Toast of London

Toast of London is a British television sitcom set in London. It was created by Arthur Mathews and Matt Berry and stars Berry as Steven Toast, an eccentric, middle-aged actor with a chequered past who spends more time dealing with his problems off stage than performing on it. Three series were broadcast on Channel 4, all directed by Michael Cumming. Series 2 and 3 were shot at the West London Film Studios. In the United States, Toast of London is available on IFC and Netflix.

Toast of London
Created by
Directed byMichael Cumming
Opening theme"Take My Hand"
by Matt Berry
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original language(s)English
No. of series3
No. of episodes19 (list of episodes)
Producer(s)Kate Daughton
Running time23 minutes
Production company(s)Objective Media Group
Original networkChannel 4
First shown in20 August 2012 (2012-08-20)
Original release20 October 2013 (2013-10-20) 
External links

In November 2017, after reports of a fourth series, Berry clarified that it will return "in some form at some point", but nothing was currently being written.[1] Mathews later said that they have an idea for Toast in America, but that no deadline was set.[2] In December 2017, Channel 4 officially renewed the show for another series.[3]

Cast and characters


  • Matt Berry as Steven Gonville Toast, the central character of the series. A bumbling, self-important actor, an unsuccessful ladies' man and often the bearer of bad fortune. Toast considers himself a success despite his obviously failing career.
    • Berry also portrays a younger version of Steven's father, Colonel Gonville Toast, in the series 3 episode "Beauty Calls".
  • Doon Mackichan as Jane Plough (which she pronounces "pluff" /plʌf/), Toast's unhelpful agent. Prim and posh, she sees herself as superior to Toast, despite her failure to provide him with decent work. She was played by Fiona Mollison in the pilot.
  • Robert Bathurst as Ed Howzer-Black, Toast's landlord and an idle retired actor.
    • Bathurst also portrays Ed's father, Rupert Howzer-Black, in the series 3 episode "Beauty Calls".
  • Harry Peacock as Ray "Bloody" Purchase, Toast's fellow actor and rival, and a virulent homophobe. The two hate each other with a vengeance and are constantly in competition. While Purchase often seems to have the upper hand, Toast is still sometimes able to come out on top.
    • Peacock also portrays Ray's albino twin brother, Bill Purchase, in the series 3 episode "Man of Sex".
  • Tim Downie as Danny Bear, a studio sound engineer and stereotypical hipster who regularly hires Toast for voiceover work in a London studio.
  • Shazad Latif as Clem Fandango, another hipster who is doing work experience in the recording studio. Clem routinely says to Toast "Hello Steven, this is Clem Fandango, can you hear me?" to which Toast is forced to reply with some variation of "Yes, I can hear you Clem Fandango."
  • Tracy-Ann Oberman as Mrs Purchase, the wife of Ray Purchase and a prostitute who is having an affair with Toast. Despite being a prostitute, the only person she ever charges for sex is her husband.


  • Adrian Lukis as Colonel Blair Toast, Steven's eccentric older brother. An army veteran, he lost his hand in the Falklands War and now uses a stuffed rubber glove as a replacement.
  • Amanda Donohoe as Ellen, Toast's abusive and volatile ex-wife. Despite her poor treatment of him, Toast continues to have feelings for her.
  • Alan Ford as Alan, who is a hypnotist and a homeopath. Ford also appeared as a taxi driver called "Mick Carriage"
  • Peter Davison plays a fictionalised version of himself in several episodes.
  • Morgana Robinson makes one appearance in each of the three series, each time as a different character. She portrays Jemima Gina in "Addictive Personality", Lorna Wynde in "Fool in Love", and Emma in "Beauty Calls".
  • Geoffrey McGivern appears as three separate one-off characters, all of whom were temperamental directors working with Toast. He portrays Cliff Promise in "The Unspeakable Play", Acker Herron in "Afternoon Tea", and Norris Flipjack in "Desperate Measures".


SeriesEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
Pilot120 August 2012 (2012-08-20)
1620 October 2013 (2013-10-20)24 November 2013 (2013-11-24)
263 November 2014 (2014-11-03)8 December 2014 (2014-12-08)
3618 November 2015 (2015-11-18)23 December 2015 (2015-12-23)

Pilot episode (2012)

TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
"The Unspeakable Play"Michael CummingArthur Mathews and Matt Berry20 August 2012 (2012-08-20)

Toast has recently divorced. He is living with his middle-aged friend Ed and Ed's elderly agoraphobic mistress Goodhouse. Ed's wife lives in Swaziland.

Toast is starring in a play that is so bad and controversial that no-one says its name - and protesters are outside the theatre.

Toast auditions for a part in a TV drama as a gay undercover detective. The producer, Cliff, is in prison for holocaust denial, so Toast has to audition whilst visiting Cliff. Another inmate thinks Toast actually is a policeman and attacks him.

Ray Purchase, a rival actor whose wife is having an affair with Toast, attacks Toast. He is a police artist and frames Toast as a flasher.

Series 1 (2013)

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
11"Addictive Personality"Michael CummingArthur Mathews and Matt Berry20 October 2013 (2013-10-20)

Toast is about to have sex with an attractive young woman, Jemima, at her flat. He leaves when he sees that she is wearing an ankle monitor and was convicted of attempted murder for stabbing her boyfriend. She stalks him. Toast meets attractive young journalist Susan. She throws a supermarket trolley in a canal, then tells him that she is a recovering alcoholic. When she takes him to her flat, he sees that she is an extreme hoarder. Jemima turns up at Susan's flat and is arrested by the police. Susan rejects Toast for being weird.

Kikini, the daughter of the Nigerian ambassador has been the victim of unscrupulous plastic surgery by Ray Purchase which has made her look like Bruce Forsyth, so Ed invites her to stay at the flat to recuperate.

Toast is informed that he will be the recipient of an acting award, which he is told by his agent Jane Plough is for Best Actor. She later tells him that the award is for Worst Actor. He sends Kikini to accept the award on his behalf.
22"Afternoon Tea"Michael CummingArthur Mathews and Matt Berry27 October 2013 (2013-10-27)
Toast gets a part in a new play but tries to get out of it when he finds out about the director's disturbing past. The director is displeased with Toast's attitude, so he and Ray Purchase confronts Toast. In the meantime, while chasing a romantic endeavor, Toast runs into an old acting classmate. But all goes to hell when Toast finds out that he has been set up, unknowingly to both, to be as part of her documentary.
33"Vanity Project"Michael CummingArthur Mathews and Matt Berry3 November 2013 (2013-11-03)
Toast is caught in the middle of an acrimonious and expensive divorce. In need of money, he agrees to act in a vanity film about Prince Philip.
44"Submission"Michael CummingArthur Mathews and Matt Berry10 November 2013 (2013-11-10)
After helping the Royal Navy on a recent project, Toast is invited to the launch of their new nuclear submarine, the "Penetrator".
55"The End"Michael CummingArthur Mathews and Matt Berry17 November 2013 (2013-11-17)
Toast is tired of doing crummy voiceovers and appearing every night in his bad play. With the help of a new agent, Brooke Hooberman, he tries his hand at a new career: an author of erotic literature. His manuscript is well received but he struggles to find an ending. Eventually he decides to have the main character spontaneously combust. The laziness of the ending enrages Brooke, who spontaneously combusts in front of Toast.
66"Bonus Ball"Michael CummingMatt Berry and Arthur Mathews24 November 2013 (2013-11-24)
After losing £20,000 to Andrew Lloyd Webber in a celebrity poker game, Toast finds himself hunted by musical superstar and part-time theatre-land enforcer Michael Ball. Meanwhile Ray Purchase becomes determined to kill Toast. Michael Ball approaches Toast on stage in the middle of his bad play, while Ray Purchase tries to shoot him. Ray Purchase shoots Michael Ball instead, who dies on stage. The event is mistaken for part of the play, which receives rave reviews.

Series 2 (2014)

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
71"Match Fit"Michael CummingArthur Mathews and Matt Berry3 November 2014 (2014-11-03)
Toast accepts Ed's invitation to the Celebrities and Prostitutes Blow Football Tournament and becomes determined to win. He pays a prostitute, Wendy Nook, to be his partner. They lose the final against Ray Purchase and his wife. However, the Purchases are disqualified because Mrs Purchase is not a genuine prostitute, so Toast and Wendy win. Toast's prize is to have unprotected sex with Mrs Purchase whilst Ray watches.
82"Desperate Measures"Michael CummingArthur Mathews and Matt Berry10 November 2014 (2014-11-10)
After Ray Purchase snitches on him to the 'Tax People', Toast receives a massive tax bill, and is forced to take on some unappealing jobs to pay off the debt.
93"The Moosetrap"Michael CummingArthur Mathews and Matt Berry17 November 2014 (2014-11-17)
A return to the West End stage in the legendary 'whodunnit' play The Moose Trap is seriously jeopardised when Toast reveals the killer's identity in a radio interview.
104"High Winds Actor"Michael CummingArthur Mathews and Matt Berry24 November 2014 (2014-11-24)
After the tragic death of his friend Axel Jacklin, Britain's finest exponent of acting in high winds, Toast finds himself in demand for dramatic roles. Toast persuades Ed to let him join the Freemasons after discovering that Jacklin's director will only work with actors "on the square". Toast is fast-tracked into the Masons but his co-star Ray Purchase informs the director, who fires him.
115"Buried Alive!"Michael CummingArthur Mathews and Matt Berry1 December 2014 (2014-12-01)
Toast is very excited to land a major role in a big movie, but when his co-star, Max Gland, has an accident on set, it has terrifying consequences for Toast's role.
126"Fool in Love"Michael CummingArthur Mathews and Matt Berry8 December 2014 (2014-12-08)
An old heartbreaker flame of Toast's, Lorna Wynde, turns up in London. She seems to still have feelings for him, but he worries she is just trying to make her husband, Josh Homme, jealous. Meanwhile, Ed is hosting his niece Honeysuckle, who has a terrible allergy that makes her behave as if possessed, so Toast has to sleep on the sofa. Although Ed promises a homeopath is coming to cure Honeysuckle, Toast cannot cope and goes to stay with Francis Bacon, who persuades him to move in with Lorna. Toast goes to confront Lorna's husband but accidentally cuts off his nose while confronting him, upsetting Lorna. He returns home to find that Honeysuckle is worse than ever, when Alan the Homeopath (Alan Ford) finally arrives and immediately cures her.

Series 3 (2015)

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
131"Over the Moon"Michael CummingArthur Mathews and Matt Berry18 November 2015 (2015-11-18)
A tipsy Toast appears on the chat show Lorraine and tells a story from his past that could bring down the U.S. government. Meanwhile, an actor who can do a perfect impression of Toast starts poaching his voiceover work. After realising what he said to Lorraine, Toast suffers stage fright ahead of his starring role in Macbeth, and cannot let go of a pillar in his dressing room. Alan the Homeopath cuts the pillar free and Toast performs while holding onto it. He is praised for his "pillar work". Toast's copycat is assassinated by U.S. government agents.
142"Beauty Calls"Michael CummingArthur Mathews and Matt Berry25 November 2015 (2015-11-25)
Ed is dating former beauty queen Penvelope - and Toast hooks up with her friend Clancy Moped. However, their romances are jeopardized when the guys are invited to judge a beauty contest.
153"Hamm on Toast"Michael CummingArthur Mathews and Matt Berry2 December 2015 (2015-12-02)
Mad Men star Jon Hamm is visiting London and Jane offers to introduce Toast to him. Toast is unimpressed by rumours of Hamm's legendary charisma. Toast's father (Brian Blessed) is dying and Blair wants Toast to help him ensure that they get all the inheritance, then divide it between them. Toast agrees but then suffers a head injury, which causes him to become obsessed with Jon Hamm. Meanwhile he repeatedly brushes off an attractive female fan due to his obsession with Hamm. He takes Hamm with him to see his father, who leaves everything to Hamm. Enraged, Blair throws Toast down 200 stairs, which cures his head injury and returns him to normal.
164"Bob a Job"Michael CummingArthur Mathews and Matt Berry9 December 2015 (2015-12-09)
Toast and Purchase perform the "sand dance" at Royal Variety Performance, hosted by Bob Monkhouse. Toast pulls a trap door, killing Monkhouse. Danny has sex reassignment surgery.
175"Man of Sex"Michael CummingArthur Mathews and Matt Berry16 December 2015 (2015-12-16)
When appearing in a play called "Man of Sex", Toast's co star is taken to rehab. Replacing him is the albino twin brother of Ray Purchase, Bill Purchase. Toast collapses whilst performing on stage, and is taken to hospital.
186"Global Warming"Michael CummingArthur Mathews and Matt Berry23 December 2015 (2015-12-23)
Toast is set to appear in a production of Twelfth Night at the Globe Theatre. He thinks that he will gain recognition by acting there, but is ridiculed because he will be in a cast consisting mostly of dogs. Angry about the play, he shouts at a foreign tourist and attracts the attention of the "PC Police". Before the first performance, the director realises that the play is a disaster so he and Toast burn down the theatre with a pipe before the performance is due to take place. Although officially it is blamed on Ed's lodger, everyone knows it was Toast and Jane fires him as a client. Toast is forced to perform in pornographic films with Ed.

Music and songs

The theme music, "Take My Hand" was composed by Matt Berry and was released on the album Witchazel.[4] Each episode also features a novelty song sung by Berry's character Toast, and others. The songs are sometimes sung partly to the Fourth Wall.


In 2015, Matt Berry and Arthur Mathews published Toast on Toast: Cautionary tales and candid advice, a spoof autobiography of Steven Toast.[5][6] It was also released as an audio book read by Matt Berry.


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