Sunday, 24 August 2008

Classic Comedy: Curry and Chips

This is a bit of a difficult one really. On the one hand you have a comedy created by Johnny Speight (the creator of Alf Garnett) and Spike Milligan, and starring Spike Milligan and Eric Sykes. By all rights this should be classic TV comedy.

The show was pulled off the air by London Weekend Television after complaints that the program was racist by the Independent Broadcasting Authority. Only six episodes aired.

So what was the problem? Well, the subject matter, even in those bygone days of the late 1960s, was seen as too sensitive. Spike Milligan made up to play the Pakistani lodger didn't help matters either.

Speight himself later remarked: "It was the English who were made to look bigoted in the show but the people at the IBA couldn't understand that. It was London Weekend Television's first year, but only six shows went out. The IBA made LWT take it off, saying it was racist."

Spike Milligan managed to improve on the infamy of this with his 1975 series "The Melting Pot" which was pulled after only one episode.

So was it racist or a brave attempt to lampoon UK racial attitudes? See what you think.

Curry And Chips - Part 1

Curry And Chips - Part 2

Curry and Chips - Part 3

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