The film is a comedy which tells the story of Bernard Fripp (Rowan Atkinson) a man who, on attending a routine check-up, is diagnosed by his doctor (Nigel Hawthorne) as having a rare disease leaving him only 30 minutes to live.
By the time he leaves the surgery, he only has 24 minutes left, in which he attempts to live life to the full; taking out his life savings, trying to make peace with God (via a vicar played by (Jim Broadbent)), attempting to learn about the significance of the Mona Lisa, reading the back cover of War and Peace to find out what happens in it, listening to Albinioni's Adagio in G minor and looking for true love.
The featurette was shot in early 1982, at the same time Atkinson wrapped up taping Not The Nine O'Clock News and began working on The Black Adder, premièring later that year and getting a wide theatrical release in February 1983. The meek, socially awkward Bernard is a reworking of an earlier Atkinson character, Robert Box, who appeared on the 1979 special Canned Laughter, which shares a gag regarding the main character tripping over a "Please Help the Blind" sign. Both Fripp and Box have been cited to be prototypes for Mr. Bean.
Rowan Atkinson as Bernard Fripp
Peter Bull as Old Man in Waiting Room
Jo Kendall as Nurse
Nigel Hawthorne as Doctor
Nell Campbell as Female Teller
Joshua White as Bank Customer
Hugh Thomas as Teller
Alex Norton as Foreigner
Christopher Biggins as Bigot
Rupert Everett as Bank Customer / Blind Man
Adrian Edmondson as Fool (credited as Ade Edmonton)
Robin Bailey as Intelligent Man
Tim McInnerny as Customer
Jim Broadbent as Priest
Greta Scacchi as Pretty Girl
Nigel Planer as Boring Friend
Gorden Kaye as Moonie
Leslie Ash as Girl in Café
Richard Curtis as Customer in Café
The film features a large number of cameo parts for actors and actresses, often from the alternative comedy circuit, who would later star in their own comedy series, including Leslie Ash, Adrian Edmondson, Tim McInnerny and Nigel Planer. Richard Curtis makes a brief appearance as an angry café customer.