Count Arthur Strong is a faded star from the golden days of variety, prone to delusions of grandeur, selective memory loss and the blurting out of malapropisms. He was never as famous as he thinks he was… or still thinks he is. Believing that another great entertainment triumph is only a phone call away, Arthur spends his day making the most of any opportunity that comes along – gaining a free lunch or selling a dodgy foot-spa he doesn’t want – creating chaos and confusion wherever he goes, blissfully unaware that he has done so.
Black Books centres around the foul tempered and wildly eccentric bookshop owner Bernard Black. Bernard’s devotion to the twin pleasures of drunkenness and wilful antagonism deepens and enriches both his life and that of Manny, his assistant. Bearded, sweet and good, Manny is everything that Bernard isn’t and is punished by Bernard relentlessly just for the crime of existing. They depend on each other for meaning as Fran, their oldest friend, depends on them for distraction.
Black Books is a haven of books, wine and conversation, the only threat to the group’s peace and prosperity is their own limitless stupidity.