Also available is the Toast of London Series 1-3 Boxset – Toast Of London – Series 1-3 [DVD]
If you’ve never seen Toast of London before you will undoubtedly recognise Matt Berry- if not for his face then certainly for his voice. Berry’s voice is one of the most distinctive in the entertainment industry- just tune into Absolute Radio and you will likely hear him telling you the station’s name. Toast of London is the brainchild of Berry and Father Ted writer Arthur Matthews- the show’s third season hits DVD and Blu-Ray this Boxing Day and is one of the most consistently funny shows on TV at the moment.
Criminally under-watched Toast of London follows Berry’s Steven Toast, an eccentric, bumbling and somewhat failing stage actor as he jumps between various bizzare scenarios in his attempts for success. The series kicks off in typically surreal fashion- Toast is being interviewed by Lorraine Kelley live on TV when he discovers that the latest stage adaptation of MacBeth he is due to star in is being broadcast live on the BBC. He also accidentally reveals that he witnessed Stanley Kubrick faking the moon landing which lands him in some serious trouble with the American government. Toast of London sets its standards in its very first episode. It’s as weird and wonderful as it has always been and just as imaginative.
The rest of the season features moments that include Toast banging his head and falling in love with Jon Hamm- Toast hosting a Miss world like contest whilst being doted on by a feminist weather girl and a final episode that features a fine array of cameos- showcasing how much support the show has had from within the industry. In fact the show’s final episode may well be the best- we see Toast accidentally burn down the Globe theatre whilst rehearsing for a play acted by dogs- a metaphor for the Syrian crisis we are told.
It’s these moments that make Toast of London one of the most refreshing TV shows out at the moment. Sure it’s silly and at times crude but it’s leaps and bounds ahead of shows like Mrs Brown Boys and some of the other rubbish chucked at us on a weekly basis. Steven Toast is one of the most memorable characters on TV at the moment and long may he reign.
Toast of London has turned out to be the perfect vehicle for Berry. His contorted expressions and unique voice fit the mood of the show perfectly and the show could not work without him. Another strong asset of the show though is it’s fine array of characters- Toast’s long time rival Ray F*****g Purchase returns and the pair’s exchanges are as comical as ever, Doon Mackichan reprises her role as Toast’s agent Jane and Robert Bathurst does the same as Ed. The best interactions in the show still come from Toast’s exchanges with Clem Fandango (Can you hear me?) and Danny Bear- the two hipster sound technicians who he works with when he is doing voice work in London. In fact the show’s only misfire is the musical interludes, which have long grown tired now. A small misstep in an otherwise thoroughly entertaining series.
Toast of London is weird, wonderful and most importantly laugh out loud funny. If surreal humour is what you’re after then Toast of London is the perfect show for you to be watching this festive period.
The Toast of London season three box-set features the usual array of features you’d expect from a comedy DVD. The out-takes and deleted scene are delightful and Burnt Toast and Toast storyboards all add to the experience.
Release Date: 26th December
Running time: 141 mins approx
Extras running time: 70 minutes
Burnt Toast • Deleted Scene • Toast Storyboards • The Music Of Toast • Stills Gallery • Toast Trail • Behind the Scenes: Hamm Toastie, Tumbling Toast, On Set With Arthur Mathews, On Set With Michael Cumming, Peacock On Toast, Call Me Mrs. P.
Verdict: Delightfully surreal- often silly and consistently funny Toast of London is a breath of fresh air for British comedy and the third series is perhaps the best yet.
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐