Very Small Business: articles

Wayne Hope

Wayne Hope

Wayne Hope's new TV comedy Very Small Businessman

THE dodgy Australian small businessman is set to come undone in a new TV comedy.

Very Small Business, which premieres on the ABC next month, is centred around a scamming salesman Don Angel who runs five magazines under different aliases.

His company Don's Worldwide Wide Business Group has one employee - a journalist suffering from depression.

Producer, writer and star Wayne Hope says the idea of the classic, battling Aussie small businessman was great to make fun of.

"We thought it was kind of a good idea to kind of expose the little bloke," Hope said yesterday.

"Because I reckon the little bloke's a little bit overcooked these days.

"The little bloke's had a good run.

"But it might be time to take the piss out of him."

In the series, Angel, who suffers from irritable bowel syndrome, starts to come unstuck as creditors come after him, and his ex-wife tries to clean him out.

But he's always looking for the next business idea.

By his side is cynical Ray Leonard, played by Kim Gyngell - a former renowned journalist who finds himself writing for Angel's magazines including Railway Union Monthly.

The former Stupid, Stupid Man and The Librarians star, Hope says he and fellow writers Gary McCaffrie and Robyn Butler believe Australians will relate to Very Small Business.

"Many of us have known an uncle or a bloke down the road who have bought a franchise and the following year he bought a different franchise," Hope said.

"And the following year he was starting an embroidery cushion business.

"We all know someone who's trying to turn a quick buck."

When he was a teenager, Hope worked for his mum's company and he came across a lot of people like his character in business parks, he said.

Audiences are introduced to the rude and inappropriate Angel when he is wiping his backside on the toilet while on the phone.

Hope says he loves playing such characters.

"That kind of crudity and boldness I'm always kind of drawn too," Hope says.

"It's those characters that in a room speak far too loud and are comfortable with that. I just find those people fascinating."

Despite being someone who lies to advertisers about his magazines' circulation and doesn't want to spend time with his two kids, Hope insists his character is no villain.

"The best characters I think are the ones that despite yourself you end up liking," Hope says.

"They're the most complicated.

"You go 'Don's appalling but he's got a point and he's in there trying'."

Very Small Business premieres on September 3.

By Katherine Field
August 15, 2008
The Daily Telegraph