Miranda is a BBC television series written by and starring comedienne Miranda Hart, which first aired on BBC Two on 9 November 2009. The situation comedy also features Sarah Hadland, Tom Ellis, Patricia Hodge, James Holmes and Sally Phillips. The series is based on Hart's semi-autobiographical writing and followed a television pilot and the BBC Radio 2comedy Miranda Hart's Joke Shop.
Described as an "old-fashioned" sitcom, it received positive comments from critics and Hart won the 2009 Royal Television Society award for comedy performance for her role in the first series. A second series was commissioned and filming started in mid-2010. The series began airing on BBC Two and BBC HD on 15 November 2010. A third series began broadcasting from 26 December 2012 on BBC One.
Miranda (Miranda Hart) is 6 feet 1 inch (1.85 m) tall and gets called 'Sir' once too often. She has never fitted in with her old boarding school friends, Tilly (Sally Phillips) and Fanny (Katy Wix), and finds social situations awkward, especially around men. She is a constant disappointment to her mother, Penny (Patricia Hodge), who is desperate for her to get a proper job and a husband. Although Miranda owns and lives above her own joke shop, she lacks any real capacity for business, so it is managed by her childhood friend Stevie Sutton (Sarah Hadland). The restaurant next door was run by Clive Evans (James Holmes), until his chef, Gary Preston (Tom Ellis), a university friend whom Miranda fancies, purchased it from him. After many failed attempts at dating, Miranda and Gary decide to be just friends. However, when Gary gets a girlfriend called Rose (Naomi Bentley), it leads Miranda to start a new relationship with Michael Jackford (Bo Poraj), a local newsreader. The various episodes revolve around this set-up and the scenarios Miranda gets herself into.
Miranda (Miranda Hart) - An ungainly, socially awkward 30-something woman who frequently finds herself in bizarre situations. She is something of a misfit compared to her upper-middle class, privately educated background, opting to invest an inheritance from her uncle in a joke shop rather than pursuing a more "respectable" career, and balking at the supposedly suitable men her mother and schoolfriends try to set her up with. Miranda struggles with everyday adult life, often indulging in an odd, child-like manner (such as making faces and clothes for pieces of fruit, dubbing them "Fruit Friends"). Although she often irritates her friends and family with her behaviour, they largely tolerate her because of her good-hearted nature.
Gary (Tom Ellis) - A handsome, friendly chef; an old university friend of Miranda's. Although there has always been an undercurrent of attraction between the two, neither has pursued it until he gets a job at the restaurant next to the joke shop. Despite often being confused by Miranda's behaviour, Gary is generally endeared by her kind, open nature. Gary is more confident and worldly than Miranda, but he shares her insecurity in romantic situations, and also occasionally becomes embroiled in odd situations with her (such as pretending the two have sons called Cliff and Richard when cornered by a customer in the shop).
Stevie (Sarah Hadland) - Miranda's childhood friend, and the assistant manager of the joke shop (although in reality she does most of the work due to Miranda's lack of business sense).She is generally more level-headed and ambitious than Miranda, but is not adverse to becoming involved in her strange behaviour, or indeed indulging in some of her own - notably performing Heather Small's "Proud" along with a cardboard cut-out of the singer whenever she is pleased with herself.Stevie also shares Miranda's lack of success with men, often coming across as desperate when she chats someone up.
Penny (Patricia Hodge) - Miranda's upper-middle class mother, a "lady who lunches" and who likes to impress her friends and fellow W.I. members. Her main mission in life is to find her daughter a man and a better job - she despairs at Miranda's decision to run a joke shop, and her tendency to reject suitable (or at least available) men. Penny's catchphrase is "Such fun!", normally used to describe an activity or event where she believes Miranda may find a husband; she tends to blithely ignores Miranda's obvious disinterest or even horror at said activity. When two men proposes to Miranda at once in the final episode of series three, Penny desperately screams "just say YES!", not even caring at this point which man she says it to. Although often embarrassed by her daughter and prepared to humiliate her (to the point of holding up a placard offering to pay someone to marry Miranda), Penny's actions are borne out of genuine love and concern for her.
Tilly (Sally Phillips) - An old schoolfriend of Miranda's who, unlike her, fits right in with their private school background, often showing more in common with Penny than Miranda does. She will often address Miranda by her school nickname, "Queen Kong" (due to her stature), despite Miranda's obvious distaste for it, but her criticisms and attempts to help Miranda are generally well-intentioned. Her catchphrase is "bear with", usually said as she breaks off from conversations to read text messages. Whilst Tilly seems more confident and together than Miranda, she has no more luck in romantic terms, notably when her fiance makes a pass at Miranda behind her back.
Clive (James Holmes) - The camp, vicious-tongued owner of the restaurant Gary works in. He often tries to help Miranda and Gary get together, but is usually more of a hinderance (such as accidentally revealing Gary has a secret wife). He is absent from series three, having sold the restaurant to Gary off-screen.