Big Jim and the Figaro Club (1979–1981)

TV Series  |   |  Comedy
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.6/10 from 18 users  
Reviews: 4 user

Add a Plot

0Check in

IMDb Picks: May

Visit our IMDb Picks section to see our recommendations of movies and TV shows coming out in May, sponsored by COVERGIRL.

Visit the IMDb Picks section

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

list image
a list of 77 titles
created 29 Jul 2012
list image
a list of 1320 titles
created 6 months ago

Related Items

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: Big Jim and the Figaro Club (1979–1981)

Big Jim and the Figaro Club (1979–1981) on IMDb 8.6/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Big Jim and the Figaro Club.




1981   1979  


Series cast summary:
 Narrator (6 episodes, 1979-1981)
 Big Jim (6 episodes, 1979-1981)
David Beckett ...
 Chick (6 episodes, 1979-1981)
 Turps (6 episodes, 1979-1981)
 Old Ned (6 episodes, 1979-1981)
 Harold Perkins (6 episodes, 1979-1981)
David John ...
 Nimrod (5 episodes, 1981)
Priscilla Morgan ...
 Glad (3 episodes, 1981)
Hazel Clyne ...
 Beryl (3 episodes, 1981)
Lill Roughley ...
 Pudden (3 episodes, 1981)


Add Full Plot | Add Synopsis







Release Date:

24 June 1979 (UK)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(6 episodes)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


In 1987 BBC Radio broadcast a six-part adaptation of the series, with Norman Rossington reprising his role as Big Jim. See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Ahead of its time, perhaps
19 May 2006 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

"Big Jim" started life as a one-off television play. Set in the 1950's (the early days of the welfare state in Britain) the working-class narrator has been to university. Home on vacation he looks out his old mates from the gang of council builders he worked with. 'Big Jim' is the foreman, Harold Perkins is their snooping, petty-minded manager.

It turns out Perkins has started an affair with Big Jim's wife and the narrator gets caught up in two revenge plots. It is a tradition in the work gang that when one member "calls on Figaro", "every bugger calls on Figaro" - a sort of all-for-one-and-one-for-all (and not to be done lightly). Even after 25 years or so the narrator is still so committed to the club's code of silence that he says he can never tell us who Figaro is (or was). In this case, Big Jim doesn't call on Figaro but the other builders do, and organise the neighbourhood to 'rough music' the adulterous couple (an old-fashioned working class shaming ritual consisting of banging pots and pans outside the house where the couple are making love, in effect saying 'We know what you're doing').

Big Jim meanwhile is secretly building something in his garage. Before leaving for university the narrator showed Jim how to use the local library and he has combined his new research and work skills (Jim is a carpenter) to build a replica Roman army ballista (a huge catapult). Jim and the narrator use the ballista to pelt Perkins's house with bags of flour and less savoury material.

The film ends with Perkins, having had to escape from Jim's place, returning to find his own house covered in grunge.

The play had a good story, strong characters, and a great sense of period. A series of half-hour programmes followed in which the gang got into some scrape, called on Figaro, and delivered their own rough justice to snobs and social climbers. For example, in one episode houses were being linked to the main sewer system. All very well, but it puts the man who empties the old septic tank out of work. So, on the day the mayor and his friends come to inspect the work, not a toilet in the street is flushed until they are inside the sewer, and then...

Maybe the cost of recreating the 1950's was too much for a half-hour comedy. Maybe the show was broadcast at the wrong time to get good viewing figures, late at night on a minority channel. For whatever reason, only six were made. Nevertheless, it was well worth watching and as you can tell from my description, the plots were memorable.

A radio series was broadcast in the early 80's but in the TV age this was a definite minority audience and part of the show's attraction was its visual recreation of 50's Britain.

Since the 1990's, several very successful British TV shows (such as 'Heartbeat') have traded on nostalgia as part of their appeal. If 'Big Jim' had arrived just a few years later, it could have caught that audience. All the same, the shows that were made were an under-appreciated gem of British television and deserved a wider public.

13 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Big Jim sam-1084
Discuss Big Jim and the Figaro Club (1979) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: