Following the riotous TV appearance in 'Balance', a serious discussion slot chaired by MENSA member Joan Bakewell, Alan B'Stard is branded an animal hater across the front pages of the tabloid press.

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Lord Penistone
Joan Bakewell ...
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Anna Keaveney ...
Marcia Hornsby
Michael Robbins ...
Mad Eddie
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B'stard's typically reactionary views on a television debate in which he supports animal testing make him a target for animal rights groups who issue him with death threats and a drive-by shooting. At the same time he is approached by drug addicted peer Lord Penistone to secure him cocaine but, afraid to go out, B'stard sends Piers to do the deal. Piers is robbed and to compensate his Lordship for the loss of his money B'stard gives him his Rolls Royce -in which a car bomb has been planted and which blows up. Ultimately B'stard discovers from whom the death threats are coming - Sarah, who is hoping to force him to buy her a vintage fur coat. Written by don @ minifie-1

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20 January 1991 (UK)  »

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Putting one's nose to the Penistone!
11 December 2010 | by (Ambrosia) – See all my reviews

'Let Them Sniff Cake' begins with Alan going on a live debate show hosted by Joan Bakewell ( once known as 'the thinking man's crumpet' ). He angers animal rights activists with his extreme views, and they storm the stage. The M.P. for Haltemprice then begins receiving hate mail and death threats. Back at the Commons, Lord Penistone ( John Sessions ), a coke-addled aristocrat who cannot stand up for more than a few seconds without falling over ( related to Miranda Hart, perhaps? ), arrives at Alan's office. He is planning a celebratory birthday party and requests Alan supply 'cake' - £5,000 worth of cocaine - for the guests. Piers is given the money and told to buy the stuff from 'Mad Eddie'. He goes to a gym by mistake, is beaten up and loses the money...

John Sessions, like Enn Reitel, is a funny man who might have stood a chance of becoming a star with the right television vehicle behind him. After appearing on the '80's sketch show 'Laugh? I Nearly Paid My Licence Fee!' ( in which he co-starred with Robbie Coltrane and Ron Bain ), he provided voices for 'Spitting Image' and did some very good work on 'Whose Line Is It Anyway?'. On the back of the latter, he landed a B.B.C. series. It required him to do half an hour of improvised comedy each week, and flopped. We have not seen much of him on our screens lately. He is very good as the hippie-like 'Penistone'.

The scene where Piers gets thumped at the gym is a tribute to Martin Scorsese's 'Raging Bull' ( 1980 ), being shot in monochrome and in slow motion. Michael Robbins - 'Arthur' of 'On The Buses' - makes one of his final television appearances as boxing trainer 'Mad Eddie'. He is so painfully thin it is heartbreaking to watch him ( he was dying of cancer at the time ).

Funniest moment - Piers flapping about the Commons office in a track suit ( Clarissa has put him on a diet of muesli ). When he turns away from Alan, he farts practically in his face!

Much of the stunt work in this series was done by Tip Tipping, who died two years later when his parachute failed to open during a sky diving scene.


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