The first of four saucy comedies adapted from the best-selling novels of Timothy Lea – the pen name of Christopher Wood, a Cambridge law graduate and ex-advertising executive who was later to pen a further 18 novels in the series.
In addition to introducing us to Robin Askwith and his shiftless brother-in-law (played by British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s father-in-law, Anthony Booth), the film also featured some of Britain’s finest comic talent.
Richard Wattis, John Le Mesurier, Joan Hickson and Dandy Nichols were among those vainly trying to wring a laugh out of the smutty situations and limp jokes.
Produced on a budget of just £150,000 by Columbia Pictures, Confessions of a Window Cleaner also marked a career low for director Val Guest, who handled such memorable movies as The Quatermass Experiment (1955) and The Day the Earth Caught Fire (1961).
But the Confessions series of films are still entertaining examples of 70’s British high camp and go to places the Carry On films never dared to go (to quite ludicrous effect).
View them as period pieces from the days when Window Cleaners rode bicycles, driving instructors were expected to be lecherous and any old crappy pub band would have a van full of groupies wherever they went.
Even the theme songs were great; “Timmy, Timmy give me some of your lovin’, sweet sweet lovin’ . . .”.
The lead role of autobiographical naïve window cleaner Timothy Lea was turned down by Dennis Waterman, Richard Beckinsale, Richard O’Sullivan and Nicky Henson, but blonde-haired 23-year-old actor Robin Askwith – who had previously appeared in two low-brow Pete Walker films – accepted the role.
Having been initiated in sexual matters in a sea of soap suds by one of his lady customers, Timothy frequently finds himself practising his newly-found sexual prowess on the window cleaning clients of Clapham, south London.
Meanwhile, Tim is dating pretty policewoman Elizabeth (Linda Hayden), but when she rebuffs his more amorous advances, Timmy unintentionally proposes marriage.
The wedding day doesn’t go entirely to plan as Timmy is knocked unconscious and driven away in a removal van, but Sid is on hand to comfort the bride on her wedding night!
John Le Mesurier