Home Television Comedy Whack-O!


1 9 5 6 – 1 9 6 0 (UK)
1 9 7 1 – 1 9 7 2 (UK)
60 x 30 minute episodes
3 x short specials

Fondly remembered and long-running comedy series starring Jimmy Edwards and written by Denis Norden and Frank Muir – who also penned Edward’s long-running radio series, Take It From Here.

Edwards had been a radio star since the 1940s as Pa Glum, but it was for his role as Professor James Edwards MA (applied for), the corrupt, crafty and cane swishing Head Master of Chiselbury School for which he will always be most famously remembered.


His bullying tactics were not confined simply to his students. Members of his staff were given a particularly rough ride, especially his right-hand man, weedy science master and Assistant Head Master Mr Oliver Pettigrew, played by Arthur Howard, brother of movie star Leslie.


Pettigrew was forced to double up as boxing instructor, a model for the art class, relief boilerman and left-hand goalpost in inter-house soccer matches.

Most episodes bore the legend ‘A Weekly Report’, but the first series of six episodes was subtitled ‘Six Of The Best’.

During its initial four-year run, Kenneth Cope (Marty Randall in Randall and Hopkirk: Deceased), and Peter Glaze (Crackerjack) appeared regularly.

The series was revived in 1971 (with the slightly altered title Whacko!) and a cinema version, Bottoms Up, was released in 1960.

Jimmy Edwards had been awarded the DFC (Distinguished Flying Cross) during WWII as a fighter pilot with the RAF. His Dakota was shot down over Arnhem and his injuries were such that half of his face had to be rebuilt, hence the trademark handlebar moustache.


Prof. Jimmy Edwards
Jimmy Edwards
Mr Oliver Pettigrew

Arthur Howard
F D Price- Whittaker

Kenneth Cope
G D St J Dinwiddie

John Garside
L B Hackett

Arthur Bush
R D Spelthorne

Tony Sympson
S A Smallpiece

Norman Bird

Barbara Archer (1)
Elisabeth Fraser (2)
Charlotte Mitchell (3)
M Aristide Beaumarie

Victor Baring
L J Halliforth BSc

Edwin Apps
R Palmer

John Lewis
G Perkins

Michael Stainton
R P Trench MA

Peter Glaze
Mr Snaith

Christopher Hodge
Mr Tuppington

John Forbes-Robertson
Mr Cope-Willoughby

Frank Raymond

John Stirling

John Hall

Robert O’Leary

Jimmy Ray

Derek Needs

Paul Norman