One of Johnny Speight's lesser creations, 'The Nineteenth Hole' was set in a posh golf club where chauvinism and bigotry are rife among the well-heeled members. Speight was a golf lover and knew what went on in these places. Eric Sykes, kitted out in flat cap and long johns, played the club's harassed secretary, and was chiefly responsible for what few laughs there were.
Like Speight's earlier 'Spooner's Patch', the main problem was that, with the exception of the Secretary, almost every character was a carbon-copy of Alf Garnett. There was no-one to provide a counterbalance to the non-stop parade of prejudiced and ill-informed tirades. The end result was tiresome rather than funny, akin to watching the B.B.C.'s 'Question Time'.
The show squandered the talents of such fine actors as Garfield Morgan, John Quayle, Derek Newark, Norman Rossington ( essentially reprising his 'Spooner's Patch' role ), and Brian Glover. In one episode, a club member ( played by Ken Campbell ) named Mr.Johnson underwent a sex change operation and the committee debated whether or not to permit her to use the men's bar. When it was finally agreed she be allowed to use it, other members underwent the same operation and crowded the bar.
One I.T.V. station ( T.S.W. ) was so embarrassed by the show they cancelled it in mid-run. Apart from some U.K. Gold repeats in the late '90's, it has not been seen anywhere since. The idea probably looked good on paper, but even the normally brilliant Speight could not get out of this particular hole.
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