TV Cream

TV: S is for...


ULTIMATE ABOUT-NOTHING British sitcom bedecked with fantastic whistle-along theme (courtesy of RON “DR WHO” GRAINER) and on-screen titles which looked like someone was writing them on the screen as you watched. An appropriately low-key overture to what followed: louche suburban sarcastic degree-wielding dole-wallowing Thatcher-baiting life-hating put-upon-pedant James Shelley, aka HYWEL “PERCY” BENNETT, sitting around and mouthing off. Early years found our hero alternately running from and running amok with girlfriend Fran (BELINDA SINCLAIR) and dodging the machinations of landlady Mrs Hawkins (JOSEPHINE TEWSON). Had a baby, hotfooted it to America for a bit, then came back to lodge with, sequentially, a pair of Yuppie caricatures and DAVID RYALL. Always worth watching, for the casual swearing alone. Ultimately sank along with Thames TV itself, which seemed somehow fitting.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Billy Tweddell

    October 24, 2019 at 2:40 pm

    Thanks to the heoric Forces TV, I’m currently making my way through every episode. Top stuff as well, particuarly the later series penned by pre-Drop The Donkey Andy Hamilton and Guy Jenkin.

    There’s some great guest stars – Max Wall, Fulton Mackay (as a tramp), early Alan Rickman, Garfield Morgan, Warren Clarke, Peter ‘Grouty’ Vaughan (as a copper), Sylvia Kay, Kenneth Cope, John ‘CJ’ Barron, John Savident and James Grout – later the Professor in Hamilton’s ‘Old Harry’s Game’ on Radio 4.

    As noted, it had a brilliant theme tune and wasn’t Shelley’s name been written on the screen during the opening titles meant to signify him signing-on?

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