Saturday, September 02, 2006

1960: Sykes And A...

Where did you get that hat?

BBC television comedy series Sykes began on 29 January 1960. The full title of each episode was Sykes and a... - fill in the missing word to reveal the cause of that week's comic misadventure. Causes included a telephone (in the first episode), a dream, a fog and even a Cold War!

Eric Sykes and Hattie Jacques played twins, sharing a house in Sabastopol Terrace, a not-very-posh road somewhere round Acton way.

Next door, was Charles Fulbright Brown (Richard Wattis), a prissy and stuck-up thorn in the pair's side, who contributed greatly to the comedy.

The first series of Sykes scripts were written by Johnny Speight (of Alf Garnett fame), and then Eric took over - with a few contributions from Spike Milligan and John Antrobus, and Johnny Speight providing a few of the ideas.

Sykes was a hugely popular series which finally came to an end in November 1965. Or so it was thought at the time, for the show was revived in 1972 and was again a success, running until 1979.

Hattie's death in 1980 put paid to hopes for further episodes.

Sykes is fondly remembered to this day.

More on the 1970s revival of Sykes here.

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