On this day in the far off year of 1974 one Ian Main, a BBC 'Comedy Script Editor,' sent a note regarding a comedy script he had just finished reading to the Head of 'Comedy and Light Entertainment' at the BBC. The scriptwriters however were sufficiently powerful enough to push for their idea and in time were able to extinguish opposition. Just as well. The programme, 'Fawlty Towers,' became a classic with a worldwide reputation! John Cleese and his then wife Connie Booth (Just how many has this man had?) produced and acted in one of the BBC's best ever comedies. When the BBC does it right it cannot be beaten, especially as there are no annoying adverts to break up the story line.
Here is a copy of the note that almost halted proceedings.
Listening as I do to the comedy programmes on offer via Radio 4 it is clear the vision is limited to 'Guardian' reading, middle class pretend socialists, with sex, preferably gay, being required more than wit! It has indeed become a little tiring listening to shows aimed yet again at twenty somethings with little knowledge of life outside their own zone.
When the Beeb does comedy well it is hard to beat, Hancock, Steptoe, The Goons, One Foot in the Grave, Del Boy, all these were brilliantly scripted and well acted, today the cheapening of the easy laugh and the urging of their limited viewpoint is uppermost. 'Wit,' in all situations is unlikely to get past the 'Ian Main' of today. I wonder if this is because so many involved in the background today are middle class females? Media people tend to have a limited outlook on life, dress in the regulation uniform, rarely differ in opinion, share the same outlook and background and like members of parliament have no understanding of the needs of the real world. Maybe they should get out more?