Did Jerk rip off Cynic?

Earlier this morning I came across a post on Ted Shiress’ Facebook page complaining that the beeb had stolen the idea for Jerk from him. At first, I assumed Ted was being egotistical and told him so: after all, it isn’t uncommon for us crips to have similar ideas from time to time. But then Ted showed me Cynic, a series of short comedy episodes he made about five years ago, about a slobbish guy with Cerebral Palsy. I instantly realised Ted might have a point. The similarities, not just in the concept but in the style and mise en scene too, are hard to ignore. Even the titles bear a resemblance to each other. Of course one can never be absolutely sure about such things, and there are differences between the two programmes, but I can certainly see why Ted felt so indignant. While  I think it would be hard to prove beyond doubt that the producers of Jerk came across Ted’s youtube channel and decided to steal his idea, I think he may well be  onto something.

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