The repeats continue to come thick and fast. First I’ll be tuning in for Hi-De-Hi! (Lift up Your Minds) in which Jeffrey Fairbrother decides to expand the camper’s minds with a selection of classical music. This, as you might expect, doesn’t go down well ….
Simon Cadell always gave exquisite squirm, and today’s episode is a prime example. I’ve no doubt said this before, but most Croft/Perry and Croft/Lloyd sitcoms tended to run on too long, with their later years weakened by a number of departures/recastings. Hi-De-Hi! was never the same post-Fairbrother, even though Clive Dempster was a decent character (and thankfully wasn’t designed as a Fairbrother clone).
Next is the final episode of Private Shultz. Jack Pulman’s script is a delight as are the central performances of Michael Elphick and Ian Richardson (this episode also features Billie Whitelaw and Cyril Shaps amongst others). Next job is to track down the novelization.
There’s another Laurel and Hardy (Hog Wild) on BBC2, so that’ll go on the list as well. Not too much else I can access (Streets of San Francisco, maybe). If I could choose anything, then Turns with Jimmy Perry on BBC2 and Playhouse: The Glory Hole on ITV both look intriguing.
(Today’s mystery eyes belong to Arthur Negus – bit of an easy one that).
5 thoughts on “Back to 1982 – 10th August 1982”
Martin Nobel’s novelisation of Private Schulz is amazing. It remains one of my favourite ever TV dramas, but the book does it justice. Mine is the long review on this page (under the name Niko Nezna):
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First of all I should apologies for not reading yesterday’s article proerly. It was John Alderton’s eyes, and today it’s Arthur Negus. Arthur Negus invented an anesthetic for a certain part of the leg.
I remember the children’s current affairs quiz What’s Happening with Tommy Boyd.
Swap Shop finished in March, but there was another chance to see Swap Shop on the Road with Maggie Philbin meeting Adam and the Ants on the set of the Prince Charming video. The previous week they showed her on tour with 10CC. In the evening she joined her Swap Shop co-star John Craven in the science programme The Show Me Show, looking at Pepper’s Ghosts among other things. Maggie Philbin did only one series of Saturday Superstore before getting the job on Tomorrow’s World, and she may have got Tomorrow’s World because she did The Show Me Show. She married Keith Chegwin that year as well.
I have seen the Tex Avery cartoon The Ventriloquist Cat. About thirty years ago there was a double bill of cartoon compilations circulating around the repertory cinemas, Tex Avery – Red Hot and Radical and Cartoons Spoof Hollywood. I saw them at the Everyman in Hampstead, but I don’t think Ventrilaquist Cat was on the programme. The Prince Charles Cinema has a blackboard inn the foyer where customers can request films they’d like to see, and on various occasions I suggested Tex Avery cartoons, Tom and Jerry and National Filmboard of Canada. But another customer who curates cult movie screenings for Picturehouse Cinemas said that short cartoons are hard to get hold of. But perhaps this a a topic for Archive Film Musings.
I did see a bit of the Northern Ireland drama The Glory Hole.
You mentioned recasting in Perry and Croft sitcoms, so here are some Archive TV Ramblings on that topic.
Someone said that none of the Dad’s Army regulars appeared in Doctor Who, but they were wrong. Talfryn Thomas appeared as Mr Cheeseman, a reporter from the Walmington on Sea Gazette, in the episode with the American soldiers. (The actor who played the American officer later played a villain in Who Framed Roger Rabbit.) And after James Beck died Mr Cheeseman joined the platoon as Private Cheeseman.
David Croft later said the character was more irritating than funny, Jimmy Perry said he was very funny but John Laurie didn’t like this newcomer pinching all the funny lines. He was a completely different character to Walker. If anything Private Cheeseman was like a younger version of Corporal Jones, having the same overenthusiasm for a good news story as Jones had for soldiering. Perry and Croft did work with Talfryn Thomas again when he played Gladys Pugh’e briother in an episode of Hi-De-Hi broadcast just after he died.
A lot of people think It Ain’t Half Hot Mum wasn’t the same after Michael Bates died, and the format of the show changed after he died because his character always spoke directly to the audience at the beginning and end of the programme. But actually it wasn’t the same after George Layton left, Gloria Beaumont was less convincing as a bombardier than Bombardier Solomons.
When George Layton left, instead of casting another actor they promoted Gunner Gloria and the concert party continued with just seven men. And when Michael Bates dies they didn’t replace the character. They did replace the punkah wallah with a Chinese cook.
When Simon Cadell left Hi-de-Hi they had to replace the character. The main cast changes occurred with the series set in 1960. They created a new character who was completely different to Jeffrey Fairbrother.
When Barry Howard left he was replace by Ben Aris, and as with Talfryn Thomas in Dad’s Army, he had appeared as a guest character in an earlier episode, which funnily enough was Simon Cadell’s last episode.
In the last episode of Dad’s Army to feature Private Walker James Beck appears in the location scenes which were shot first but appear in the programme last, but he was ill when they did the studio scenes. So they had to write in some lines to explain his absence in the studio scenes and his sudden appearance in the filmed sequences. When they made the first series set in 1960 they shot the location scenes for several episodes before the studio scenes. Leslie Dwyer was in the former but was too ill to appear in the later. So there are several episodes where he only appears in the location scenes.
Several of the yellow coat girls came and went over the series run, not surprisingly as there was little development. Gary and the Webb twins on the other hand got more to do in the ;later series.
Su Pollard got more hammy in the later series when Peggy got to take part in the entertainments. Jeffrey Hollan’s character also got worse when he kept saying “Oh dear, oh dear.” in every episode.
I forgot to mention Leslie Dwyer’s replacement. After Mr Partridge was written out (controversial), Kenneth Connor initially appeared as a guest character before they made Sammy a regular. They may have been trying the character out first.
Furthermore James Beck also starred in an ITV sitcom called Romany Jones, by the creators of On the Buses. And as with Dad’s Army his last series was broadcast after he died. James Beck played Bert Jones who lived on a caravan site with his wife Betty, played by Jo Rowbottom, and the neighbours Wally and Lilly Briggs were played by Arthur Mullard and Queenie Watts. In the third series Wally and Lily got two new neighbours, a posh couple Jeremy and Susan Crichton-Jones, played by Jonathan Cecil and Flumps narrator Gay Soper . And funnily enough one of Jonathan Cecil’s best known tv roles was in the last episode of Dad’s Army to feature James Beck.
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Although It Ain’t Half Hot Mum wasn’t the same without Michael Bates the concert party performers worked better together towards the end of the run.