A documentary crew films heavy metal band Bad News as they have trouble starting their van, pick up a schoolgirl groupie, and meet up with rock journalist Sally at a motorway service ... See full summary »



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Episode cast overview:
Peter Richardson ...
Bert Parnaby ...
Neville Smith ...
Judy Hawkins ...
Charu Bala Chokshi ...
Cashier (as Chara Bala Choksi)


A documentary crew films heavy metal band Bad News as they have trouble starting their van, pick up a schoolgirl groupie, and meet up with rock journalist Sally at a motorway service station where they argue about the cost of sausage and chips.

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heavy metal | See All (1) »





Release Date:

24 January 1983 (UK)  »

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Did You Know?


Rik Mayall plays the bass in the band, left-handed. Highly unusual however is the fact that he doesn't reverse the strings as is usual when turning a guitar round. So his E-string is at the bottom of his bass instead of the top. He does appear to be actually playing the instrument. See more »


Cashier: Two pounds and five pence, please, love.
Den Dennis: Two quid? Two quid for one bloody sausage?
Cashier: That's right, love. Two pounds and five pence.
Den Dennis: Right, where's the camera?
[Holds sausage up to camera]
Den Dennis: Look.
[to cashier]
Den Dennis: What's the name of this place?
[Cashier backs away]
Den Dennis: Well, anyway, it's a rip-off. Look, they're charging two quid for one bloody sausage! So don't come here!
See more »


Featured in Rik Mayall: Lord of Misrule (2014) See more »

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User Reviews

Works better as a introductory prologue to; More Bad News
6 February 2018 | by See all my reviews

A mockumentary that centres on the the tenth rate rock band; Bad News as they set out on their ill fated tour of the U.K. Between mishaps that involve their run down old van and a petty argument over the cost of sausage and chips at a motorway service station, they grow frustrated as they struggle to attract large audiences to attend their gigs. Their shared frustration is eventually directed at the documentary film crew who have been chronicling their exploits.

The first of six episodes penned by Adrian Edmondson who also frequently appeared throughout; The Comic Strip Presents...., it's safe to assume that; Bad News Tour might have served as the inspiration behind American director; Rob Reiner's eerily similar full length 1985 mockumentaty; This is Spinal Tap. Of course one major distinction between them both is that while the latter benefited from a running time of over an hour and twenty minutes in length, the former had the restraint of only being half an hour long. It's to Edmondson's credit however that he's able to introduce and establish a range of moronic no hopers, develop some effectively comedic situations and deliver what is essentially an amusing satirical look at a bunch of loser misfits who's ambitions far outreach their talents. Led by Alan who goes by the choice stage name of Vim Feugo; and goes to great pains to hammer home that it is under this moniker that he is to be known, he is joined by the rather dense Den (Nigel Planer), pretentious cardboard rocker; Colin (Rik Mayall) who can't even play an instrument and ex-junkie and dole scrounger; Spider (Peter Richardson).

With their collective ineptitude and their shared delusions of grandeur there's all the recipe one needs here for some ignominious comedy as from the word go; the only direction for the ultimately quarrelsome quartet is a downward trajectory as they set out on what will assuredly be a disastrous tour. Cringe worthy in their sad attempts to pick up "groupies", with their success doing nothing to elevate any sense of legitimacy to their status given that the young lady in question is a teenage schoolgirl played here by fellow Comic Strip regular; Dawn French. The sporadic additions of voice over from Vim; who's delusional self-aggrandising as he extols the virtues of himself and emphasises his and the overall misguided mindset of the band to dizzying effect. Their overall incompetence isn't helped either by their less congruous working relationship with the manager of their first and only venue that we bear witness to, and the underhanded attempts at manipulation by the documentary film crew's director . A man who's hollow claim's of not wishing to intervene and remaining neutral, an artistic integrity which soon evaporate and leads the film up to it's inescapably cynical conclusion.

With the budgetary restraints that might have potentially cheapened other short films in the series like; The Yob or; Space Virgins from Planet Sex; the economical nature of documentary films works wonderfully in it's favour and it of course adds to the realism. Only the comically exaggerated performances (which are to it's benefit rather than detriment) only lifting the veil from it's mock documentary technique as are some of the droll scenarios. The regular cast are on reliably solid form with real life professional director; Sandy Johnson making for a more modest and restrained foil to the comic strip team as the head of the film crew. With supplementary dry support from Jennifer Saunders as obstentatious "rock chick" journalist: Sally and Neville Smith convincingly sleazy and two-faced manager of the Roxy in Grantham, they round up the cast neatly.

It's limited length being it's only glaringly apparent drawback with sufficient room for expansion on it's satirical themes which would compel Edmondon to do so with the 1988 sequel; More bad News, the undoubted seminal quality of it is irrefutable. On it's own it does serve as a pointed if flawed piece of satire. As something of an introductory prologue to it's follow up which would serve as an ideal companion piece it works even better.

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