Home Television Comedy Upchat Line, The

Upchat Line, The

1 9 7 7 (UK)
7 x 30 minute episodes

Created and written by Billy Liar creator Keith Waterhouse, The Upchat Line starred John Alderton as an unknown author and cad who went around London from situation to comedic situation in a coy, boyish manner (much imitated in later years by Hugh Grant).


His time was primarily devoted to searching for young women to provide him with a bed for the night.He didn’t have a home of his own, so he kept his belongings in a left-luggage locker (#685) in Marylebone Station.

‘Mike Upchat’ was not his real name, of course, and no one ever found out what this was; it was also not the only pseudonym he would employ in his schemes to wile his way into a woman’s bed.

Nor did ‘Upchat’ refrain from claiming all manner of vocations – most of the time he said he was a writer but he could also be anything from a psychologist to a piano-tuner, depending on what he considered would impress a woman most.

In short, then, ‘Mike Upchat’ was an incorrigible liar, using his way with words to get his way with women.

upchatline4 upchatline5

En route to his many conquests he made a number of enemies, of course, usually jealous boyfriends and husbands or angry parents, but this never stopped him in his desperate desire to find a bed for the night, preferably with someone warm to snuggle up to.

The Thames Television series guest-starred Wanda Ventham, Liza Goddard, Maurice Denham, Sue Lloyd and the gorgeous Gabrielle Drake (Lieutenant Ellis from UFO)

The series was reprised in 1978 as The Upchat Connection. The original ‘Mike Upchat’ (Alderton) had now emigrated to Australia, leaving his pseudonym, his address book, his second-best T-shirt, all his library tickets and the key to his luggage locker to a new ‘Mike Upchat’, played by Robin Nedwell (from Doctor in the House).

Mike Upchat
John Alderton


Pulling | Accommodation Address | Casualty Ward | Albert’s Benefit | The One That Got Away | One Good Turn | Home Is The Hunter