FLIP (CBBC, 1991)
This is another CBBC show that there is very little online about, it doesn’t have a Wikipedia (or even IMDB) entry, but I thought that I would review it because I do remember watching at the time, and as always I can’t be the only one. FLIP was a comedy show that was set around the world and beyond. There were 13 episodes that were 15 minutes long, and each one was written and performed by a different cast, so a lot of creative ideas were tried out by a range of comic talent.
Some of the cast did go on to further success, the show features two future cast members of The Day Today for example. FLIP (Federation of Lost International Property) has bureaus in various places, from London to Jamaica, and under the sea, and there is even one on Venus. The only regular cast members were FLIP (voiced by Brian Blessed, who unsurprisingly gets an awful lot of voiceover work), along with occasional appearances from the hideous villain Dr Emilius Slimebucket. The show also had some weird bleepy theme music.
The cast had to deal with the lost property wherever they were, and some of the things that people would leave behind really were rather unusual. There were odd things everywhere including on a conveyor belt all waiting to be claimed. Among the highlights were the episodes set at British Rail with Doon Mackichan and Anne Rabbitt (who had also worked together on LWT’s Wake Up London that I reviewed a while back).
And there were also episodes set in Jamaica with Ram John Holder (of Desmond’s and Porkpie fame), Docklands with Nick Wilton and Clive Mantle (who went on to appear in CITV’s comedy show WYSIWYG), Desert Island with Nick Hancock (long before They Think It’s All Over) and Neil Mullarkey, and Mobile with Trevor and Simon (of Going Live! fame) which also featured a guest appearance from Paul Whitehouse in character as Mike Smash which was just great.
This was another enjoyable show full of fun, and it deserves greater acclaim. Unlike most CBBC shows from its era though, FLIP has barely been seen since its original run. There was a short repeat run as part of CBBC’s Sunday Morning strand in 1993, but that’s it, it didn’t even turn up in the CBBC On Choice strand, and there was no VHS release either, which was a missed opportunity. I’m fairly sure that all of this happened though.