Black Books (2000–2004)
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He's Leaving Home 

Manny finally gets fed up with Bernard's constant abuse and demands on him so he leaves for a better life. However, he doesn't get far when he meets a man at King's Cross station who wants ... See full summary »


Dylan Moran (by), Graham Linehan (by)


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Episode complete credited cast:
Dylan Moran ... Bernard Black
Bill Bailey ... Manny
Tamsin Greig ... Fran
Omid Djalili ... Trebor
Sophie Stanton ... Policewoman
David Walliams ... Customer


Manny finally gets fed up with Bernard's constant abuse and demands on him so he leaves for a better life. However, he doesn't get far when he meets a man at King's Cross station who wants to make him a star. Meanwhile back at the shop Fran and Bernard are arguing more and more about Manny's departure. Written by Robyn Cowen

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Release Date:

3 November 2000 (UK) See more »

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Did You Know?


Title based on the Beatles song "She's leaving home". See more »


When Manny and his new found friend are walking the street to his house, you see background characters, staring at the camera, and as vehicles go past these characters miraculously change. See more »


[after Manny has ran away and suffered a series of unfortunate calamities over the phone]
Fran: Well, where is he? How can I find him?
Bernard: Well, you could become a terrible event and happen to him.
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References The Simpsons (1989) See more »


Performed by Spandau Ballet
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User Reviews

Season 1: Creatively daft and funny for it
21 April 2010 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

It has been years since I watched Black Books and recent so-so shows made me decide to come back to it and take another look. The basic plot is that Bernard owns a bookshop opposite the gadget shop of his friend Fran. When his accountant goes on the run from the police, Bernard is forced to take in former accountant Manny (who brings a sense of calm to the shop thanks to his body having absorbed a copy of the Little Book of Calm). When this calm wears off Bernard finds that Manny is just another annoyance in a world of irritations that include customers, hygiene and social niceties.

I remembered this show being hilarious back when I first watched it and my first observation on watching season 1 is that it is not the laugh-a-second comedy I remembered, even if it is still very funny. The show is daft across the whole season, starting with Manny digesting the book of calm and continuing in the same vein throughout the season. It is daft but it manages to work because of a couple of factors. First and foremost it is creative so that the "daftness" has intelligence and wit behind it rather than just daftness for daftness sake like some deliberately "wacky" shows – this is much more in the style of Father Ted, The IT Crowd and the like. If you like that sort of thing then Black Books will please you in its content, if they just strike you as daft then perhaps not.

The cast make it work with their delivery. Moran's stand-up has calmed over the years but here he is at his "wild drunken" best in his character, hilariously impatient with everyone and everything. Bailey does his own odd routine here and he is equally funny, playing a different character from Moran but one that varies the type of laugh. Greig is the third wheel due to how good these two are but she carries herself well and produces laughs too. The supporting cast has a lot of famous faces – although my memory can't tell me if they were big then or have moved into the heart of British comedy in the time since. Frost, Djalili, Eldon, Serafinowicz and others all do nice turns along with Linehan himself in a few small cameos.

Black Books is not quite as good as Father Ted but still a very enjoyable sitcom thanks to the witty and creative daftness which is well delivered by the lead trio.

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