Stop That Laughing At The Back (CITV, 1987)
This is another CITV show that I don’t remember much about from the time, but I want to feature this because I have always enjoyed comedy shows, and I am interested in finding out more about them from this era. Stop That Laughing At The Back was a sketch show, but unlike Your Mother Wouldn’t Like It, which was shown on CITV around the same time, this one featured an adult cast, and it was a rather good one too. As there isn’t a huge amount to say about the show, I’ll write about the cast instead.
Firstly there was Michael Fenton-Stevens. Now he is probably best-known for his contributions to Radio Active and KYTV, but he has also appeared in a huge amount of comedy shows in minor roles, and is a good example of a “I know the face but I don’t know the name”-type of actor. His continuing commitment to appearing in one episode of a sitcom and being about ninth on the cast list over the past four decades really is awe-inspiring.
And there was also Paul Bradley. He appeared in a few comedy shows in the 80s, and after this one ended, in 1989 he got a CITV sitcom of his own called Bradley that ran for one series. Again I don’t remember watching it, but I would like to see it. And then in the 90s of course he went on to further fame as Nigel Bates in EastEnders, where he was always enjoyable.
Also featuring were Nimmy March, who went on to appear in a few other sitcoms and children’s shows, and Jo Unwin, whose career I have already looked back at in my review of BBC1 sitcom The Last Salute. And we mustn’t forget Hue And Cry. Now Ian Hue and Ian Cry were a young comedy double-act who had recently appeared on Opportunity Knocks… no, not really.
They were of course the pop duo Pat and Greg Kane, who had recently had their breakthrough hit with “Labour Of Love” and provided the music, they are everybody’s second-favourite 80s Scottish pop brothers after The Proclaimers I’m sure. The show did feature a few regular characters and sketches, including Aw, I’m Not Doing That, where children were shown how to get out of parent-given chores, along with some bizarre animation segments. And I don’t know if I should even dare speculate about what’s going on here!
There were just five editions of Stop That Laughing At The Back, but it did receive the honour of a Lookin cover (and it is an honour, definitely), so it must’ve had something going for it. I’m sure that it was a show that was guaranteed to make viewers giggle all day, and I have enjoyed what I have seen of it, hopefully some more will turn up online soon.