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Not Going Out

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Title: Not Going Out  
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Subject: Lee Mack, Katy Wix, Bobby Ball, Andrew Collins (broadcaster), Simon Dutton
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Not Going Out

Not Going Out
Title screen of Not Going Out since Series 6
Created by Lee Mack
Directed by
Country of origin United Kingdom
No. of series 7 (+ Special)
No. of episodes 53 (list of episodes)
Location(s) Teddington Studios (2006–09, 2013–14)
BBC Television Centre (2011–12)
TBC (2015—)
Running time 30 minutes
45 minutes (2013 & 2014 specials)
Production company(s) Avalon Television
Arlo Productions (Series 5–)
Original channel BBC One
Original release 6 October 2006 (2006-10-06) – present
Related shows The Sketch Show
External links

Not Going Out is a British television sitcom that has aired on BBC One since 2006, currently starring Lee Mack, Sally Bretton and Katy Wix. The series has previously starred Tim Vine and Megan Dodds. Recurring roles throughout the series have been portrayed by Miranda Hart, Simon Dutton, Geoffrey Whitehead, Deborah Grant, Bobby Ball, Hugh Dennis, and Abigail Cruttenden. Mack and Andrew Collins were the initial writers for the show, with Paul Kerensa, Simon Evans and Daniel Peak joining the writing staff in later series.

The show was originally cancelled by the BBC in 2009, whilst the third series was still airing[1] - but the decision was later reversed due to a combination of strong DVD sales, and an online petition leading to the show receiving a renewal for a fourth series, which aired from 6 January 2011.[2] A fifth series began airing from 13 April 2012. A sixth series began airing from 5 April 2013, with a Christmas special following later that year.[3] A seventh series comprising ten episodes began airing on the 17 October 2014 and ended 24 December 2014.[4]


  • Synopsis 1
  • Production 2
  • Characters 3
  • Plot 4
    • Series One (2006) 4.1
    • Series Two (2007) 4.2
    • Series Three (2009) 4.3
    • Series Four (2011) 4.4
    • Series Five (2012) 4.5
    • Series Six (2013) 4.6
    • Christmas Special (2013) 4.7
    • Series Seven (2014) 4.8
    • Christmas Special (2015) 4.9
  • DVD releases 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


The series focuses on Lee Mack who plays a fictional version of himself; an unambitious man in his late thirties living as a lodger in a flat in London Docklands.[5] Originally from Chorley, in Lancashire[6] (which is approximately 20 miles from Southport, where Lee Mack originates in real life), Lee is a negligent, unmotivated layabout - frequently between jobs, he spends most of his days on his couch watching television, or hanging out at the local pub with his best friend, Tim Adams (Tim Vine), an accountant who owns part of the flat that Lee is a lodger in. He is also noted for his cheeky wit, and having a very troubled relationship with his father, with whom he shares many traits, and who openly mentions that Lee was unplanned, and resulted in the end of his marriage. Very often, the only thing that can get Lee off his couch and active is his efforts to impress the girl of his dreams. In the first series, this is Kate (Megan Dodds), Lee's feisty American landlady, with whom he frequently has conflict with, but has an otherwise close relationship with her. Kate is Tim's ex-girlfriend - he left her for a 23-year-old named Emma (though Lee and Kate suggest she looked a lot younger) - and the two frequently find themselves fighting for her attention.

In the second series, after Megan Dodds left the show, Kate moves back to the US. Lee's affections soon turn to Tim's sister, Lucy (Sally Bretton), who buys the flat after having spent ten years living abroad, much to Tim's annoyance. Lucy shares Kate's feisty nature and quick-wit, and her interaction with Lee is very similar. Although his frequent laziness annoys her, Lucy appears to enjoy Lee's presence in the flat, largely because of his company, and because of his willingness to help her out of an awkward situation. Tim soon finds himself drawn into Lee's many schemes to impress Lucy, most of which either backfire, fail to impress her or land them in trouble. Very often, Lee finds himself confiding in his friend, Barbara (Miranda Hart), the cleaner, about his many problems. Later on in the series, Tim forms a relationship with Daisy (Katy Wix), an incredibly dim-witted young woman. In the third series, Daisy became a regular character, with her and Barbara in the same daft league. Over the series, Lucy considers marrying an eastern European refugee until he and Barbara get married. Later on, Lee's father returns to try and make amends with his son. In the midst of the fourth series, Lee continues his antics in order to impress Lucy. In the series finale, Lee gets hit by a car and falls into a coma. Lee's actions to impress Lucy continue well into the fifth series, when they both think they accidentally sleep together after drinking potato hooch.

In the sixth series, after Tim Vine quit the series, Tim was written out of the show. In the opening dialogue of the series, it is explained that he has been given a work placement in Germany. Daisy continues to hang around with Lucy and Lee, and her naivety often lands them in trouble. With Tim's absence, Lee often finds himself listening to suggestions from Daisy on how to impress Lucy, and these include acting as a test subject for her psychology course, which leads to Lee finding out that he was unplanned and held responsible for the breakdown in his parents' marriage, and getting a girlfriend, who develops a Fatal Attraction-esque crush on him. He comes close to admitting his feelings to Lucy several times over the course of the series, particularly at the end of "Therapy" and "Play", but although she is receptive, he changes his mind each time. In the seventh series, however, neighbour Toby lies to him, saying Lucy has had a date, after which Lee tells Lucy that he loves her and asks Lucy to marry him, to which she says yes. They do actually get married in the tenth episode of Series Seven.


Most of each episode is shot on set in front of an audience at Teddington Studios, where many classic Thames Television sitcoms were recorded. There are two main sets: the flat and the bar that Lee and Tim frequently visit. Outdoor shots and real indoor location shots have also been used on occasion. The fourth and fifth series were shot at the BBC Television Centre. The sixth and seventh series saw filming return to Teddington Studios. From Series 5 onwards, Not Going Out was produced in association with Lee Mack's own company, Arlo Productions (named after his son).

The show is filmed in HDTV and, since series 4, airs simultaneously on BBC One HD. Previous to this, the show was not simulcast on BBC HD, but shown on BBC HD 30 minutes after the BBC One airing.

A lot of the humour is based on word play and double entendres delivered in a deadpan manner. This is the comedy style Lee Mack and Tim Vine have used both in stand-up and in The Sketch Show, to the extent that an occasional one-liner from their solo performances is slipped in. This is mostly one sided with Kate/Lucy typically being the victims of the joke. Sight gags are also frequently used, while gags and witticisms are incorporated into almost every line of script.

For the first series, episodes were written by Mack and Andrew Collins, with members of the cast credited for additional material. Because the eight episodes of the second season had to be written and filmed in a short space of time, Avalon Television brought in Nick Stacey, Paul Kerensa and Simon Evans to join the writing team. Mack, Collins and Stacey concentrated on writing the main body of the episodes whilst Kerensa and Evans were involved in storylining, rewriting and 'gagging up' the episodes. The third series saw the writing team expanded, with Darin Henry, Daniel Peak and Simon Dean contributing to the main episodes (all co-written with Mack); the "gag writing" team was also expanded, from two members to as many as eight, not counting the main writers, on a single episode with Milton Jones amongst the additional writers of the show.

In the original pilot of the series, which has not been aired, the part of Kate was played by Catherine Tate. However, due to the success of The Catherine Tate Show, her character was re-written for the American actress Megan Dodds

The theme song is performed by Frank Sinatra impersonator Stephen Triffitt.[7]

The flat Lee and Kate/Lucy live in is No 17. In a DVD commentary for the first series, it was mentioned that "Number 17" was originally considered as a title for the series, before the name "Not Going Out" was decided on.


  • Episode count is as of 24 December 2014 (Series 7, Episode 10; most recent)
Character Main Actor Years Series Episode Count Other Actors
Lee Lee Mack 2006– 1.1– 53 Thomas Gater (as a child)
Lucy Adams Sally Bretton 2007– 2.1– 47 Ruby Stokes (as a child)
Daisy Katy Wix 2007– 2.6– 39 N/A
Geoffrey Adams Geoffrey Whitehead 2007– 2.8– 12 Timothy West
Wendy Adams Deborah Grant 2007– 2.8– 11 N/A
Frank Bobby Ball 2009– 3.8– 9 N/A
Toby Hugh Dennis 2014– 7.2– 5 N/A
Anna Abigail Cruttenden 2014– 7.2– 3 N/A
Timothy Gladstone Adams Tim Vine 2006–12, 2014 1.1–5.6, 7.10 35 N/A
Barbara Miranda Hart 2007–09 2.1–3.8 15 N/A
Guy Simon Dutton 2007, 2014 2.2–2.7, 7.10 6 N/A
Kate Megan Dodds 2006 1.1–1.6 6 Catherine Tate (Unaired Pilot)

     – Main Character in Series 7


Series One (2006)

Lee is a juvenile and lazy slacker, who goes from one job to another, living off the good graces of his Californian landlady Kate, with whom he shares a flat in London. It is not long before they find that their friendship is changing into something more. The situation is somewhat complicated by the fact that Lee's best friend Timothy Gladstone Adams, an accountant from Henley, is Kate's ex-boyfriend (they broke up when he cheated on her with 23-year-old Emma) and he wants to repair their relationship. Lee is torn between pursuing his romantic feelings for Kate and remaining loyal to his increasingly paranoid best friend.

Series Two (2007)

Kate has gone back to America leaving Tim with a flat and lodger he cannot afford to keep. Tim's sister Lucy Adams, a head hunter recently back from ten years abroad, buys the flat and becomes the new landlady and flatmate to Lee.[8] Tim also hires a cleaner, Barbara, to clean the flat. In "Gay", the series' second episode, 51-year-old Guy first appears and he soon becomes Lucy's boyfriend. Lee, now an ice-cream seller, later appears to fall for Lucy. In the last episode Tim and Lee are convinced Guy is a gangster and has been smuggling diamonds but it turns out that he was having a diamond engagement ring made for Lucy planning to propose on a romantic holiday. Lee leaves the airport thinking Lucy has said yes to Guy but she returns saying that she was too young to get married and that she had split up with Guy. There was also a Christmas Special in 2007 which introduced Tim and Lucy's parents for the first time. In episode 6, Lee meets a woman called Daisy at speed dating, who later appeared to fall for Tim. Although at the time it seems that she will be a one-time character, she reappears in the Christmas special as Tim's girlfriend and returns in Series Three.

Series Three (2009)

The third series sees Lee trying to pursue Lucy, usually encouraged by Barbara he invariably ends up making things worse for himself. We also witness Lucy questioning her sexuality, which worries Lee. Tim's girlfriend Daisy also becomes more of a fixture in series three. In the last episode Lucy is about to marry Pavlov Petrietskivadorski the mechanic so he can stay in the country however she realises that she's made a mistake and Lee gets Barbara to marry Pavlov instead, the last scene is of them driving off together for their honeymoon in India. Barbara is seen back in the flat, wanting to go off with Lee's dad, Frank, who is seen in the last episode, which was broadcast as a Christmas Special on 23 December 2009. Lucy and Lee kiss under the mistletoe.

Series Four (2011)

A fourth series of six episodes was filmed from late September to early November 2010. Miranda Hart did not return as Barbara, as filming of the second series of her own sitcom

External links

  1. ^ "Andrew Collins' Blog- No longer going out". Andrew Coll ins 30 March 2009. Retrieved 28 October 2009. 
  2. ^ a b "Network TV BBC Week 1: New this week". BBC. Retrieved 17 December 2010. 
  3. ^ BBC One - Not Going Out
  4. ^ a b c
  5. ^ Not Going Out, s2, e1
  6. ^ Not Going Out, s2, e2&7
  7. ^ "Stephen Triffitt, singer Print Version". Retrieved 1 April 2012. 
  8. ^ "You Ask Us".  
  9. ^ Miranda Hart to miss Not Going Out 4 British Comedy Guide 12 March 2010
  10. ^ [2]
  11. ^ "Not Going Out to return for Christmas special". British Comedy Guide. 8 May 2015. 
  12. ^ "Lee Mack on his on-screen marriage".  
  13. ^ "Series 3 DVD release". Retrieved 1 April 2012. 
  14. ^ "Not Going Out - Series 5 [DVD]". Retrieved 22 April 2012. 
  15. ^ "Not Going Out - Series Six [DVD]". Retrieved 15 October 2014. 
  16. ^
  17. ^ "Not Going Out - The Christmas Specials[DVD]". Retrieved 15 October 2014. 
  18. ^ "Series 1-3 DVD release". Retrieved 1 April 2012. 
  19. ^ "Not Going Out - Series 1-4 Complete DVD". Retrieved 2013-08-17. 
  20. ^ "Not Going Out Series 1-5 [DVD]". Retrieved 22 April 2012. 
  21. ^ 


  • Not Going Out 6 does not include the 2013 Christmas Special, "The House". It is however included on The Christmas Specials and The Complete Series 1–7.
DVD Title No. of Discs Special features No. of Episodes Release Dates
Region 2 Region 4
Series One 1 Audio commentary on episodes 1-3 by Lee Mack & producer/director Alex Hardcastle
Making Of documentary (including Lee and Tim interviewed on set, exclusive behind the scenes footage of Series Two, and clips from Series One, the pilot and The Sketch Show) (18 mins)
Photo gallery
6 22 October 2007 13 May 2009
Series Two 2 Audio commentaries on episodes 1, 4 & 6
Behind the scenes documentary (20 mins)
8 2 February 2009 9 December 2009
Not Going Out 3 2 Not Going Out On Location documentary (35 minutes) 8 27 September 2010[13] 5 May 2011
Not Going Out 4 2 Not Going Right - The Out-Takes (35 minutes of bloopers from series 1-4) 6 14 February 2011
Not Going Out 5 2 Not Going Right - The Out-Takes (25 minutes of bloopers from series 5) 6 21 May 2012[14]
Not Going Out 6 2 Not Going Right - The Out-Takes (bloopers from series 6) 8 17 November 2014[15]
Not Going Out 7 2 Behind the Scenes: A Day in the Life of Not Going Out 10 1 June 2015[16]
The Christmas Specials 1 N/A 3 1 December 2014[17]
Series One & Two 3 As per individual series DVDs 14 2 February 2009
Series One, Two & Three 5 As per individual series DVDs 22 27 September 2010[18]
Series One, Two, Three & Four 7 As per individual series DVDs 28 14 November 2011[19]
Series One, Two, Three, Four & Five 9 As per individual series DVDs 34 21 May 2012[20]
The Complete Series 1–7 13 As per individual series DVDs 53 1 June 2015[21]

Although filmed and broadcast in HD, no Blu-rays have been released to date. All episodes up to the end of Series 4 feature different video post-production to the broadcast versions, giving them a US-style 'filmlook' effect, however this was dropped from the Series 5 DVD onwards. The episodes Movie and Drunk are slightly extended for DVD, featuring shots and lines cut or censored for their original BBC One transmission. Some music tracks are replaced by soundalikes for release.

DVD releases

Talking to BBC News, Mack gave an outline of the special; it will follow on from the marriage of Lucy and Lee in "The Wedding", the most recent episode, and will involve a gun. Mack also announced that the special will not be filmed before a studio audience, unlike past episodes, and that he has written its first scenes.[12]

Lee Mack announced on Alan Carr: Chatty Man that there would be a 2015 Christmas special and possibly another series in 2016.[11]

Christmas Special (2015)

An Outtakes episode aired 27 December 2014.

The seventh series aired from 17 October 2014 to 24 December 2014 and consisted of 10 episodes, making it the longest series to date.[4] Lee Mack, Sally Bretton, Katy Wix, Bobby Ball, Geoffrey Whitehead and Deborah Grant all reprise their roles as Lee, Lucy, Daisy, Frank, Geoffrey and Wendy respectively, whilst Hugh Dennis and Abigail Cruttenden join the cast as new neighbours Toby and Anna who soon struggle to share a building with Lee and Lucy.[4]

On 5 April 2013, whilst promoting the sixth series of Not Going Out on The One Show, Lee Mack confirmed that a seventh series had been commissioned. Filming for this series began 23 May 2014, and later finished on 25 July 2014.[10]

Series Seven (2014)

A Christmas special aired on 24 December 2013, with Mack's real-life son making a cameo appearance as a ghost.

Christmas Special (2013)

The sixth series began airing on 5 April and ended on 31 May 2013. This was the first series in which Tim Vine did not appear.

Series Six (2013)

The fifth series, consisting of six episodes, was filmed between November and 22 December 2011 and aired on BBC One on 13 April 2012. A short Children in Need special featuring Sir Terry Wogan followed later in 2012.

Series Five (2012)
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