 2 (2015)
|Title||Original air date|
|5||1||"The Godfather"||15 July 2015|
|It is Angel's christening and Grindah is contemplating his choice of godfather.|
|6||2||"The Babysitter"||22 July 2015|
|Miche starts her new trial job at a salon, meaning Grindah is on babysitting duties.|
|7||3||"Weed Drought"||29 July 2015|
|Grindah and Beats are in the midst of a weed drought and take matters into their own hands.|
|8||4||"Promotion"||4 August 2015|
|Chabuddy prepares for his latest business venture, and Grindah has a big announcement for Miche. Meanwhile, Beats takes Craig on a comical father-and-son fishing trip.|
|9||5||"Clubnight"||12 August 2015|
|It's the opening night of Chabuddy's new nightclub, the Champagne Steam Rooms. The Kurupt FM crew prepare for their headliner set, while Miche is offered a full-time position at the salon.|
Series 3 (2016)
|Title||Original air date|
|10||1||"Dubplate"||17 August 2016|
|The band enter the studio to record their latest 'instant classic', while Miche chooses a venue for her marriage to Grindah. Meanwhile, Beats faces the prospect of fatherhood, and Chabuddy is on the lookout for love once again.|
|11||2||"Record Deal"||24 August 2016|
|Kurupt FM attempt to get a record deal. In need of a pay rise to pay for the upcoming wedding, Miche needs to pass a hairdressing test.|
|12||3||"Court Case"||31 August 2016|
|Grindah finds himself in trouble with the law again and prepares himself for a possible jail sentence, leaving Steves with a daunting eight-hour set.|
|13||4||"New Friends"||7 September 2016|
|Chabuddy turns the bar into a restaurant and hires Steves. Miche reaches breaking point over the wedding, with consequences for Grindah – who feels further marginalized by Beats's burgeoning bromance with Darren.|
|14||5||"Ipswich"||14 September 2016|
|Chabuddy organizes for Kurupt FM to perform at a club in Ipswich. The gig is not very successful but the group persuade two girls to come back to their hotel room with them. Steves gets travel sick, gets separated from the group and has to hitch-hike to Ipswich.|
|15||6||"Valentimes"||21 September 2016|
|The last episode takes place around Valentine's Day. Roche goes into labour and gives birth. Steves goes to visit his Nan but is told that she has recently died. Grindah is left to run the station on Valentine's Day. He asks Miche to take him back but she refuses.|
Series 4 (2017)
|Title||Original air date|
|16||1||"Slipping"||15 August 2017|
|Grindah has become increasingly paranoid after leaving Miche, and is still living at Steves'. Miche and Angel take part in a paid-for modeling photo-shoot, which Miche imagines will mark her rise to fame. A rival radio station, Kold FM, calls Kurupt FM after Steves and Grindah hurl insults at them on the phone; Grindah panics, and moves the station to Miche's garage.|
|17||2||"Rivalry"||22 August 2017|
|Kurupt FM find out their antenna has been vandalised by Kold FM, and plan to ransack the latter. Grindah attempts to get back Miche by making a lasagne. His plan falls short when Miche's mother invites over a Spanish man for Miche to date. Steves tries to contact his dead Nan, whom he believes is trapped in Beats' and Roche's daughter Robyn.|
|18||3||"War"||29 August 2017|
|The Kurupt FM station has been vandalized by Kold FM. Kurupt and Chabuddy decide to install new locks, while Steves gets a safe for his inheritance money. Both plans fail as Beats and Chabuddy lock themselves outside, and Steves locks the safe without noting the password, prompting him to drop it from a high balcony (thus letting passers-by steal large amounts of the money). Grindah and Miche assist Angel's school in a visit to the RAF Museum. Grindah decides to return to Kurupt FM and make amends with Beats.|
|19||4||"Bosses"||5 September 2017|
|Steves takes Kold FM's dog hostage. This leads to a mafia style sit-down with the rival station in an Italian restaurant. The dog is returned to Kold FM in exchange for Kold changing their broadcast frequency. Miche continues to push Angel toward becoming a famous performer. Chabuddy takes a job at an electronics retailer. Grindah and Miche are reconciled, and talk of marriage.|
|20||5||"Stags & Hens"||12 September 2017|
|The boys and girls have their respective stag and hen parties. The Kurupt crew cause embarrassment when Beats hires a call girl instead of a stripper. Afterwards, the boys decide to visit a strip club instead, and are later joined by Chabuddy. Grindah goes missing, and Beats' attempts to find him lead to an altercation whereby he and the others are ejected from the club. It transpires that Grindah had made his way back to Roche's house, where Miche's hen party is being held, to declare his devotion to his fiancée.|
|21||6||"The Wedding"||19 September 2017|
|After a brief wedding ceremony for Grindah and Miche, the families make their way to the reception, which has been turned into a daytime rave. Meanwhile, Steves returns to the radio station, where he finds that police are confiscating the radio equipment. Steves is arrested for drug possession.|
Series 5 (2018)
|Title||Original air date|
|22||1||"Car Boot"||12 November 2018|
|The set for Kurupt FM has been raided, and the crew (plus Chabuddy) pawn their way to get back their equipment and get Kurupt FM back on air. Meanwhile, Steves is on community service, and Miche and Grindah's estate is due for development which means they may be relocated outside London.|
|23||2||"Internet Radio"||19 November 2018|
|Kurupt FM adjust themselves to the world of live streaming, although Grindah struggles to accept criticism from viewers online. Beats helps Craig move and get acquainted with the ladies at university, and Miche attempts to sabotage Angel's relationship with a friend whilst trying to keep the threat of moving away from Grindah.|
|24||3||"Music Video"||26 November 2018|
|The Kurupt FM lot decide to film a music video for Heart Monitor Riddem - which is set to be their big break - and enlist Chabuddy as director, but when his vision doesn't go to plan they are forced to improvise. The stakes have never been higher for Beats, while Miche and Roche travel to Essex to view a potential flat.|
|25||4||"Definitely Asthma"||3 December 2018|
|Grindah and Miche take a visit to the GP, as Grindah is convinced he has asthma whenever moving away is mentioned. Steve's probation officer visits and the rest of the crew go out their way to hide any evidence of the radio's existence. Meanwhile, things aren't looking up for Chabuddy, who gets fired from the electronics store, and starts to question his dubious relationship with Carol.|
|26||5||"Getting Old"||10 December 2018|
|It's Grindah's birthday and Miche has planned a meal with the whole gang. Keen to prove they're not getting old and out of touch, the Kurupt boys plan an impromptu screening of their music video at a student party. Steves helps Chabuddy drown his sorrows and discovers his community service has some perks.|
|27||6||"Outro"||17 December 2018|
|It's the end of Kurupt FM, and as Grindah bids farewell to Brentford, Beats has planned a final send-off before his big move. Miche has high expectations for her leaving do at the salon and Chabuddy starts up a new business venture. Steves reaps the benefits of his new gardening skills and gains a new flatmate.|
People Just Do Nothing has received positive reviews. After the release of the first series, Alex Fletcher of Digital Spy called it "the best British comedy in years", and lamented that few people were aware of its "comedic genius". He added, "it packs in more genuine belly laughs in one episode than most recent sitcoms have done in their full lifetime, and [has] nailed that quintessential British sense of humour where we're able to laugh at our own humiliating inadequacies ... it feels like it belongs in the company of modern comedy greats such as The Office, Peep Show and Phoenix Nights." Gerard O'Donovan of The Telegraph gave the pilot episode four stars out of five, and said, "Entertaining, and absolutely of its time, People Just Do Nothing certainly serves up some good laughs and I look forward to the next three parts."
For the second series, David Renshaw of The Guardian said it was "a welcome return from the gang", and commented "Despite its larger-than-life characters, People Just Do Nothing’s success lies in its believability ... You get the feeling that if you drove out to Brentford you might actually run in to them." He especially praised the comedy provided by DJ Steves and Chabuddy G. Rachel Aroesti, also of The Guardian, said "the episode where Grindah panics after taking a pill at his club night has good claim to be the comic highlight of 2015".
Aroesti gave the third series a highly positive review: "In an age of bleak comedy that barely makes you snigger, one show has been keeping up the lost art of making people laugh – the hilarious, half-witted pirate radio mockumentary." She added, "[the show] is not an old-fashioned sitcom by any stretch – it’s understated, meta and set in a niche subculture – but it is truly traditional in its comedy: beats are hit and joke quotas filled, scene in, scene out." She appreciated that the series also "decided to go for the dramatic jugular. The final episode of this series offered fans a precious opportunity to laugh and cry at exactly the same time ... By making you care about the characters (even the monstrosity that is MC Grindah – a David Brent with malicious intent), viewers will now have two reasons for tuning in."
Awards and nominations
|2016||BAFTA Television Awards||Best Scripted Comedy||People Just Do Nothing||Nominated|||
|Royal Television Society Awards||Best Scripted Comedy||People Just Do Nothing||Nominated|||
|Best Director – Comedy||Jack Clough||Won|||
|2017||BAFTA Television Awards||Best Scripted Comedy||People Just Do Nothing||Won|||
|Best Male Comedy Performance||Asim Chaudhry||Nominated|
|Royal Television Society Awards||Best Scripted Comedy||People Just Do Nothing||Won|||
|Best Comedy Performance||Asim Chaudhry||Won|
|Writers' Guild of Great Britain Awards||Best TV Situation Comedy||Allan Mustafa, Steve Stamp||Nominated|||
|2018||Royal Television Society Awards||Best Scripted Comedy||People Just Do Nothing||Nominated|||
|BAFTA Television Awards||Best Male Comedy Performance||Asim Chaudhry||Nominated|||
The show started life in 2010 as "Wasteman TV", a YouTube series that was filmed and edited by Asim Chaudhry (Chabuddy G) before the BBC commissioned a pilot on 17 August 2012, which became the most shared iPlayer show for the month. A four-part series was eventually commissioned, which first aired on iPlayer in July 2014, then on terrestrial television the following month. A second series, of five episodes, aired in July 2015.
In October 2015, the BBC announced it had commissioned a third and fourth series of People Just Do Nothing, both consisting of six 30-minute episodes. The BBC confirmed Series 3 & 4 would initially be available on the new online BBC Three and later screened on BBC Two.
Episode one of series three premiered on BBC iPlayer on 17 August 2016. Episodes of series three were released weekly on iPlayer and then broadcast the following week on BBC Two. Series four began on iPlayer on 15 August 2017, and was also broadcast on BBC One on Saturday evenings.
The DVD of the first three series was released in November 2016. The boxset included specially recorded commentaries from the first two series and unseen extra footage.
|2017||"On My Mind"||Non-album single||Jorja Smith and Preditah|
Kurupt FM live
The four main actors, along with "Decoy" and "Fantasy", tour nightclubs and music venues as "Kurupt FM", where they appear in character. They have also played music festivals including Glastonbury and Reading and Leeds. Mustafa said in 2016, "We all wanted to be musicians when we were younger. So now, in a way, it's like we're living out what we didn't get to do, playing all these festivals. We get two sick jobs: we get to film and we get to fuck around on stage and be headliners." Stamp added, "And because we're in character, we can sort of get away with whatever. Like my shit mixing; it's because I'm Steves, not because I'm a shit DJ." On-stage guests have included artists Stormzy and Big Narstie.
- Credited as a creator from series three onwards.
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- Purcell, Charles (6 August 2015). "New This Week (Aug 10): True Detective finale, The Interceptor, GOT S1-5, Graceland and live sport". The Green Room. Archived from the original on 7 August 2015. Retrieved 7 August 2015.
- VICELAND (21 December 2016). "PEOPLE JUST DO NOTHING (Series Trailer)". Retrieved 23 September 2018 – via YouTube.
- Dike, Jason (1 September 2017). "Watch Jorja Smith and the Kurupt FM Crew Throw a House Party In "On My Mind"". Hypebeast. Hypebeast Limited. Retrieved 24 September 2017.
- Wiseman, Andreas (28 November 2019). "'People Just Do Nothing' Movie Adaptation Shooting In Japan & UK For Focus Features & BBC Films". Deadline. Retrieved 28 November 2019.
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- People Just Do Nothing at BBC Online
- People Just Do Nothing on IMDb
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