Garth Marenghi's Darkplace
Garth Marenghi's Darkplace is a comedy series made for Channel 4. Created by Matthew Holness and Richard Ayoade, it is a parody of the horror genre and revolves around the character of Garth Marenghi himself, a writer of pulp fiction played by Matthew Holness.
Stephen Merchant had a small role in the series (see below).
The premise of the series is that in the mid-1980s, Garth Marenghi and his publisher Dean Learner made their own TV series on a shoestring budget. Set in Darkplace Hospital in Romford, Garth Marenghi's Darkplace tells of the adventures of Dr. Rick Dagless, MD, as he fights the forces of darkness while simultaneously coping with the pressures of running a modern hospital. In spite of the programme's obvious flaws — wooden acting, cringeworthy scripts and amazingly poor special effects, to name but three — both Marenghi and Learner still regard the series as a masterpiece. But nobody else does, which is why it's taken nearly 20 years to reach the screen.
Steve the Chef
Stephen Merchant played a minor reccuring role as the chef of Darkplace. In the second episode, Hell Hath Fury, he receives a ladel to the head and a fork in the behind. In the final episode, titled, The Creeping Moss from the Shores of Shuggoth, he is briefly shown pulling a recently dead Broccoli woman (a metaphor for AIDS) into the kitchen.