Bill Bailey in Black Books is just great. I’ve mentioned my penchant for Mr Chuckles himself, Dylan Moran, but Bailey as eccentric and put-upon accountant Manny Bianco has some of the best reactions and lines. He’s like a Loony Tunes character in lots of ways.
Locked in the shop.
It’s not just the sheer physicality, it’s the oddball reactions, always a beat behind. That sliver of vulnerability, as Bernard finds new and increasingly creative ways to belittle him, is moving and hilarious . Every dynamic must have the bully and stooge, and so it is with Manny.
It’s probably right there were only three series, as coffee shops became a permanent, indefatiguable fixture on our homogenised high streets. Manny will forever be a prescient totem of the individual against corporate cafes. Long may his bemusement reign.
All pictures/GIFs : Channel 4/ Giphy.