Murder Most Horrid

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Murder Most Horrid was a BBC black comedy anthology series starring comedian Dawn French. It ran for four series runs, in 1991, 1994, 1996 and 1999.

Created by Paul Smith, who also co-created Colin's Sandwich (with Terry Kyan, below) and has written for The Brittas Empire, among other programmes, the series starred French as a different character in each episode. Many episodes were directed by the noted director Bob Spiers, who also worked with French on The Comic Strip Presents... and French and Saunders.

Most episodes parodied the thriller and murder mystery genres with one notable episode lampooning the trials and tribulations of being a children's presenter in general, and Blue Peter in particular. In 1998, this episode ("Murder at Tea-Time") was repeated to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Blue Peter, as part of a section entitled Spoof Peter, which also featured (among others) the Python skit "How to Do It".[1]

Each episode was standalone, and the episodes were written by different writers or writing teams with several contributing multiple episodes across the four series. Among these writers, the pairing of series-creator Paul Smith with Terry Kyan, (who had previously collaborated on Not the Nine O'clock News and Alas Smith and Jones) is particularly notable. The two would subsequently create and write Bonjour la Classe, starring Nigel Planer.[2]

Other series writers included Private Eye editor and Have I Got News For You stalwart Ian Hislop; Press Gang's Steven Moffat, award-winning Children's author Anthony Horowitz, Nick Newman and John O'Farrell.


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