The best thing about these film versions of sitcoms is that the plots seldom bear much similarity to the “sit” of the original series. So in Are You Being Served? for instance, you get the entire cast going on holiday together, no questions asked. Bless This House introduces Terry Scott and Peter Butterworth apropos nothing. Possibly the biggest deviation comes from this film, with the fraught five-way dynamic of the series getting the boot early on when the cast find themselves uniting to save their lodgings from the clutches of ruthless property developer Peter ‘Sir Frank is in charge of civil service pay’ Cellier. It’s a plot hardly worthy of an also-ran Children’s Film Foundation adventure, but it’s all carried off with a such an end-of-term sense of fun you hardly notice. After O’Sullivan and Bill Maynard sabotage his posh dinner date with Wilcox (consisting, of course, of prawn cocktail followed by Steak Diane), Cellier climbs into a taxi and utters the key line – “Thames Television studios, Euston Road, please” – so waving a fond goodbye to the demands of plot and a big hello to “a galaxy of Thames stars” from Bill Grundy, through Jack Smethurst and Rudolph Walker indulging in a terrible pull-back-and-reveal racial gag, Michael Robbins as an old flame of Mildred’s, to an extravagantly bearded Spike “gotta get these things OUT!!” Milligan. It’s the nearest thing there is to a Christmas special on film, really, and for that, to say nothing of the wonderfully wistful closing credits theme, we love it.Read More
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Trailblazers of Disco
Friday, 21.00, Sky Arts
With that rather odd Dave Clark Five epic getting another outing on BBC4, we instead alight on Sky Arts who launch this new series, and despite this channel’s usual mid-Atlantic focus it appears to be both new and British, not least as it’s presented by Sir Nodward Holder. Doesn’t seem to be a great deal to it, mind, simply highlighting people and places that played a major role in the history of various genres, which may not offer much you didn’t already know if you’re a fan but could serve as a useful greatest hits package and make for amiable viewing. Probably worth a look in any case.
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Points of View
- In 'PICK OF THE DAY', Palitoy says: "I’m loving the recent trend for high-concept/obscure subject matter for Radio 4 plays. All very ‘Cream’ flavoured. Johnny..."
- In 'As seen on TV: Victoria Wood', George White says: "They were part of the sort of “folkie”tradition alongside Billy Connolly, Max Boyce, John Cooper Clarke, etc, people..."
- In 'As seen on TV: Victoria Wood', Glenn Aylett says: "Victoria Wood had none of the sneering and contempt the alternative comedians had for the mass audience and this is how she became..."
- In 'As seen on TV: Victoria Wood', Richard16378 says: "Dinnerladies was a real favourite of mine, & a few years ago me & my girlfriend watched it all again over a weekend. She..."
- In 'Finders Keepers', George White says: "Also not to be confused with various same-titled films and webseries and other TV series…"