The Brittas Empire is a British sitcom created and originally written by Andrew Norriss and Richard Fegen. Chris Barrie plays Gordon Brittas, the well-meaning but incompetent manager of Whitbury New Town Leisure Centre. The show ran for seven series and 53 episodes — including two Christmas specials — from 1991 to 1997 on BBC1. Norriss and Fegen wrote the first five series, after which they left the show. The Brittas Empire enjoyed a long and successful run throughout the 1990s, and gained itself large mainstream audiences. In 2004 the show came 47th on the BBC's Britain's Best Sitcom poll, and all series have been released on DVD. The creators Andrew Norriss and Richard Fegen often combine farce with either surreal or dramatic elements in episodes. For example in the first series, the leisure centre prepares for a royal visit, only for the doors to seal, the boiler room to flood and a visitor to become electrocuted. Unlike the traditional sitcom, deaths were quite common in The Brittas Empire.