Curry and Chips
|Curry and Chips|
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of series||1|
|No. of episodes||6|
|Running time||30 minutes|
|Original run||21 November – 26 December 1969|
Set on a factory floor of 'Lillicrap Ltd', it starred a blacked up Spike Milligan as an Asian immigrant who went by the name of Kevin O'Grady. It also featured Eric Sykes as the foreman, Norman Rossington as the shop steward, and other regulars were Kenny Lynch, and Sam Kydd. The series was written by Till Death Us Do Part writer Johnny Speight, but based on idea by Milligan.
The ambition of Curry and Chips was to highlight discrimination, rather than promote it. The Independent Television Authority disagreed, and Curry and Chips was cancelled by them after only six episodes. Speight himself later remarked: "It was the English who were made to look bigoted in the show but the people at the ITA couldn't understand that. It was London Weekend Television's first year, but only six shows went out. The ITA made LWT take it off, saying it was racist." They weren't alone, as amongst those who originally complained about the show were the Race Relations Board.
Screenonline says of the show "though it again attempted to raise important questions, [it] lacked a strong enough voice to challenge the racist attitudes of its characters, and too much of its humour relied on the use of crude racial abuse and Milligan's caricatured performance as the charmlessly-nicknamed 'Paki Paddy'. The shocked reaction from some viewers and cultural commentators led to the show being dropped by ITV after just six episodes, and in retrospect it's hard to understand how Speight and LWT can have failed to anticipate the offence it caused."
Cambodian dictator Pol Pot apparently admired the sitcom, citing it as one of the main reasons for him strenuously picking up British television using primitive satellite technology. According to several accounts, he would watch it with the aid of a paid translator, who would also explain much of the British terminology and slang to him.
Six years later, Milligan once again blacked up in the BBC series The Melting Pot. Only one episode was shown, and the other five were pulled. Johnny Speight would again ask Spike Milligan to black up on two occasions for his BBC sitcom Till Death us do Part, one of which was to play the part originally created for Curry and Chips, Paki-Paddy.
Curry and Chips - The Complete Series was released on 19 April 2010 by Network. Catalogue Number 7953165.
- "Screenonline: Curry and Chips". Screenonline. 2007-04-20.
- "Nostalgia Central - Curry and Chips". 2007-04-20.
- "Lost TV Shows on Curry and Chips". lostshows.com. 2007-04-20.
- "Television Heaven - Curry and Chips". Television Heaven. 2007-04-20.
- "British Sitcom Guide - Curry and Chips". British Sitcom Guide. 2007-04-20.
- "Screenonline: Race and the sitcom". Screenonline. 2007-04-20.
- "BBC Comedy Guide - Curry and Chips". BBC. 2007-04-20.
- "BBC Comedy Guide - The Melting Pot". BBC. 2007-04-20.
- Curry and Chips at the Internet Movie Database
- Curry and Chips at the British Comedy Guide
- Curry and Chips at TV.com