The Armstrongs

The Armstrongs

infobox television
show_name = The Armstrongs

caption =
format = Drama/Documentary
runtime = 30 minutes
Christmas Special: 90 minutes
creator = Fergus O'Brien
executive producer =
starring = Ann Armstrong
John Armstrong
Michael Handel
Basil Mienie
country = UK
network = BBC
first_aired = February 22, 2006
last_aired = May 10, 2006; and a Christmas special December, 2006
num_episodes = 12 (Series 1); and a Christmas special
imdb_id = 0775350

"The Armstrongs" is a British television drama/documentary series broadcast on the BBC in the UK. The Armstrongs is an access-all-areas insight into the unorthodox and sometimes ruthless business antics that are par for the course at "U-Fit", Coventry's third-biggest double glazing company. The show is narrated by actor Bill Nighy.The program is unlikely to be screened anymore as John & Ann have had exchanged conflicting views with the BBC as the majority of the programme was largely contrived in agreement with the Armstrongs who were paid allegedly £185,000 to go with the flow;"if they do run it again they will spill the fucking beans!" added John

This was the second TV outing for the Armstrongs. The first was in a one-off documentary in 2003 called "The Office Christmas Party", which showed the preparations for U-Fit's Christmas party.

There is some discussion as to whether it is a true fly-on-the wall documentary, a fictional comedy with an elaborately constructed presence on the internet, or a mixture of the two. Note that U-Fit the company appears in the online Yellow Pages, not known for collaborating with hoaxes. John is a keen cyclist, and lives near Maxstoke in Coventry. His company is genuine, but now spends a lot of time in his holiday home in France. John can sometimes be found racing down dual-carriageways in lycra, competing in the Coventry Road Club cycling time trials on a Thursday night.


Driven by the desire for profit, management team John and Ann Armstrong are constantly spying on their unwieldy sales force with CCTV cameras and phone taps. But motivating the team is an uphill struggle and John and Ann must resort to ever-more desperate measures to boost sales. Despite their best endeavours, their plans backfire with alarming frequency. However, woe betide anyone who gets in the way of their dream of becoming multi-millionaires. Ann suffered a miscarriage in the final episode, but even this did not prevent the Armstrongs attending a signage exhibition less than a week later in Sin City itself, sunny Las Vegas. This caused debate due to the apparent lack of concern shown by John and Ann.

The idea is a kind of all-too-real-life version of The Office, set in Coventry. Ann is the more talkative of the two, a mixture of starry-eyed optimist and petty disciplinarian. John mostly just swears a lot and criticises Ann's schemes for improving the company - such as hiring a Zimbabwean motivational guru called Basil Mienie (pronounced 'meanie').


Ann Armstrong:

"I won't shit on anyone's head unless I have to, but if I do, it will be from a very great height."

"We've tried the carrot. We've tried the stick. We've tried chocolate bars. We've tried everything."

"I think that I'm going to have to put my foot down with a bit of a firm hand."

John gift-wrapping a frozen ready-meal as a raffle prize for later that evening: "You can't do that John, it might poison them". John: "Oh fuck 'em"

John Armstrong:

"We could get rid of Sally and make the others think 'shit'. It’ll be like taking dynamite to a naked flame festival."

"It's my way or the highway."

"Fame is a funny old business. It can open doors for you. Me and Ann went for a meal recently and Ann got extra mash and I got an egg. I thought 'I like this'."

"You're trying to put the tyre on the rim, and we haven't even got the spokes in yet. If we're going to stop by the roadside and we're going to be putting a wheel back on, we might as well get on a completely different road and go for it. What I'm saying, is before you go down that road, you've got to make sure the vehicle's got oil and water in, right?"

"You know you've made it when you've got your own blimp."

"You know you've made it when you've got your own flag."

"'Heads are going to fucking roll, baby'..... said Anne Boleyn."

"We're trying to make paper airplanes out of concrete."

"This is where the buck stops; this is the line in the sand."

"He's in the right place, but in the wrong fucking universe."

"There's the door, take it or leave it. We don't fucking care."

"Motivation is a bit like taking a bath. Unless you have one every day, your attitude stinks."

"You're really smart, you're like the man from Burtons. I'm like the man from ... not Burtons."

"What was, and now what is is, and is tomorrow a new day? Yes it is."

Basil Mienie:

"They are all dead. They just haven’t fallen over yet."

"If it were up to me I would fire the whole damn lot"

"Doing personal stuff at work makes you a thief and you are then stealing from your company"

"If you know so much do you want to run the show or are you going to let me"

The Armstrongs: The Movie

A film length special was made for Christmas in 2006. It was compiled from material from the series.


*On June 14, 2006, it was announced on the official Armstrongs website that the couple had signed a book deal. The book is to be a sharp, witty A-Z of life from their quirky point of view. The book will be out sometime in October, 2006.
*In early 2006, Ann had a miscarriage. She is now expecting again. Angus is expected to be born in November/December 2006. [ [,guid,6d429bde-7589-4cae-ab22-c4a0ed77527d.aspx] Dead link|date=March 2008]
*In August 2006, The Armstrongs opened a beauty and hair salon in Marston Green, near Birmingham; called Younique. [ [ Younique | Beauty Revealed | Home ] ] This has now ceased trading.


External links

* [ U-Fit official site]
* [ Younique website]
* [ Othello Wiki Book Project entry for Michael Handel]
* [ Basil Mienie]

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