The Smoking Room, 2004
At the time of it’s first transmission this unusual sitcom was hailed as the next classic. It’s important to remember that at the time of it’s transmission there was no smoking ban in force.
The Smoking Room ran for two series, totalling 16 episodes and a Christmas Special, between 2004 and 2005. Screened on BBC Three it proved to be very popular and in 2005 won a BAFTA. It starred Paula Wilcox who is still going strong today currently starring in Coronation Street.
Despite it’s success it was the subject matter that meant any further series could not be made as on July 1st 2007 England’s smoking ban, which prohibited indoor smoking in workplaces, etc, came into force, the result of which was that internal smoking rooms, like the one in which the series was set, became illegal.
It is important to reflect that at the time the series was made smoking was prohibited in the offices of most British companies, but there was often a room in the building that smokers could use during work hours.
The series was set entirely in the smoking room (Room B209, although, in the last episode, the sign on one door says B211) in the basement of the offices of a fictitious company. Most of the people seen in the smoking room are workers in the building.
The series was generally character and dialogue driven. Each episode’s story was generally self-contained and had it’s own storyline, however there were some ongoing story threads, such as the gradual revelation of Robin’s sexuality to the other characters and his unrequited infatuation with Ben from the post room.
Barry (Jeremy Swift)
Clint (Fraser Ayres)
Gordon (Mike Walling)
Heidi (Emma Kennedy)
Janet (Selina Griffiths)
Len (Leslie Schofield)
Lilian (Paula Wilcox)
Robin (Robert Webb)
Sally (Nadine Marshall)
Sharon (Siobhan Redmond)
Monique Coyne (Sunetra Sarker)
Channel: BBC Three
Written By: Brian Dooley
Original Transmission Dates: 29 June 2004 – 13 September 2005