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Ripping Yarns

"Met Denis Norden in a shop, and he grasped my hand and told me he hadn't laughed so much since before Christmas!"PALIN-JONES BRAINSTORMERY brilliance. Wrestling the school bear, getting nailed to the wall, “But I am standing up!”, “She’s having a fling!”, Roy Kinnear, “But I shot Dora! “No, I shot Dora!”, Denholm Elliott, “Eight bloody one!”, “It’s too early for the Germans to start the war”, “I’m sorry, I’m going to have to kill myself”, Joan Sanderson, John Le Mesurier. Stunning stuff.



  1. Raston Robot

    June 17, 2009 at 1:27 pm

    I’d never seen any of this series until about a month ago. The ‘Eric Oulthwaite’ episode has to be one of the funniest things I’ve seen in my life.

  2. Mick

    March 8, 2014 at 5:45 pm

    They also wrote their own ‘Playhouse’-type series, later wiped by the Beeb to free up tape for probably something about arable farming, or other boring stuff no-one wants.

    Well, except one. The Ripping Yarns DVD contains the episode Secrets, featuring Alf Garnett’s chocolate factory using dead bodies for its secret assortment. We could well do with more repeats like that when the football’s finished after extra time.

    • Tom Ronson

      March 31, 2022 at 3:05 am

      ‘Secrets’ was part of a BBC2 anthology series called Black and Blue, a series of plays featuring black comedy and blue language. (Do you see?) Palin and Jones didn’t write any of the other instalments, which – as far as I’m aware – still exist in the BBC’s archives. Secrets was wiped because it prompted a flood of complaints from outraged viewers. Network had to source the less-than-stellar off-air recording on the Ripping Yarns DVD set from the show’s director, Peter Cellan Jones, who recorded it on two U-Matic cassettes on its only broadcast in 1973 – which explains why there’s a chunk missing just after Gretchen Franklin’s cameo as the daft charlady.

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