Happiness (TV Series 2001–2003)


Happiness (TV Series 2001–2003)

Danny Spencer is a voice artist who is recently bereaved and having a mid life crisis. As he continues to voice a kung fu bear he must also deal with his friends, including a high school friend, an old flame, two lazy unemployed no hopers, a 50 something who acts like a 20 year old and two dance music loving students who work with Danny at the voice studio. But none of this compares to the constant stress of turning 40 and remembering your youth.
IMDb  7.3 /10
Creator Declan Lowney
Creator Dave Cummings
Creator Paul Whitehouse
Release Date2001-03-20
Content Rating
Awards2 wins & 2 nominations.
CompanyBritish Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)
Danny Spencer 12 episodes, 2001-2003
Rachel Roche 12 episodes, 2001-2003
Terry Roche 12 episodes, 2001-2003
Angus O'Connor 12 episodes, 2001-2003
Sid 12 episodes, 2001-2003
Charlie Doyle 12 episodes, 2001-2003
Toby C 12 episodes, 2001-2003
Big Issue Seller / ... 8 episodes, 2001-2003
Toby X 6 episodes, 2001
Clarista Hoult
Clarista Hoult
Sarah Roche / ... 5 episodes, 2001-2003

Happiness (TV series)

Happiness is a British sitcom with dramatic, melancholy overtones written by Paul Whitehouse and David Cummings with Whitehouse in the lead role.

There were two series broadcast on BBC2, the first running in 2001 and the second in 2003. Whitehouse has stated that there will probably not be a third.


Whitehouse plays Danny Spencer, a successful voice artist for a popular cartoon bear called Dexter. Spencer is trying to come to terms with the death of his wife, though much of his concern is that he finds he isn't feeling the loss as deeply as he should.

Approaching his fortieth birthday he is independent and single and the programme's themes are largely bound up with the opportunities and problems that this situation creates. His friends are a disparate group, ranging from the strait-laced Terry and Rachel (Mark Heap, Fiona Allen), through the down and outs - Charlie and Sid (Johnny Vegas and Pearce Quigley), to the archetypal man in a mid-life crisis, Angus (Clive Russell). To varying degrees these friends offer Spencer inspiration and cautionary tales as to how Spencer can fill his life.


Series 1

#TitleOriginal air date
1Personality Crisis20 March 2001
2I'm Doing It for Me27 March 2001
3Chained to an Idiot3 April 2001
4Desperate Dan10 April 2001
5Celebration17 April 2001
6Forty24 April 2001

Series 2

#TitleOriginal air date
1A Little Bit of Love14 January 2003
2A Nice Person21 January 2003
3Real Dancing28 January 2003
4Perspective4 February 2003
5Old Bloke at the Door11 February 2003
6People Move On18 February 2003


  • British Comedy Awards, 2001 Won Johnny Vegas, best newcomer for his role as Charlie. Nominations Best TV Comedy drama.
  • Won Johnny Vegas, best newcomer for his role as Charlie.
  • Johnny Vegas, best newcomer for his role as Charlie.
  • Nominations Best TV Comedy drama.
  • Best TV Comedy drama.
  • British Academy Television Awards, 2002 Nominations Situation comedy award.
  • Nominations Situation comedy award.
  • Situation comedy award.

Critical reception

This article contains too many or overly lengthy quotations for an encyclopedic entry. Please help improve the article by presenting facts as a neutrally worded summary with appropriate citations. Consider transferring direct quotations to Wikiquote. (March 2008)

Simon Hoggart described the series as "part of that newish genre, the situation tragedy", and Andrew Billen criticised it for the "emptiness at its heart and not enough going on peripherally to make up for it". Nicholas Barber thought it "an impressive leap from catchphrase-heavy sketch comedy" with "topnotch supporting actors". Many reviews singled out Johnny Vegas's performance as being the strongest among the cast.