Toast of London

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Toast of London
Toast of London title card.png
Title card for series 1–3
Also known asToast of Tinseltown
GenreSitcom
Created by
Directed by Michael Cumming
Starring
Theme music composerMatt Berry
Opening theme"Take My Hand"
Ending theme"Beatmaker" (Toast of Tinseltown)
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original languageEnglish
No. of series4
No. of episodes25 (list of episodes)
Production
ProducersKate Daughton (Toast of London)
Charlie Leech (Toast of Tinseltown)
Running time23 minutes (Toast of London)
28 minutes (Toast of Tinseltown)
Production companies Objective Media Group
Objective Fiction (2022–)
wiip studios (2022–)
Original release
Network Channel 4
Release20 October 2013 (2013-10-20) 
23 December 2015 (2015-12-23)
Network BBC Two
Release4 January (2022-01-04) 
8 February 2022 (2022-02-08)

Toast of London is a British television sitcom. 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 offstage than performing on it.

Contents

Its fourth series, set in the United States, was titled Toast of Tinseltown.

Production

All episodes are directed by Michael Cumming.

Three series, under the title Toast of London, were broadcast on Channel 4. Series 2 and 3 were shot at the West London Film Studios. In the United States, Toast of London was available on IFC.

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. Mathews later said that they had an idea for "Toast in America", but that no deadline was set. [1] In December 2017, Channel 4 officially renewed the show for another series. [2]

During the COVID-19 pandemic, a YouTube channel with new audio skits of Toast of London was created, [3] whilst in 2021 the "Toast in America" series was confirmed as a six-part television project for the BBC, under the title Toast of Tinseltown. [4] The series debuted on BBC Two on 4 January 2022 with all episodes of Toast of Tinseltown uploaded to the BBC iPlayer at the same time, alongside the three series of Toast of London. [5] [6] [7]

Cast and characters

Overview

CharacterPortrayed by Toast of London Toast of Tinseltown
Pilot Series 1 Series 2 Series 3 COVID-19 Specials
201220132014201520212022
Main characters
Steven Toast Matt Berry Main
Colonel ToastDoes not appearMainDoes not appear
Jane Plough Fiona Mollison MainDoes not appear
Doon Mackichan Does not appearMainDoes not appear
Brooke
Hooberman
Does not appearMain
Ed
Howzer-Black
Robert Bathurst Main
Rupert
Howzer-Black
Does not appearMainDoes not appear
Ray "Bloody" Purchase Harry Peacock Main
Bill PurchaseDoes not appearMainDoes not appear
Danny Bear Tim Downie Main
Clem Fandango Shazad Latif Main
Mrs. Purchase Tracy-Ann Oberman Main
Russ Nightlife
D. B. Cooper
Fred Armisen Does not appearMain
Billy Tarzana Rashida Jones Does not appearMain
Milly TarzanaDoes not appearMain

Main

In Toast of Tinseltown, additional main characters include:

Recurring

Guest

Episodes

Series overview

SeriesEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast airedNetwork
Pilot 120 August 2012 (2012-08-20) Channel 4
1 620 October 2013 (2013-10-20)24 November 2013 (2013-11-24)
2 63 November 2014 (2014-11-03)8 December 2014 (2014-12-08)
3 618 November 2015 (2015-11-18)23 December 2015 (2015-12-23)
Tinseltown 64 January 2022 (2022-01-04)8 February 2022 (2022-02-08) BBC Two

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.
overall
No. in
series
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 Bamalam, 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.

Guest appearances: Morgana Robinson as Jemima Gina and Emma Fryer as Susan Random.
22"Afternoon Tea"Michael CummingArthur Mathews and Matt Berry27 October 2013 (2013-10-27)

Toast has a part in a new play but tries to get out of it when he hears the director has murdered actors whom he found difficult. The director is displeased with Toast's attitude, so he and Ray confront Toast.

While chasing a romantic endeavour, Toast runs into an old acting classmate. Toast hires a hotel room and a call girl. Things go wrong for Toast when he finds out that he has been set up, unknowingly to both, to be as part of the classmate's documentary about prostitution.

Guest appearances: Geoffrey McGivern as Acker Herron and Emily Bruni as Kika Bright.
33"Vanity Project"Michael CummingArthur Mathews and Matt Berry3 November 2013 (2013-11-03)

In need of money to fund his divorce, Toast agrees to act in a vanity film about Prince Philip.

Guest appearances: Alan Ford as Mick Carriage, Amanda Donohoe as Ellen Toast, James Lance as Martin Aynuss, and Stanley Townsend as Mr. Fasili.
44"Submission"Michael CummingArthur Mathews and Matt Berry10 November 2013 (2013-11-10)

After performing voice-overs for the Royal Navy on a recent project, Toast is invited to the launch of their new nuclear submarine, the "Penetrator".

Guest appearances: Terence Harvey as Lord Fotheringham, Rufus Jones as Toby Hopkinson-Finch, and Rachel Shelley as Commander Scott-Gorham.
55"The End"Michael CummingArthur Mathews and Matt Berry17 November 2013 (2013-11-17)

Toast meets a young Indian woman, Kate, and her aunt, Deepa, in a bar. Kate says that Deepa is deaf and blind. Toast and Kate have sex together twice whilst Deepa is in the room. The footage is uploaded to the internet, where it is viewed 500,000 times.

Toast is tired of doing voice-overs and appearing every night in his bad play. With the help of a new agent, Brooke, he tries to become an author of erotic literature. His manuscript is well received, but it requires an ending, which he has difficulty writing. He decides to have the protagonist spontaneously combust. The laziness of that enrages his literary agent, who spontaneously combusts in front of Toast. Jane is angry with Toast for trying to find a new agent.

Guest appearances: Carol Cleveland as Brooke Hooberman.
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 West End theatre enforcer Michael Ball. Ray becomes determined to kill Toast after discovering Toast's affair with his wife. Ball approaches Toast on stage in the middle of his bad play, while Ray tries to shoot him. Ray shoots Ball instead, who dies on stage. The event is mistaken for part of the play, which receives rave reviews.

Guest appearances: Michael Ball.

Series 2 (2014)

No.
overall
No. in
series
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
71"Match Fit"Michael CummingArthur Mathews and Matt Berry3 November 2014 (2014-11-03)

Toast is sent by Jane to what she tells him is an audition to play Charles Dickens. However, the position available is for a tour guide for "What the Dickens", an open-top bus tour of London. Toast reluctantly does the tour, during which he encounters Ray, who is leading Beefeater anti-gay tours.

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 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 informs on him to the Inland Revenue, Toast receives a massive tax bill, and is forced to take on some unappealing jobs to pay off the debt. He is hired to direct a stage version of Calendar Girls, but is soon sacked. One of the cast is flying him home when the plane crashes. Toast flies to the Democratic Republic of the Congo to make an advertisement for cigarettes.
93"The Moosetrap"Michael CummingArthur Mathews and Matt Berry17 November 2014 (2014-11-17)
In a radio interview about the legendary whodunit play "The Moose Trap", Toast reveals the killer's identity. Toast also finds out through Blair that the announcer on University Challenge is retiring and applies for the role, much to Jane's annoyance. At the interview with Jeremy Paxman, Paxman questions Toast about revealing the end of the Moose Trap, leading to an altercation and Paxman falling out of a window. Audiences at the Moose Trap collapse, leading to the death of another actor, and the play is forced to close.
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 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 starring the legendary Max Gland. Max orders Toast to get him a dog, so Toast steals one from a girl. His first scene on set is to be buried alive, but before he can be dug up, Max shoots himself and the dog during an argument with the director. The shoot is abandoned and Toast is left buried. Using his unnecessarily complicated new phone he manages to survive and even speak to a number of contacts but none of them come to his aid. He is eventually saved by a fracking drill.
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 gluten 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.
overall
No. in
series
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 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 jeopardised when the guys are invited to judge a politically incorrect beauty contest, coincidentally the same one that their respective fathers had previously judged in 1972. Peter Davison and his obnoxious girlfriend have moved in with Ed and Toast, causing much annoyance with his horrible homebrew wine and refusal to do the washing-up. The boys at Scramble Studios sabotage a date between Toast and Clancy by forcing him to work late. Toast and a reluctant Ed go to judge the beauty contest, which is held in a barn in the middle of nowhere. Toast decides to leave, but before he can, feminists (including Clancy and Penvelope) invade the beauty contest. Toast and Ed are dumped, and the story is printed with the same headline as for their fathers. Toast finds that Davison and his girlfriend have accidentally poisoned themselves with homebrew wine, so he and Ed have to do the washing-up themselves.
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 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 only agrees to perform because Kevin Spacey will be watching and may cast him in House of Cards . Toast is put in charge of getting a gift for Prince Charles. Mrs Purchase has a new job as a drone operative in Afghanistan. Danny plans to have sex reassignment surgery and Toast finds him a discount option, but Danny backs out at the last minute. Toast keeps the fake breasts intended for the surgery to give to Tom Jones, but forgets about the present for Charles. When it turns out he has no present for Charles other than the fake breasts, Monkhouse attempts to defuse the situation with a joke, but Toast pulls a trap door, killing Monkhouse. Spacey has gone missing in action in Afghanistan (presumably accidentally killed by Toast and Mrs Purchase) so Toast's performance in the Royal Variety Performance was for nothing.
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 Bill Purchase, the albino twin brother of Ray Purchase. Meanwhile, Toast has a new relationship with a "doctor of drumming", but he starts to find her incessant drumming very irritating. Bill plays a number of cruel and disgusting practical jokes on Toast, leading to him collapsing whilst performing on stage. His girlfriend performs CPR using her drumming expertise, but Toast dumps her.
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", who then follow him to a café where he complains about a breastfeeding woman, and a porn theatre, which he leaves after discovering that the film stars Ed. Before the first performance at the Globe, 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. Toast is forced to perform in pornographic films with Ed.

COVID-19 Specials (2021)

During the COVID-19 pandemic, a new YouTube channel with new audio skits of Toast of London was created, [3] whilst in 2021 the "Toast in America" series was confirmed as a six-part television project for the BBC, under the title Toast of Tinseltown. [4] The series debuted on BBC Two on 4 January 2022 with all episodes of Toast of Tinseltown uploaded to the BBC iPlayer at the same time, alongside the three series of Toast of London. [5] [6] [7]

Series 4: Toast of Tinseltown (2022)

No.
overall
No. in
series
Title [8] Directed byWritten byOriginal air date
191"Anger Man"Michael CummingArthur Mathews and Matt Berry4 January 2022 (2022-01-04)
Toast is being considered for a role in America, but the part is given to Ray Purchase. Toast has anger issues, so he attends a course on anger management given by Des Wigwam. Toast visits the Colonial Club to apologise to his friends, but they only attended because he owes them money. Toast apologises to Ray Purchase for sleeping with his wife, enraging Purchase, and Toast pushes Purchase out of a window. Purchase breaks his legs and Toast gets the part. He flies to Hollywood.
202"LA Story"Michael CummingArthur Mathews and Matt Berry11 January 2022 (2022-01-11)
Toast is staying with Russ Nightlife in Hollywood. Toast is being considered for a role in a movie with Daniel Day-Lewis. When Day-Lewis surprises Toast at a party, Toast bites off Day-Lewis's ear. Day-Lewis retires from acting and the film is cancelled.
213"The Scorecard"Michael CummingArthur Mathews and Matt Berry18 January 2022 (2022-01-18)
Toast attends a voice-over studio and is dismayed to find Danny Bear and Clem Fandango working there, on exchange from London. Toast has sex with Shepherd Jerbil, a clinical sexologist who ranks her partners on scorecards. Toast is unable to remember his line in a movie, ruining an expensive shot. Russ Nightlife's housekeeper posts the director's low sexual scorecard online using Toast's account. In retaliation, the director publishes Toast's low scorecard on a billboard and in a magazine.
224"Doctor Grainger"Michael CummingArthur Mathews and Matt Berry25 January 2022 (2022-01-25)
Toast attends an acting class on playing doctors and is a natural. To make more money for his rent, he decides to try being cast in a medical drama, the producer and director of which are horrible people who pretend to be very friendly. The villain of the show is played by Carmen, an obnoxious singer and diva who embraces the role by being rude to people on the street. Dr. Grainger,Toast's character is loved by the viewers and he gets fan mail, and is signed off for 2 seasons. Toast is asked to visit a couple's sick mother - supposedly a fan - but it turns out the couple are tired of their sick relative and wanted him to turn off her life support system. Toast refuses and flees the hospital, but is accused of murder later. While proven innocent, the producers think this reflects badly on their show. Toast asks for a pay-rise but instead his character is killed off and he is written out of the series.
235"Death Valley"Michael CummingArthur Mathews and Matt Berry1 February 2022 (2022-02-01)
Toast is cast in a Western but his trailer is abandoned in Death Valley. As he is wandering the desert, he is captured by a Manson-like madman called Barney, and his cult of crazy hippie girlfriends, and forced to sign a contract that he will look for a specific rattlesnake for him, and is given a goldfish to deliver. He stumbles into an old west tavern, and is given directions by a prospector and a prostitute. Meeting Rusty, he gives him the goldfish which he needed for a miniature Dolphin World set, but since he ran out of food, they are forced to eat the goldfish. As Toast is taking a dump outside he is faced with a giant sidewinder rattlesnake, which bites and kills Rusty but Toast manages to capture it. He is then attacked by a tiger that bites his hand off. He gets help back at the tavern by the prostitute who gives him a freezer for his arm and a cart. He delivers the snake to Barney but the snake died and dried out on the way. As the hippies try to shoot him, local cops arrive and arrest Toast for ambushing a film crew, while the hippies have mysteriously disappeared.
246"Monster Mash"Michael CummingArthur Mathews and Matt Berry8 February 2022 (2022-02-08)
Toast is starring in the new Star Wars movie, but his scene keeps being delayed. He keeps getting kidnapped by two inept criminals (one having dentures like Jaws from James Bond) but they throw him out of their truck when they realize it is not whom they wanted. When Russ Nightlife gets even more paranoid than usual after one of his old friends died "mysteriously" at the age of 85, Toast accidentally discovers a trunk full of money, a parachute and a gun in his wardrobe, and realizes he is actually D. B. Cooper. Milly is revealed to be an FBI agent and she arrests Russ. Toast visits a wine shop owned by Orson Welles and gets drunk during wine-tasting, but then gets called for his scene. It turns out Ray Purchase is starring in the film and Toast is just doing a voice-over for an animatronic villain. Toast is still drunk so he doesn't get to meet the Queen who was visiting the set to meet a British actor. At the end of the episode, Toast is kidnapped again in error by the two criminals, and one decides to get rid of him but the screen freezes as he aims his gun at him.

Music and songs

The theme music, "Take My Hand" was composed by Matt Berry and was released on the album Witchazel . [9] Each episode of Toast of London also features a novelty song sung by Berry's character Toast, and others. The songs are sometimes sung partly to the fourth wall.

Toast of Tinseltown employed a new end theme, a cover version of Swedish pop singer Doris' "Beatmaker" performed by Matt Berry and Emma Noble. [10]

Reception

On Rotten Tomatoes, the show has an approval rating of 84% to 90% based on 10 reviews, with an average rating of 8/10. [11] [12]

Awards

At the 61st Rose d'Or awards in 2022, Toast of Tinseltown was named as the best comedy. [13]

Book

In 2015, Matt Berry and Arthur Mathews published Toast on Toast: Cautionary Tales and Candid Advice, a spoof autobiography of Steven Toast. [14] It was also released as an audio book read by Matt Berry.

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References

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  2. "Toast of London Series 4 Renewal Announced by Channel 4". Premiere Date.
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