After Spike Milligan's last series with the 'Q' prefix was aired in 1980, the general consensus was that the format had gone stale, and the lousy reviews only confirmed it. The BBC still wanted Spike, who (in my opinion) was never at his best on television, so they compromised - they let him make another series with the same theme tune and mostly the same cast - but with a different name, hence 'There's A Lot Of It About'(TALOIA for short). Another wise decision was to lift some of the writing burden from old Spike, who could get away with murder if left to write all the material by himself, and two relative newcomers were brought in, Andrew Marshall and David Renwick, whose underrated ITV series 'End of Part One' and 'Whoops Apocalypse' were decades ahead of their time and paved the way for shows like Jam, Brasseye and the less well-remembered TV Squash (and the various incarnations of Victor Lewis Smith) to run rampant over all areas of presentation and format, spoofing the medium from within, often with devastating results.
Marshall and Renwick's fascination with the world of television logos and linkmen is evident from the beginning of show one, which purports to be a minority interest programme called 'Bondage', but cuts out two minutes later to show the BBC2 logo (upside down) and a sincere apology, before TALOIA begins properly. A little later, there is a brilliant, Monty Python-ish spoof of the BBC News, in which the logo collapses (the decal behind the newsreader does ditto) and the autocue fails, leaving Milligan to operate it by hand. Elsewhere in TALOIA, there are convincing spoofs of Life On Earth, Game For A Laugh, weather reports, the Epilogue, party political broadcasts, Holiday '82 and several more, all tied together with Milligan's usual hit-and-miss sketches, but to be fair this series does have a fairly good success rate, and I remember laughing at the fake obituary Milligan provides for himself, and him jumping through the screen shouting "I may be dead but I still have my pride!" from when the BBC repeated a few episodes circa 1988.
This series turned out to be Spike's last for the BBC and it's probably his best work, but still very much a cult item, and if you're likely to be offended by racial stereotypes or big women in corsets, steer well clear.
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