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Alistair McGowan's Big Impression

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Title: Alistair McGowan's Big Impression  
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Language: English
Subject: List of comedy television series, British comedy, Sharon Osbourne, Alistair McGowan, Jennie Bond, British Comedy Awards, Impressionist (entertainment), Jo Caulfield, Trinny and Susannah, Robin Ince
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Alistair McGowan's Big Impression

The Big Impression
Title card from series 1
Also known as Alistair McGowan's Big Impression
Genre Comedy
Format Sketch show
Created by Alistair McGowan
Ronni Ancona
Starring Alistair McGowan
Ronni Ancona
No. of series 4
No. of episodes 25
Executive producer(s) Jon Plowman
Producer(s) Charlie Hanson
Running time 30 minutes
Production companies Vera Productions
Original channel BBC One
Original run 26 April 2000 (2000-04-26) – 10 June 2004 (2004-06-10)

The Big Impression, known as Alistair McGowan's Big Impression for the first three series, is a British comedy sketch show. It features Alistair McGowan and Ronni Ancona impersonating personalities from entertainment and sport. Four series and a number of specials were made by Vera Productions and it was first broadcast on BBC One between 2000 and 2004.

The series has won five awards, including the 2003 BAFTA comedy programme prize.


McGowan and Ancona first met at a comedy club, and later started dating. They worked together on a number of projects, with their first television series being The Staggering Stories of Ferdinand de Bargos in 1989. After performing in his own show in Edinburgh in 1998, McGowan was approached by a BBC executive about working on a series, which he wanted Ancona to be involved in. Alistair McGowan's Big Impression first aired on BBC One in 2000, with the couple splitting up just before filming began. Speaking with The Independent, Ancona said working on the series was "exciting but it was tricky and there were some very low points. [...] But, if anything, the tension added a little frisson to some of the sketches and it made the show better."[1]

For the fourth series in 2003, McGowan's name was dropped from the show's title.

Speaking to the Daily Mail about the ending of the series, McGowan said: "We were just getting into our stride when suddenly it felt that there were five other shows all saying: "We'll do that as well." It felt like there were lots of people fishing in a small pool." The BBC wanted the series to continue, but he found his "enthusiasm had gone and without that, the show wouldn't have happened".[2]


Alistair McGowan

There have been many characters that Alistair McGowan and Ronni Ancona have impersonated. Some celebrities that McGowan has done impressions of include:

Ronnie Ancona

Some celebrities that Ancona has done impressions of include:


Four series of the programme were made between 2000 and 2003.

Series Episodes Dates
1 6 26 April 2000 – 25 May 2000
2 6 22 April 2001 – 3 June 2001
3 6 19 April 2002 – 24 May 2002
4 6 9 May 2003 – 13 June 2003

Special episodes

There have also been a number of one-off specials, including:

  • Alistair McGowan's 2000 Impressions (30 December 2000)
  • Alistair McGowan's Big 'Enders (10 August 2001)
  • Alistair McGowan's Big World Cup (31 May 2002)
  • Alistair McGowan's Big Jubilee (2 June 2002)
  • The Big Impression Christmas Special (25 December 2002)
  • Posh & Becks' Big Impression (25 December 2003)
  • The Big Impression Euro 2004 Special (10 June 2004)


The series has been nominated for a number of awards, winning one from BAFTA, two from the Royal Television Society, and two British Comedy Awards.

Year Award Result Category
2000 British Comedy Awards Won Best Comedy Entertainment Programme[3]
Nominated Best Comedy Newcomer (Ronni Ancona)[4]
Nominated Best New Television Comedy[4]
Royal Television Society Craft and Design Awards Won Best Make Up Design – Entertainment & Non-Drama (Heather Squire)[5]
2002 British Comedy Awards Nominated Best Comedy Actress (Ronni Ancona)[4]
National Television Awards Nominated Most Popular Comedy Performance (Alistair McGowan)[4]
Royal Television Society Programme Awards Won Entertainment Performance (Alistair McGowan)[6]
Royal Television Society Craft and Design Awards Nominated Best Costume Design – Entertainment & Non-Drama Productions (Kate O'Farrell)[7]
Nominated Best Make Up Design – Entertainment & Non-Drama Productions (Eva Marieges Moore)[7]
Nominated Best Production Design – Entertainment & Non-Drama Productions (Harry Banks)[7]
Nominated Best Tape and Film Editing – Entertainment & Situation Comedy (Richard Halladay)[7]
Nominated Team Award (Production Team, series C)[7]
2003 British Academy Television Awards Won Best Comedy Programme or Series[8]
British Academy Television Craft Awards Nominated Best Make Up & Hair Design (Eva Marieges-Moore)[9]
British Comedy Awards Won Best Television Comedy Actress (Ronni Ancona)[10]
National Television Awards Nominated Most Popular Comedy Performance (Alistair McGowan)[4]


External links

  • BBC Online Comedy Guide
  • BBC Programmes
  • BBC Programmes
  • Internet Movie Database

Template:BAFTA TV Award for Best Comedy (Programme or Series) 2000–2019

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