TV Cream

100 Greatest TV Moments

10) “They hold a note quite well, don’t they?”

A song about a Honda, 23rd February 1992

10-01 10-02
10-03 10-04
Ooh look, Victor’s radio is tuned into Radio 1 on 1089 medium wave. Probably not Victor’s choice of station, that. Anyway, as we’ve seen elsewhere in this chart, One Foot In The Grave is one of our greatest ever sitcoms and much of that was thanks to the sheer audacity of David Renwick and his wonderfully inventive scripts, not least what became a tradition of an episode each series taking place in real time. During series three, where the show was at the height of its brilliance and pulling in millions and millions of viewers each week, that entailed Victor, Margaret and – as we finally discover – Mrs Warboys getting trapped in a traffic jam. There are loads of fantastic bits of comedic business in the episode, including the conversation between neighbouring cars (“Why don’t you just dangle your private parts out of the window while you’re at it?!”), the phone call and, of course, Mrs Warboy’s surprise appearance. But the bit everyone remembers, and rightly so, is the moment where Victor sticks on a cassette only to find the irate mechanics at his local garage has decided to record something over it. Performed by Eric Idle and John Du Prez, whose other contribution to the series was the theme tune, their bastardisation of Bread of Heaven is absolutely fantastic. Just hearing them harmonise to “he can stick it up his bum” is hilarious. What sets it apart from the straightforward comic song is the expressions by Victor, Mrs Warboys and especially Margaret, which if they couldn’t hear the tape is a masterclass in reacting to nothing and if they could is a masterclass in suppressing laughter. We also really like how it immediately cuts off in favour of some brilliantly out-of-place jaunty ragtime jazz.

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Richard Davies

    February 18, 2014 at 6:12 pm

    I remember seeing this when it was first shown & along with my Dad & brother nearly laughing the house down!

    There’s also a brief bit of Derek Jameson on the radio, which Victor turns off very quickly.

    Like most good episodes of OFITG there’s so much packed into the script it took me a few times to get take it all in.

  2. putthetellyon

    February 19, 2014 at 1:51 am

    Every time I hear ‘Bread of Heaven’ I think of this! Much like listening to ‘Praise My Soul The King of Heaven’ I think of that early episode of Mr Bean and the church scene where he gets the chorus timings wrong.

    Most people often say OFITG was great because of Victor’s miserable musings and THAT catchphrase but actually it was so much more than that. The brilliant thing about OFITG is the suspense in the storylines (more so in the hour long specials) that always often built up to nothing but on the butt end of the joke was always Victor.

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