Mike Bassett: Manager ITV1

by | Sep 29, 2005 | All, Reviews


• Ricky Tomlinson being brilliant as usual as down-at-heel football manager Mike Bassett, a mix of thoughtless bluster and soppy sentimentality.

• The shortening of Wirral County FC to WCFC, the fanzine called The Crapper, the sponsor’s logo Wirral Rubbish (“We’re all rubbish,” you see) and the club mascot (a smiling wheelie bin).

• The faked newsreel of Wirrall County’s 1-0 defeat by Bolton Wanderers in the 1956 FA Cup final, featuring a toff commentator, foul-mouthed fans (“Cover your ears, ref. He just called you a ninny”), a referee called Wing Commander Peter Tatchell, and a jump in the film which omitted the winning goal.

• Mike’s bravado: “I’ll move earth, wind and fire to get this club back up where they belong. To all the Wirrall County fans who have lost heart and drifted off to the big clubs like Manchester United, Liverpool and Wrexham, I say ‘Come home’,”

• The revelation that an offensively ethnic statuette was a present from Ron Atkinson • Amanda Redman as long-suffering wife Katrine. Her best moment came when she sparred with Mike about their son. “Jason’s at university,” he reminded Mike. “It’s a dance school.” “It’s a degree course.” “In movement!”

• Steve Edge as assistant manager Doddsy, who is almost as useless as his boss, and Tim Barlow as the delightfully doddery club chairman Sir Denzil

• The only prize in the trophy room is a trophy cabinet, won in the 1928 Trophy Cabinet Knockout Tournament

• Mike inherits a team that features the fat son of the sponsor, a Serbian warrior who was too nasty for Arkan’s Tigers, a Guardian reader (nicknamed The Professor) and a centre forward nicknamed Barn Dawes because he hasn’t scored for eight months.


• “He’s done a Jock Stein on me” when the chairman had a heart attack was a little tasteless.

• The rather obvious Little Englander jokes when Mike was in Spain. “You won’t find a traditional English tandoori round here.”

Luke Knowles

Luke Knowles


Editor of the website and host of the podcast. A general TV obsessive. I've been running the site since 2008 and you can usually find me in front of the TV. My Favourite show of all time is Breaking Bad with Cracker coming a close second. I feel so passionately that television can change the world and I'm doing my little bit by running this site. You're Welcome!


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