David Mitchell and Robert Webb

13th April 2021

British comedy duo David Mitchell and Robert Webb have been making audiences laugh for over two decades. They began their career performing on stage and eventually transitioned to the world of television with their breakout sketch comedy shows “The Mitchell and Webb Situation” and “That Mitchell and Webb Look.” In 2003, they starred on the hit British sitcom “Peep Show,” which helped bring them to international audiences. The series ran for nine seasons and received several awards. In 2017 they reunited for the sitcom “Back,” which is now in its second season. Mitchell and Webb join Bullseye to talk about their latest show, their experiences performing together as a double act over the years, and why they often create “unpleasant” characters in their shows. Near the end of the interview, we also talk with Robert Webb about some controversial tweets he posted in 2018 and later deleted that criticized a charity that provides care and support for transgender and gender nonconforming kids.

Episode notes

Robert Webb and David Mitchell

Photo Credit: Photo by YANN COATSALIOU/AFP via Getty Images

Mitchell and Webb on their extensive careers in comedy and latest series Back

David Mitchell and Robert Webb met in 1993. They were college students at the University of Cambridge in the UK and were both performing in various theater productions where they became fast friends. They eventually took to the stage as a double act: Mitchell and Webb. Soon, stage shows turned into TV writing gigs which then eventually led to their own sketch TV shows: The Mitchell and Webb Situation and That Mitchell and Webb Look

In 2003, they starred on the British sitcom called Peep Show, which helped make them international names. Peep Show follows the lives of two dysfunctional roommates, but with a unique twist: instead of the show being set in front of a live audience, the camera is mounted on each character’s head providing a point-of-view experience for the viewer. 

The series ran for an incredible nine seasons. It helped launch the careers of Academy Award-winning actress Olivia Colman and Emmy Award-winning writer Jesse Armstrong, who went on to create the HBO show Succession

The duo reunited for the sitcom Back, which premiered in 2017. The series follows estranged foster-brothers, Stephen and Andrew, and their long struggle for control over the family pub. Back just returned for a second season on IFC.

Content warning: While most of this conversation with Mitchell & Webb is fun and lighthearted, it concludes on a serious note. During the interview, Jesse asks Robert Webb about some past statements he made that were critical of the British charity Mermaids, which provides care and support for transgender and gender nonconforming children.

If there is a gender nonconforming child in your life and you’re looking for help, Gender Spectrum provides resources and training around gender for families, teachers, doctors, mental health workers, and other professionals. They’re online at genderspectrum.org.

Our company, Maximum Fun, has also been proud to support the work of Trans Lifeline. If you are transgender or gender nonconforming and you need emotional support or are facing a crisis, you can find them online at translifeline.org, or call 877-565-8860.

In this episode...

Producer
Associate Producer
Maximum Fun Production Fellow
Maximum Fun Production Fellow

Guests

  • David Mitchell
  • Robert Webb

About the show

Bullseye is a celebration of the best of arts and culture in public radio form. Host Jesse Thorn sifts the wheat from the chaff to bring you in-depth interviews with the most revered and revolutionary minds in our culture.

Bullseye has been featured in Time, The New York Times, GQ and McSweeney’s, which called it “the kind of show people listen to in a more perfect world.” Since April 2013, the show has been distributed by NPR.

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People

Producer

Associate Producer

Maximum Fun Production Fellow

Maximum Fun Production Fellow

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