Original Transmission – 17th April 1971
Written by Tim Brooke-Taylor, Barry Cryer, Eric Idle, David McKellar, Chris Miller, Spike Mullins, David Nobbs, Michael Palin & Terry Jones, Bill Solly, Peter Vincent, Dick Vosburgh, Gerald Wiley
Party Sketch – Ronnie C’s embarrassing baldness
Hampton Wick – Episode Two
Tina Charles – Ruby Tuesday
Ronnie C in the Chair
Tarzan in Suburbia sketch
Jo, Jac and Joni
Gilbert and Sullivan
Notes: The desks are no longer at a weird angle and although a smaller CSO back screen remains – seemingly showing a shot of the universe – it no longer changes to display a picture for every news item.
The party sketch features Ronnie C as Mr Goldie, a rather bald man (wearing a not very convincing bald cap). After being told not to mention his baldness, of course Ronnie B can’t help himself (referring to him as Baldy, rather than Goldie to begin with). Ronnie B gets most the lines here as he attempts to dig himself out of this unpromising start, whilst Ronnie C is able to sit back and simply react. Such is Ronnie B’s over-sensitiveness, that even words like “wig-wam” are off limits – he quickly changes it to “wog-wam” (“you know, the wams where the wogs live”). Politically correct this is not …
Episode Two of Hampton Wick is chiefly memorable for Madeline Smith’s dress, which at times is unable to restrain her ample charms. How they got away with some of the shots is anyone’s guess ….
New World warble an unknown (to me) song whilst Tina Charles continues her full-throttle attack on pop classics by tackling the Rolling Stones’ Ruby Tuesday. She certainly doesn’t hold back, that’s for sure.
Although some of the productions misteps from the opening show have been ironed out, there’s still a sense that this is early days – as sometimes sketches don’t finish with a musical flourish, as they do later on, but rather with a fade to black.
Ronnie B makes an unlikely looking Tarzan (but then Ronnie C would have been even less convincing). But the strange juxtaposition of Tarzan crashing into the suburban garden of Ronnie C’s Arthur Norris is an appealing one.
As with the first show, there’s a moment of fourth-wall breakage, as the end of this sketch is interrupted to prepare the way for the spesh act – in this case Jo, Jac and Joni. They demonstrate that variety isn’t dead with a spot of musical comedy.
For a long time, the show would often end with a musical number – in this case Gilbert and Sullivan entertain (or not) us with a some of their favourite numbers, albeit cunningly re-worded. At least this one doesn’t outstay its welcome.