Category: Comedy

  • Bootle Saddles
    Bootle Saddles

    Yesterday, whilst looking at clippings about ‘Allo ‘Allo, the last line of this review jumped out at me. I am constantly amazed by all the gaps in my sitcom knowledge. Bootle Saddles is a new one to me. It was written by Ray Mansell & Paul Benn, and aired on BBC Two in the autumn…

  • Allo Allo To Secret Army
    Allo Allo To Secret Army

    You’d be forgiven now for not knowing that ‘Allo ‘Allo was a straight up parody of the flagship BBC drama Secret Army. But a look at the press coverage at the time of the pilot’s broadcast leaves that fact in little doubt. Or this, from 1984 when the full series first began … A charge…

  • Mr Swainey’s Dark Peccadilloes
    Mr Swainey’s Dark Peccadilloes

    Mr Swainey is an excellent supporting character in One Foot In The Grave. He provides an optimistic counterpoint to Victor, but is rounded enough to have moments of depression and self-doubt. What’s more, he has some seemingly dark peccaddiloes. When he first returns at the start of series two, in In Luton Airport No-One Can…

  • Shaping Up
    Shaping Up

    Just watch these opening titles, and see if you do a double take, like I did, at the tonal shift once the actors’ credits begin to appear. Shaping Up was an ABC sitcom, which aired in 1984, and had quite the pedigree. It was created by Emmy-award winners Sam Simon and Ken Estin, who wrote…

  • The Pirate Bob Monkhouse
    The Pirate Bob Monkhouse

    Bob Monkhouse was an archivist. From very early on he collected and restored movie reels, and when home video recording became possible, he habitually recorded hours of television every day. He had a collection of some 50,000 tapes, some of which have been used to recover missing shows. But in 1979, Bob appeared at the…

Buy My Books
  • Proctology: A Bottom Examination
    Proctology: A Bottom Examination

    For a long time now I’ve been wanting to write an old-fashioned programme guide. One you can hold in your hand and thumb through, make notes on, spill coffee on. So I did. Proctology: A Bottom Examination is my deep dive into Bottom, the hit BBC Two sitcom starring Rik Mayall and Adrian Edmondson. That’s…

Most Read
  • Re-Casting Keanu
    Re-Casting Keanu

    Keanu Reeves is 56. That makes him eight years older than Clive Dunn was when he was first cast in Dad’s Army. But don’t panic, Clive Dunn was always playing much older characters than his own age. Keanu Reeves is 56. That makes him seven years older than Stephanie Cole was when she was first…

Sign up for my FREE newsletter