The YouTube Files – Glam Metal Detectives.

Glam Metal Detectives (BBC2, 1995)

Glam Metal Detectives is yet another short-lived but terrific comedy show that I want to tell you about. All seven episodes have been uploaded to YouTube by “ooohcheese” so credit goes to them for reviving memories of this show for me. vlcsnap-00552

Glam Metal Detectives was a rather strange and creative show, indeed, it could be described as about five shows in one as there were lots of different formats. The main part of the show featured our heroes the Glam Metal Detectives, who were portrayed as if they were the greatest rock band in the world. The band members included Doon Mackichan (who I am increasingly realising has appeared in lots of terrific comedy shows over the past 30 years), Phil “Gilbert The Alien” Cornwell, and Gary Beadle who went on to be in EastEnders. Plots included band members turning into robots and the main baddie in all this was Royston Brocade who was played by the captain of Red Dwarfvlcsnap-00550

Other sketches included Betty’s Mad Dash, which was done in the style of a 1920s film and featured two ladies who were on the run and their adventures. vlcsnap-00554

There was also Bloodsports, looking at violent events and covering them in the style of real sports programmes with commentators and pundits. vlcsnap-00553

The Big Me was a parody of a chat show which was hosted by Morag who wasn’t interested in her guests and only talked about herself. Curiously, this segment seemed to take place on the same set as the game show Big Breakvlcsnap-00555

Colin Corleone is someone who fancies himself as a gangster after watching The Godfather too many times, dealing with everything that happens to him in the style of that film. vlcsnap-00557

We switched between the sketches in a channel-hopping style, only seeing brief glimpses of parodies of cheap and tawdry satellite TV shows, B-Movies, and bizarre trails and adverts, this part now coming across as rather prophetic of modern-day multichannel TV. vlcsnap-00556

All the music on the show was co-created by Trevor “Buggles” Horn and the Glam Metal Detectives’ theme song was called “Everybody Up!”. This was released as a single and it actually made the Top 40, peaking at 29, meaning that in March 1995 our heroes got to perform on Top Of The Pops, blurring fantasy and reality even more. I do remember there being a line in the song about “funk ‘n’ justice” which sounds a bit like… oh, you know, ha-ha! vlcsnap-00558

The mid-90s was a remarkable time for comedy on BBC2 with lots of brilliantly quirky shows such as The High Life, Fist Of Fun, The Fast Show, The Day Today, and indeed this one. I also noticed Robert Popper’s name among the credits who went on to co-create the terrific Look Around You which might explain the show’s creative streak of oddness to some extent. There was only ever one series of Glam Metal Detectives made and it hasn’t been released on DVD, which is a shame as 20 years on it’s still a remarkable piece of TV.

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