Marc Wootton

Marc Wootton

Marc Wootton is probably best known for his role as BBC Three’s fake psychic Shirley Ghostman.

He also starred in the Channel 4 reality gameshow My New Best Friend, and has appeared in Nighty Night and the 2006 wedding film Confetti.

He started his comedy career as one third of spoof eco-warrior group Cyderdelic – alongside Barry Castagnola and Liam Woodman – who appeared at the Edinburgh Fringe, on the 11 O’Clock Show and landed a six-part BBC Three series.

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High & Dry

TV review by Steve Bennett

If you were to think of the worst person to be stuck on a desert island with, Marc Wootton’s latest grotesque would be hart to beat.

In Channel 4’s new comedy High & Dry, he plays the super-needy air steward Brett Sullivan, a festering nest of ego and insecurities who is cast away with a handful of survivors when an inappropriately-named Air Intacta flight comes down way off course.

He is less concerned with food, water and shelter than he is in making sure that Douglas (Harry Peacock), an emotionally distant passenger he took an inappropriate shine to, considers him his best friend.

The cast is completed by Vicki Pepperdine as retired headmistress Harriet, just the sort of practical no-nonsense person you’d need in a crisis; People Just Do Nothing’s Asim Chaudhry as the easily led Arnab; and Grace Rex as Susan, a super-devout Christian who believes the island is a divine trial, and that she is being punished by God for an impure thought.

What ensues looks like a cross between Lost and The Island With Bear Grylls, with a premise that immediately fulfils the main criteria of sitcom – that the characters are trapped – while providing plenty of dramatic possibilities as to their possible escape from their predicament. 

Shot in the Seychelles, this looks like paradise but is clearly hell – not least because of the malevolent presence of Brett. More than once in the first episode alone does he scupper any chance of rescue.

There’s a strong narrative impetus that keeps you watching, even if it possibly comes at the expense of laugh-out-loud comedy. Arnab is the most obvious comic relief, a counter to Brett who is probably too unpleasant to want to spend too much time with – escaping him is the real challenge. Meanwhile, a disturbing fantasy sequence allows Wootton, who also created the series, to indulge even more of his jet-black humour.

Channel 4 have shown much faith in this comedy, elevating it from a Comedy Blap pilot and then bumping it from a planned E4 broadcast to a decent slot on the main channel. It could well pay off.

•  High & Dry  is on Channel 4 at 10.30pm tonight, after the return of Friday Night Dinner.

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Published: 4 May 2018

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Products

DVD (2006)
Cyderdelic

Past Shows

Edinburgh Fringe 2000

Cyderdelic


Edinburgh Fringe 2001

Cyderdelic


Agent

Patrick Bustin
Contact by email
22 Rathbone Street
W1T 1LG
Office: 020 7287 1112

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