Big Boys

From Big Boys to Curb Your Enthusiasm: 14 shows you can't miss in early 2024

Louisa Harland in Renegade Nell, Larry David from Curb Your Enthusiasm and Ncuti Gatwa and Millie Gibson in Doctor Who over a multicoloured TV screen backdrop

Here are just some of the many shows to look out for, starting with a jam-packed January.

Gladiators - 13 January, BBC One

The hit 1990s game show returns, promising tight competition and even tighter spandex. Can members of the public take on the elite cabal of athletes and bodybuilders?

Dylan Llewellyn and Jon Pointing re-enrol in Big Boys as series two begins filming

Dylan Llewellyn, Jack Rooke and Jon Pointing

Big Boys focuses on Jack, played by Dylan Llewellyn (Derry Girls), who, in series one, began his university degree recovering from the death of his father and coming to terms with his sexuality. When he was thrown together with the slightly mature student Danny, played by Jon Pointing (Plebs), the two began an unlikely friendship.

Jack Rooke’s comedy series Big Boys returning to Channel 4 for second series

Two men stand back to back against a green background, with text reading "Big Boys is coming back!"

The first series followed the unlikely friendship between Jack, a grieving closeted fresher, and Danny, a quintessential lad silently struggling with mental health issues, as they navigated their first year at Brent University.  

The series stars Dylan Llewelyn as Jack, Jon Pointing as Danny, Camille Coduri as Jack’s mum Peggy, Izuka Hoyle and Olisa Odele as the boys’ friends Corinne and Yemi, and Katie Wix as the perennial student's union officer Jules. 

TV Diary: Ian Katz

Credit: Channel 4

Wake up to an item on Radio 4’s Today about the shortage of HRT drugs. Women are resorting to trading them illegally in car parks. The Govern­ment has had to appoint an “HRT tsar”. A pharmaceutical executive explains it is partly to do with supply chain problems but mostly the result of a surge in demand triggered by a Channel 4 documentary presented by Davina McCall last year. 

Now Davina has made a follow-up film and people are worried that even more women will have the temerity to ask for treatment. 

"It’s the closest I'll ever get to being on Big Brother”: Big Boys creator Jack Rooke on freshers, grief and growing up

Jack Rooke (centre) with Dylan Llewellyn as Jack and Camille Coduri (credit: Channel 4)

It’s 2013, and the characters in Jack Rooke’s new sitcom Big Boys are navigating the first night of freshers at a typically terrible student bar. Apologies to any millennials horrified to hear their recent university experience described as a period piece, but Rooke’s sharp observations of early 2010s British culture are viscerally transportive to those halcyon days of Tumblr, Cherry Sourz and Darude’s ‘Sandstorm’.

Channel 4 announces new scripted comedy Big Boys

(credit: Channel 4)

Created and narrated by Jack Rooke, the series will follow Jack (Llewellyn), a shy but sweet closeted boy in his first year of university. Jack forms an unlikely friendship with the laddish and boisterous Danny, played by Jon Pointing (Plebs).

Having spent the past year at home, grieving the loss of his father with his mum, Jack is thrown headfirst into university life, starting with the ecstasy and agony of Freshers' week. While he seems the polar opposite of his friend Danny, the pair form a close bond over the chaos of first year.