Naked Video (TV Series 1986–1991) Poster

(1986–1991)

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One of the best sketch shows of the 80's
David Ogilvie10 December 2002
Naked Video in my mind followed in the tradition of Not the Nine O'Clock News and A Kick Up The Eighties. It was made up of mainly a Scots cast with the exception of Helen Lederer. Helen Lederer mainly did this piece where she would talk about her characters life and what had happened in it the previous week. There used to be a Welsh guy in this slot and I'm fairly sure the two of them were never in the same show.

Gregor Fisher and Andy Gray seemed to be the main comedians in this show, but all the other cast made it the great show it was. Gregor had some fantastic characters like the guy from Outer Hebridies Broadcasting Corp, the guy with the comb over hair and also I'm sure this was the birthplace of Rab C Nesbitt. Andy Grey will always be remembered mainly as Chancer from City Lights but he has a classic character in this show as a poser who seemed to be from Miami Vice.

The show was broadcast on BBC2 and lasted a couple of series. Naked Video is sometimes repeated on cable & satellite and you'll find that some of the modern sketch shows have borrowed a bit but have n't managed to convey the sheer funniness of the original.
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10/10
"Hullo! Siadwel here!"
ShadeGrenade29 June 2006
Warning: Spoilers
'A Kick Up The Eighties' and 'Laugh? I Nearly Paid My Licence Fee!' laid the groundwork for this classic sketch show which, despite spawning two spin-offs - 'Rab C.Nesbitt' and 'The Baldy Man' - strangely seems to have fallen off the radar.

The early editions opened with Andy Gray and Helen Lederer reading spoof news items similar to those of 'Not The Nine O'Clock News'. Lederer herself wrote and performed monologues in which she played a tipsy bimbo.

My favourite recurring character though was Siadwel, a geeky Welsh poet played to perfection by John Sparkes. In filthy anorak and N.H.S. spectacles, Siadwel regaled us with such stunning observations on life as: "Uncle Pob wouldn't put his dog in the kennels before going on holiday. He said it was cruel. So he drowned him.". Sparkes eventually left to appear in Channel 4's 'Absolutely'.

Later programmes had Gregor Fisher as Gus, the boisterous newsreader of the Outer Hebrides Broadcasting Corporation ( O.H.B.C. ). Some of the humour could be sick, such as the man accidentally decapitating commuters with a hedge trimmer. One particularly brilliant sketch featured the cast as 'The Broons', a comic-strip Scottish family well known to readers of 'The Sunday Post'. Each show closed with Thatcher roaring like the M.G.M. lion. This was later changed to John Major issuing a mouse-like squeak! Special mention should be made of David McNiven and his wonderful songs. 'Naked Video' was, for my money, one of the best sketch shows the B.B.C. has ever made.
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10/10
''That breaks new frontiers in garbage!''
RaspberryLucozade22 October 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Of all the sketch shows ever made, 'Naked Video' is my favourite. It started life in 1981 as a BBC Radio Scotland comedy entitled 'Naked Radio'. After becoming a favourite amongst listeners, its producer Colin Gilbert felt it could work as a television show and so in 1986 took it to BBC Television where it ran on BBC2 for a total of five seasons.

For television, the cast from the radio version were retained - Gregor Fisher, Andy Gray, Tony Roper, Elaine C. Smith, Jonathan Watson, Ron Bain ( series 1 & 2 ), Kate Donnelly ( series 4 ) and Louise Beattie ( series 5 ). Joining the television cast were two non-Scottish performers - Helen Lederer and John Sparkes ( series 1-3 ).

'Naked Radio', though not without its share of laughs, was on the whole pretty naff, but when it became 'Naked Video' it developed into something really special. Regular characters included Gregor Fisher's permanently intoxicated Glasweigan street philosopher 'Rab C. Nesbitt' ( who was so popular he was later given his own show ), John Sparkes' inept Welsh poet Siadwell who would recite duff poems from his bedroom, Helen Lederer's bubbly drunk Sloane who would bemoan from a wine bar her luckless love life, the repressed common law couple Bernard & Miriam ( played by Gregor Fisher and Helen Lederer ), Andy Gray's Mr. Cool, a tastelessly dressed narcissist who will stop at nothing to impress the girls and 'The Baldy Man' ( another character played by Fisher who also was spun-off into his own show ), a vain half wit whose pathetic comb-over was to endure many a misfortune.

Much of the humour was tied to topicality - in one sketch a man in a pub asked his friend: ''Why did you change your dog's name from Rex to Nirex?'', to which his friend responded: ''Because I've trained him to bury his s**t in other people's gardens!'' and in another a man gave his views on nuclear radiation - ''Well, I think the effects of nuclear contamination has positive advantages. After all, two heads are better than one!''. Some of the sketches could be rather gory, such as the man being eaten alive by his own false teeth whilst taking a bath. Another sick sketch had a man accidentally decapitating commuters while trimming his hedge.

Spoofs were also commonplace. One such memorable spoof had the entire cast as Scottish comic strip family 'The Broons' ( who are best known in Scotland to readers of 'The Sunday Post' ). Gregor Fisher was hilarious as Maw Broon. The moment where Maw informs Paw ( played by Tony Roper ) that none of the Broon children are his ( ''I got more than milk and cheese from that big farmer at the But 'N' Ben!'' ) had me in fits. The first two series opened with Helen Lederer and Andy Gray reading spoof news items not dissimilar to those in 'Not The Nine O'Clock News' but this was later changed to Gregor Fisher playing Gus, a Gaelic news reader for the Outer Hebrides Broadcasting Corporation ( ''more nonsense in a minute, but first it's time for OHBC News!'' ). Most episodes contained funny songs written ( and sometimes performed ) by 'Naked Video's' musical composer David McNiven. These included 'Sell Your Cardboard Box' ( a song about the exorbitant prices of estate agent properties ), 'Dear Landlord' ( a song about overcrowding in council dwellings ), 'Caledonian Visionary' ( a spoof of The Proclaimers' 'Letter From America' ), 'H20, Where Did You Go?' ( a more serious number concerning the pollution of the environment ) and, my favourite, 'The Long Goodbye', sung by the entire cast at the end of the first series.

UK Gold repeated all five seasons in the mid to late '90's, since then there has been nothing. 2entertain released the first three series on DVD in 2006, though sadly, they do not seem keen to release the remaining two, which considering how popular the show was in its time is perplexing indeed. As Gus of the OHBC would say: ''That's all for now!''.
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10/10
By far one the best comedy sketch shows out there!
missstephie2 April 2009
Warning: Spoilers
'Naked Video' is possibly one of the best comedy sketch shows I have come to see, bringing stitches to my sides as I find myself laughing at the majority of the scenes. I had never really heard of 'Naked Video' until a friend introduced me to it via YouTube. There's not a lot I can really say about this show that has not already been said before, but I can confirm most of the positive review with my own interpretation.

During each episode, there are a number of recurring characters that you come to look forward to seeing each and every time. In fact, one of the most well-known characters was 'Rab C Nesbitt', an alcoholic Glaswegian stereotype, played famously by 'Gregor Fisher', who later went on to have his own spin-off series, simply titled 'Rab C Nesbitt'. Aside from that, some of my favourite characters had to be Welsh poet 'Siadwell', done amazingly well by 'John Sparkes'. 'The Baldy Man' was also a favourite of mine, again played by 'Gregor Fisher'. In this role, he was vain, silly and was obsessed with his few strands of hair that he had as a comb-over a-top his head. This character also went on to have an unfortunately, unsuccessful spin-off series. (Though I must admit to liking it myself.) And despite my usual dislike of actress 'Helen Lederer', I must admit to finding myself mildly intrigued whenever she came on screen as a semi-drunk propping up a wine bar, monologuing her life. Occasionally she would come out with something amusing.

Other actors and actresses that appeared in the programme, were 'Elaine C Smith', 'Andy Gray' and 'Tony Roper'.

With both excellent performances and catchy theme music, this show was bound to be a huge hit. And true enough, it was, running a total of five seasons. Three of these are already on DVD, but the last two have not been released, much to the bitter disappointment of its many fans.
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