Wanted for the Hopathon

Friday, 17 February 2012 15:15

Make a date in your diary – Saturday 3 March 2012. This is when the first ever “Ripping Yarns Hopathon” will take place, including two Guinness World Record attempts, with Michael Palin and Terry Jones in attendance, and presenting the winners with their charity donations and plenty of hopping! There are separate £500 prizes for the fastest 400-metre hop on one leg and 400 metre relay hop. The ‘Hop Relay’ team must decide on their nominated charity as a group.

The Ripping Yarns Hopathon is inspired by the 30-Mile Hop at Graybridge School (motto: “Only in true misery can you find true contentment”) which featured in the first ever episode of the cult comedy series, namely “Tomkinson's School Days”. The record attempts that are in the sights of the competitors are those for the largest group and fastest 400 Metre relay hops. This is all taking place to mark the latest DVD release of Ripping Yarns: The Complete Series. This is a free event and will take place at the Grade 1-listed Hampstead Heath Athletics Track.

Get ready to join in the HopathonOrganisers Network DVD are looking to recruit members of the public to help set these Guinness World Records™ for the largest group 400 metre hop as well as a 400 metre relay hop on Saturday 3 March 2012. Both Michael Palin and Terry Jones will be attending and presenting prizes to the overall winners - £500 to the charities of their choice.

People can apply to participate by visiting www.facebook.com/NetworkDVD

Thankfully Messieurs Palin and Jones have rejected the idea of pitting members of the public in the much -admired grizzly bear fight (still compulsory for some boys at Graybridge), or a St Tagder's Day ceremony (where students are nailed to the school walls). However, selected participants will be provided with Team Graybridge and Team St Anthony's T-Shirts, plus a commemorative certificate for their commendable sporting efforts.

To break The Guinness World Records™ as listed above, Network DVD requires at least 250 people to participate in the largest group hop, and also needs to set a time of 7 minutes to achieve the fastest 400 metre hop on one leg.  Participants must be over 18 years of age and in sound physical health. Full details about registration are available at www.facebook.com/NetworkDVD by 'LIKING' the Hop, or accessing the Facebook tab for those people who already 'like' Network DVD.

Ripping Yarns is a parody of Boy’s Own-style adventure annuals, and sees Palin take the lead role in nine fantastic adventures – from stirring tales of sporting endeavour, intrepid exploration and wartime heroism to skullduggery, supernatural mystery and murder!

Originally broadcast on the BBC between 1976 and 1979, an illustrious supporting cast includes Ian Ogilvy, John Le Mesurier, Iain Cuthbertson, Denholm Elliott, Joan Sanderson and Don Henderson, with Terry Jones starring in one episode and fellow former Python John Cleese also making a cameo appearance. “Ripping Yarns” was produced and directed by the multi award-winning team of Terry Hughes (The Two Ronnies), Jim Franklin (The Goodies) and Alan J W Bell (The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy).

Special Features on Network's new DVD release include:

  • Commentaries on all episodes by Michael Palin and Terry Jones
  • Deleted scene from “Murder at Moorstones Manor”
  • Audience laughter-free tracks on all episodes bar “Tomkinson's Schooldays” and “Murder at Moorstones Manor”
  • Comic Roots - Michael Palin returns to his home-town of Sheffield
  • “Secrets” - a BBC play from 1973
  • Stills Gallery
  • Michael Palin's Original Scripts PDF.

It’s available to own as a 2-disc set from 5 March 2012, a running time of 225 minutes approx, with ‘15’ certificate and a RRP £19.99, or get it for less at www.culttvstore.com




Set in the frontier days of British education, when upper lips were stiff with cold and corporal punishment was an A-Level. A savage, searing indictment of something or other.

Produced and Directed by Terry Hughes.

Original BBC Transmission: 7 January 1976



A boy becomes a man in the harsh world of the Depression. The rough, tough story of folk who couldn’t afford to go on the Jarrow March.

Produced and Directed by Jim Franklin.

Original BBC Transmission: 27 September 1977



A tale of courage and valour behind the lines in the Kaiser’s Germany. An inspiring story of camp life and a British officer who wouldn’t lie down.

Produced and Directed by Jim Franklin.

Original BBC Transmission: 4 October 1977



Hugo and Dora drive down to see Mumsie and Dadsie-pie for a long weekend in the country. But it turns out to be longer than they thought.

Produced and Directed by Terry Hughes.

Original BBC Transmission: 11 October 1977



The stirring story of one man and six frogs who tried to defy the world in the greatest gamble of all.

Produced and Directed by Terry Hughes.

Original BBC Transmission: 18 October 1977



The terrifying account of a man who dabbled in the dark mysteries of the Orient, and lived to tell the tale. Or did he…?

Produced and Directed by Jim Franklin.

Original BBC Transmission: 25 October 1977



Dashing, debonair Gerald Whinfrey saves his country twice a week. But in 1913 a German plot to start the First World War without telling anybody coincides with his holiday. Where do Whinfrey’s priorities lie? Has he got any? A knockabout tale of international intrigue.

Executive Producer: Sydney Lotterby

Produced and Directed by Alan J W Bell

Original BBC Transmission: 10 October 1979



A torrid tale of football fanaticism in the 1930s. Super-fan Gordon Ottershaw supports a team which hasn’t won a match for six years. But worse is to come, and Gordon and his bicycle clips are reunited in a last desperate bid for glory and Bovril.

Executive Producer: Sydney Lotterby

Produced and Directed by Alan J W Bell

Original BBC Transmission: 17 October 1979



Roger Bartlesham comes of age in a world of eighteen-course breakfasts and twelve servants per leg. But when the Great War breaks out Roger finds himself in a world of changing values and is forced by circumstances to the most despicable act known to the British Army.

Produced and Directed by Jim Franklin.

Original BBC Transmission: 24 October 1979

Last modified on Thursday, 10 May 2012 16:37

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