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Michael Winterbottom, 2014


Maybe it’s the Italian sun or burgeoning big-screen success, but this follow-up to Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon’s Lake District-set odyssey is markedly more amiable and relaxed.

Gone is much of the acerbic edge that gave the first series its frisson – Coogan less lofty, Brydon less easily cowed.

But the pair’s improvised comic sparring is still cracking, the best moments coming when they take their impressions to absurd and side-splitting extremes, such as recasting Woody Allen in The Godfather or Frankie Howerd on location in, yes, Pompeii.

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