Swiss Toni [2003-2004]


Swiss Toni is a spin-off of BBC sketch-comedy 'The Fast Show', and stars Charlie Higson in the title role,
as an egotistical but ultimately insecure second-hand car dealer who compares almost anything to making love to a
beautiful woman. Swiss Toni's staff comprises Miranda (Emma Rydal), his secretary; Geoff (Simon Day), the senior
salesman who has a drinking problem; and Paul (Rhys Thomas), a junior salesman. The other recurring characters 
are Swiss Toni's wife Ruth and his elderly mother (played by Elizabeth Spriggs, known to Doctor Who fan as Tabby
in 'Paradise Towers'). Mark Benton from 'Rose' also appears in two episodes as Crazy Alan. In the second series
Swiss Toni's marriage has failed, his wife is having an affair with Geoff, Swiss Toni is living with his mother and his
business is on the rocks. A total of 16 episodes of 'Swiss Toni' were broadcast on BBC3 between 10 February 2003
and 14 September 2004.

'Cars Don't Make You Fat' was the first episode of the series, and features Tom Baker in a marvellous
performance as Derek Asquith, a film director who was famous in the 1970s for films such as The Nun Devils. The
episode begins with Swiss being angered by a TV advertisement for a nearby store, Crazy Alan's Bicycle Madhouse.
The ad stars billiards champion Steve Davis promoting the bike shop, saying that bicycles keep you fit. Swiss thinks 
the ad states that his cars make people fat, and he decides to make his own ad. Who should walk into Swiss Toni
Motors asking to use the toilet? None other than Derek Asquith, of course. Derek agrees to make an ad for Swiss,
but his idea of a TV ad features a midget dressed as Swiss Toni, a nun and a goat... and the cameraman is in a
wheelchair. Needless to say, production of the ad does not go according to plan, but things work out in the end and
the ad finally airs with the midget, the nun, the goat ... and Steve Davis using the same script as the Crazy Alan ad.
The first episode is worth watching for Tom Baker's appearance alone.

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