TV Cream

TV: M is for...

Mornin’ Sarge

MERCIFULLY SHORT-LIVED spin-off from Comedy Playhouse-derived BBC2 “Comic Asides” strand (parent of KYTV). “Written-by-and-starring” ROBIN DRISCOLL, TONY HAASE, PETE MCCARTHY and REBECCA STEVENS, who staffed incompetent Middleford Police Station. Now absent from CVs of all of the above. Curiously.



  1. Martin

    February 21, 2014 at 6:36 pm

    I remember this going out on a Friday night and I thought it was really funny, much better than The Thin Blue Line which ripped it off.

  2. Mark

    March 26, 2014 at 7:56 pm

    I’d agree with Martin on this. This was a funny show, confirmed by having seen it again recently, and superior in many ways to the Thin Blue Line, At least Mornin’ Sarge had a bit of of edgy and quirky to it – both qualities that were lacking in TTBL.

  3. Joanne Gray

    February 20, 2017 at 6:25 pm

    I’d like to agree – far funnier and less stilted than the Thin Blue Line. I particularly remember Pete McCarthy’s character forever being likened to Rodney Bewes (running joke) and Tony Haase’s clueless inspector not getting a joke properly (as told by cheeky schoolkid visiting the station: “What has four legs and two arseholes? A police horse.”) and subsequently retelling the joke but leaving out the ” police” bit.

    The show’s origins actually lie in an earlier Channel 4 series They Came From Somewhere Else, which involved the same actors, characters and situation (to wit, a police station).

    Can I get my Nerd of the Month badge now?

  4. Tom Ronson

    February 21, 2022 at 1:48 am

    Pete McCarthy and Robin Driscoll were also regulars on Alas Smith and Jones, which remains mystifyingly absent from TV Cream, despite being one of the most consistently funny sketch comedies of the eighties.

  5. Richardpd

    July 21, 2022 at 4:20 pm

    I agree that Alas Smith and Jones (later just Smith and Jones) was hilarious at times, especially the Police Interview and the Pete & Dud riffing face to face sketches. Even when it ended in the late 1990s it was feeling still reasonably fresh.

    • Sidney Balmoral James

      July 21, 2022 at 6:37 pm

      Smith and Jones of course rather forgotten these days: Jones is an all-purpose heritage-type presenter, and its 9 years since Smith sadly died. Did they lose interest in comedy when they made serious money (both from Talkback and Smith presumably from directing Bean, which made a quarter of a billion dollars!)? I used to laugh like a drain at their home video sketches (which they did a half-hour special of one Christmas), and the Union Man sketch is near-perfect for subverting the audience’s expectations.

  6. Droogie

    July 22, 2022 at 2:22 pm

    Loved Smith & Jones and agree the quality of their sketches was consistently high. My favourite was a genius piece parodying annoying 80’s adverts of the time that would involve a gang of boisterous cockney lads doing a song and dance number to a sub Madness style tune. Kwik Fit, British Beef and do it all were the worst offenders. The brilliant thing about this sketch was how they had Trevor Peacock from 2 of the above adverts play the third gang member.

    • Richardpd

      July 22, 2022 at 9:57 pm

      Their take on the Yellow Pages teenage party aftermath advert was great.

      While the consistency of the writing was normally good, one of the later shows had the comment in a review that some of the weaker sketches felt like they were leftover from Not The Nine O’Clock News!

      Before becoming a regular in front of the cameras Clive Anderson was a writer on the show.

  7. Glenn Aylett

    July 23, 2022 at 6:18 pm

    The good thing about the Not team was all managed to reinvent themselves and not constantly hark back to their era on the show like one or two of the Pythons did. Pamela Stephenson reinvented herself as an amusing chat show guest and writer, Smith and Jones we know about, and Rowan Atkinson had an excellent, diverse comedy CV in the eighties and nineties. Indeed I can laugh just as much at the sight gags on Mr Bean as I do at the more sophisticated humour in Blackadder.
    Speaking of police comedies, anyone recall Rosie, about a well meaning PC in Scarborough who isn’t really cut out for his job?

  8. Richardpd

    July 23, 2022 at 9:43 pm

    I’ve heard of Rosie but never seen it, even though it was written by Roy Clarke. It started as The Growing Pains of PC Penrose before a slight re-tool to become Rosie. Only the first series has been released on DVD.

  9. Glenn Aylett

    July 24, 2022 at 11:49 am

    @ Richardpd, I can remember it from the late seventies and watched Rosie because we had a Golden Rail( how Cream is that?) holiday in Scarborough in 1977 and I wanted to see the town again. Not laugh out loud, but the sort of gentle humour you’d find in a sitcom like Potter from that era.

  10. Tom Ronson

    October 24, 2022 at 4:14 am

    Paul Brooke was good value in this, and he – along with the sainted Simon Callow – was one of the few bits of casting in that bloody awful 2004 film adaptation of The Phantom of the Opera that actually worked. As for the rest of the cast… Miranda Richardson doing a ‘silly English kniggets’ French accent as Madame Giry? YES PLEASE! The fat lad from Bread as Piangi? HELL YES! The not-quite-Britney Spears lookalike from Brookside as Meg? WHY NOT! Compared to those bizarre choices, sticking the underwhelming Emmy Rossum and the tuneless yelping of Gerard Butler in the lead roles seemed almost sensible…

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