Connect with us


TV

Allo Allo (BBC Sitcom, Gorden Kaye, Vicki Michelle)

Published

on


In BBC Sitcom ‘Allo ‘Allo Rene Artois (Gorden Kaye) was the proprietor of a cafe in the northern French town of Nouvion. He ran the bar with his wife, Edith (Carmen Silvera), and a couple of shapely waitresses, Yvette (Vicki Michelle) and Maria. At least, that was until the Germans occupied the town. He then found himself having to pander to the local Nazis, headed by Colonel Von Strohm (Richard Marner, the clumsy Captain Geering (Sam Kelly) and the effete Lt. Gruber (Guy Siner).

At the same time, his bar was taken over as a French Resistance safehouse, primarily to house two gormless British airmen, Fairfax and Carstairs (Adamson in the pilot episode). In this way, this man’s war became rather more trying than others’.

Introducing each episode by speaking to camera, Rene updated viewers on earlier happenings (the show was run as a kind of serial farce). Usually, the highly exaggerated plots centred on Rene’s reluctant attempts to help the airmen escape, or to sabotage the Germans’ efforts to steal a priceless painting, the so-called Fallen Madonna with the Big Boobies by Van Clomp.

Instigator of most of the action was the local Resistance leader, Michelle (Kirsten Cooke), comandeerer of Rene’s bar and supplier of the show’s prime catchphrase, ‘Leesten very carefully. I shall say this only wance.’ She was aided by Officer Crabtree (Arthur Bostram), an inept British agent disguised as a gendarme, spouting appalling French which translated into warped English phrases like ‘Good moaning’.

Advertisement

Indeed, the use of stereotypical accents to convey different languages was one of ‘Allo ‘Allo’s success stories. Also influencing affairs was the cruel Herr Flick (Richard Gibson), the limping local Gestapo chief who demanded kinky affection from his adjutant, Helga (Kim Hartman), and abused his incompetent sidekick, Von Smallhausen (John Louis Mansi). Around the central action there were plenty of sub-plots: Rene’s steamy affairs with both Yvette and Maria (later replaced by Mimi), the marriage of Edith’s bed-ridden mother, Fanny, to ageing Resistance forger Leclerc (Jack Haig), and Rene’s alleged death, which allowed Edith to court Monsieur Alphonse (Kenneth Connor), the local undertaker with a ‘dicky ticker’ and a ‘small ‘earse with a small ‘orse’.

But the programme also had some well-rehearsed running jokes: Edith’s excruciating singing, for instance, which forced the bar’s customers to stuff their ears with cheese, Lt. Gruber’s advances to Rene, and Rene’s (codename Nighthawk) laboured attempts to get the wireless to work from its secret hiding place beneath Fanny’s chamber pot (the series took its name from his opening words to London).

Rich in innuendo and slapstick, ‘Allo ‘Allo was much criticized for its ‘bad taste’, though it always claimed to be poking fun at over-the-top wartime dramas and not at the cruelty of war itself. Secret Army was its main target. When it ended, after nearly nine years, the war had finished and Nouvion was liberated. Viewers were treated to a ‘flashforward’ to the present day and introduced to Rene’s son (again played by Gorden Kaye), who explained what had happened to the locals in the post-war years to a visiting Gruber, who had, surprisingly, married Helga. A West End stage version, with original cast members, was also produced.

Cast: GORDEN KAYE as Rene Artois; CARMEN SILVERA as Edith Artois; VICKI MICHELLE as Yvette; KIRSTEN COOKE as Michelle; RICHARD MARNER as Colonel Von Strohm; SAM KELLY as Capt Hans Geering; GUY SINER as Lt Gruber; KIM HARTMAN as Helga Geerhart; RICHARD GIBSON as Herr Flick; DAVID JANSON as Flick; ARTHUR BOSTRAM as Officer Crabtree; ROSE HILL as Fanny; NICHOLAS FRANKAU as Carstairs; HILARY MINSTER as Gen Von Klinkerhoffen; KENNETH CONNOR as Alfonse; JACK HAIG as Leclerc; DEREK ROYLE as Leclerc; ROBIN PARKINSON as Leclerc; JOHN LOUIS MANSI as Von Smallhausen; GAVIN RICHARDS as Bertorelli; ROGER KITTER as Bertorelli

Advertisement

Creators: Jeremy Lloyd, David Croft / Musical Associate: Ray Moore / Producers: David Croft, John B.Hobbs

UK / BBC One/ 81×30 minute episodes 3×45 minute episodes / Broadcast 7 Sep 1984 – 14 December 1992 Nine seasons


Alastair James is the editor in chief for Memorable TV. He has been involved in media since his university days. Alastair is passionate about television, and some of his favourite shows include Line of Duty, Luther and Traitors. He is always on the lookout for hot new shows, and is always keen to share his knowledge with others.

American Idol 2024 American Idol 2024
News1 min ago

American Idol Grand Finale (ABC Sunday Sunday, May 19, 2024)

The race to the finale of American Idol has narrowed down to the top three contenders: Abi Carter, Jack Blocker,...

The Sympathizer HBO The Sympathizer HBO
News4 mins ago

The Sympathizer: The Oriental Mode of Destruction (HBO, Sunday, May 19, 2024)

The Sympathizer, an espionage thriller series, airs its sixth episode, titled “The Oriental Mode of Destruction,” on HBO this Sunday,...

Expedition From Hell Expedition From Hell
News5 mins ago

Expedition from Hell: The Lost Tapes: I’m Gonna Die on This Mountain (Discovery, Sunday, May 19, 2024)

The upcoming episode of Expedition from Hell: The Lost Tapes, airing on Discovery, explores the perilous journey of Mickey Grosman...

The Real Housewives of New Jersey The Real Housewives of New Jersey
News17 mins ago

The Real Housewives of New Jersey: Shore-Ing Up Sides (Bravo, Sunday, May 19, 2024)

The Real Housewives of New Jersey continues with its dramatic fourteenth season, and in this upcoming episode, titled “Shore-Ing Up...

The Whole Story with Anderson Cooper The Whole Story with Anderson Cooper
News18 mins ago

The Whole Story with Anderson Cooper: The Last Alzheimer’s Patient (CNN, Sunday, May 19, 2024)

The Whole Story with Anderson Cooper, a CNN news program, presents its latest episode, “The Last Alzheimer’s Patient,” airing on...

When Calls The Heart When Calls The Heart
News19 mins ago

When Calls the Heart: Facing the Music (Hallmark Channel, Sunday, May 19, 2024)

When Calls the Heart continues its 11th season with the seventh episode, airing on the Hallmark Channel on Sunday, May...

How It Really Happened How It Really Happened
News19 mins ago

How It Really Happened: Gardner Art Heist: Stealing Beauty (CNN, Sunday, May 19, 2024)

An intriguing true crime story unfolds in the upcoming episode of How It Really Happened, airing on CNN on Sunday,...

The Mega Brands That Built America The Mega Brands That Built America
News32 mins ago

The Mega-Brands That Built America: Suite Dreams: Birth of the Modern Hotel (History, Sunday, May 19, 2024)

The Mega-Brands That Built America, a documentary series, returns with its second season and the new episode “Suite Dreams: Birth...

Coronation Street Coronation Street
News19 hours ago

Coronation Street reveals who attacked Nathan Curtis and it’s not who you think

It wasn’t Daniel or David who beat up evil Nathan Curtis – it was Gary Windass! The truth was revealed...

The Only Way is Essex The Only Way is Essex
News1 day ago

The Only Way Is Essex: Season 32 Episode 9 (ITVBe, May 19, 2024)

The group dynamic takes an intriguing turn in the latest episode of The Only Way Is Essex, airing on ITVBe...

BBC One BBC One
News1 day ago

RHS Chelsea Flower Show: RHS Countdown to Chelsea (BBC One, Sunday 19 May 2024)

The Royal Horticultural Society’s Chelsea Flower Show 2024 is previewed in this special episode of RHS Chelsea Flower Show, hosted...

National Geographic Logo National Geographic Logo
News1 day ago

Europe’s Wild Places: Winter’s Grip (Nat Geo Wild UK, 19 May, 2024)

The documentary series Europe’s Wild Places makes its debut with the episode “Winter’s Grip,” offering viewers an insight into Europe’s...

999: On The Front Line 999: On The Front Line
News1 day ago

999: On the Front Line: Season 11 Episode 3 (More4, 19 May, 2024)

Documentary series 999: On the Front Line returns with Season 11 Episode 3, airing on More4. This episode offers another...

Match of the Day Match of the Day
News1 day ago

Match of the Day: 19/05/2024 (BBC One, Sunday, 19 May 2024)

A bumper edition of Match of the Day airs this Sunday, May 19, 2024, on BBC One. Gary Lineker presents,...

Saturday Kitchen Saturday Kitchen
News1 day ago

Saturday Kitchen: Eddie Izzard, Jack Stein, Sabrina Ghayour (BBC One, May 18, 2024)

Donal Skehan hosts a brand new episode of Saturday Kitchen, welcoming chefs Jack Stein and Sabrina Ghayour to the studio,...

Spy/Master Spy/Master
News1 day ago

Spy/Master: The Trojan Horse (BBC Four, Saturday 18 May 2024)

In the sixth and final episode of Spy/Master’s first series, titled “The Trojan Horse,” the story reaches its climax as...

Popular