18 September 2016 | Prismark10
Make em laugh
If the BBC were going to make a program of 60 years of sitcoms then I expected a wide variety of the genre being reflected. There was a glimpse of an obscure Spike Milligan series called Curry & Chips but in the main this broke down reflecting the social history of the genre especially class, racism, sexism and homosexuality.
Therefore the program trotted out the usual suspects when it came to race such as Alf Garnett and Love thy Neighbour.
We get absolutely nothing about the origins of the situation comedy and how they initially were regarded as middle class based but not always. The ones that endured are ones like The Likely Lads, Steptoe & Son, Till Death Do Us Part.
Sometimes you had comedy shows that mixed people of different class such as Dad's Army and Last of the Summer Wine. It is well known that Dad's Army pulled a trick of having the more posher Sgt Wilson being a subordinate of Captain Mainwaring at the bank and at the Home Guards.
Very few people from the early days of sitcoms are featured. I understand that not all of them were alive but where are some of the actors who featured in Till Death or The Likely Lads or The Rag Trade. Producer Beryl Virtue is on hand to talk about the early days but that was about it.
Some shows were ignored completely such as Blackadder and Porridge. Nothing on shows like The Fosters starring Lenny Henry or No Problem that concentrated more on black characters, instead there was a focus on Desmonds which came years later.
I was also not convinced that Del Boy was a product of Thatcher's Britain. Apart from the show started well before the rise of the Yuppies I regard him as a descendant of the spiv characters from the World War 2 era.