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TV: N is for...

Nineteenth Hole, The

NEVER-BEFORE-OR-AGAIN CRAZED combination of ERIC SYKES, JOHNNY SPEIGHT and WILLIAM G. STEWART cooked up this unsubtle scattergun where an otherwise ordinary golf course doubled as the last outpost of the Third Reich. Strict door policy, i.e. blue eyes/blond hair Desirable. Swastika flown from the club roof. Women members banned. And so it went on, with predictable regions-up-in-arms mutterings (Anglia, TSW and others pulled it half way through). Only Central made the distance, but real crime was, as ever, failure to realise sum of notable parts. And to be funny.



  1. Glenn Aylett

    March 14, 2022 at 7:37 pm

    This must be the weirdest sitcom ever made and one of Eric Sykes last outings. I can remember the swastika flying from the clubhouse roof and someone suggesting council tenants should be gassed. The Nineteenth Hole could have worked if it was on Channel 4 in a knowing, satirical way, but not the sort of thing that would work on ITV after Coronation St. No wonder it was pulled by some ITV regions, the concept of golfers as neo Nazi snobs was too weird for most people, even if golf clubs weren’t known for having many socialist members in the eighties.

  2. Richardpd

    March 14, 2022 at 10:01 pm

    My Dad used to joke about many golf clubs being run by “Little Hitlers”.

    It’s interesting that this wasn’t a vehicle for Jimmy Tarbuck or one of the other golfing clique members.

  3. Droogie

    March 15, 2022 at 12:54 am

    I remember watching Johnny Speight comedies from a kid into my mid teens and never laughing once ( as opposed to the works of Galton & Simpson or Clement & Le Frenais who constantly amused and who knew how to write a joke.) I appreciate Alf Garnet as a brilliant satirical character that nailed the working class Tory Royalist bigots of the time, but I do wonder how Speight kept getting commissioned for so long – whether it was endless Alf Garnet spin-offs , or godawful shows like The Lady Is A Tramp for Channel 4.

  4. Glenn Aylett

    March 15, 2022 at 9:38 pm

    @ Droogie, In Sickness And In Health was quite funny for the first series, just to see how Alf Garnett would be like as an angry old man, but the absence of Tony Booth and the fact his beloved Tories had flattened Labour in two elections made him less relevant. I much prefer Warren Mitchell in the little remembered comedy drama, You Think You’ve Got Problems, as a Northern Irish Jew during The Troubles. Sad, though, most people thought of Mitchell and one role that stayed with him until he died.

  5. Richardpd

    March 15, 2022 at 10:12 pm

    In Sickness And In Health managed to have quite a bit of not political comedy, with Alf getting into a few scrapes that wouldn’t be out of place happening to Victor Meldrew a few years later.

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