CRIBBINS 2-DVD Set.
Both complete series.
2 discs. 12 episodes. Comedy. Colour. Year: 1969-1970.
Running time approx: 300 mins.
Stars: Bernard Cribbins, Sheila Steafel, Bob Todd, Madeline Smith, Tim Barrett, Dennis Price, Patrick Cargill, Bill Pertwee, Terence Brady and Carmel McSherry.
Written by sitcom legends Johnnie Mortimer and Brian Cooke (then riding high on the success of Father Dear Father), this set features both series of Cribbins. Bernard Cribbins was already a key presence in British film and television comedy. An off-beat revue of quickfire sketches in the “Cribbins style,” this fast-moving mixture of comedy and song, (including chart hits Right, Said Fred, Hole in the Ground, and Gossip Calypso), featured characters in hilarious situations. Bank clerk, burglar, tramp, librarian, cowboy and even spaceman – Cribbins is all these, and many more!
After years of film, TV and recording work, this was Bernard Cribbins’ first TV series of his own. Two series were made in 1969 and 1970 with six episodes in each. The show featured sketches galore, (as many as 18 per show), and launched in the week that ITV transmitted in colour for the first time. Each week the star sang a song written by Mortimer and Cooke with Ted Dicks, who had composed Cribbins’ early hit singles. Regular co-stars included Sheila Steafel and Tim Barrett, as well as an excellent supporting cast. Bob Todd, best known for his work with Benny Hill; Patrick Cargill (the star of Father Dear Father) and Madeline Smith. Terence Brady and Carmel McSherry also appeared, later to be seen in series such as Beryl’s Lot and In Sickness and in Health. Many of the sketches have punchlines that you won’t see coming. Highlights include
a sentimental burglar played at his own game by a little girl; a new bank employee whose references, written by the Queen, the Prime Minister and the Archbishop of Canterbury all have the same handwriting – because they were dictated to the Pope(!); an elephant missing on the London Underground, an Eskimo in London and Superscouse have echoes of Cooke and Mortimers’ work on the last series of Round the Horne. Bernard Cribbins is a joy to watch.