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Piece of Cake 

Stories of the men of the RAF Hornet Squadron during the early days of World War II.








Series cast summary:
Neil Dudgeon ...  'Moggy' Cattermole 6 episodes, 1988
George Anton George Anton ...  'Pip' Patterson 6 episodes, 1988
Boyd Gaines ...  Chris Hart 6 episodes, 1988
Jeremy Northam ...  'Fitz' Fitzgerald 6 episodes, 1988
Nathaniel Parker ...  'Flash' Gordon 6 episodes, 1988
David Horovitch ...  'Uncle' Kellaway 6 episodes, 1988
Richard Hope ...  'Skull' Skelton 6 episodes, 1988
Michael Elwyn ...  Air Commodore Bletchley 6 episodes, 1988
Tom Burlinson ...  'Fanny' Barton 5 episodes, 1988
Gerard O'Hare Gerard O'Hare ...  'Flip' Moran 5 episodes, 1988
Tim Woodward ...  Squadron Leader Rex 4 episodes, 1988
Patrick Bailey Patrick Bailey ...  'Mother' Cox 4 episodes, 1988
Gordon Lovitt Gordon Lovitt ...  'Sticky' Stickwell 4 episodes, 1988
Helena Michell Helena Michell ...  Mary 4 episodes, 1988
Stephen MacKenna ...  'Micky' Marriott 3 episodes, 1988
John Bleasdale John Bleasdale ...  L.A.C. Gullett 3 episodes, 1988
Corinne Dacla Corinne Dacla ...  Nicole 3 episodes, 1988
Tom Radcliffe Tom Radcliffe ...  'Dicky' Starr 2 episodes, 1988
Julian Gartside Julian Gartside ...  'Amanda' Steele-Stebbing 2 episodes, 1988
Mark Womack ...  'Moke' Miller 2 episodes, 1988
Tomasz Borkowy Tomasz Borkowy ...  'Zaddy' Zardarnowski 2 episodes, 1988
Jason Calder Jason Calder ...  Pilot Officer Trevelyan 2 episodes, 1988
Ned Vukovic Ned Vukovic ...  'Haddy' Haducek 2 episodes, 1988
Simon Adams Simon Adams ...  'Bing' MacFarlane 2 episodes, 1988
Richard Hague Richard Hague ...  Corporal 2 episodes, 1988
Daniel André Pageon Daniel André Pageon ...  Henri 2 episodes, 1988


The lives and loves of the men of RAF Hornet Squadron who are transferred to France at the outbreak of World Wat II in September 1939. For the most part the men are competent fliers but there is little action in the first several months. The men wile away their time with some engaging in dangerous stunts while others woo some of the local lasses. The phony war comes to an end in April 1940 and the Battle of Britain begins. By September that year, few of them are left and despite their success, few see themselves as heroes. Written by garykmcd

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Drama | War


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Release Date:

2 October 1988 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Piece of Cake See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs



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Did You Know?


[All trivia items for this title are spoilers.] See more »


All of the Spitfires used had propellers that had 4 blades. During the Battle of Britain (when this series takes place), Spitfires used propellers that had only 3 blades. See more »


[aerial scene]
'Fanny' Barton: Red two, where the hell are you going?
'Moggy' Cattermole: I thought I'd catch last orders... sorry 'Jester' leader.
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Featured in The Story of the Costume Drama: A Call to Arms (2008) See more »

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User Reviews

Tally ho!
3 July 2002 | by timothyjsSee all my reviews

`Piece of Cake' is one of those exceedingly rare examples of filmed perfection (or as near to it as you're likely to get) that have graced the small screen. Based on the 1983 Derek Robinson novel of the same name, `Piece of Cake' follows the fortunes of the fictitious RAF Hornet Squadron from the outbreak of the Second World War, through the infamous Phoney War and the Battle of France, to climax with the life and death struggle of the Battle of Britain.

Now I must admit that I was slightly suspicious of the filmed version as Robinson's book is, and has been for some time, my favourite novel. However after viewing the mini series I can honestly say it was brilliant. Certainly those who have read the book will no doubt have created pictures in their minds' eyes of what the characters should look like, and question certain events or omissions of events in the light of Robinson's book. However `Piece of Cake' is a stunning series and one which stands brilliantly in its own right.

The characterisation is first rate with Neil Dudgeon's `Moggy' a standout, and the interaction between the squadron members superb. The sometimes hilarious banter between characters which was so prevalent in the novel is, thankfully, here in the mini-series. There are some real gems of dialogue, such as Squadron Leader Rex's address to the squadron prior to their departure to France, good British advice on the French natures of alcoholism and fornication.

Visually `Piece of Cake' is stunning. The flying sequences are breathtakingly good and if, like me, you are an aviation enthusiast, you will be able to ignore the inaccuracies in Spitfire marks used or the fact that no Spitfires where sent to be stationed in France (Hornet Squadron in the novel flew Hawker Hurricanes) due to the simple fact of how good they are. The low flying and dogfights are magically filmed and fleshed out with some outtakes from 1969's `Battle of Britain' produce a visual aerial feast!

The direction and production teams have captured the feel of the era as well, the aerodromes, settings and trappings of the 1930s and 1940s really do seem to take the viewer back to those turbulent times and lend an atmosphere that is totally convincing.

This quite simply is a fantastic mini-series and one which I have no doubt most people would find exciting, engaging, interesting, heart rending and in parts highly amusing.

Without doubt `Piece of Cake' is a `10 out of 10' in my book!

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