All Star Comedy Carnival on DVD

Friday, 16 December 2016 00:00 Written by 

All Star Comedy Carnival 1972 and 1973 make it to a DVD releaseAll Star Comedy Carnival was an annual television event which ran for five years from 1969. It was ITV's annual ‘Christmas bonus’, screened at the height of the festive season, usually on Christmas Day, presenting viewers with brand-new sketches from the network’s most popular sitcoms of that particular year. A highlight of the festive viewing period, only two editions still exist in their entirety - those for 1972 and 1973.

This new DVD from Network Releasing presents both these complete shows, comprising specially written sketches for 13 classic series, and running without adverts for about an hour and a half each – and rest assured you get the advert break cards and jingles included!  Most of these components were extended sketches based in the comedy and variety formats they showcased, a lot of them operating within the confines of a single studio-based set.

It’s a snapshot into a different world, another time, another place, but for those who like clean and family-orientated humour, it will raise many a smile. Nostalgia for those who were there at the time, a curio of cultural and media studies for those of a younger age.

The Christmas 1972 edition features the following:

  • Introduction by Jimmy Tarbuck, including celebrity Christmas cards
  • Love Thy Neighbour (Thames)
  • Jimmy Tarbuck with Rod Hull and Emu
  • Nearest and Dearest (Granada)
  • Jimmy Tarbuck introduces Moira Anderson singing “Silver Bells”
  • Father, Dear Father (Thames)
  • Thirty Minutes Worth (Thames)
  • Christmas (Lunchtime) with Wogan (ATV) including special guests Carl Wayne and Penny Lane, Ann George (as Amy Turtle - Crossroads), Judy Buxton (as Student Nurse Katy Shaw – General Hospital), Lynda Bellingham (as Nurse Hilda Price – General Hospital), Peggy Mount and Hugh Lloyd (as Maggie and Reg from Lollipop Loves Mr Mole), Leslie Crowther and Sylvia Syms (as Clive and Sylvia Gibbons from My Good Woman), Lionel Blair, Larry Grayson, Anne Aston (The Golden Shot) and Noele Gordon (as Meg Richardson from Crossroads)
  • Jimmy Tarbuck with the Wandsworth School Choir
  • Jimmy Tarbuck and Bob Todd in a milkman sketch
  • On the Buses (LWT) – unusual as this is a filmed segment involving a Christmas goose (or two)
  • Jimmy Tarbuck with David Nixon
  • Sez Les (Yorkshire)
  • Jimmy Tarbuck with Tony Jacklin
  • The Fenn Street Gang (LWT)
  • “White Christmas” finale, sung by Jimmy Tarbuck, Moira Anderson, Rod Hull and Emu, David Nixon, Tony Jacklin, Bob Todd.

The 1973 edition lines up as follows:

  • Introduction by Jimmy Tarbuck, with Bob Todd , including a monologue on strikes, the England football team woes (having been knocked out of the World Cup qualifiers), and more Christmas cards, regrettably including one from Jimmy Savile.
  • Man About the House (Thames)
  • Jimmy Tarbuck with ventriloquist Neville King and Grandad
  • Billy Liar (LWT)
  • Jimmy Tarbuck with Bob Todd
  • Jimmy Tarbuck with Linda Bellingham, Kenny Lynch, Frank Williams, Josephine Tewson and Hugh Paddick
  • Sez Les (Yorkshire)
  • Jimmy Tarbuck with the Wandsworth School Choir
  • My Good Woman (ATV)
  • Jimmy Tarbuck with Fyfe Robertson and Kenny Lynch
  • Jimmy Tarbuck with Henry Cooper
  • Spring and Autumn (Thames)
  • Jimmy Tarbuck introduces Val Doonican
  • Doctor in Charge (LWT)
  • Jimmy Tarbuck introduces the finale with Frank Williams, Josephine Tewson, Neville King and Grandad, Lynda Bellingham, Hugh Paddick, Fyfe Robertson, Bobby Moore, Henry Cooper, Kenny Lynch, Alan Ball and Val Doonican, with the Wandsworth School Choir.

As a special feature, also included in this release is the 1969 edition extract of The Dustbinmen, the only part of that show which apparently still survives.

All in all, these shows came from a time when we actually had celebrities who were well-known to a huge number of the UK population. When the three channel mix ensured viewing numbers and common knowledge were not diluted by a plethora of channels, and the like of YouTube fighting for the attention of the general public.

The humour is gentle, the singers and songs suitable for all ages, and you can’t imagine that there were any complaints to broadcast watchdogs about the content. It’s a shame that this set underlines how the art of the situation comedy was far more prevalent in years gone by.

All Star Comedy Carnival is out now from Network Releasing. It has a ‘12’ certificate, a running time of 174 minutes approx., and a RRP of £14.99, or get it for less at BY CLICKING HERE.                   


Last modified on Sunday, 18 December 2016 14:45

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