Morgana Robinson is a famous face that you might not recognise. Such is the life of a telly impersonator. She was excellent as Julie the odd-ball seductress in Vic and Bob’s House of Fools, ‘Puppah’ Middleton in The Windsors and in painfully funny Sky Arts sketch show Psychobitches (more of all of those please!).
In The Agency she plays all the characters on the books at Mann Talent Agency. These celebrities are helpfully named in the opening credits for those of us who a) don’t watch Eastenders or b) don’t think she looks much like Greg Wallace (but then really that’s no bad thing). She’s unusual because she brings both female and male stars to life with equal aplomb. You can see she’s studied their movements and mannerisms just as closely as their voices.
Mel and Sue were a highlight. Oh poor Tim. Mel very sweet and childlike; totally oblivious to the baleful glint in Sue’s eye as she suggests Connect 4 instead of Transparent on Netflix (tsk – telly beats board games any day). Sue wants to be the main person in Mel’s life – her only partner – and husband Tim is in the way. I understand they are real people with real lives, but I can easily imagine a life for them that is exactly like this. I would definitely live with them, as long as they didn’t criticise my baking.
Danny Dyer was rather nice, pouring out his heart into his children’s book. “It’s me magnum opus!” he announces. “Why are the pages wet?” asks Mann, to which Danny replies with as much bravado as the word can muster “Tears!”
There’s a lot of scope with downtrodden Natalie Cassidy and her miserably normal life, giving up her seat at the National Television Awards to her grasping sister. Not so much for Miranda. That was a bit one-note, but I don’t think that’s any fault of Morgana’s. Being posh, clumsy and falling over things shouldn’t be enough to build a career on. At least Morgana’s version of Miranda has realised this.
Not all of it was killer comedy, but it was high quality stuff with plenty more characters for us to meet as the series continues. I can’t wait to see her Russell Brand, as he’s so much fun to mimic. It’s half an hour of such fun!
Jaw-dropping trivia moment: Morgana’s long-lost sister is new wave punk veteran Brody Dalle of The Distillers (ex of Tim Armstrong of Rancid and now Mrs Josh Homme of QOTSA)! Well I never!
Episode 1 of Morgana Robinson’s The Agency is on iPlayer now.