1 9 6 8 – 1 9 6 9 (UK)
19 x 30 minute episodes
This surreal Spike Milligan vehicle was adapted from the long-running humorous ‘Beachcomber’ column written by J.B. Morton in the Daily Express.
Spike appeared in a smoking jacket as Dr Strabismus (Whom God Preserve), linking a series of unrelated sketches in a high quavering German accent. Commercials for ‘Snibbo’ and ‘Threadgold’s Thoroughgood Garterettes’ also broke up the segments.
Recurring characters included Twelve Red-Bearded Dwarfs (with a penchant for farcical litigation) appearing before ineffectual High Court judge Mr Justice Cocklecarrot (Clive Dunn), Dr Smart Allick (the genteel but ludicrous and criminal headmaster of Narkover school), Mrs Florence McGurgle (who ran a boarding house full of dissatisfied boarders), Captain Foulenough and The Filthistan Trio.
Michael Redgrave gave a reading each week from The Anthology of Huntingdonshire Cabmen.
19 episodes were produced and broadcast on the new BBC 2 channel. Unfortunately, the original videotapes were wiped and only one complete episode (on 16mm black and white film) now survives in the BBC archives.
Mike Sammes Singers