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Rab C. Nesbitt Online

Rab C. Nesbitt  Online
Original Title :
Rab C. Nesbitt
Genre :
TV Series / Comedy
Cast :
Gregor Fisher,Tony Roper,Elaine C. Smith
Type :
TV Series
Time :
Rating :
Rab C. Nesbitt Online

Classic BBC Sitcom about Rab C. Nesbitt, a stringed vested philosopher (in his own way) who spends his days getting drunk in his local with best mate Jamesie and going home to clash with wife Mary and his two sons Gash and Burnie. The series follows Rab as he talks to the camera about the way life is and the state of the country, When he's not doing that he is drinking, trying to keep his family together or shouting the odds at anybody who is stupid enough to argue the point. No matter where in Govan you go you cant escape the wrath of the Nesbitt man!
Series cast summary:
Gregor Fisher Gregor Fisher - Rab C. Nesbitt 67 episodes, 1988-2014
Tony Roper Tony Roper - Jamesie Cotter 65 episodes, 1988-2014
Elaine C. Smith Elaine C. Smith - Mary Nesbitt 64 episodes, 1988-2014
Barbara Rafferty Barbara Rafferty - Ella Cotter 51 episodes, 1990-2014
Brian Pettifer Brian Pettifer - Andra / - 50 episodes, 1988-2014
Andrew Fairlie Andrew Fairlie - Gash Nesbitt 46 episodes, 1988-2008
Iain McColl Iain McColl - Dodie 43 episodes, 1990-2011
John Kazek John Kazek - Norrie 36 episodes, 1992-1999

All three Scottish actors to play Doctor Who: Sylvester McCoy, David Tennant and Peter Capaldi have all appeared in Rab C. Nesbitt. Richard E. Grant who has appeared as a non-cannon Doctor Who has also appeared in the series.

Rab first appeared as a sketch in the show Naked Video. So popular was Rab, the producers gave him his own half hour special in 1989. A full series was later commissioned for 1990.

The show originally aired from 1989 until 1999 for 8 series. It returned in 2008 for a Christmas special and two more series, 9 and 10, in 2010 and 2011 respectively.

Gregor Fisher never enjoyed playing Rab. In an interview, Elaine C. Smith (Mary) and Tony Roper (Jamesie) talk about Gregor's reluctance to continue with the show after Series Three and turned down a contract for a new live show and three more series for 2000 onwards. When he first got the script, Gregor is reported to have said it was "as funny as cancer".

The Two Ways pub is a real Glasgow pub and it is the exact pub they filmed at least the external shots for every episode of the original 90's run of series, but it is not in Govan, it is in Finnieston at the top end of Argyle Street.

Elaine C. Smith (Mary) was pregnant during the filming of the pilot. Her pregnancy was written into the show however when the series returned the following year Mary was no longer pregnant and there was no new baby in the Nesbitt house.

Although she is a regular character, Barbara Rafferty's Ella Cotter didn't appear in the pilot or the first two episodes of Series One even though her character was referenced a number of times. Over all Rafferty wasn't part of 15 of the 65 Nesbitt episodes.

User reviews



This is an amazingly clever show set in Govan (a major working class area of Glasgow). It gives a humorous idea of working class life and philosophy (watch out for Rab's little rants). It also gives a clear view of modern day family life for an alcoholic. This shows comedy that the Americans could never quite master, silly but clever comedy. And only the best britcoms last for 8 series'.

Some people may not understand the characters but due to me having Glaswegian parents i am use to the accents. This is to be released on DVD soon, i advise to go get it but make sure you watch with the subtitles on.


This programme first came to our screens after Gregor Fisher had made Rab famous through his one man rants on Naked Video. Despite the humour used the show also acuratly portrayed the way life for so many underclass Scots.

The wit in this programme is something to enjoy. Fisher was born to play Nesbit and Elaine C. Smith is also excellent as Rab's long suffering wife Mary Doll. Andrew Fairley and the late Eric Cullen played their parts as the useless siblings of Rab and Mary excellently.

Despite the many roles that actors take on in their careers there is often one character in particular they will be remembered for. This is true in no one more than Gregor Fisher.


This has got to be one of the funniest TV series ever made, full of superb comedy performances that are cracking. The episode where Jamesie buys the melon to use for his sexual gratification (youd have to see it to understand this) and is surprised by his friends is a genuine moment of comedy masterpiece, I laughed for days about this one hilarious scene. I defy anyone to watch this series and not find it funny.


'Rab C.Nesbitt' was one of the finest B.B.C. sitcoms of the '90's. Like the later 'Alan Partridge', the character originated in a sketch show - in this case, 'Naked Video'. Wearing a tattered suit ( with string vest ), clutching a rolled-up newspaper, and a blood-soaked bandage round his head, the drunken philosopher from Govan delivered rants through clenched teeth which he prefaced with: "I will tell you this, boy!". A lot of what he said made sense though. Gregor Fisher was loathe to take on the role originally as he initially perceived it to be a stereotype, but later changed his mind.

Our first sighting of 'Rab' was a vox pop item in which he described the then-Tory Government as 'jumped-up Fascist bastards'. He next appeared losing his rag in a D.W.P. office when the clerk refuses to give him benefit. He proved so popular he was eventually given his own show, commencing with the special 'Rab C.Nesbitt's Seasonal Greet'.

What followed was basically a comedy soap opera; Rab was married to Mary Doll ( Elaine C. Smith ) and had two sons - Gash ( Andrew Fairlie ) and Burney ( Eric Cullen ). Despite complaints from some English viewers about the incomprehensibility of the cast's accents, it caught on immediately.

Ian Pattison's superb scripts combined elements of traditional sitcom with black comedy, such as the episode where Rab thinks he's terminally ill. Gregor Fisher was magnificent as Rab, as was the rest of the cast, particularly Elaine C.Smith as 'Mary Doll', Tony Roper as his sex-mad pal 'Jamesie Cotter', and his faithless wife 'Ella' ( Barbara Rafferty ). Sean Scanlon was impressive in those episodes he did as 'Shug'. Guest-stars included the great Stanley Baxter, Jimmy Logan, Iain Cuthbertson, Rikki Fulton, and Russell Hunter. A young David Tennent made his television debut here. I must throw in a word of praise for David McNiven's splendid theme tune which caught the mood of the show so well.

When Eric Cullen went to prison, 'Burney' was replaced by cousin 'Screech' ( David Mackay ), but it just was not the same ( plans to reinstate the actor collapsed when he unexpectedly died during a minor operation ). Eventually, Gash married Bridie ( Nicola Park ) and fathered a child.

Given the show's immense popularity at the time, it is astonishing how few repeats there have been on B.B.C.-2. It is rather like 'The Goodies' in that respect. You can stick your plastic American rubbish such as 'Friends', I'll take Rab every time!


As a Glaswegian exile, now living in Bolton, England, certain things remind me of home: rain, haggis suppers and Rab C Nesbitt. Rab is everyman, he is the peoples champion, voicing their thoughts and opinions, he is the part of us that bucks the system and says it as it is. My favourite scene had to be the one with Stanley Baxter as his friend, when they attended the Football World Cup in Italy. Stanley's character is terminally ill and this is his swan song. Allow me to go a little bit deeper here, Scotland as a nation are a country of triers and doers with big hearts and even bigger ambitions. We have qualified for the World Cup on eight occasions which, as small nation we are proud of. However we have never qualified past the group stage. In Italy we were in a group with Costa Rica, Sweden and Brazil. We transpired to lose 1-0 to Costa Rica, Beat Sweden 1-0 and then in the final game against Brazil we had to avoid defeat to finally break our duck. This is the setting for the end of the episode in question. Stanley Baxters character has a heart attack before the game, amidst telling everyone who will listen that theBrazil game is not a lost cause and Scotland can cause a huge upset bygetting a result. Scotland lost 1-0, the final scene has Rab at hisfriends side as he opens any eye and with his dying breath he asks, "Well Rab?" Nesbitt is struggling back the tears and to avoid hurting his friend he lies to him, " Aye,we scudded them, we scudded them, 3-0," As a Scotsman I know the hurt of following the national team and the frustration of watching Scotland try and fail every time. This scene always makes me fill up.


A superbly done and intriguingly thought-provoking production that brought a new light to a rather run-down and quite unattractive district of South-West Glasgow known only as Govan. Not many shows would have thought to take root in an area such as this, but considering how the character was created and the general logical chaos he left in his wake, it was probably the best choice anyway.

I had never really even heard of 'Rab C Nesbitt' until a friend introduced me to it via YouTube if I'm not mistaken. I was a bit stumped at first by the overall unintelligible blabber that flowed from the characters choppers. In actual fact, I could barely understand a single word the man was saying and it very nearly put me off the whole idea of watching anymore. However, I persevered and pretty soon I was hooked.

The show itself is named after the main character, Rab C Nesbitt, acted wonderfully by Scottish actor, Gregor Fisher. Fisher brought a great deal of warmth, humility, depth and soul to a character that if played by anyone else, most likely would have turned out cold, hard and utterly repulsive. His character is admittedly not the most charming of fellows, but deep down, looking past his crude exterior and violent habits, you can see that the man cares greatly for his family and friends.

The show basically follows the life of Nesbitt, who wanders around Govan wearing a faded pin-striped suit and string vest, spouting off about one thing or another. He's sometimes accompanied by his best mate, Jamesie Cotter (Tony Roper) who is even more crude than Nesbitt and openly hunts for that easy lay, even though his horrid wife, Ella Cotter is well aware of it. Mind you, she can be a bit hypocritical at times considering the fact that she herself has cheated on Jamesie on numerous occasions.

But back to Nesbitt. He himself is married to none other than Mary Nesbitt. Elaine C Smith takes on the challenge of playing such a stressful role, of a woman so eager to please her partner but also to remain a firm pillar of support for her children when everything inevitably comes falling down around her. Although, that's not to say there aren't any happy endings. The whole programme is full of comedy situations and dialogue, it's hard to be put off by the lack of glamour and fashion that's so apparently missing. As I mentioned, the Nesbitt's have children. Two in fact. Gash and Burney Nesbitt, played by Andrew Fairlie and Eric Cullen respectively. As far as I'm concerned, they are total pains in the arses, but I also have to admit that without them the show wouldn't seem as complete.

It's amazing how much thought must have been put in to the scripts for this show. Ian Pattison must have thought long and hard about each episode as he wrote them. If you sit and listen to what Nesbitt rants about, in most cases he makes a lot of sense. It's almost philosophical in its own right. A drunken slob that makes more sense than a sober priest when it comes to affairs of the heart, mind and soul. Just sit and take a good long listen to what he has to say and you'll know what I mean.

Overall, an excellent show, which is why I give it a 9 out of 10. I would have given it a 9.5, but sadly IMDb doesn't allow that. It's not my favourite show, but it's certainly in my top 10 chart, which is an achievement in itself. As of now, I have not yet seen all the episodes, but hopefully I will catch up with them soon enough.


Rab c nesbitt is a very underrated comedy the show had been forgotten until the release of series 1 DVD back i 2004, of course more followed u can get up to series 5 now. I hope more series come to DVD. why is it the good old comedys wait so long to come to DVD, Rab c nesbitt in one word excellent a must see show. its not hard to understand as a lot of people have made it out to be, the plot a glasgow drunk putting the world to right in a conservative government. i would love to see rab veiws on new labour, the show does loose a little edge after the death of eric cullen he also in lots of people eyes was the starr of the show. long live rab a legend


To say that this show along with "Chewin the Fat" and "Still Game" are bad comedy obviously means that you are not Scottish yourself...these shows are what the Scottish (well Glasweigan) people love. I have yet to meet a person who does not know what "Geis a gobble ya dobber" or "Oi fannybaws" means. these shows are meant for the people of Scotland so if you do not like them then please do not watch them....life is not meant to be taking so seriously ! The characters in this show are people that you will find in and around Glasgow, whether you choose to look down your nose at them in disgust or find them hilarious is something that you will need to decide. So I think that you should continue to watch your American or English comedies and let the people of Scotland make up their own minds on the shows that are made in our own country !!!


Incomprehensible unless you were from Glasgow, that is. As an Englishman I could scarcely make head nor tail of at least half Mr Nesbitt's dialogue. It was just too heavily weighted with regional nuance. But the facial expressions and body-language invariably made up for it and I enjoyed tuning-in to this most dysfunctional of families.

Times have changed. The man has this year (2010) re-emerged after a decade or more. His Glasgow dialect had been toned down, as indeed has the extent of his drunkenness. The former I suspect has been intended to offer the wider appeal his character deserved, whilst I suspect the sobriety might have something to do with political correctness. Whatever the case, I understood almost every word but didn't so much as crack a smile. This first outing of the new series just seemed sad and contrived.

Perhaps being absolutely blotto was essential for the format to work. Or maybe it's just outlived its time. Whatever the case, the new series only gets 5-stars by me. The funniest part was watching the split in the seam of his sleeve hop from one side of the jacket to the other, depending upon the scene.

Not recommended.


Being a bit of a nerd when it comes to British Sitcom this gem holds a joint 1st in my all time favourite British sitcoms with Steptoe and son! The social awareness here mirrors the state of the nation. As you watch this over the years it was made it gives an insight of how the nation was coping and feeling at the time. Not so much "Low Life" as "Real life"!Proper people in proper social situations make us feel we all know people like this. Sympathy and empathy sit on the sofa hand in hand to enjoy the real comedy and emotion of real life. This is not " The Good Life" or " To The Manor Born" ! .. this is a classic laugh or cry social metaphor. I hope they make a new series of Rab in his twilight years..what would he make of the internet and Britains Got talent!!


I was actually recommended Rab C Nesbitt by a very close IMDb friend, and I was immediately interested. Then personal things clouded over and I got behind with my movie watching and forgot about it. A couple of months ago I was eventually in the right state of mind to see it. It took me a while, but it was time well spent and I am glad I was recommended it.

Rab C Nesbitt is not for everybody, I was warned this and I can understand why, but I genuinely find it a great show. A vast majority of the time, Rab C Nesbitt is perfect, with effective production values(not the definition of nice but suited the period and the show's tone very well), the catchy theme tune, the witty and hilarious(with the odd moving part too) writing and the clever story lines.

The characters may not be the most likable ever or the easiest to like at first, but I found myself warming to them due to how well written and acted they were. Gregor Fisher is simply born for this role, and he plays it as if he already knows that with superb comic timing, and Elaine C Smith and the rest of the cast support him perfectly.

While Rab C Nesbitt is brilliant, the last two series weren't quite as good as the rest. They weren't terrible, they were still well acted with some funny moments, but something was missing. I think the problems were Gash's recasting, I could never warm to the replacement, and the ideas weren't as original or as clever.

Overall though, this show is really great, I can really see why it was recommended to me, and I could kick myself for taking so long to watch or review it. 10/10 Bethany Cox


'Rab C. Nesbitt' is what I regard to be the finest television creation of all time. The likable drunken street philosopher from Govan, played so wonderfully by Gregor Fisher, was first seen as a regular character on the brilliant BBC2 sketch show 'Naked Video', wearing a shabby pin-striped suit over a tattered string vest, as well as a bloodied bandage around his head. Rab appeared each week delivering rants, usually prefaced with the catchphrase ''I will tell you this, boy!'', on subjects as diverse as politics, the entitlement of state benefits, modern television and N.H.S cuts. Gregor Fisher initially refused to play the role as he felt the character presented a bad image for the West of Scotland, however, after much badgering, he later relented.

The character became so popular that its creator Ian Pattison and 'Naked Video' producer Colin Gilbert decided to give him his own show, kicking off with the seasonal pilot episode - 'Rab C. Nesbitt's Seasonal Greet'.

As I earlier stated, Rab lives in Govan, is married to Mary Nesbitt ( Elaine C. Smith ) and has two sons - Gash ( Andrew Fairlie, later Iain Robertson ) and Burney ( Eric Cullen ). His best friend is Jamesie Cotter ( Tony Roper ), a sleazy love rat if ever there was one. His wife Ella ( Barbara Rafferty ) is well aware of his philandering but on occasions has shown to be just as bad as her husband. Much of the humour came from Rab's from the heart rants about society, though unlike the earlier 'Alf Garnett', what Rab said had a great deal of logic to it.

With its consistently well-written scripts by Ian Pattison and brilliant acting not only from Gregor Fisher, but also the support cast, particularly Tony Roper and Eric Cullen, 'Rab C. Nesbitt' was a huge hit nationwide. Fisher's portrayal of a drunk is nothing short of outstanding. So convincing is he that at times it seems like you can smell the booze on his breath. As well as being funny, 'Rab C.' also contains some dramatic elements, such as when Rab was diagnosed with stomach cancer and fought for his life. Impressive guest appearances included Rikki Fulton, Stanley Baxter, Anita Dobson, Gerard Kelly, Russell Hunter, John Gordon Sinclair and Richard E. Grant.

Eric Cullen was written out after series three following imprisonment for being found in possession of child pornography and was replaced by David McKay as cousin Screech. McKay's character was nothing more than an unnecessary substitute and was soon dropped. Plans to later reinstate Burney were thwarted when Eric Cullen died from a heart attack whilst undergoing a minor operation. Later episodes saw the appearance of Gash's girlfriend Bridie ( Nicola Park ) with whom he had a daughter named Peaches ( Rachel Crossan, then Anna Devitt ).

After eight series, plus a stage show tour in 1992, 'Rab C. Nesbitt' was put on hiatus in 1999 when Fisher wished to pursue other projects but returned in triumph in 2008 with an excellent Christmas special which saw Rab give up alcohol and become leader of a temperance group while his wife Mary started up a cleaning company called 'The House Mice' with Ella. The success of the special led to a ninth series in 2010. Though it had its moments, it wasn't as funny as before, mainly due to the recasting of Gash. 'Sea Of Souls' actor Iain Robertson was all wrong for the role. In 2011, Pattison made the mistake of writing a tenth series. By this point it was clear that the show had run out of ideas. Rab ending up in bed with Jamesie following a drugs trip was almost as absurd as Rab and Jamesie starting up their own cleaning business called 'Hunks For Hire'. At the beginning of this year, 'Rab C. Nesbitt' bowed out with a superb special episode entitled 'Rab In Hoodie' in which Rab became a self-styled 'Robin Hood' and stole from the rich to give to the scum!

Nearly thirty years on since its original transmission, 'Rab C. Nesbitt' remains as hilarious as ever. In a recent documentary, Gregor told a story of how he was once accosted by a drunk man who clearly was not a fan of the show - ''I wish you'd go and take a f**k to yourself, ya bastard, you're giving this place a f**king bad name!''. As Gregor himself said, the gentleman clearly did not realise the irony of his remark!