The final episode of Season 6 was by Spike Mullins, best remembered as the author of Ronnie Corbett's interminable 'chair' monologues in 'The Two Ronnies' ( the part of the show that used to send me scurrying off to the kitchen to make tea and sandwiches ). Joan is at the Reynolds' house when she takes a phone call from snooty 'Mrs.Chalfont' ( the late Diana King ) of the local Conservative Association. Two tickets for their upcoming trip to Bournemouth have become unexpectedly available. Joan requests them for herself and Eddie. When Bill finds out his neighbour - a life-long socialist - is to attend a Tory day-out he roars with laughter. Unaware of what he is getting into, Eddie turns up for the outing wearing Manchester United colours and a rosette of Harold Wilson pinned to his chest...
Pretty good episode, this, though it was apparent the end was nigh for the hit race war sitcom. Diana King specialised in playing stuck-up ladies; her other credits include the ghastly 'You're Only Young Twice' with Peggy Mount and Pat Coombs. Sadly, we never see Eddie in Bournemouth ( a lovely place, by the way ), because he slows the trip up so much with his endless requests to take a leak the bus pulls off, leaving him behind.
Funniest moment - Eddie leading the Tory trippers in a sing-song - 'We'll Keep The Red Flag Flying!'.
Poor Alison Graham. I nearly wept for her this week when I read in 'The Radio Times' that she hadn't enjoyed a single second of Christmas 1973. The trouble is, she thinks everyone else had a rotten time of it too. My over-riding memory of it is laughing my head off at 'The Goodies & The Beanstalk' while looking forward to opening my presents ( which included Action Man and Scalextrix ) the next day. This is how she puts it : 'Slade topping the charts with their new Yuletide single 'Merry Xmas Everybody', shops in darkness, television broadcasts ending at 10.30 P.M., a state of emergency, it can only be the miserable Christmas of 1973'. Grim, eh? Its true that Slade topped the charts with that single ( which went on to become a classic Xmas song ), but why is that a bad thing? Surely its better than 'Mr.Blobby' topping the charts ( as happened in 1993 ) or those androids from the Simon Cowell stable.
There was no late-night shopping in those days, Alison, so if shops were in darkness it would have been in daylight hours. As for television broadcasts ending at 10.30 P.M., it was hardly a great tragedy as late-night telly then consisted mainly of local programmes, old films or repeats. When you look at what's on offer these days ( 'The Zone', 'The Jeremy Kyle Show', 'Nightscreen' ), you wish the post-ten shutdown would happen all over again. We might not be in a state of emergency right now, but with those boy geniuses Cameron, Osbourne and Clegg in charge of the country, don't be surprised if we soon are.
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