Dave Gorman has ended his series Modern Life Is Goodish after five seasons.
The stand-up comedy show first premiered back in 2013 on Dave, with six episodes of Gorman taking an idiosyncratically precise look at the pains of modern life – accompanied, as ever, by a trusty Powerpoint presentation. The Liberty Bell Productions series proved a smash hit, becoming the highest rating new commission on the channel, with another two seasons swiftly ordered at an extended run of eight episodes.
After attracting a peak of 1.5 million viewers and regularly receiving a total audience of over a million per episode in Season 4, the fifth run began this October.
“Gorman’s analysis is uniquely specific; it’s more stand-up lecture than stand-up comedy and all the better for it,” we wrote in our review of Season 5. “The result is a wonderfully low-key slice of British hilarity – and a testament to UKTV’s Dave, who have done what no other channel has in repeatedly giving a stand-up comedian a long-form programme to play with. Five seasons in and Gorman continues to deliver the goods without getting stale.”
Now, following the broadcast of its eighth episode, Gorman has announced that this fifth run will be its last.
Writing in a blog post on his own site, Gorman explained that the show was ending in an amicable agreement with Dave, due to the intensive workload required.
“I love the show and I’m exceedingly proud of the last five years of work,” he wrote. “And I’m hugely grateful to have had the opportunity to do quite so much long-form stand-up on TV.”
“When people say they think it’s a shame the show hasn’t been on a bigger channel, I always ask them to tell me any other channel that has given any other comic the opportunity to do this kind of show?” he added. “Not stand-up and sketches. Not stand-up and anything else. Not a package of discreet bits that could be edited together in a different order and make just as much sense. Proper, long-form stand-up that actually represents what a touring comic does live? I can’t think of many. I don’t think I can think of any.”
The hours required to put together such a painstaking presentation, though, soon stacked up: working over 100 hours a week in the final weeks leading up to each recording, the intensive time and effort required led to him fainting on stage during the taping of Season 1’s final episode.
“Please don’t mistake any of what follows for any kind of woe-is-me, moaning. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Here’s the thing: as lucky as I am to have an almost unique opportunity to do the thing that I love, in the form that I love, on the telly… it’s also bloody demanding in terms of time,” he explained.
“Unfortunately, whatever we’ve done to try and find solutions, the nature of the beast is that this much work has to be squeezed into the final two or three weeks before a recording,” he continued, going on to explain that with a live tour coming up in 2018, he felt it was time to draw a line under Modern Life Is Goodish, instead of returning to such a demanding commitment.
“It’s hard to let go of such a wonderful opportunity,” he concluded. “I know that if I wanted to make more I could. But I don’t want to do it half-cocked. And I don’t want to make myself ill doing it either.”
The good news is that Gorman and Dave are “actively looking for ways of working together in the future”. And that all five seasons of Dave Gorman Modern Life Is Goodish are still available on UKTV Play.