TV Cream

TV: D is for...

Dave Allen at Large

PREMIER LEAGUE sub-fingered foul-mouthed Catholic pope-baiter on a stool with tumbler and fag railed against the modern and ancient world alike in trademark stream of foetid consciousness style, later ripped off by many a bespangled alternative ranter in the following decade. Most of the show was this studio-bound stuff, but some location sketches (Beast with Five Fingers, Thomas A Beckett, etc.) boasted a stalwart cast including RONNIE BRODY, MICHAEL SHARVELL-MARTIN (next-door neighbour bloke from NO PLACE LIKE HOME), JACQUELINE CLARK and PETER HAWKINS.



  1. Lee James Turnock

    April 30, 2010 at 5:52 pm

    First series featured That’s Life / In At the Deep End’s Chris Serle, of all people. Later episodes provided work for Sam Kelly (Porridge’s Bunny Warren), Susan Jameson and Robert East. Still streets ahead of any modern comedy shite, of course.

  2. johnnyboy

    May 1, 2010 at 3:09 am

    Was also a superb storyteller – no humour required. Remember the tale of the long, empty corridor leading to a dark, empty room. And in that room…..?

    Scared the beJeezus out of me (having the studio lighting slowly dim down and stark, spot-uplighting under his chin just added to the feeling of dread). Masterful! Might be on You Tube. I’ll see if I can dig it out.

  3. Lee James Turnock

    May 5, 2010 at 4:36 pm

    Dave could really shock the hell out of the audience with some incredibly bleak sketches on occasion. He had a thing about nuclear war – the very first episode of Dave Allen at Large featured a post-nuclear sketch – and he kept coming back to the topic with increasingly downbeat results. One memorable sketch had the sole survivor of a holocaust emerging from his bunker (the BBC used the site that was later occupied by the Millennium dome for the location filming) and shouting “We’ve won! We’ve won!”, very loudly, but…to NOBODY. Sobering stuff.

  4. Richardpd

    November 10, 2022 at 4:37 pm

    Great theme tune known as Studio 69, which has turned up in some odd places as it’s a library track.

    For some reason Dave didn’t want this repeated in full so the BBC had to put together some repeat packages over the years, some where he contributed a new monologue.

    While he liked a drink, his tumbler was normally not filled with anything stronger than ginger ale! I guess he didn’t want to get too sloshed while performing a monologue.

  5. Billy Tweddell

    November 11, 2022 at 3:04 pm

    My other half did someone freelance writing for a medical website a while back. One of her jobs was to write a script to accompany some visuals explaining the life journey of sperm and how babies are made etc.

    Bizarrely, the music used in the background to this serious and earnest film was the Dave Allen theme tune. I like to think Dave would have found this as amusing as we did at the time and still do years later!

  6. Richardpd

    November 11, 2022 at 10:27 pm

    Yes it sounds funny!

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