Budgie (1971–1972)
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Fiddler on the Hoof: Part 1 

It's domestic problems for Budgie - one of them being his dad and, to quote Budgie; "What is a dad? A dad is a bloke who skives from home and tries to tap you for a couple of quid.

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Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
...
Lynn Dalby ...
Hazel Fletcher
Betty Marsden ...
Lady Maisie
George Tovey ...
Jack Bird
Julia McCarthy ...
Alice Bird
Anne Carroll ...
Violet Bird
...
Tony Pringle
Angus MacKay ...
Carver (as Angus Mackay)
John Crocker ...
Frank
Patrick Durkin ...
Policeman
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Storyline

It's domestic problems for Budgie - one of them being his dad and, to quote Budgie; "What is a dad? A dad is a bloke who skives from home and tries to tap you for a couple of quid.

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Genres:

Drama

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Details

Release Date:

11 June 1971 (UK)  »

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Did You Know?

Quotes

Charles Endell, esq: Budgie. There are two things I hate in this world, and your both of them!
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Soundtracks

The Loner
(Main Theme - Series 1)
Written by Nick Harrison
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User Reviews

 
Budgie goes home
14 December 2010 | by (Ambrosia) – See all my reviews

A recent poll in The Sunday Times found a majority of British people now believe Prince William would make a better king than his dad, and Charlie Boy should step aside for him when the time comes. The thought that flashed through my mind as I read this was - who the flaming hell cares? In today's turbulent world, with all the problems we face such as climate change, wars and so on, does it matter whose hairy bottom occupies the toilet at Buck House? The title 'King' is meaningless these days as the position no longer carries responsibility. If I'd been approached by the pollsters, my response would have been short, pithy, and possibly very rude.

From Prince Charles to Charlie Endell now. Well, not really, as he is absent from this episode. 'Fiddler On The Hoof' is unique in the 'Budgie' series for two reasons - it was the only two-parter ever done, and secondly, it was penned not by Keith Waterhouse and Willis Hall, but by Douglas Livingstone. Budgie is having a drink with Lady Maisie ( Betty Marsden ), an over-the-hill singer planning an insurance scam by hiring Budge to steal her priceless necklace. Outside the restaurant, Maisie remonstrates with a seedy man ( George Tovey ) playing a violin to a cinema queue. She accuses him of stealing her spot, as she claims to regularly busk there. He refuses to move on and plays over her singing to annoy her. The man in question is none other than Jack Bird, Budgie's dad. Jack has left home and has nowhere to stay, so Budgie takes him to Hazel's place. She is not pleased, as the last time he brought someone back to stay the night he robbed them ( Joe Gladwin's 'Maguire' in 'Best Mates' ). After Budgie has gone, a row develops between Jack and Hazel resulting in him storming out to resume busking. Whilst stealing the necklace, Budgie is caught red-handed by Maisie's knife-wielding husband, whom she neglected to inform about the scam. As far as he is concerned, Budge is just another burglar...

Livingstone went on to create the funny 'Born & Bred' nine years later, and in this you can plainly see the groundwork being laid for that future series. The Bird house is almost as dingy as the one Tommy Tonsley ( Max Wall ) and family would eventually occupy. Tovey's alcoholic moaner is the prototype for Wall's character, drippy prospective son-in-law Tony ( Donald Douglas ) has echoes of Richard O'Callaghan's 'Stephen Benge' while Budgie's sister Vi ( Anne Carroll ) is Susan Tracy's 'Iris' minus the nymphomania. The funny scene in which Budgie and Mrs.Bird ( Julia MacCarthy ) catches her in bed with nervous fiancée Tony was later duplicated in 'Born & Bred'. You can see why Budgie left home to escape this lot. They make the Garnetts of 'Till Death Us Do Part' seem like the Brady Bunch.

Betty Marsden was that woman with the awful rattling laugh in 'Carry On Camping' ( 1969 ) and re-uses it here. She is a bit of a hustler herself as the necklace she has hired Budgie to steal is completely worthless.

Livingstone's script is great, full of good one-liners, and it is a pity we don't see much of his work on our screens these days. His last credit was for David Jason's 'The Quest' trilogy.


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