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Classic light entertainment of the era
on 5 March 2012
Eric Sykes in three television shows which are one-off light entertainment specials owing much to the stage variety act theatre shows of the 50s and 60s and totalling about 150 minutes.
Eric was a bit of a perfectionist who was never shy about reusing old material, and one gag does appear in two shows, but the material on offer is quite different to the sit-com show he is best known for (with Hattie Jacques who appears in one of these variety shows).
Confusingly the 1990 show is actually from April 1982 - in it Eric foresees a 1990 tv scene in which an actor has to negotiate for a short show on television, offering the tv company a sum of money to replace what they will lose by not showing an advert.
The earliest show is from July 1971 and includes Hattie Jacques who helps Eric demonstrate various forms of light entertainment, assisted by Dilys Watling, Leslie Noyes and Philip Gilbert. We see the warm up man (Eric) and the audience and then off we go on a live entertainment journey where quite often things don't always go right.
The middle show is from January 1980 and this time Eric intends to produce a Broadway extravaganza, but the intent is not enough and as previously things go wrong. Assisting in this show is Diana Coupland, Hugh Burden, and on guitar, John Williams.
Finally the 1982 show, Eric has help from Tommy Cooper to put on a sort of tv show of the future, assisted by Leslie Mitchell and Dandy Nicholls. John Williams plays guitar again.
These shows have their fair share of slapstick. There is an abundance of (deliberate) bloopers. But no extras on the DVD. Picture quality and sound are good for the time.
If you are of an age to remember light variety then this is for you. Or to see another side of Eric Sykes.