Ideal (TV series)

Ideal is a British dark comedy television series originally broadcast on TV channel BBC Three, created by Graham Duff and produced by BBC Comedy North and Baby Cow Productions. It stars Johnny Vegas as small-time cannabis dealer Moz.

Ideal title card for Series 6
Created byGraham Duff
StarringJohnny Vegas
Nicola Reynolds
Graham Duff
Seymour Mace
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original language(s)English
No. of series7
No. of episodes53 (List of episodes)
Running time28 minutes
Production company(s)Baby Cow Productions
Original networkBBC Three
Original release11 January 2005 
30 June 2011

It is set in Salford, Greater Manchester, chosen because Duff was familiar with the area, having done many stand-up gigs there during his youth. Most of the series takes place in Moz's flat and revolves around the eclectic array of characters who visit Moz to buy cannabis, socialise or both.

The closing theme is "Song of the Oss" from the album Nuada: Music Inspired By the Film the Wicker Man composed by British band Candidate. The series also features a number of tracks by Californian hip hop group Ugly Duckling.

It was broadcast on BBC Three in the UK, on entertainment channel 3e in Ireland and on ABC2 in Australia.

First broadcast in 2005, seven series have been shown; the most recent ended on 30 June 2011.

After the seventh series aired, Ideal was cancelled by the BBC. Following the announcement, writer and creator Graham Duff wrote to fans: "As some of you may have heard, the BBC have decided against commissioning an 8th series of Ideal. The reason given was that the new channel controller wanted to make a clean sweep. It is a source of both pride and frustration that, at the point of cancellation, Ideal was attracting its biggest ever audiences, its highest profile guest stars and its best ever reviews. And the show is now being screened in more countries than ever before - from America to Finland and beyond."


  • Moz (Johnny Vegas): a small-time cannabis dealer who has been dealing for a number of years from his flat in Salford which he used to share with his girlfriend Nicki but now shares with his new girlfriend Jenny. He deals only in the many varieties of marijuana and sees himself as 'providing a crucial service to the community". Moz rarely sets foot outside the front door of his apartment and seems to have no concept of keeping the flat tidy. Ideally he'd like a peaceful and easy-going life but always seems to end up getting entangled in the problems and crimes going on around him. Moz is not intentionally nasty but is sometimes shown to be brash and insensitive. He usually shows a very sardonic manner and is sometimes dismissive of others but generally hospitable; he is often juvenile but shows signs of intelligence in his street smarts and the way he conducts his business. As the series progresses, his life becomes complicated. At the end of the first series and throughout the second he suffers from guilt over his role in Craig's murder. At the climax of series two he falls off the roof of his flat and breaks his leg. At the beginning of the third series his leg is in plaster and during the series Moz is plagued by born again Christian builders renovating his flat after a fire; he pretends to share their faith but this backfires when they persuade him to propose to Nicki. In the finale of the third series Moz is attacked by Alan (one of the builders) who has discovered Moz's real occupation. In series four Moz engages in an affair with long-term customer Jenny and finds himself caught in the middle of a gang war. In the first episode of series five Moz says that he has gone straight and given up dealing but not using drugs. He is arrested for supplying heroin and then attempts to skip bail and leave for Portugal. In series 6, Moz is still not dealing drugs. Moz gets caught up in Psycho Paul's organ trading business and gets kidnapped by the Chinese mafia. In series 7, Moz goes back to dealing and starts falling for Tilly.
  • Nicki (Nicola Reynolds): Moz's girlfriend for the first four series. She and Moz have a love/hate relationship, with Nicki constantly nagging Moz about the state of the flat. Nicki can be very assertive and openly opposed to several of Moz's more distinctive shortcomings. In the very first episode it is revealed she is cheating on him. At Moz's birthday party she has sex with Moz, PC and Kuldip and becomes pregnant. When the baby is born it becomes clear that Kuldip is the father. After a while Nicki can't stand living with Moz any more and moves out. In the second series Nicki moves in with Sangita and they become involved, which Moz chooses to deny completely. In series three Nicki and the baby live with Moz again (although the baby is seldom seen). The baby causes her to suffer from sleep deprivation, until she is having hallucinations involving Moz's head on the shoulders of a bodybuilder and as her baby. In the fourth series whilst Moz is having an affair with Jenny, Nicki rekindles her affair with PC, ultimately leaving Moz for him in the series finale. She later dumps him, but continues to deal in drugs, causing a rivalry between her and Moz in series 7.
  • Cartoon Head aka Golova Sharzh (James Foster, series one / David Sant, series two): a man who never speaks and always wears a mask resembling a cartoon mouse.The mask came from an idea Graham Duff had from a memory of a man who used to wear a long plastic nose piece from using too much cocaine. Cartoon Head doesn't value life at all; it is revealed during the first series that he is a hitman. Although he has had several telephone conversations with Psycho Paul and Moz, he never utters a word on screen. Cartoon Head's mask has been superglued to his face by his boss, Stemroach, and it is impossible to remove: the details of this encounter are never revealed. At the end of the first series Moz realises that Cartoon Head, who is one of his most loyal customers, is actually the man behind the notorious "Hand-Job Murders". When the hitman turns up at Moz's flat high on LSD at the end of the first series, he mis-interprets what Moz says and shoots Craig dead, providing a story arc for series two. The left ear of the mask is cut off by Steve in the seventh episode of series three but it has been reattached with sticky tape by the following episode. Following a battle that rages throughout series four, Cartoon Head becomes leader of the Triad. His brother is Nikoli and both are actually Russians. Cartoon Head was a student at Salford University studying to become a doctor but dropped out after Freshers week. At the end of the seventh series Cartoon Head is shot by his wife, whom he is cheating on. It is unknown whether he survives.
  • Craig / Steve (Seymour Leon Mace): the irritating loner Craig wasn't originally one of Moz's regular clients but after someone has recommended Moz as a good dealer to him, he keeps pestering Moz to let him visit the flat. At one point he even throws a tin of dressed crab through Moz's window to try to gain his attention. Moz is eventually worn down and agrees to deal to Craig. In the seventh episode of series one Craig brings a carrier bag full of weed to Moz's flat to boost Moz's diminishing stocks and the two of them quickly become friends. Moz remarks that he and Cartoon Head should "take him [Craig] out" clubbing but Cartoon Head, who is high on LSD, misinterprets this as an order to murder Craig and Craig is therefore shot. At the end of the first series, Craig's identical twin Steve arrives to look for his brother and fuels Moz's paranoia and guilt over the murder of Craig. At the start of series two Steve visits Moz's flat looking for his missing brother Craig but ends up joining Stemroach's gang, not knowing that it was fellow gang member Cartoon Head who killed his brother. Steve is exploited by the rest of the gang - he always gets the bad jobs and is often physically abused. The rest of the gang find him very annoying but tolerate him. In the seventh episode of series three, Steve takes control of the gang after a short manic outburst which has both Psycho Paul and Cartoon Head uncharacteristically terrified. His role as leader is short-lived as he feels unable to maintain his status and he resigns in the following episode. When Steve admits that he doesn't actually have violence in him, his fellow gang members turn on him and gouge out his left eye with a spoon as a result of which he wears an eye patch. In the fourth series Steve remains loyal to Psycho Paul despite his previous injury, as Paul promises to one day return his preserved eye. In the final episode of series four he kills Stemroach by throwing the glass-encased eye into his forehead, and then quits the gang. In series 6 he accidentally shoots himself in the stomach after Psycho Paul tells him the gun wasn't loaded. He is dismembered by Dr. Persil after his death.
  • 'Psycho' Paul Nevin (Ryan Pope): originally a rival dealer to Moz, Psycho Paul now works with Cartoon Head. He appears in series one as a more violent and successful dealer. Shortly after PC busts Psycho Paul and gives all his weed to Moz, Psycho Paul finds Moz and threatens him with a Phillips screwdriver until the weed is returned. Throughout the show, Psycho Paul bullies Moz (or "Morris", as he calls him), often slapping him and pressuring him into helping him out with his plots. Paul gives up dealing in order to move into the shadier and more lucrative worlds of kidnapping, pornography and other gangster activities. Moz doesn't want to get involved in his plans but finds it difficult to refuse Psycho Paul without causing offence and thus risking repercussions. In series five he becomes the leader of a rival gang with Steve and Xavier to the triad and they move into human trafficking, this leads to them helping Nikoli into the country with his helper, believing them to be young Russian girls who they can put to work for them when they turn Steve's flat into a brothel. 'Psycho' Paul also always carries his trademark Phillips screwdriver until later into the show when he 'upgrades' to an electric screwdriver.
  • PC Phil Collins (Tom Goodman-Hill): Moz's mate and also his chief supplier. PC is a police constable for the Greater Manchester Police. He supplies Moz with weed which has been seized from other dealers during raids. PC is a useful contact for Moz, tipping him off as to what the latest police activity is - information which proves vital when the CID plan to raid the flat. They are close friends, at least initially; PC has been sleeping with Nicki and after she gets pregnant at Moz's birthday party, he falls in love with her, offering to take care of her and the baby and drunkenly challenging Moz to a fight. PC has had a number of affairs with Nicki. Moz remains oblivious to their first affair until PC tells him while drunk. A complete coward, PC does everything he can to avoid arresting people. PC also dodges the offers of promotion he's received as he doesn't want any more responsibility. In the finale of the second series he is stabbed by Stemroach's gang but takes his revenge by blackmailing Moz into setting up Stemroach in series three. Following these events he is upset to discover that Moz has allowed Brian to be his best man. There are no direct references to PC's real name until series four, episode two where it is revealed that he is called Phil Collins: he hates the name because he shares it with the singer and so calls himself by his initials (which are also his job title). He originally shared the flat with Moz when the duo moved to it together as a 'bachelor pad' in 1993. At the end of series five he moves into Moz's empty flat after being kicked out his flat by Nicki.
  • Troy (Tony Burgess, also co-writer): Moz's half-brother. In the first series it is revealed that he has been living in Moz's airing cupboard after separating from his wife. Troy loves late 1980s/early 1990s club music and is also a poor-quality DJ. For a while he runs a pirate radio station ("Troy FM") from the airing cupboard but the bad wiring causes him continual problems, finally culminating in an explosion. It is strongly implied that Troy suffers from mental illness; several references are made to him having been sectioned under the Mental Health Act. He is very touchy about the topic of his wife and becomes upset when people talk to him about it. In one episode he moves out of Moz's flat to go back to her, only to return in the next episode with bruises and a fork wound to the neck. He is a complete contrast to Moz; loud, not very conscientious, egotistic and most notably a lot smaller than his brother. Moz sees him as a pest at times yet sometimes betrays fraternal affection. It was Troy who accidentally shot Stemroach in 1993 and caused him to lose his voice - if it wasn't for Moz stepping in front of the gun Stemroach was aiming at Troy, Troy would have been killed.
  • Kuldip (Ronny Jhutti): a former close friend of Moz. A relatively successful DJ (which Troy resents), he has a regular slot as a DJ at the local nightclub. He often boasts to Moz about the number of white label records he has in his box. He is a frequent visitor to Moz's house in the first series but plays a relatively minor role until a sexual encounter with Nicki during a party. He only appears in the second series to find out that he is the father of Nicki's baby, Sanjeev. In series three he returns from Barcelona to pursue Nicki and it is revealed that she has been writing to him every week and sending him photographs of their baby.
  • Judith (Joanna Neary): moves in across the hall from Moz at the start of series two. She is a timid, demure necrophiliac who is constantly saying "sorry". She soon becomes the dealer's potential love interest; they are mutually attracted but he is disgusted at the idea of her having sex with dead bodies. Judith experiments with drugs with Moz; on one occasion she overdoses him with cookies filled with magic mushrooms, taking advantage of his unconscious body to have a pseudo-necrophiliac encounter. This proves to be a turning point for her. Timid Judith wants to fit in and be normal but it soon becomes clear that she has various interests and hobbies that border on the socially unacceptable. Moz first starts to get worried when Judith begins working at an undertakers and is seen dragging body-shaped sacks into her flat. To add to the problem, Judith develops an obsession with Moz, sculpting a giant clay model of Moz's head in her flat and starting to alter her appearance to look more like Nicki in a blatant attempt to steal Moz from her. After an unfortunate accident, she ends series three with a wasp mask stuck to her head which proves stubbornly persistent. Her mask gets Cartoon Head interested in her and for a while they become a couple, although he starts to ignore her when she has it removed by a doctor. She finds out that she is pregnant by Cartoon Head who is in denial. In the final episode of series four Judith has the wasp mask stuck back on and says "I'm not sorry" (she then apologises for this) and Cartoon Head is happy again. In the first episode of series five it is revealed that Judith used the wrong type of glue. Judith sleeps with Marco as revenge on Cartoon Head who is having an affair and reveals that she is pregnant. At the end of the episode she is forced to move in with Cartoon Head.
  • Jenny (Sinead Matthews): a dim-witted young adult who becomes Moz's girlfriend near the end of series four. In her first appearances, she is a childminder and regularly brings several children along with her when she visited the flat to buy drugs from Moz. She is also friendly with Nicki and gets pregnant at about the same time by Felix, one of the "children" for whom she is supposed to be responsible. Jenny seems to live in her own world, frequently forgetting the names of her wards and sometimes even leaving them behind. In the third series she gives birth but the baby is taken into care by social workers after continually being foisted on other people. When Jenny regains custody, she is not sure that the right baby has been returned to her but concludes that she likes the new one better. In series four, Jenny and Moz begin an affair which Jenny has difficulty keeping secret. When the secret comes out, she moves into the flat as Moz's new girlfriend. In the final episode of the series she is accidentally shot in the crossfire of a gang war between Stemroach and Cartoon Head and appears to bleed to death in Moz's arms. At the start of series five she is in a coma, seeing the world as a song and dance routine. She wakes from her coma to find Moz having sex with a call-girl. She attempts to skip bail with Moz at the end of series 5. She leaves Moz in Series 6 after he prevents her from becoming a lap-dancer, and becomes a community support officer in Series 7 and leaves to take a course up in Glasgow.
  • Felix (Des O'Malley): the teenage father of Jenny's baby. Although he was one of her wards when the baby was conceived, he is almost as old as her. He appears to be somewhat overwhelmed by the idea of fatherhood and still has childlike tendencies: after the baby is born, he seldom appears. Although seemingly more intelligent than Jenny, he is indifferent to everything.
  • Stemroach (David Bradley): the sinister gangland boss who employs Cartoon Head and Psycho Paul as his henchmen. He is ruthless; PC, Moz and even Psycho Paul are afraid of him. It seems that he has a wife and a girlfriend; he reports that when the girlfriend gives birth, his wife has gone 'up the wall' over the news. He is arrested in series three after PC and Moz set him up but he is released on bail and subsequently takes full advantage of Moz's debt to him. As a result of being accidentally shot in the throat by Moz's brother Troy, he has no vocal cords and talks through a hand-held throat speaker. Stemroach regularly reminds Moz that he is in his debt and thus the flat is often used for gang activity. He is killed by Steve in the final episode of series four after once again threatening to kill Moz.
  • Brian (Graham Duff, who is also creator and writer of the show); a very camp and flamboyant homosexual. Brian is one of Moz's oldest friends. He visits Moz regularly, accompanied by a different boyfriend almost every time. He is known for the line 'Inn't he scrummy?' He often talks to Moz about his bedroom antics, something the dealer would definitely rather not hear. During the first series, Brian's boyfriends become increasingly feminine, the last one being a butch woman. In the third series he finally falls in love and proposes to his current boyfriend but has his heart broken when he is dumped. Moz attempts to cheer him up by allowing him to be his best man, despite Derrick's hints that he would like the role and to PC's chagrin. His boyfriend turns out to be the registrar and they are happily reunited but by the fourth series they are no longer together and Brian has returned to a promiscuous lifestyle. In the series four flashback episode it is revealed he used to be straight. In series 5, he was revealed to have fathered a child with a woman who later became a lesbian and then had a sex change. He slept with his son, without knowing they were related. He then goes on a date with his now transgender ex, who allegedly still has breasts. In series 7 he runs a brothel in Judith's old flat with Carmel.
  • Colin (Ben Crompton): a bouncy, childlike petty criminal who is usually on probation, as he frequently reminds people. Although he is meant to be keeping out of trouble, he is of Moz's most regular customers. He isn't particularly clever, though he is somewhat crafty. Often he is a tedious annoyance to Moz. Colin often tries to sell stolen goods to Moz and regularly succeeds in stealing small items from the flat. In series three Colin starts dating a call girl called Carmel. She had amnesia at the time, which makes it easy for him to convince her they used to be together. Colin joins Psycho Paul's gang in series four.
  • Carmel (Hanne Steen): a Spanish escort, who is caught up in Stemroach's kidnapping and loses her memory in the process. Colin manages to convince her that she is his girlfriend. In the final episode of series four it becomes apparent that they are actually a couple and the two of them leave, apparently to start a new life in Spain.
  • Sangita (Sunetra Sarker): one of Moz's regular customers for a period. She suffers from multiple sclerosis. When Moz first meets Sangita he makes repeated verbal faux pas about her condition. Sangita is Nicki's best friend; during the Christmas episode Sangita convinces Nicki to leave Moz and move in with her and the two begin an affair. In revenge for this affair, Moz starts to remind her that she is going to die soon.
  • Yasuko (Haruka Kuroda): a bubbly and naive Japanese woman with a cleaning compulsion; she always has a packet of Wet Wipes on hand to clean anything she can. Despite this image, Yasuko has a wild past and during the series it is revealed that she has taken part in a ménage à trois with Nicki whilst backpacking in Thailand, on the basis of this, she turns up at Moz's flat seeking accommodation. She has a relationship (culminating in marriage) with Moz's dull green-fingered friend Derrick with whom she enjoys spending time down on the allotment. In series four, Yasuko reveals some self-defence skills when forced to fight Chen and Tony.
  • Derrick (Alfie Joey): another regular customer whose obsession with vegetables Moz finds very boring. Although now quite scruffy and covered in dirt, Derrick once used to be a smart, suit-wearing businessman, when his uncle died and left him an allotment, Derrick developed a passion for gardening and became the laid back man he is now.
  • China (Natalie Gumede): along with her friend Asia, is one of Moz's regular clients. Young, beautiful and playing innocent, Moz feels benevolently towards her and lets her get away without paying. China feels warmly toward Moz, much to the eye-rolling disapproval of her friend Asia. To Moz's disappointment, she once describes him as like a father. After she starts visiting with different boyfriends in tow (including Psycho Paul for a period), Moz stops giving her free drugs. In order to solve this problem, China starts acquiring rich boyfriends to fund her habit and by series four she is employed as a prostitute by Carmel's ex-boyfriend/pimp.
  • Asia (Rebecca Atkinson): friend of China's, who finds Moz to be repulsive. Acting nicely to him only when trying to manipulate him, at other times she maintains an air of hostile superiority around him.
  • Silicon Valets (pronounced "Silicon Valleys"): Lee and Jason together are Silicon Valets, a pop group of indeterminate quality and style, who drop by to buy drugs and brag about their success. They fail to pick up on Moz's insults about their musical quality. They do achieve some success, with their single "Living in a Metal Thing" reaching number 12 in the charts. They used the severed hand which Moz found for the front cover of their first album. The band split up in series 7 after musical indifference's.
  • Lee (Andrew Lee Potts): in the third series when he is caught snorting cocaine in Moz's bathroom by the born-again Christian builder Alan, who attempts to forcefully baptise him and nearly drowns him in the process. Alan seals him inside Moz's hot water tank, and when he awakes, he doesn't know where he is. He remains there until series four, finally being released when the flat's boiler is changed. Following his release, he has a tendency to hallucinate. He starts to believe he is the Messiah and this delusion is compounded by the fact that Alan and Marco, thinking he has come back from the dead, start following him as his disciples. When the band split up he ends up with just the naming rights for Silicon Valets and Jason gets everything else.
  • Jason (Tim Fallows): a member of the same boy band as Lee. When Lee goes missing, Jason is left to try to do everything in the band himself. He is relieved to have Lee back but is clearly a bit uncomfortable about his friend's new persona. He starts a new band in series 7 and retains all the rights for merchandise and money from Silicon Valets, leaving Lee with just the name.
  • Kim and Miko (Jessica Peh and Haruka Abe): Yasuko friends who are members of a Japanese girl band. They do not seem to speak much English but giggle a lot. They are kidnapped by 'Fist' in series four. He lets them go in series five. When asked where they were, they reply that they were "just next door", in Japanese.
  • Tanya (Emma Fryer): Colin's sister and also baby Sanjeev's health visitor. This does not please Nicki as Tanya is Moz's flirtatious ex-girlfriend. It isn't long before Tanya is trying to seduce Moz. Her voice sounds as though she is perpetually stoned. Tanya is a kleptomaniac and as a result a lot of Moz's flat's contents ends up on eBay after each of her visits. She is caught stealing by Moz's mum in a series three. In series four, she appears to have a relationship with Psycho Paul. She makes occasional appearances throughout each series. In series 7 she becomes Jason's manager after Silicon valets split up.
  • Alan (Peter Slater): the foreman of the builders who renovate Moz's flat after the fire. He's a very hard-line born again Christian: this causes Moz to try to keep up a pretence of being a devout Christian in an attempt to conceal what he really does for a living. Alan started out as a permanently cheerful man: however, after being horrifically stung by a swarm of wasps (Moz's fault) and discovering Moz's job, he turns into a completely different man. After nearly murdering Lee by sealing him in the flat's water tank, he goes on a rampage, attempting to kill both Moz and Brian in the process. In the fourth series Alan isn't seen much, except for when he is shown following Lee, believing him to be 'the saviour'. In the final episode of series four, he ends up hung up on Fist's wall: in series five he attempts to escape from the evil priest: eventually he does so, only to be killed by a stab-wound to the neck inflicted in self-defence by Carol, Keith's blind girlfriend.
  • Marco (Andrew Lawrence): Alan's assistant builder. He speaks in a very high voice and is quite nervous around other people and he is known for the line "Ignore Me". When Alan disappears, Marco becomes head builder and his brother Jake becomes the deputy. The inept duo often break things and the things they do manage to fit soon fall off the wall or break. In the first episode of series five, Marco loses his virginity to Judith.
  • Reverend Jeff "Fist" Fistwick (Graham Duff; uncredited and in a mask): a man simply known as "Fist" moves in next door to Moz in series four. His flat is usually dark and unlit and Fist seems to spend a lot of time watching people come and go, seemingly with sinister intent. Psycho Paul and the Low Triad in series four attempt to get him onto their side although it remains unknown which gang he has joined or if he has even joined one at all. Fist dresses in black, wears a black ski mask all the time and has buck teeth: he has the word "Fist" tattooed on the knuckles of one hand. In spite of his malevolence, Kim and Miko who are kidnapped by him, find him amusing. The show credits him 'As Himself'. It is revealed in the final episode of series four that he is a reverend and he subsequently crucifies Alan. The part is played by Graham Duff and is later revealed by the builder Alan, who seems to know him, to be one 'Vicar Fistwick'. It was noted by Moz's step-dad that they shared a cell in Strangeways and there's nothing that would scare him, though he ends up terrified of a scuttling noise, which is a 'Hand' with a tail. In the final episode of series 5 Fist is revealed to be Jenny's "uncle Jeff". He is described by Jenny as a "nutter".It is revealed in series 6 that Fist has a lover which is a pug named Frank. When Yasuko and Derrick wanted a baby by series 6, Fist apparently donated his sperm and it was used by Yasuko to have a baby, by the end of series 7, Yasuko leaves Derrick to be with Fist.
  • Chen (Hon Ping Tan): a member of the Low Triad, initially working for Min Yin Low. Chen often uses to violence to get what he wants and ensure they don't forget his message. While Chen and his gang-partner Tony spend most of the series winning the gang war, they end the series tied up as hostages in Moz's bathroom. In the fifth episode of series four they return to reveal that the Triad has been taken over by Cartoon Head and Chen is reduced to being Cartoon Head's henchman. Chen is killed by Troy with a bazooka at the end of series 6.
  • Tony (Dan Li): also a member of the Low Triad, initially working for Min Yin Low. Tony and his fellow gang-member Chen visit Moz at the start of series four to try to persuade him to spy on Stemroach through Psycho Paul's gang. War between the Triad and Paul's gang breaks out and Moz is in the middle of it. At first the Triad easily have the upper-hand and continually intimidate those in the flat. When Yasuko reveals some hidden self-defence skills the tables turn.
  • Keith (Mick Miller): absent for 12 years, Moz's long lost stepfather Keith returns in series four, hoping to offload some stolen widescreen televisions. Keith is a compulsive liar, although he does eventually keep his promise of delivering the widescreen TV his son paid for. In series five, Keith moves into Judith's old flat (next door to Moz) with his new girlfriend, a blind woman called Carol, whom he's told he's in his thirties. In episode four of series five he reveals he shared a prison cell with Fist in Strangeways.
  • Xavier (Michael Kofi): a member of Psycho Paul's gang. He is infatuated by how comfortable one of Moz's chairs is.
  • Dawn (Julia Davis): Jenny's mum who has cataracts. She feels peoples faces to see what type of life they live and can "reads" people's tea leaves. In series five she has a relationship with Moz's stepfather Keith.
  • Jake/Dinos (Dylan Edwards) & (Sam Fletcher): Conjoined Twins who appear in series 5 as one of Brian's new boyfriends. Their names are a nod towards Graham Duff's personal heroes, the artists Jake and Dinos Chapman.
  • Carol (Jo Enright): Keith's blind girlfriend who moves into Judith's old flat with Keith in series five. She kills Alan by stabbing him in the neck with a pair of scissors on his escape from Fist's flat.
  • Tilly (Janeane Garofalo): Moz's new neighbour in flat 6. Tilly is a beautiful, witty, artistic American girl, who runs a small designer clothes shop called ‘Just Perfect’. Her confrontational couture makes Vivienne Westwood look like a special needs Laura Ashley. She is constantly introducing him to new things and he slowly falls for her. She also wants his sperm for her new top design. In series 7, it seems that Brian has developed an obsession with her and her clothes.
  • Mr. Rupani (Vincent Ebrahim): Moz's landlord, as well as the landlord of the other flats in the block. Mr. Rupani is a successful Asian businessman who is very strict with his tenants and is constantly reminding Moz that pets and children amongst other things are "Not allowed". In series 2, Mr. Rupani is kidnapped by Psycho Paul, Cartoon Head and Steve. He is brought to Moz's flat for a few hours but is blindfolded so never realises his kidnappers. In later series his wife appears instead, usually to complain Moz hasn't paid the rent.
  • Jess (Elinor Crawley): Nicki's sister/daughter.[1]
  • Amanda with the weird eyes: An unseen character (save for one scene in the final episode of series one, in which she is only seen from the back). Amanda, frequently referred to by other characters, is a good friend of Nicki's, and also recommends Moz to China and Asia.

Guest stars

Guest stars have included Graham Fellows (as Dr Persil), Sean Lock (as Natalie/Nathaniel, Brian's transgender partner), Mark Radcliffe, Jason Manford (as Jack), Mark E Smith (as Jesus Christ), Paul Weller, Kara Tointon, Barry Adamson (as Brian's hitman boyfriend), Alan Yentob (as himself) and Rula Lenska (as the Red King).

Series overview

Series Episodes Originally aired
Series premiere Series finale
1 9 11 January 2005 (2005-01-11) 27 December 2005 (2005-12-27)
2 8 14 March 2006 (2006-03-14) 2 May 2006 (2006-05-02)
3 8 20 March 2007 (2007-03-20) 8 May 2007 (2007-05-08)
4 8 28 April 2008 (2008-04-28) 16 June 2008 (2008-06-16)
5 6 11 May 2009 (2009-05-11) 15 June 2009 (2009-06-15)
6 8 17 August 2010 (2010-08-17) 5 October 2010 (2010-10-05)
7 6 26 May 2011 (2011-05-26) 30 June 2011 (2011-06-30)


Each series of Ideal has a different coloured title sequence. Series 1 was sepia; the Christmas special was red; Series 2 was blue; Series 3 was green; Series 4 was purple; Series 5 was red; Series 6 was yellow and Series 7 is bondi blue.

Series 1 (2005)

# Title Writers Original air date
1"The Rat"Graham Duff11 January 2005 (2005-01-11)
Nicki is getting fed up with Moz not paying her enough attention, PC turns up with a delivery, and a strange man wearing a cartoon mask lets himself into the flat. Moz also has to contend with a couple of unwelcome visitors in the shape of a rat and rival dealer Psycho Paul.
2"The Seduction"Graham Duff18 January 2005 (2005-01-18)
While Nicki is away, Moz tries to play by attempting to seduce one of his new customers after seeing her at a nightclub where his best mate Kuldip is a DJ. However, the rat from the previous episode has other ideas.
3"The Boyfriend"Graham Duff25 January 2005 (2005-01-25)
Colin (who's still on probation) tells Moz about the body found across the road with its hand cut off, China's got a new boyfriend, and Nicki returns. Moz find the severed hand and believes the cat brought it inside.
4"The Affair"Graham Duff1 February 2005 (2005-02-01)
Moz remembers the severed hand in the pocket of his jacket and isn't sure what to do with it. But it's another busy day so he doesn't have time to give it much thought. Craig throws a tin of crabmeat through Moz's window to try to get his attention and Colin steals Nicki's secret polaroids.
5"The Backpacker"Graham Duff8 February 2005 (2005-02-08)
A face from Nicki's past arrives unexpectedly wanting to stay, the polaroids from behind the bathroom cabinet go missing and re-appear, and Moz is selling red weed.
6"The Party"Graham Duff15 February 2005 (2005-02-15)
It's Moz's birthday, and all Nicki has bought him is a sandwich, Bombay mix and party umbrellas, so she decides to throw him a party in the flat.
7"The Pregnancy"Graham Duff22 February 2005 (2005-02-22)
Nicki takes a pregnancy test. The severed hand makes a return. Moz's stalker (Craig) is back, and spends some quality time with Cartoon Head. When Moz says they should go out clubbing, Cartoon Head shoots Craig.
8"The Body"Graham Duff1 March 2005 (2005-03-01)
It's a very bad day for Moz who just about manages to keep it together, but then Craig's brother turns up looking for him and recognises his favourite carrier bag.
9"An Ideal Xmas"Graham Duff27 December 2005 (2005-12-27)
While Moz tries to enjoy a seasonal spliff his pregnant girlfriend snogs a woman in the bathroom, dead Craig's twin brother sucks a hitman's nipple, and Moz's mum makes a surprise entrance with a karaoke machine. And there's an emotional queen's speech, as freshly dumped Brian pours his heart, and more, out all over Moz's shoulder.

Series 2 (2006)

# Title Writers Original air date
1"The Stag Do"Graham Duff14 March 2006 (2006-03-14)
Nicki's moved in with Sangita while Moz has a nervous new neighbour, Judith. Derrick and Yasuko are due to get married and Moz is asked to be best man. Cartoon Head has a special surprise for the stag do.
2"The Landlord"Graham Duff21 March 2006 (2006-03-21)
Moz wakes up next to someone shocking, discovers two hundred pairs of trainers in his living room, fills his kitchen with foam and finds out his landlord's on the way round.
3"The Hydroponics"Graham Duff28 March 2006 (2006-03-28)
Cartoon Head and Psycho Paul come to collect the stolen trainers they stored in the flat. Cartoon Head's appearance frightens Judith and when Moz comforts her, Nicki appears to collect her stuff and gets the wrong idea.
4"The Séance"Graham Duff4 April 2006 (2006-04-04)
Moz makes a startling discovery about his new love. Scary OAP Mrs Coneybear arrives to perform a séance and a plain clothes cop becomes trapped in the loft.
5"The Boss"Graham Duff11 April 2006 (2006-04-11)
The undercover cop makes his escape having left a hidden camera in the attic. Psycho Paul, Cartoon Head and Steve appear, wanting to use Moz's flat in which to hide their prospective kidnap victim. Moz is not happy but Mr. Stemroach, the gang's boss - who speaks through an electronic voice-box - turns up and offers Moz two hundred and fifty pounds if he will oblige.
6"The Guest"Graham Duff18 April 2006 (2006-04-18)
With a kidnap victim stashed in the flat, Moz tries to deflect a succession of unwanted guests. But his world is bent even further out of shape when the magic mushrooms kick in.
7"The Delivery"Graham Duff25 April 2006 (2006-04-25)
When the PC tips him off about an imminent drugs bust, Moz has to get rid of every last scrap of evidence. Meanwhile Colin falls in love and Nicki goes into labour.
8"The Money"Graham Duff2 May 2006 (2006-05-02)
Nicki wants to leave Moz, Judith wants to go out with him, the PC wants to fight him, and the gang want to pay him. But all Moz really wants is for the fire brigade to hurry up.

Series 3 (2007)

# Title Writers Original air date
1"The Night"Graham Duff20 March 2007 (2007-03-20)
Moz attempts to hide his drugs when born-again Christian builders come to work in his flat, while Nicki begins to wonder if a lack of sleep is causing her to hallucinate. Meanwhile, Judith is spotted carrying a suspiciously large sack into her flat.
2"The Christians"Graham Duff27 March 2007 (2007-03-27)
Moz is forced into performing an exorcism on childminder Jenny, while Nicki becomes even more convinced that she is losing her mind. Meanwhile, Brian decides to become a goth and PC falls in love with China.
3"The Pyramid"Graham Duff3 April 2007 (2007-04-03)
Moz certainly has his hands full as his mother Sheila reappears and tries to interest him in a decidedly dodgy pyramid selling scheme in which she has been caught up, in addition to which Cartoon Head and Psycho Paul arrive at the flat with the glamorous Helena intent on shooting a blue movie and, to cap it all, Nicki gets involved in a road accident.
4"The Nest"Graham Duff10 April 2007 (2007-04-10)
Moz gets an unwelcome visit from notorious gang leader Stemroach, while the discovery of a wasp nest in the loft turns out to have terrible consequences for the born-again Christian builders.
5"The Bath"Graham Duff17 April 2007 (2007-04-17)
Moz's attempts to have a relaxing bath are constantly thwarted by a series of interruptions, including people wanting advice, a shoulder to cry on and drugs - as well as a bizarre murder.
6"The Set-Up"Graham Duff24 April 2007 (2007-04-24)
With Nicki out celebrating on her hen night, Moz reluctantly agrees to help the Police Constable to set up Stemroach. Meanwhile, Cartoon Head and Psycho Paul have a dastardly plan of their own to get him and once more Moz's flat becomes the scene of a show-down.
7"The Crabs"Graham Duff1 May 2007 (2007-05-01)
Moz is trying his best to enjoy his stag night, but Judith has had a party mask glued to her face, three crabs have got loose in the flat and Jesus has just appeared in the loft.
8"The Wedding"Graham Duff8 May 2007 (2007-05-08)
It's the morning of Moz's wedding and he's just woken up next to another woman. Now all he has to do is get rid of her, overcome his nerves, deflect the advances of a very demanding Judith and save Brian from a psychopathic Christian.

Series 4 (2008)

# Title Writers Original air date
1"The Pains"Graham Duff28 April 2008 (2008-04-28)
When Moz is rushed to hospital with a suspected heart attack, his girlfriend Nicki reignites her affair with PC. Meanwhile, Moz's long lost dad Keith tries to offload some stolen widescreen TVs.
2"The Past"Graham Duff5 May 2008 (2008-05-05)
Moz reminisces about 1993, the year he first moved into the flat. He looks back on the times where he first met Nicki and Cartoon Head, was almost killed by Stemroach and started dealing.
3"The Vodka"Graham Duff12 May 2008 (2008-05-12)
When Moz gets a visit from a drunken Jenny, things soon get out of hand. The builders remove Moz's broken boiler, but what will happen to Lee who is still trapped inside?
4"The Secret"Graham Duff19 May 2008 (2008-05-19)
Despite Moz and Jenny's best efforts to keep their affair secret, it seems like everybody knows what is going on. Everybody except Nicki, who is too busy having her own illicit affair with PC
5"The War"Graham Duff26 May 2008 (2008-05-26)
Released from the boiler Lee comes up with inspiring song lyrics inspired by his ordeal whilst a cash-strapped Colin and a violent guy called Xavier join Psycho Paul's gang, turning Moz's flat into a training camp under the instruction of Stripes, another mask-wearer. Meanwhile, all is not well between Judith and Cartoon Head.
6"The Birthday"Graham Duff2 June 2008 (2008-06-02)
Nicki's birthday party does not go entirely according to plan. Moz splits up with Jenny, Nicki splits up with PC and mysterious neighbour Fist kidnaps Kim and Miko.
7"The Television"Graham Duff9 June 2008 (2008-06-09)
It is all change for Moz as Nicki moves out and new love Jenny moves in. When Keith finally delivers a new widescreen TV, it is almost too big to fit in the flat.
8"The Future"Graham Duff16 June 2008 (2008-06-16)
Moz and Jenny's cosy love situation is thrown into chaos when Psycho Paul's gang hole up in the flat with two members of the Triad as hostages. Fist has some unusual plans for Alan. In the end, Cartoon Head, Psycho Paul, and Steve finally go their separate ways.

Series 5 (2009)

# Title Writers Original air date
1"The Healer"Graham Duff11 May 2009 (2009-05-11)
Moz decides to turn over a new leaf and stop dealing. His girlfriend Jenny is in a coma and seems to see the world as one big song-and-dance routine in a series of dream sequences, and Moz receives a string of visitors - all of whom believe they can snap her out of it.
2"The Temptation"Graham Duff18 May 2009 (2009-05-18)
With his girlfriend in a coma, Moz finds it increasingly difficult to resist the charms of a series of attractive female callers. Meanwhile, Brian falls in love with a conjoined twin and Alan attempts to escape the clutches of the evil Fist.
3"The Red Bag"Graham Duff25 May 2009 (2009-05-25)
Moz promises Jenny that he will get a 'proper' job and attempts to use the Salford Gazette to find one. Carol realises she has murdered Alan, and Troy has a new uniform.
4"The Documentary"Graham Duff1 June 2009 (2009-06-01)
Cartoon Head tries to bully Moz into dealing heroin and leaves a brick for him to sell. Silicon Valets turn up with a documentary crew in tow and when PC turns up he is forced to arrest Moz in light of the situation at hand. Psycho Paul decides to get into the lucrative business of human trafficking.
5"The Chance"Graham Duff8 June 2009 (2009-06-08)
It's Colin and Carmels wedding day and Moz makes plans to skip the country with Jenny in light of his possible incarceration. Meanwhile, Brian makes a shocking discovery about his new boyfriend.
6"The Passports"Graham Duff15 June 2009 (2009-06-15)
Moz and Jenny plan to leave the country with stolen passports. Judith decides to throw in her lot with her lover Marco. Steve, Psycho Paul and Xavier have a plan to set up a new business in human trafficking. However, something goes wrong...

Series 6 (2010)

# Title Writers Original air date
1"The Business"Graham Duff17 August 2010 (2010-08-17)
After nine months away, Moz and Jenny return home to find several surprising changes. Not least of which being his ex-girlfriend, Nicki, taking over his hash dealing business.
2"The American"Graham Duff24 August 2010 (2010-08-24)
Moz and Jenny's plans to move to Italy are thrown into disarray when Moz learns he has been removed from the most wanted list. Brian is dumped by Nathaniel.
3"The Kill"Graham Duff31 August 2010 (2010-08-31)
Judith and Jake embark on an ill-advised plan to kill Cartoon Head. Meanwhile, Moz discovers that Cartoon Head's gang are involved in black market organ trading.
4"The Poster"Graham Duff7 September 2010 (2010-09-07)
Moz agrees to help Tilly with her new range of stained T-shirts. Jenny mistakenly believes that Moz has dumped her and gets into all kinds of trouble.
5"The Lapse"Graham Duff14 September 2010 (2010-09-14)
Moz finds himself falling for the charms of both his ex-girlfriend Nicki and his sophisticated American neighbour Tilly.
6"The Accident"Graham Duff21 September 2010 (2010-09-21)
When Moz discovers that Keith and Carol have been kidnapped by the Low triad, he asks Cartoon Head's gang for assistance - something he will soon have good reason to regret.
7"The Ear"Graham Duff28 September 2010 (2010-09-28)
Finding themselves with a body to dispose of, Moz and Psycho Paul call on the services of the sinister Doctor Persil (played by Graham Fellows). Meanwhile, Moz's dad Keith learns that his kidnappers are deadly serious.
8"The Housewarming"Graham Duff5 October 2010 (2010-10-05)
Whilst Nicki throws a monster fancy dress party, Tilly hosts a pretentious soiree upstairs. Moz is desperately trying to scrape together the ransom money to release his kidnapped dad.

Series 7 (2011)

# Title Writers Original air date
1"The Police"Graham Duff26 May 2011 (2011-05-26)
Moz plots to win back the heart of his true love, Jenny. However, when he discovers she has joined the police force, his plans are thrown into disarray.
2"The Debtors"Graham Duff2 June 2011 (2011-06-02)
A penniless Moz calls in his debts. However, his mates seem very reluctant to pay him back. Jess falls under the spell of masked hit man Cartoon Head.
3"The Brothel"Graham Duff9 June 2011 (2011-06-09)
Moz and Nicki start running rival hash dealing businesses, but a price war soon kicks off with each attempting to undercut the other. Across the landing, Brian and Carmel have opened a brothel.
4"The Paintings"Graham Duff16 June 2011 (2011-06-16)
Mistakenly believing Moz to be an avant garde artist, Tilly arranges for him have an exhibition. Jess and Cartoon Head experiment with ketamine and find themselves way out of their depth.
5"The Love"Graham Duff23 June 2011 (2011-06-23)
Moz tries to turn his friendship with Tilly into a full-blown relationship. Colin hires his estranged wife Carmel as an escort girl.
6"The Red King"Graham Duff30 June 2011 (2011-06-30)
Moz comes face to face with a gang of deadly gingers known as the Red Mist. Carmel has to choose between Colin and Jake, whilst Yasuko leaves Derrick for Fist.

Awards and nominations

In November 2006, Ideal received the award for Best Comedy Programme at the Royal Television Society North West Comedy Awards.[2]

DVD release

A box set of series one (excluding the Christmas special episode) was released in the UK on 7 November 2005. It includes the following extras:

  • Making of Ideal
  • Out-takes
  • Deleted scenes
  • Commentaries from Johnny Vegas (Moz), Graham Duff (creator, writer, Brian and Reverend Fistwick) and Henry Normal (executive producer).

The second series (including the Christmas special) was released on DVD on 19 February 2007,[3] the third series on 9 June 2008,[4] the fourth series on 13 April 2009, and the fifth series on 19 July 2010. The sixth series was released on 11 October 2010. The seventh and final series was released on 25 July 2011.


A film based on the TV series was planned. The last update was this in June 2012. Baby Cow executive Henry Normal told Chortle: It's going to be set in the same place, with many of the same characters. We even bought the physical set from the BBC, our co-producers on the TV series. We are aiming for it to be quite a dark psychological comedy-thriller. As of 2019, there has been no word of the film being in production.[5]

See also


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