When The Wrong Mans‘ office shit tub Sam Pinkett (Mat Baynton) trudges through light snow to work listening to Belle and Sebastian on his iPod he might very well reflect that his life is not worth living. Toiling as a cubicle drone for Berkshire County Council and hopelessly cuntstruck by his ex-girlfriend boss Lizzie (Sarah Solemani) few would mourn if this chump was put out of his misery. All of a sudden though his life changes forever. A BMW hurtles past in the snow, flips and tumbles like a roided East German gymnast. At last Sam can be somebody – a hero. Trouble is, when he searches for the hero inside himself he draws a blank, has a panic attack and loses consciousness. At least he managed to call the police and ambulance before he sparked out. He comes around to be greeted by the emergency services. As the ambulance takes the driver away a phone left in the road rings. He answers it. The grunt on the line is anything but friendly “If you are not here by 5 o’clock we will kill your wife”. Those cold callers are just getting worse aren’t they?
So maybe now Sam can be a hero? Get the address, knockout the kidnapper, get the girl, ride off into the sunset? Hardly. He doesn’t particularly want to know who kidnapped the wife. It takes all his courage to play the phone message the kidnapper leaves in the work toilets. Co-worker Phil Bourne (James Corden) overhears and is thrilled. The enthusiastically inept schlub wants in on the adventure to take away the pain of rejection caused by his resemblance to Smithy from Gavin and Stacey.
The rise of Lames Cordung has long been a conundrum Aerial Telly feels ill-equipped to solve. He doesn’t exactly ruin this but he doesn’t exactly help. The writing is above average and Baynton is fine but Cordung is Cordung and if that’s a problem for you then it’s not going away because neither is he. When he’s on screen it’s like a breakfast radio host following you around all day commentating on everything that happens. If you’re good with that: awesome. I don’t get it.
The verdict: Good enough when it’s not being a Comic Relief sketch.
Marks out of 10: 7