The adventures of a gang of British workmen abroad. Combines black and white humour with moments of drama, poignancy and drunkenness. In series 1, the lads head to Germany seeking work, and... See full summary »

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Franc Roddam
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5   4   3   2   1  
2004   2002   1986   1984   1983  
4 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Series cast summary:
Timothy Spall ...  Barry Taylor 40 episodes, 1983-2004
Jimmy Nail ...  Oz Osborne 40 episodes, 1983-2004
Tim Healy ...  Dennis Patterson 40 episodes, 1983-2004
Kevin Whately ...  Neville Hope 40 episodes, 1983-2004
Christopher Fairbank ...  Albert Moxey 39 episodes, 1983-2004
Pat Roach ...  Bomber Busbridge 36 episodes, 1983-2004
Gary Holton Gary Holton ...  Wayne Norris 26 episodes, 1983-1986
Julia Tobin Julia Tobin ...  Brenda Hope 22 episodes, 1983-2004
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Storyline

The adventures of a gang of British workmen abroad. Combines black and white humour with moments of drama, poignancy and drunkenness. In series 1, the lads head to Germany seeking work, and are thrown together by virtue of shared nationality and a run-down wooden hut. The story follows the lads' relationships with women, Germans and each other, and their attempts at passing the time away from home, saving money and ordering food in a German curry house. The series ends with new employment legislation forcing some of the Brits having to choose between the UK and their new-found pleasures abroad. Two years later the gang are reunited for a second series, in which they travel to Wolverhampton to rebuild both the "magnificent seven" and Barry's home for his impending marriage. A further offer of work sees the lads head to a Derbyshire stately home in need of refurbishment. Here they fall foul of an irritable pub landlord, suspicious locals, a less than enlightened employer and the Inland ... Written by Mike Cryan

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

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Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

BBC [UK] | Official Fansite

Country:

UK

Release Date:

11 November 1983 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Öl, kvinnor och tegel See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(26 episodes) (1983-1986) | (14 episodes) (2002-2004)

Sound Mix:

Mono | Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In a The South Bank Show (1978) documentary in the late '80s, Jimmy Nail said that he wouldn't play Oz again as he thought it was a character that no one nowadays would find funny. He was proved wrong when the series returned in 2002 and Oz continued to be the most popular of the seven main cast members. See more »

Goofs

The Russian characters in series 3 speak Russian with Balkan accents. See more »

Quotes

Neville Hope: Erm... I'll have to ask Brenda...
See more »

Crazy Credits

The scene with Oz, Dennis and Neville looking over the bows of a cross-Channel ferry is an almost exact copy of a scene at the end of Series 2, which was the final series that Central made in 1986. See more »

Alternate Versions

A rather curious expurgated version of both series 1 & 2 was aired on ITV in 1988. Each 55-minute episode was cut down into two separate programmes, edited for pre-watershed viewing (no swear words, nude scenes or striptease artist) and shown twice-a-week at 7-7.30pm. See more »

Connections

Featured in Comic Relief 2003: The Big Hair Do (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Get it Right
(opening titles - season two)
Composed and Arranged by David Mackay and Ian La Frenais
Performed by Joe Fagin
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Classic Comedy
23 October 2006 | by steve-barry-1See all my reviews

I have enjoyed watching these episodes may times. Well written and brilliantly acted was the blurb on the DVD boxes, and the reviewers are right. The cast are second to none, you believe they are tradesmen working for a living. The supporting characters also have great strength, in particular, Herr Grunwald, Ally Fraser, Brenda, Dagmar, Norma, Joe, etc, etc, etc.

To pick a favourite episode is difficult, especially as even the "weaker" ones are far superior to anything you will see on TV today. But if I had to, I would say my favourite is Suspicion. The sheer delight of Oz going on one over his stolen watch, Neville falling in lust, Wayne not pulling, Moxey fronting up to Oz, Barry absolutely drunk, Dennis poking fun out of Oz because Oz thinks the lads are threadbare and Bomber, well just for being Bomber. Favourite quote from the episode "The sum total of all our possessions wouldn't raise a f*rt at a bring-and-buy sale!"

The first series was set in Dusseldorf, and followed their lives over (supposedly) 6 months. There was a common story theme but each individual episode was stand alone. Series two changed, as it followed their fortunes working for a Newcastle based villain, doing up his Manor in Derbyshire and then building him a swimming pool in Malaga. The third series finds the lads demolishing a famous bridge in Middlesborough, and rebuilding it in Arizona, and finally, the fourth sees them working for the Foreign Office in Cuba.

I had mixed feelings about the revival of the format for series 3 & 4, as sometimes it is better to be wanting more, than actually to have it. But I was pleasantly surprised with the end results, although, not sure how Barry could've changed so much from Methodist prude, to drug taking womaniser.

Still the best thing to have graced the TV screen. Cold & Rainy winter evenings are not so bad, when you surf SKY and see AWP on one of the channels.


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