1 9 9 7 – 1 9 9 8 (Australia)
26 x 25 minute episodes
Blustering Aussie grouch Ted Bullpitt (Ross Higgins), first seen on The Naked Vicar Show in the 1970s and the star of the sitcom Kingswood Country in the 1980s – where he grumbled about nuns, Mormons, Poms, Yanks, wogs and paperboys – returned for a third coming in Bullpitt!
Ted was now confined to a nursing home.
His wife, Thel, had left him for an Italian count and the government bought his house in Wombat Crescent to put the Olympic stadium on.
Ted didn’t want to move, but they pointed out that his house was in the long-jump pit, so he sold up and relocated to the Whispering Pines Retirement Village with his goldfish, Kieren, Neville the concrete aboriginal, a fridge full of tinnies and, of course, the Kingswood.
As bigoted and bad-tempered as ever, Ted now had new comic foils, including dodgy gardener Darcy Kelso (Bruce Spence), village vamp Joan Collins (Elaine Lee), and fellow residents Johnno (Peter Whitford) and Muriel (Vanessa Downing) Johnstone.
Ted’s young granddaughter Terri (Kirstie Hutton) – who called Ted “Grumblepops” – visited him frequently.
Samantha MacDonald (Jacqueline Brennan) ran the retirement village – and hated old people.
When Ted was hungry, he “could bite the bum off Ronald McDonald”, he hated opera (“loud wogs singing”) and ballet (“blokes skippin’ around in tights”) and only read the newspaper for the comics.
After just four episodes had aired, Chanel Seven committed to a second series but the show did not achieve the ratings the network had hoped for (the heavy-handed laugh track didn’t help) and was pulled off air in March 1998, four episodes into the second series. It was replaced by a new series of 3rd Rock From The Sun.
Ross Higgins died in 2016 at the age of 85.