The League of Gentlemen (television series)

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This article is about the television series and film. For other uses of the term The League of Gentlemen, please see The League of Gentlemen (disambiguation).

The League of Gentlemen was a horror comedy television series broadcast by the BBC between 1999 and 2002, which also spawned a 2005 film. Mostly set in the fictional northern English town of Royston Vasey, the series followed the (often rather bizarre and murderous) lives of its inhabitants, with multiple roles played by Steve Pemberton, Reece Shearsmith and Mark Gatiss. The series took its name from the comedy quartet the three formed with writer Jeremy Dyson; all four wrote for the show over its three series, Christmas special and film. Memorable characters from the series include Tubbs and Edward, the psychotic owners of a "local shop for local people", and the toad-loving Dentons who obsess over hygiene.

The League of Gentlemen emerged from a series of live comedy sketches performed by the League over the years, and was also strongly influenced by the foursome's love of horror films; Pemberton, for example, has cited The Wicker Man in particular. The League are all from the north of England, so their upbringing and encounters with real people were also a strong source of inspiration; a few of the sketches recount almost verbatim conversations heard in a pub or hotel, for example.

The League of Gentlemen's Apocalypse (2005)

This big-screen version of the television series was mostly filmed in Ireland for financial reasons, and again featured Pemberton, Shearsmith and Gatiss writing for and playing several inhabitants of Royston Vasey. The plot involved the characters breaking out of their fictional world (i.e. breaking the fourth wall) and supposedly entering 'our' universe. The League also played versions of themselves, with Michael Sheen taking the role of Jeremy Dyson, who also co-wrote the script. The film was directed by Steve Bendelack and distributed by Universal Pictures and FilmFour.