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Your Wednesday Night In...

Your Wednesday Night In… February 1972

Wednesday, 16th February 1972


Peg-on-nose globetrotting witticisms ahoy as we touch down in what more enlightened times would call ‘Whicker’s Asia’, with Alan as our droll consumerism-despairing tour guide for a look at Balinese Mythology, Chinese Cinema, Hong Kong Boat People and, erm, “Thailand’s more extreme sporting activities”. Apparently considered a bit of a shark-jumpy retread of former glories by serious hardcore Whicker-heads, but you can’t beat a bit of Alan really, and a return to form with a move to BBC2 for the fantastically-titled Whicker! was only a matter of time away.


Television’s top Dankworth-soundtracked grainy 16mm ruralist-pluralist weekly chronicle of beardy blokes in coastal towns lamenting how they don’t make them new-fangled fishing nets like they used to or something turns its attention to a tin miner who kept falling down the tin mine in what appears to be a disturbing real-life re-enactment of Gerard Hoffnung’s monologue about the bricklayer. Not exactly Celebrity Antiques Road Trip.

Long-forgotten short-on-laughs semi-canon Dad’s Army adjunct with James Beck and Bill Pertwee as then-topical blokes building motorways with the tarmac satire very much turned up to the nearest turn-off. This week they discover a Roman ruin while digging, no doubt with hilarious consequences. Radio Times was keen to remind us that Richard Caldicot is in No Sex Please, We’re British at the Strand Theatre, London, which was probably a better option all told.



  1. THX 1139

    February 15, 2018 at 6:56 pm

    He never called his American adventures Whicker’s Occident, did he? Eh? Whicker’s Orient is on DVD and a top watch, especially the Thai episode where he goes nuclear with the punnage. One of a kind.

  2. Richard16378

    February 15, 2018 at 8:30 pm

    I remember in the 1980s Alan’s American series was called something like Whicker Meets Uncle Sam.

  3. Glenn Aylett

    February 16, 2018 at 6:48 pm

    There was another slightly better remembered Rsdio 2 sitcom in 1983 called It Sticks Out Half A Mile featuring some of the cast of Dad’s Army about the Home Guard veterans buying a pier after the war. Arthur Lowe died shortly after the pilot was made, and Sticks featured a more mature Private Pike and Sergeant Wilson as the manager of the bank( Mainwaring had retired) as the main protagonists.

  4. Richard16378

    February 16, 2018 at 8:35 pm

    Sticks Out Half A Mile went AWOL thanks to the BBC wiping the master tapes, but a collector recorded it off air fortunately.

    The BBC made a TV pilot called Walking the Planks, & Yorkshire TV made a full series called High & Dry, both with all the character’s names changed.

  5. Glenn Aylett

    February 17, 2018 at 10:40 am

    @ Richard 16378, I’ve done a little research about Sticks and it was wiped by the BBC in the eighties. Also it has recently been repeated on Radio 4 Extra, and has a bit of a cult following now due to the pilot featuring Arthur Lowe just before he died and John Le Mesurier dying shortly after the series ended.
    While your Wednesday Night In is primarily concerned with television, and obviously has avoided the most obvious Wednesday night show at 7.30 on ITV, it’s good to have the radio mentioned as even in the seventies, there were still a couple of million people( mostly elderly) who hadn’t obtained a television and still relied on the radio for entertainment. Radio 2, also using Radio 1’s transmitters between 7 and 10 pm in those days, seemed to recognise this and the night time slot contained comedy, sport, panel games and light music for this audience.

    • THX 1139

      February 17, 2018 at 3:02 pm

      Heck, when I got my first radio (pre-teen) I loved the Radio 2 comedies and panel games, stuff like Bernie Clifton, The Grumbleweeds, Stop the World, Star Sound Extra, and a nostalgia quiz that used the Lord Rockingham’s XI version of Lady Madonna as its theme tune which asked a question about Quatermass and referred to it as a “programme about an astronaut who came back from space and turned into a tree”, a description that unaccountably terrified me at the time.

  6. Glenn Aylett

    February 18, 2018 at 2:00 pm

    @ THX 1139, the comedy on Radio 2, a legacy from the Light Programme era, was often very good in the seventies and eighties. The News Huddlines was excellent for its impersonations and satire, Hello Cheeky was surreal( like a radio Monty Python), The Les Dawson Show was hilarious, and I used to really enjoy radio versions of BBC1 sitcoms.

  7. Richard16378

    February 18, 2018 at 7:41 pm

    I was a bit too young to really remember Radio 2 when it had a lot of non-music programmes.

    My Dad likes to listen to the radio when doing DIY so I got to listen to things like Angus Prune & some other quirky shows on a Saturday afternoon.

  8. Glenn Aylett

    February 19, 2018 at 9:02 pm

    @ Richard 16378, Radio 2 was a lot more diverse in the seventies and eighties than it is now. Daytime on weekdays you had the DJ based shows, but at night and at weekend Radio 2 became like the Light Programme in the era before television became widespread, with a wide variety of programming that occasionally included crime dramas like Ricochet, as well as the comedy, panel games, sports, light music and review programmes. Also they had their own soap, Waggoners Walk, from 1969 to 1980 in daytime that had a large following. Rather different to now where the station is largely devoted to music.

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