The New Statesman: Season 4, Episode 3

Speaking in Tongues (6 Dec. 1992)

TV Episode  |   |  Comedy
6.2
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Brussels is a zoo, and it's getting on top of the new Commissioner for Internal Relations.

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Title: Speaking in Tongues (06 Dec 1992)

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Terence Alexander ...
Sir Greville
Brigitte Kahn ...
Frau Kleist
John Bowe ...
Pietro Garibaldi
...
Ioannis Douvalopoulos
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Storyline

B'stard's insensitivity causes all the European Parliament's translators to go on strike so he orders the installation of a experimental universal translation device - which of course goes wrong. As a result he makes a speech demanding that English be the official language of the E.U. but in the meantime Piers' misuse of the universal translation has inadvertently promised the interpreters a pay rise and a holiday in the Seychelles so they return to work. B'stard himself does very well by buying up a tract of forest, which he knows will be compulsorily purchased at a huge profit to himself to make way for a new autobahn route. Written by don @ minifie-1

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6 December 1992 (UK)  »

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Christopher Ryan and Rik Mayall starred together on The Young Ones. See more »

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Alan goes green!
28 May 2011 | by (Ambrosia) – See all my reviews

Congratulations to Daniel Rigby on winning the 'Best Actor' B.A.F.T.A. for his superb portrayal of 'Eric Morecambe' in the Victoria Wood-produced 'Eric & Ernie'. Commiserations to Matt Smith though I'm wondering how he managed to be nominated whereas David Tennant was not. He must have friends in high places. 'The Only Way Is Essex' won a B.A.F.T.A.? Words fail me. It is without doubt the most ludicrous win since 'Mr.Blobby' triumphed at the British Comedy Awards back in 1994 ( remember how embarrassed Jack Dee looked as he handed over the trophy? ). Had I been present at the bash, I'd have walked out there and then. What incentive is there for programme makers to make good telly now when absolute trash not only gets high ratings but wins prestigious awards?

Anyway, onto 'The New Statesman'. Rik Mayall's 'Alan B'Stard' made an unexpected return to television in a party political broadcast - part of the 'No' campaign - in the run-up to the recent referendum on Alternative Voting. How ironic that a character originally designed to turn voters off the Tory Party should eventually be exploited by them in their propaganda.

'Speaking In Tongues', like its predecessor 'H.A.S.H.', is a pretty weak episode. Alan is approached by the lovely Frau Kleist ( Brigitte Kahn, whom you may remember was 'Dagmar' in the first season of 'Auf Wiedershen Pet' ) of the German Green Party. She wears black leather and rides a motorbike, and Alan ( after initially mistaking her for a hooker ) is instantly attracted. She wants his help in scrapping plans for a new autobahn through an area of outstanding natural beauty. Alan manages to get the translators at the European Parliament to strike, thereby blocking the proposals. Of course he has his own selfish reasons for doing so.

Nothing very funny happens. Christopher Ryan ( 'Mike' of 'The Young Ones' ) appears briefly as the malodorous 'Ioannis', and there's a character named 'Garibaldi' so that Alan can crack a joke about Garibaldi biscuits.

Funniest moment - out in the country with Frau Kleist, Alan offers her a lift back to Brussels. "I'm on my cycle!", she replies. She is referring to her motor-bike, but he thinks she is having a period.

Things To Look Out For: Alan reading 'Sex' by Madonna, a much-talked about book at the time. It basically consisted of explicit photographs of the pop star. Alan looks unimpressed. "Done that...done that...gave that up!".

Before I sign off - R.I.P. Janet Brown, wife of much-loved 'Carry On' star Peter Butterworth and a funny lady in her own right.


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