Chirpy Cockney petty crook 'Budgie' Bird is the main character in this British TV series of the early 70s. Budgie was the eternal failure, with every scam, and every attempt to make his ...
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'John McVicar' was a London Bad Boy. he graduated to armed bank robbery and was Britain's "Public Enemy No. 1". He was captured and put into a high security prison. Will even the highest ... See full summary »
David Callan is the top agent/assassin for the Security Service (British counterintelligence), but he is an embittered man who performs his duties "for Queen and country" under duress. This... See full summary »
James Onedin marries Anne Webster in order to get his hands on a ship. However the marriage turns out to be one of true love. James is ruthless in his attempt to get a shipping line started... See full summary »
David Callan, top agent/assassin for the S.I.S., was forced to retire because he had lost his nerve. Now, Callan is called back into service to handle the assassination of Schneider, a ... See full summary »
The Liverpool-based Boswell family are experts at exploiting the system to get by in life. Despite the fact that none of the Boswells are officially employed, they manage to live a fairly ... See full summary »
When Tessa Piggott goes through a messier breakup than most (her married ex-lover and ex-boss left her for a younger mistress), she looks for a new job. Deciding to leave the rat-race, she ... See full summary »
Chirpy Cockney petty crook 'Budgie' Bird is the main character in this British TV series of the early 70s. Budgie was the eternal failure, with every scam, and every attempt to make his fortune landing him further and further into trouble, either with the police, or with his untrustworthy sometime boss, the cynical Charlie Endell, a respectable club owner on the surface, and underworld villain below it. All attempts to put Budgie on the 'straight and narrow' by his girlfriend and awful ex-wife were in vain, and with an unflappable optimism, he bounced in and out of prison on a regular basis as the series progressed. Written by
The videotape clock on the beginning of some Series 1 episodes shows that the series was originally going to be called "The Loser", not "Budgie". See more »
In the opening titles, the wording "Budgie", "Starring Adam Faith" and "And Iain Cuthbertson" is made up of piles of pound notes arranged on the ground into the shape of the lettering. These notes come from a briefcase which Budgie steals from a car and which he then drops, causing the banknotes to spill out. See more »
Budgie (or 'The Loser', as it was originally intended to be called) was a big hit with audiences back in 1971/2. It gave 60's songster Adam Faith, another chance at stardom, and led him on an interesting career as an actor. The show highlighted a certain (jailbird/chancer/petty thief/lovable rogue) Ronald 'Budgie' Bird, and his frequent (yet never successful) attempts to make 'easy' money. His futile attempts are also thwarted, due to his connection with Glasweigan sex shop owner/crime boss Charlie Endell (played brilliantly by Iain Cuthbertson) who constantly hangs over Budgie, depriving him of any earnings, and always coming out on top. His henchman, Laughing Spam Fritter (great name) is also menacingly portrayed by John Rhys-Davies. Given Endells questionable background, yet his (seemingly) respectable 'public' facade, the series has a lot to say about class system (or at very least, the idea of a class system) than it does about petty crime in the seventies. Budgie is not without redeeming features, and the one good thing in his life, is (his ever put upon girl-fiend/mother of his child) Hazell (another great down to earth performance by Lynne Dalby.) She constantly stands by her man (even when he seemingly leaves her for other women) yet receives little or no thanks for her endeavours. The show (in it's 26 episode run, in 2 series) covers a lot of ground, and also features some great guest cameos (including: John Thaw, Gordon Jackson, Derek Jacobi and James Bolam, to name but a few) Some (if not most) times this show has a certain comedic flow to it, yet other times, it takes on a darker sinister edge (mostly due to the sometime psychotic rages of Charlie Endell) but all in all, it's not only a great seventies time capsule, but (still to this very day) a highly moving and involving television show, that was long overdue a repeat in the UK (it's last and only repeat, being on Channel 4 circa 1985) but it seems the great minds at Network DVD have put together a excellent release of series 1 & 2 (Series two, also has some great special features)
Highlights from series one are: Out, Grandee Hotel, Everybody Loves A Baby, Sunset Mansions.
Highlights from series two are: And The Lord Taketh Away, Do Me A Favour, Twenty-Four Thousand Ball Point Pens, King For A day, Brief Encounter, Run Rabbit, Run Rabbit, Run, Run, Run
All in all, a great series. Hopefully Network DVD can release the rarely seen 1979 spin off 'Charlie Endell Esq' in the near future?
10 out of 10 (and surprisingly, the first comment, on this great show)
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