"Extras" Les Dennis (TV Episode 2005) - Plot Summary Poster

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  • Andy gets a role in a pantomime, starring opposite British TV presenter Les Dennis. As Dennis begins to approach a breakdown, Maggie gets to know the pantomime director's daughter, who appears to have had her life greatly warped by her parents.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • Andy (Ricky Gervais) is in his agent's office. His agent, Darren Lamb (Stephen Merchant), is telling Andy he should exercise more, and Andy tells Darren he should work more. Darren does have a job for Andy this time, the role of a genie in a play starring Les Dennis, a has-been game show host and comic who is trying to mount his comeback.

    Andy rehearses with the cast, which includes Les Dennis. The director is "Bunny" (Gerard Kelly).

    Les introduces Andy to Simone (Nicky Ladanowski), his finance who is 25 years younger than Les. Les is ebullient about his beautiful girlfriend and extremely optimistic about his comeback in this regional play.

    Andy brings his friend Maggie (Ashley Jenkins) to meet Les in Les's dressing room. Leslie explains how famous he used to be. Andy ends this awkward conversation as quickly as he can.

    Bunny is directing the cast in a dance number while Maggie and Andy watch from the audience seats. Bunny's daughter, Lizzie Rebecca Gethings), is in the cast. Maggie recognizes her from a childhood show Maggie and Lizzie were both in. Lizzie spots her and her father joins them. It becomes clear that Bunny directs Lizzie and is a perfectionist about her singing and dancing. Andy and Maggie are uncomfortable in their presence and after they're gone Maggie says "she's really lovely but she's a wee bit mental."

    Wandering around the stage, Andy spots Simone, Les's girlfriend, making out with a much younger man. He joins Les for lunch, feeling sorry for him.

    Maggie runs into Lizzie and Lizzie begs Maggie to attend her birthday party on Sunday. Maggie doesn't want to agree but she does.

    On opening night, Andy is sitting in Les's dressing room, depressed. Les tries to prop him up by saying it'll be a great show. He goes on about how lucky he is to have Simone. When he expresses very light doubts about marrying her, Andy confesses he saw her making out with a stagehand. Les is devastated. The assistant knocks to say it's time for the play to start.

    On stage, the play is not going well. The house is only partially full and the audience isn't giving much of a reaction. Les goes through his lines for a while but then breaks character. He goes on a rant against the audience, mostly children, for being a bad audience. Finally he and Andy finish the play but it's clear it's a failure.

    Maggie appears at Lizzie's party, only to find it full of about eight senior citizens. She sits down awkwardly.

    Andy is taking Les out for drinks at a pub. Les is extremely depressed about his career and his life. Andy reminds him that he's a comic but he hasn't made a joke in years, or do impressions again.

    At the birthday party, Maggie overhears Lizzie's father Bunny insisting that she change her dress. When they're alone in Lizzie's room, Maggie tells Lizzie that Lizzie should have friends her own age and not have her father dictate everything of her life. Maggie asks if Lizzie really likes performance or if she only does it because her dad makes her. She says that her dad is suffocating Lizzie.

    Downstairs, Bunny and Lizzie break into a song-and-dance number. The guests all clap but Maggie is horrified. Bunny tells Lizzie she did a bad job and that she's let everyone down. In front of everyone, Lizzie talks back to her father, repeating what Maggie said before running out of the room. Bunny throws Maggie out.

    At the pub, Les is still depressed and depressing. Andy encourages him to take home a girl at the bar, which he does. While Les is having sex with her, he breaks into one of his impressions.

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