UK TV review: Kurupting the Industry: The People Just Do Nothing Story
Ivan Radford | On 11, Aug 2021
“Is he going to be a dickhead. How much of a dickhead is he going to be?” Those are the words of Allan Mustafa, star of People Just Do Nothing, recalling his reaction to meeting the show’s director, Jack Clough. It’s one of the many highlights in Kurupting the Industry: The People Just Do Nothing Story, a making-of documentary that serves as part bonus feature ahead of the cinema release of People Just do Nothing’s feature film, Big in Japan, and part celebration of the BBC Three series that will make its farewell on the big screen.
The series charts the ups and downs – mostly downs – of Kurupt FM, Brentford’s second biggest pirate radio station. Created by a group of mates from the area, it’s a labour of love for the series’ stars, with Mustafa and co-star Hugo Chegwin (DJ Beats) using their own friendship as the starting point for the tale of loyalty, brotherhood and mutual ineptitude that went from a homegrown YouTube phenomenon to a BAFTA-winning BBC sitcom. Co-starring Asim Chaudry as “ultrapreneur” Chabuddy G, Steve Stamp as station security (and recycling) manager Steves and Lily Brazier as Grindah’s long-suffering girlfriend, Michelle, the show ran for five seasons, becoming a cult favourite and a celebrity magnet in the process.
While this documentary could be seen as a mere promotional tool, the 45-minute programme goes into enough depth that it becomes a love letter to the show instead. There’s already an underdog appeal to the story of how the mockumentary came to be, but this manages to emphasise just how genuine their love of pirate radio and drum and bass is. How else could they rhyme “tango” and “dang, yo”
or “obsidian” with “Artentianian” in their song lyrics? Or get Craig David to participate in a music video (that’s replayed here along with his comments)?
As Martin Freeman points out, you can’t make fun of something successfully in a comedy without loving it. Freeman is one of many talking heads who bring some astute observations to the table, not least because of the influence The Office has had on the show. He also highlights the importance of “not just people from Rada” getting a chance to succeed in comedy, which Lily Brazier echoes in a statement about how the show proves the value in everyone being heard.
But it’s those comments from the people involved in the show that really make this worth watching, as we hear candidly from the producers about how the cast turned up for the first episode without any script – only for a lot of awkwardness to ensue. Their response to becoming famous is just as priceless as that of the characters, from Brazier getting excited about Idris Elba coming up to her at the BAFTAs (and not the other way round) to Mustafa recalling how he bailed from the after-party so he could go home and soak up the moment.
Most of all, though, this is a programme that serves as an ideal introduction to newcomers – and, rather than merely advertise the upcoming film, makes you want to rewatch the whole show from the beginning again.
Kurupting the Industry: The People Just Do Nothing Story is available on BBC iPlayer until July 2022