going out control

Not Going Out

Not Going Out is a British sitcom that has aired on BBC One since 2006.

Starring Lee Mack, Megan Dodds, Tim Vine and Sally Bretton, it is written by Mack, Andrew Collins, Paul Kerensa, Simon Evans and Peter Tilbury. Two series and a Christmas Special have so far aired. A third series, of eight episodes, was commissioned in November 2007.



First series

Lee, unambitious and unmotivated, 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 Tim, an accountant from Henley, is Kate's former boyfriend - and he wants to repair his relationship with Kate. Lee is torn between pursuing his growing feelings for Kate and remaining loyal to his increasingly paranoid friend.

Second series

Kate has gone back to America leaving Lee with a flat neither Tim nor he can afford to keep. Tim's sister Lucy, a head hunter recently back from ten years abroad, buys the flat and becomes the new landlady and flatmate to Lee. 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.


The majority of an episode is shot on set in front of a live studio audience. There are two main sets, one being the flat and the other being the bar that Lee and Tim frequent. Outdoor shots and real indoor location shots have also been used on occasion.

A lot of the humour is based on wordplay 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. This is mostly one sided with Kate typically being the victim of the joke. Sight gags are also frequently used.

In the original pilot of the series, which has not been aired, the part of Kate was played by Catherine Tate.


Series One (2006)

Title Airdate Overview Original Viewing Figure
Serious 6 October Kate is trying to make Lee choose a career, but when she suggests clown classes, she ends up taking them herself with limited success. Meanwhile, Lee agrees to go on a date with Lucy Moss, a serious and earnest author whose book was published by Kate's company, in an attempt to show Kate his serious side. Tim uses Lee's absence to try to make things up with Kate. 2.8 million
Death 13 October Tim's 94-year-old grandmother dies, and when Lee fails to pass this information on to Kate she accuses him of not being in touch with his emotions. He reluctantly agrees to see an expensive therapist, who soon gets to the root of his problems - his unspoken feelings for Kate. Meanwhile, Kate comforts Tim, who sees fit to hit on her at his grandmother's funeral. Lee comes close to telling Kate how he feels, but instead uses the time to be with his friend. 3 million
Aussie 20 October Kate wants to impress a visiting Australian friend called Ruth (played by Julia Morris). Ruth has always been successful, and the only advantage Kate has ever had is her long-term relationship with Tim - hence the fact she has never told Ruth that the two of them split up. Kate persuades Lee to pretend to be Tim while Ruth is staying, and things become a little too close for comfort when the pair are forced to share a bed. Tim is horrified by Lee pretending to be him (and all that it implies), and decides that he'll get his own back and stop being a "middle class ponce". 3 million
Stress 27 October Lee is trying to teach Kate to drive, but her skills - or lack of them - is sending his stress levels through the roof. Kate leads him in a yoga session and, when he fails to take that seriously, sends him to have acupuncture. While Lee is otherwise occupied, Tim offers his services in teaching Kate how to drive. All seems to be going well until Lee opts for prescription tranquilisers and the three embark on a drive in the countryside. Guest starring Miranda Hart as the acupuncturist.
Kid 3 November As a favour to two friends, Kate agrees to take care of their 14-year-old son, Nicky, for a few days while they attend a wedding in the Caribbean. She wants Lee to bond with Nicky, but Lee's efforts get him nowhere; he is even more dismayed when Nicky and Tim discover that they actually have a lot in common. While the boys are bonding, Kate tries to talk Nicky's Great Dane into becoming a vegetarian. Lee's attraction to Kate doesn't pass Nicky by, but he forgets his intentions to spill the beans when Lee allows Nicky's dog to stay in the flat, despite his serious allergy. 3.6 million
Caretaker 10 November To prove a point to Kate, Lee finally gets a job, as caretaker in his block of flats, but the job comes with a bedsit so he moves out, much to Tim's delight. Kate and Lee soon both miss each other, and when Kate interviews a prospective new flatmate called Pete, Lee puts him off and then, despite his pride, gives up his new job and so he can move back in.

Series Two (2007)

Title Airdate Overview
Mortgage 7 September With Kate having gone back to America, Tim tells Lee he is going to sell the flat, and hires a cleaner called Barbara to clean it. Lee attempts to get a mortgage so he can buy it. In the meantime however he puts off all the potential buyers, until Lucy, who unbeknown to Lee is Tim's sister, arrives saying she will rent the spare room when Lee buys it. Lucy soon decides she wants to buy it herself, and both offer to buy it from Tim. Tim decides to sell it to Lee, however, he cannot get a mortgage so Lucy buys it. On Tim's wishes, she rents out the spare room to Lee.
Gay 14 September Lucy persuades Lee to pretend to be gay after she lies to a business acquaintance Guy, who she was told is gay himself, by telling him she lives with a gay flatmate to prove she is not homophobic. However, Guy soon starts to get suspicious and tests Lee's sexuality by taking him to a gay bar. Later, Guy overhears Lee saying to Tim, who had started to think Lee was gay, that he is not gay. When Lucy then explains to Guy what happened, he reveals he is not gay and he and Lucy kiss.
Librarian 21 September Lucy and Guy are going out with each other, and Guy has practically moved in. This annoys Lee who thinks Guy is too old for her. Lee soon discovers that Guy owns a lap dancing club. While at the club, Lee and Tim see Rose (Thaila Zucchi), a librarian that Tim has been seeing, and discover she is a lapdancer. Tim later dumps her, but then changes his mind. However, Rose refuses to get back together. Meanwhile, Lucy dumps Guy but they soon get back together but agree to take their relationship more slowly.
Baby 28 September 2007 When Guy's daughter Chloe gets appendicitis, Lee and Tim are left looking after her son Dillon while Guy and Lucy visit her. While in their care, Dillon swallows a subbuteo football and Lee and Tim have problems locating it, and try to think of ways to get it out of his body. However, it later turns out Dillon did not swallow it after all. Lucy is worried about the age gap between her and Guy.
Art 5 October 2007 After meeting Toby and Fiona, two educated friends of Guy's, Lee pretends that he is an art expert with an Open University degree. Barbara tells him about a Polish artist who she says is very popular. Lee then tells this to Lucy, who is having an art exhibition. Lucy then goes and buys many pieces of work by this artist, but the art does not sell and Lee discovers the Polish artist is not popular, but one that Barbara cleans for. Lee goes to the exhibition to try and make the sculptures sell, but Barbara accidentally breaks all but one of them.
Dating 12 October 2007 Lucy and Barbara persuade Lee to go speed dating after they say he needs a girlfriend. At the speed dating Lee meets Daisy, an indecisive hairdresser. He invites her out for a date and then for a dinner with Lucy at his apartment. However, after the dinner Daisy dumps him. Meanwhile, Tim offends Barbara and has to make up to her and with Guy in Thailand Lucy has several personal telephone conversations with him.
Gangster 19 October 2007 Lee thinks that Guy is a gangster and gets suspicious when a suspect package is delivered to Guy. However, there appears to be an innocent reason and Guy goes to take Lucy on holiday to Sicily. However, at the airport Guy asks Lucy to marry him but she turns him down saying he is too controlling, and Guy goes to Sicily on his own and Lucy says their relationship is over.

Christmas Special (2007)

Title Airdate Overview
Murder at Christmas 21 December 2007 Lucy and Tim's parents Geoffrey (Timothy West) and Wendy invite themselves to the apartment for Christmas, and Lucy persuades Barbara to work on Christmas Day to help out. On Christmas Day, Tim brings his girlfriend Daisy. Lee buys a murder mystery game, which they all then dress up and play. However, the game ends abruptly when Tim and Geoffrey argue. Lee then manages to talk Geoffrey round and they finish the game.

DVD releases

The first series of Not Going Out was released on DVD in the UK (Region 2) on 22 October 2007.


External links

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