Mathew Horne wades in after Joanna Page’s savage takedown of new BBC comedy

Mathew Horne has praised Lucia Keskin’s new BBC comedy, Things I Should Have Done, after his Gavin & Stacey co-star Joanna Page called it “unbearable”.

Page faced backlash this week after sharing her unfiltered take on the new series on her podcast Off the Telly, which she hosts with EastEnders staple Natalie Cassidy.

After reading aloud a listener’s comment in praise of the show, Page said: “Do you know what things I should have done? Not bothered to f***ing watch it.”

“It’s not often I can’t watch something. I was so bored. I was so bored. My mother could have written it. My mother could have done it. I just thought: ‘My God, this is just unbearable. I’m so bored. I just genuinely am bored. I’m bored.’”

Horne, who played Page’s titular partner in Gavin & Stacey across three seasons, appeared to be among those pushing back against Page’s criticism.

In a now-deleted post, Horne replied to a tweet from Keskin, writing: “The best thing on TV right now. A genius is born.”

Wales Online, which captured a screenshot of the tweet, noted that the tweet was posted late Thursday night but had been deleted by Friday morning.

Keskin has also responded to Page’s critique with a video – filmed in a typically deadpan fashion.

As the on-screen caption displays the words “POV: you wrote a TV show and Stacey West hates it”, referring to Page’s Gavin & Stacey character, Keskin sits in a chair eating a banana. Quotes from the podcast are heard in the background.

When Page repeats that the show left her feeling “bored”, Keskin is seen sticking a post-it note on a hanging photo of the Gavin and Stacey cast with the similar-sounding word “bald” on Page’s face.

The BBC shared the following statement with The Independent: “Joanna and Natalie don’t hold back with their honest opinions in Off The Telly and although the series wasn’t Joanna’s cup of tea, she said Lucia Keskin was obviously highly talented and congratulated her on having her own show.

“Natalie said she would continue watching the series which came highly recommended from a listener and her daughter who both loved it, and mixed views are exactly what listeners can expect to hear on this refreshingly authentic podcast.”

On the podcast, Page did caveat her opinion by saying: “I feel awful, because I want to say, good on her for getting her own damn show, ‘cause that’s flipping hard. [She’s] obviously highly talented, and a comedian.”

Line of Duty actor Craig Parkinson was among those who spoke out against her sharing her negative opinion of a TV show, particularly as someone who may also face critique as a person in the entertainment industry.

He wrote on X on Thursday: “Personally, I think that if you work in television and are then given a platform to discuss television you really shouldn’t be slagging off television. Bit of an unwritten rule.

“It really isn’t classy.”

Page’s representatives did not respond to The Independent’s request for comment.

Things I Should Have Done is out now on BBC iPlayer. New episodes of Off the Telly are released every Wednesday on BBC Sounds.