There’s Nothing To Worry About (ITV, 1982)
A while ago, I reviewed the comedy sketch show Alfresco. The extra on the DVD release is the series that preceded this, which had almost the same cast. There’s Nothing To Worry About is rather significant as it features of some the earliest TV appearances of a group of people who would soon go on to bigger and better things in comedy and much more.
Among the cast was Ben Elton (who wrote the majority of the sketches), along with Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie, and their amusing style of wordplay was well established even at this point, making this seem like a bonus series of their acclaimed sketch show that would launch later in the 80s. Some of the sketches that featured would be recycled for one of the editions of Alfresco.
Although of course plenty of ideas were tried out and some worked better than others, and there were no regular characters or catchphrases, there were still some highlights. These included a reference to “Strom”, the rather bizarre made-up language that featured often in Fry and Laurie’s later work, and this was sketch was also notable as it features just about the mouldiest film quality that I have seen on a TV show from this era.
Being able to watch shows from the early-80s also means you end up looking more at the surroundings than taking notice of the sketch, like the one set in a supermarket, where everything seemed to cost 13p, what a fascinating time capsule. And there was a sketch where Fry and Laurie discussed how a video recorder worked, with was rather nice. And Laurie’s American accent was also given an early-run out in a sketch where a court trail was done in the style of a glossy TV show.
Possibly the most notable moment for me though was a rather bizarre electropop song that seemed to have nothing to do with anything else by “Sister Resistor”, played by Emma Thompson as a silver robot-type thing. I never knew that Thompson had been an electropop pioneer (well it was 1982 when this was a big music genre), as well as going on to win an Academy Award many years later.
There were just three editions of There’s Nothing To Worry About that were only shown in the Granada region rather late at night, and this must’ve been watched by next to nobody at the time. Fry and Laurie were also among the cast that appeared in a TV comedy sketch show before even this, that invented alternative comedy there and then (well probably), and I’ll review that one soon too.