My Hero (UK TV series)

My Hero
Created by Paul Mendelson
Starring Ardal O'Hanlon
James Dreyfus
Emily Joyce
Country of origin United Kingdom
No. of episodes 51 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s) Geoffrey Perkins
Marcus Mortimer
Sophie Clarke-Jervoise
Running time 28 minutes
Production company(s) Big Bear Films
Original network BBC One
Original release 4 February 2000 (2000-02-04) – 10 September 2006 (2006-09-10)
External links

My Hero is a BBC sitcom created by Paul Mendelson. The programme ran for six series, first broadcast in February 2000, and concluding in September 2006. The series follows the antics of the dim-witted superhero "Thermoman", portrayed by Ardal O'Hanlon in series one to five and by James Dreyfus in the final series. The series was regularly directed by John Stroud.

In the UK, the digital channel Gold regularly re-runs the programme, although the last series has yet to appear on the channel. In the United States it was shown on PBS and, briefly, BBC America. In Australia, UKTV offered re-runs of the first three series, while BBC Entertainment provided repeats for Scandinavia.

Main characters

The series follows a wide range of main characters, who make appearances throughout all six series. Ardal O'Hanlon plays the main role of Thermoman for the first five series, before being replaced by James Dreyfus, who played the role in the final series. The series follows Thermoman's closest family, including his wife, Janet, played by Emily Joyce; his daughter, Cassie, played by Madeline Mortimer; and his son, Ollie, played by Finlay Stroud. Other characters who make regular appearances include Dr Piers Crispin, played by Hugh Dennis; Mrs Raven, played by Geraldine McNulty; Thermoman's cousin, Arnie, played by Lou Hirsch; the Sundays' next-door neighbour, Tyler, played by Philip Whitchurch; and Janet's mother and father, Ella and Stanley Dawkins, played by Lill Roughley and Tim Wylton.

Plot outline

Thermoman is a multiple-powered superhero who originates from the planet Ultron. In an attempt to do his best to fit in with life on earth, he creates the human alias of George Sunday.

However, due to his unfamiliarity with human life, his antics usually lead to many misunderstandings. Although Thermoman is intrinsically very intelligent, his problem understanding earthly customs makes him look like an idiot to people who don't know who he really is. At the start of the first series, he saves wife-to-be Janet Dawkins from danger, and after falling in love, the pair later have two children, Ollie and Cassie, who also possess superpowers. Other main characters include Piers Crispin, a self-obsessed doctor who has a crush on Janet; Mrs. Raven, the doctor's miserable receptionist; Ella and Stanley Dawkins, Janet's over-protective parents; and Arnie, Thermoman's cousin, a one-time superhero who runs a restaurant in Brooklyn, New York.


Six series of the programme were broadcast, with the first beginning in February 2000, and the last concluding in September 2006. Over all six series, 51 episodes were broadcast. The show was written by a team of writers, a trait that is typical of most American sitcoms - British sitcoms are traditionally written by its creators alone, with the assistance of a script editor. The main team of writers used for the series include head writer and creator Paul Mendelson, alongside Paul Mayhew-Archer, Paul Alexander, James Cary, Simon Braithwaite, Gary Lawson, John Phelps, Ian Brown and James Hendrie. All 51 episodes were filmed at Teddington Studios in London, in front of a live studio audience. However, as several segments of the show were created with CGI effects, not all of the footage required for each episode was filmed this way. Footage shot on-location was regularly recorded in Pinner, London. Some of the episode titles take a pun on other titles - for example, How Green Was My Ollie is a pun on the novel How Green Was My Valley, and The First Husbands Club is a pun on the movie The First Wives Club.


Throughout the first five series, when Ardal O'Hanlon played the main role, ratings were consistent enough for further series to be commissioned by the BBC, with some episodes reaching 6-8 million viewers. However, when O'Hanlon announced he was to leave the part, he was replaced by James Dreyfus, in a storyline in which George loses his human identity in a game of poker. The Doctor Who-esque change of main actor proved unpopular with viewers, with ratings falling to 3-4 million according to Broadcast Magazine on a prime time Friday night and 2 million in a tea time slot on Sundays for the last few episodes. The show was later cancelled in September 2006.[1]

DVD releases

Series Episodes Original release date
Series 1 6 16 January 2007 (U.S.)
Series 2 7 7 August 2007 (U.S.)
Series 3 10 7 October 2002 (UK)
Series 4 10 N/A
Series 5 10 N/A
Series 6 8 N/A


  1. "BBC Comedy - My Hero". BBC. Retrieved 12 December 2011.
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