The Trip (2010 TV series)

The Trip

Poster for US theatrical run
Genre Sitcom
Directed by Michael Winterbottom
Starring Steve Coogan
Rob Brydon
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 2
No. of episodes 12
Producer(s) Andrew Eaton
Melissa Parmenter
Running time 30 mins
Production company(s) Revolution Films
Baby Cow Productions
Distributor BBC Worldwide
Original network BBC Two (2010-2014)
BBC HD (2010)
BBC Two HD (2014)
Sky Atlantic (2016 - present)
Picture format 1080i HDTV
576p SDTV
Audio format Dolby Digital Stereo
Original release 1 November 2010 – 9 May 2014
Preceded by A Cock and Bull Story
External links

The Trip is a 2010 British television sitcom series directed by Michael Winterbottom, starring Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon as fictionalised versions of themselves on a restaurant tour of northern England. The series was edited into a feature film and premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2010. The full series was first broadcast on BBC Two and BBC HD in the United Kingdom in November 2010. Both the TV series and film received very positive reviews.

A second series, The Trip to Italy, followed in 2014. Like the first series, it was edited into a feature film, and premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2014. The television series premiered on BBC Two in the United Kingdom in April 2014.

A third series is set to film in 2016 in Spain. It will premiere on Sky Atlantic in the United Kingdom.[1]


Series one

In an effort to impress his gourmet girlfriend, Mischa, actor Steve Coogan has accepted a commission from The Observer newspaper to go on a restaurant tour of the north of England. However, when Mischa insists they take a break from their relationship, Steve is forced to invite colleague and friend-of-sorts Rob Brydon. Coogan has a number of one-night stands, but is miserable both professionally and personally, despite being the bigger star; Brydon, with his young family, is more happy and affable. The two constantly argue and attempt to outdo and humiliate each other with their impersonations of Michael Caine and Sean Connery, for example, especially in the presence of attractive women. The competitive atmosphere is occasionally broken by conversations consisting of friendly and light-hearted improvised banter.

Series two

Rob and Steve are commissioned to do another restaurant tour, this time in Italy from Piedmont to Capri, following in the footsteps of the great Romantic poets. While on the tour, Rob wins a part in an American Michael Mann film.


Coogan and Brydon's roles as fictionalised versions of themselves are a continuation of their improvised performances in the film A Cock and Bull Story (2005), also directed by Michael Winterbottom.[2] In an interview with The Guardian, Steve Coogan said he and Brydon exaggerated "the aspects of ourselves that help the comedy ... I like playing with the fact that it might be me, to give it a bit more edge. So some of the conversations with Rob are funny, but some of them are very uncomfortable. They're sort of genuine arguments. It's a sort of an exaggeration of real life."[2]


The Trip received positive reviews. Andrea Mullaney of The Scotsman said that "on paper, The Trip sounds bloody awful: a cosy, luvvie giant in-joke for Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon", but went on to describe it as "completely brilliant" and "hilarious".[3] Brian Viner of The Independent said: "The Trip never fails to oblige. I love it for its originality and its daring."[4] John Crace of The Guardian described the show as "one of the funniest things on TV."[5] Director Richard Curtis described the series as one of the greatest television programmes of all time at the 2013 British Comedy Awards.[6] It was nominated for the 2011 BAFTA Television Award for Best Situation Comedy, and Steve Coogan won the award for Best Male Comedy Performance.[7] It won the best new programme award at the 2012 Broadcast awards in London.[8]

The Trip film received positive reviews from American critics. Roger Ebert of The Chicago Sun-Times gave the film three stars out of four, Joshua Rothkopf of Time Out New York five, and Ben Kenigsberg of Time Out Chicago four. Manohla Dargis of The New York Times gave the film 90/100. Joe Morgenstern of The Wall Street Journal gave the film 80/100. Noel Murray of The A.V. Club gave the film a B rating, saying that "there was no reason the film couldn't have been even funnier." John Anderson of Variety said "viewers will barely stop laughing." Eric Kohn of IndieWire gave the film a B+. The film currently holds an 89% "Certified Fresh" review score on Rotten Tomatoes, and Metacritic gave the film an average score of 82/100 based on 33 reviews. As of 1 September 2011 the film had grossed $1,926,866, of which $77,904 was on its opening weekend in the US.[9]

The second series, The Trip to Italy, also received positive reviews. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports that 87% of 54 film critics have given the film a positive review, with a rating average of 7.3 out of 10.[10] Stephanie Zacharek of The Village Voice wrote that The Trip to Italy "is basically more of the same Trip ... Now we know just what to expect from Coogan and Brydon, although as long as you're willing to settle in for the ride, that's not necessarily a bad thing."[11] Scott Foundas of Variety found the series a "warmly enjoyable continuation of their improvised cultural and culinary adventures."[12] William Goss of wrote: "Plenty enjoyable for fans of the first one, but by the end, it also has the consistency of reheated comfort food."[13] Amber Wilkinson of The Daily Telegraph gave the film version of The Trip to Italy a grade B score, writing that Coogan and Brydon's "improvisation has been honed to the point where the jokes land solidly without losing naturalism and the pair of them are clearly enjoying la dolce vita."[14]

A review article of the series was published in the online quarterly film journal Senses of Cinema in 2015, which reflects upon its relationships to poetry, the work of Walter Benjamin, allegory, tragedy, mourning, Italian neorealism, Romanticism, and The Gravediggers scene from Shakespeare's Hamlet.[15]


Series 1

Number Title Airdate Viewers
1 "The Inn at Whitewell" 1 November 2010 2.300 million (10.3%)[16]
2 "L'Enclume" 8 November 2010 1.539 million (7.5%)[17]
3 "Holbeck Ghyll" 15 November 2010 1.35 million (6.5%)[18]
4 "Hipping Hall" 22 November 2010 1.199 million (5.6%)[19]
5 "The Yorke Arms" 29 November 2010 1.234 million (5.6%) [20]
6 "The Angel at Hetton" 6 December 2010 1.077 million (5%) [21]

Series 2

A second series, The Trip to Italy, was filmed in 2013 with Brydon and Coogan touring Italy, following in the footsteps of English poets in the early 19th century on the Grand Tour.[22][23] It was televised on BBC Two in April and May 2014.[24]

Number Title Airdate Viewers
1 "Il Cenobio dei Dogi, Camogli" 4 April 2014
2 "Da Giovanni, San Fruttuoso" 11 April 2014
3 "La Suvera, Pievescola" 18 April 2014
4 "Hotel Locarno, Rome" 25 April 2014
5 "Villa Cimbrone, Ravello" 2 May 2014
6 "Il Riccio, Capri" 9 May 2014

International broadcast

In Australia, the programme was first screened Wednesday nights at 10:00pm on ABC1 starting on 14 December 2011, six months after the feature film was released.[25]

DVD releases

The first series of The Trip was released on 13 December 2010. The second series was released on 12 May 2014, as well as a boxset featuring all 12 TV episodes, and a boxset of the film versions.


  2. 1 2 "Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan: 'We're not the big buddies people think we are'". The Guardian. 2010-10-26. Retrieved 2010-12-07.
  3. "TV review: Accused/The Trip". The Scotsman. 2010-12-01. Retrieved 2010-12-08.
  4. "Last Night's TV - Ian Hislop's Age of the Do-Gooders, BBC2; Art of Germany, BBC4; The Trip, BBC2". The Independent. 2010-11-30. Retrieved 2010-12-08.
  5. "TV review: Dispatches: City of Fear; Accused; The Trip". The Guardian. 2010-11-23. Retrieved 2010-12-08.
  6. Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon eat again and take The Trip to Italy
  7. "Television Awards Nominees and Winners in 2011". BAFTA. 26 April 2011. Retrieved 25 October 2011.
  8. "Fred West drama Appropriate Adult wins TV award". BBC. 3 February 2012. Retrieved 3 February 2012.
  9. "The Trip (2011) (2011)". Box Office Mojo. 29 September 2011. Retrieved 4 October 2011.
  10. "The Trip To Italy (2014)". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  11. "It's Business as Usual for The Trip Stars, and That's Fine". Retrieved 13 August 2014.
  12. "Sundance Film Review: 'The Trip to Italy'". Retrieved 14 April 2014.
  13. "Sundance Review: 'The Trip to Italy'". Retrieved 14 April 2014.
  14. "Sundance 2014: The Trip to Italy, review". Retrieved 14 April 2014.
  15. "'The Trip' as Mourning Comedy". Retrieved 2016-10-24.
  16. "TV ratings: Nearly 6m for ITV's The Little House". The Guardian. 2010-11-02. Retrieved 2010-11-11.
  17. "TV ratings: Jack Duckworth farewell watched by nearly 11 million". The Guardian. 2010-11-09. Retrieved 2010-11-11.
  18. "The British Comedy Guide". Retrieved 2010-11-23.
  19. "TV ratings: Miranda walks tall for BBC2". The Guardian. 2010-11-23. Retrieved 2010-11-23.
  20. "TV Ratings: BBC1's Fifa probe scores 2.85 million". The Guardian. 2010-11-30. Retrieved 2010-12-12.
  21. "TV Ratings: Coronation Street explodes with 13m viewers". The Guardian. 2010-12-07. Retrieved 2010-12-12.
  22. "The Trip series 2 will shoot in Italy". Baby Cow Productions. 22 May 2013. Retrieved 12 May 2014.
  23. "Steve Coogan to publish his autobiography". British Comedy Guide. June 2013. Retrieved 12 May 2014.
  24. "The Trip To Italy". British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 12 May 2014.
  25. "ABC1 Programming Airdate: The Trip (episode one)". ABC Television Publicity. Retrieved 2011-12-15.


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