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Bushell on the Box

Another subtle statement on national identity from BlutoAS PART OF THE “hip”, “trendy” new ITV overnight schedules, on came a programme which featured STAN BOARDMAN, DUNCAN NORVELLE and BERNARD MANNING on a number of occasions. Once heralded by Select magazine as “the worst programme ever made”, each programme would be presented by the eponymous Bluto from his horrible stone clad house with a working bar in the living room, where he’d meet a series of stag night comedians, slag off everything on the BBC, and letch over a bunch of page three girls. It went on for 52 consecutive weeks as well. Unsurprisingly a Carlton production.



  1. Martin M

    November 29, 2009 at 11:43 am

    Were the phrases ‘Political correctnes gone mad’ and ‘What mugs we are!’ ever mentioned on this show much?

  2. Ken Shinn

    November 29, 2009 at 11:37 pm

    Just makes me remember the marvellous lyric from Press Darlings…

    “If passion ain’t in fashion…BUSHELL! – is the best-dressed guy in towwwn…

    (muttered) – Yeah, the scruffy sod…”

    • Joanne Gray

      February 8, 2017 at 1:47 pm

      My God – another Ant fan. And a devoted one if you’re quoting lyrics from a B side. Nice one 😃

  3. EL Kerr

    November 30, 2009 at 5:34 pm

    The best bit was the segment involving a celebrity of the calibre of Buster Bloodvessel leaving a largely incomprehensible answering machine message of anti-Bushell badinage, whilst Garry feigned umbrage (‘bleedin sauce’)

  4. Lee James Turnock

    April 30, 2010 at 5:39 pm

    And then there was “Bushellcam”, where he switched on a camcorder and embarrassingly feigned a tantrum about something crap but innocuous, like the Vanessa Feltz show. Dear God…

  5. Applemask

    July 6, 2013 at 11:57 pm

    I was on a school trip to the Globe Theatre once, and while passing through Hammersmith to Chelsea, our bus genuinely ended up trailing the Bushell for a mile or two. Everyone on the bus stood up to yell “WANKER” as one.

  6. Droogie

    July 19, 2020 at 9:58 pm

    There’s a 15 minute Best Of Compilation on Youtube of this tacky show for anyone who can stomach it. It’s surreally bad with the low production values, Z-list celebs and Bushell’s excruciating attempts at passing himself off as a comedian and sketch performer. I got wondering what Bluto is up to these days as he’s been thankfully in obscurity for most of a decade and found his website which has the exact same quality standards as his TV show. He seems to have spent the last few years writing self-published gangster crime novels that you won’t find in any bookshop. You can also order a free autographed photo of Bluto online just for the price of postage and packing.

  7. richardpd

    July 19, 2020 at 11:30 pm

    Sounds like a programme Sky One would show in their early days.

    I can remember Garry Bushell being the butt of a few jokes on Have I Got News For You, especially in one of the books where a cell full a men with scruffy beards is captioned as “Police cells are full after a riot at a Garry Bushell look-a-like competition”

  8. Droogie

    July 20, 2020 at 1:01 am

    He always droned on about the OI! skinhead band movement too, but seems to be less vocal about that unloved dodgy genre these days and writes books about mod and ska music instead.

    • richardpd

      July 20, 2020 at 11:01 am

      I remember in a book about Punk the author Alvin Lee mentioned he worked with Garry Bushell, & considered him to be one of the most left wing people he knew in 1980, but by 1990 he was one of the most right wing people he knew.

    • Glenn Aylett

      July 21, 2020 at 9:05 pm

      The lovely Oi genre of music that Bushell was so passionate about 40 years ago and was supposed to be the next big thing when punk fizzled out in 1979. Hardly anyone cared about it then and even fewer do now as it made Sham 69 sound like The Beatles.

      • droogie

        July 21, 2020 at 10:59 pm

        Bushell was obsessed with The Cockney Rejects . He ghostwrited the memoir of their lead singer Jeff “Stinky” Turner for the horrible Blake publishing series of books. This reads less like a musical memoir and more like a football hooligan confessional.

        • Glenn Aylett

          July 23, 2020 at 6:20 pm

          Bushell had a whole feature on this useless band on his website. Turns out their gigs were like a meeting place for neo Nazi skinheads, football hooligans and other violent no marks to have a punch up while the band played such uplifting ditties as War On The Terraces that glorified football violence. Rather different to David Baddiel and his middle class friends discussing an offside decision at a dinner party in 1995.

          • Droogie

            July 24, 2020 at 12:33 am

            To be fair Sham 69 and The Rejects both strongly came out against racism and disowned the far right..( Jimmy Pursey makes a great appearance with the Clash at the 1978 Rock Against Racism gig in Victoria Park.) Unfortunately that didn’t mean much to all the Nazi knuckle draggers that frequented their gigs and who were just there for a punch-up . Both bands had to call it a day when the soccer yob violence they unleashed made it impossible to play live anymore.

  9. Droogie

    July 20, 2020 at 9:23 pm

    @richardpd Punk music journalists going far-right politically decades later for the Sun newspaper is a weird phenomenon. Tony Parsons did the same and wrote a full page piece for The Sun after the last election saying how brilliant a leader BoJo was going to be and How he was going to make our country better. ( Guess how that worked out.) The weird thing is how Parsons spends a lot of time writing crappy crime novels like Garry Bushell too .

  10. richardpd

    July 20, 2020 at 10:44 pm

    It’s not a new phenomenon, John Osbourne went from Angry Young Man to Thatcherite over 30 years.

  11. Droogie

    July 22, 2020 at 4:46 pm

    I only discovered recently that Bushell was hilariously pranked by the band Chumbawumba in the early 80’s. The band hated the OI! movement and sent off a demo tape to Bushell pretending to be a group called Skin Disease. Bushell thought they were a great skinhead band and asked them to be on an OI! compilation, where they performed a track called I’m Thick consisting of the words “I’M THICK!” shouted 64 times over a 3 chord guitar thrash. Bushell thought it was a genuine piece of skinhead punk, so couldn’t have been happy to later realise it was performed by lefty anarchist squatters taking the piss out of him.

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