There are TV programmes you can look back at realise how many stars it produced (the original Comic Strip on C4 is a good example).
Then there are the programmes in which some of the participants go on to greater things, while at least one of the ensemble gets cruelly forgotten.
I was reminded of this recently when I saw the new advert for SpecSavers which ‘stars’ an actor called Matthew Cottle.
His big TV break was appearing in the so-so BBC2 comedy Game On in the mid 90s, alongside none other than Ben Chaplin and Samantha Janus.
These two went onto bigger and better things (movies alongside Nicole Kidman/EastEnders), but poor old Matthew’s career nosedived and he hasn’t really appeared in anything for longer than one episode since. That’s gotta hurt.
It also put me in mind of the early-80s sketch show Three Of A Kind, which starred Lenny Henry, Tracey Ullman and David Copperfield – who?
Lenny Henry is, of course, now one of the UK’s best-loved comedians, while Tracey Ullman went on to have huge success in America and her show was the launch pad for a rather insignificant comedy called The Simpsons. Copperfield did pretty much nothing else and is now a mere Gagfax in the annals of TV history.
How many more nearly-rans are there out there?
* Image courtesy of Wikipedia