With Robin Askwith’s red-arsed Confessions ruling cinemas nationwide for no readily explained reason, sleaze kingpin Stanley Long got onto the cinematic equivalent of a Banda duplicator to produce the short-lived Adventures series. Adventures Of A Taxi Driver, set Barry ‘Mind Your Language’ Evans up as the hapless hero, but keeping the coarser Long tone and trademarks – the film starts with a mockumentary montage of location footage as a voiceover pays sarcastic tribute to the Great London Cabbie, before we’re launched into the Adventures proper with a truly unpleasant “gag” involving a pet snake. Evans was replaced by Christopher Neil for the follow- ups …private Eye and …plumber’s Mate (which rather sneakily nicked its premise of the never-made fifth Confessions film). They’re all much of a muchness really, although two points stand out. They truly are the seediest-looking films you’ll ever see, mainly because they’re not trying for it – Evans’ bedsit is surely the grottiest ever seen in the cinema, but you can bet it was only chosen because it belonged to a cast or crew member. The other strange thing is the sheer unabashed tokenism of the cameos. Willie Rushton spends many a scene talking to other characters on a telephone in a box-room, having clearly been bussed in for the day, put in a couple of hours, collected his cheque, and gone home. …Plumber’s Mate featured Stephen ‘Blakey’ Lewis and Elaine Paige. Jon P’Twee, playing a bent copper who absconds to Rio (a location signified by having P’Twee in his pants on a sunlounger surrounded by rubber plants), provides a delightful punchline by having his penis shredded by a toppling electric fan. Best of all, Shaw Taylor’s cameo in …Private Eye consists of him merely walking up to the camera and giving the lens a quizzical mugging stare, thus allowing the audience to go “It’s Shaw Taylor!”Read More
Posts Tagged With 'Stephen Lewis'
GREAT THOUSAND-STRONG ARMIES OF executives were employed at LWT and Thames in the 70s to fashion spin-offs out of every possible sitcom around. This one clearly hailed from the end of a long day when they sitting about on their arses were waiting to clock off. Gurning, Roland Rat-voiced ON THE BUSES Blakey (STEPHEN LEWIS) goes off the buses to start new life in Costa Del Sol devoting time to professionally insulting the natives. DEREK GRIFFITHS was one of them. PAT COOMBS was his missus.Read More
SINGLE-HANDEDLY KEPT ITV in business in the early 70s, so this endlessly-mocked transportation-tweaking torpitude has got to count for something. All the critics loathed it, naturally, but fifty thousand billion viewers watched its 74,000 episodes, not to mention the (count ‘em!) three film spin-offs. Roll call: REG VARNEY was the cheeky bus driver with an eye for the ladies; BOB “EDDIE” GRANT was the cheeky clippie with an eye etc; MICHAEL ROBBINS and ANNA KAREN were the comedically dire couple with a motorbike and sidecar; STEPHEN “DON’T DRINK” LEWIS was Blakey, the miserable inspector with an annoying donkey-style voice. Franchise travelled the world. Unlike the buses.Read More