Confessions of a Window Cleaner had only been on release for two months when Columbia Pictures demanded a sequel of initially reluctant producer Greg Smith.
By the end of 1974, there were eleven Christopher Wood novels on the market; after Window Cleaner the next book in the series had been Confessions of a Driving Instructor, but Smith took the decision early on to adapt one of Wood’s more recent novels, Confessions from the Pop Scene.
The title was subsequently changed to Confessions of a Pop Performer due to the double-entendre gained from the wording ‘performer’.
With veteran Val Guest unwilling to direct the sequel, Window Cleaner’s associate producer Norman Cohen was drafted in to helm Pop Performer.
Cohen brings a quicker pace to proceedings and more physical comedy, filling the running time with wall-to-wall slapstick and bawdy seaside postcard humour.
Unfortunately, this film lacks the impish charm of its predecessor and Askwith is hampered by an extremely poor script.
All the principal cast members reprise their roles, apart from Dandy Nichols, who had committed to filming Till Death Us Do Part. She was immediately replaced by another veteran comedy character actress, Doris Hare, well known as the devoted mum in the long-running ITV sitcom On the Buses.
Tiring of window cleaning and its attendant dangers, Sid (Anthony Booth) and Timmy (Robin Askwith) set up ‘Noggo Enterprises’ to promote up-and-corning local pub band ‘Bloater’ who they rename with the much classier handle of ‘Kipper’.
“Our name is Kipper, Kipper – Mean as Jack The Ripper”
Sid arranges for them to play their first big showcase gig at the local civic hall, but when the group’s drummer hurts his finger Timmy takes over at short notice to perform their theme tune Do the Clapham.
Unfortunately, Sid’s attempts at getting together a bunch of screaming teenage fans fall flat when the only rent-a-crowd he can manage are members of the Clapham Old Girl’s Club. The geriatric groupies, dressed in ‘I Love Kipper’ T-shirts, duly storm the stage and cause a riot.
Kipper’s musical prowess somehow gets them onto Maxy Naus’ (Peter Jones) TV talent show Star Knockers. However, their television debut ends in cataclysmic disaster when Sid attempts to rig the show’s ‘applause-ometer’
Events take a turn for the better when Kipper are hired as eleventh-hour stand-ins for a charity event at the London Palladium in front of the Queen and Prince Philip.
Askwith struggles manfully with a dismal script and comes off much better than Prime Minister Blair’s father-in-law, Anthony Booth.
Particularly in the scene where Booth is frantically shagging the arse off Jill Gascoigne (that’s Jill Gascoigne!) with ridiculous Benny Hill facial contortions, in an attempt to get his brother’s crappy band on Star Knockers.
Watch for Ian Lavender (Private Pike from Dad’s Army) as a Police Constable on heat with a WPC in a storeroom.
Jill Gascoigne allegedly tried to stop the release of Confessions of a Pop Performer on video, claiming the distributors were trying to cash in on her success in The Gentle Touch.
The Climax Sisters