1 9 7 2 – 1 9 7 3 (UK)
7 x 30 minute episodes
Produced by Barry Took, the BBC comedy series Grubstreet presented sketches featuring a selection of characters and stories from Fleet Street newspapers and magazines of the day, including Private Eye, Punch, The Daily Telegraph, and The Daily Express.
Slickly presented as a series of vignettes (in the style of That Was The Week That Was), the show used unchanged newspaper headlines and tabloid stories as source material (“Heath to be made Nature Reserve” – Evening News) so, for example, a report in The Times that General Idi Amin had sighted a UFO over Lake Victoria gave John Bird a chance to sit behind the General’s desk and relate the incident in un-Times like words: “I was just coming back from sacking de Cabinet” in a long monologue.
Julian Orchard played many mad roles (as did the entire cast), reprising the character of Eric Badger, the camp ballet critic he first made famous in Spike Milligan’s Beachcomber series. Anna Quayle played the Private Eye character, Glenda Slag.
Most of it would have been fairly banal stuff in printer’s ink on newsprint, but all good fun when translated into glorious tele-colour.