Curry and Chips

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For the game show, see Catchphrase (UK game show).
Curry and Chips
Format Comedy
Starring Spike Milligan
Eric Sykes
Norman Rossington
Kenny Lynch
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 1
No. of episodes 6
Production
Running time 30 minutes
Broadcast
Original channel ITV
Original run 21 November – 26 December 1969

Curry and Chips is a short lived British sitcom broadcast in 1969 which was produced by London Weekend Television for the ITV network.

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.[1]

It was the first LWT sitcom to be made in colour,[2] and all episodes still exist.[3]

Controversy[edit]

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."[4] They weren't alone, as amongst those who originally complained about the show were the Race Relations Board.[5]

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."[6]

At the time though, the show was just as controversial for the number of swear words in it. The word 'bloody' was used 59 times in one episode. Eric Sykes though refused to swear at all.[7]

The show was also voted amongst the 100 Greatest TV Moments From Hell in a Channel 4 show in the year 2000.[citation needed]

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.[8] 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.

DVD release[edit]

Curry and Chips - The Complete Series was released on 19 April 2010 by Network. Catalogue Number 7953165.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Screenonline: Curry and Chips". Screenonline. 2007-04-20. 
  2. ^ "Nostalgia Central - Curry and Chips". 2007-04-20. 
  3. ^ "Lost TV Shows on Curry and Chips". lostshows.com. 2007-04-20. 
  4. ^ "Television Heaven - Curry and Chips". Television Heaven. 2007-04-20. 
  5. ^ "British Sitcom Guide - Curry and Chips". British Sitcom Guide. 2007-04-20. 
  6. ^ "Screenonline: Race and the sitcom". Screenonline. 2007-04-20. 
  7. ^ "BBC Comedy Guide - Curry and Chips". BBC. 2007-04-20. 
  8. ^ "BBC Comedy Guide - The Melting Pot". BBC. 2007-04-20. 

External links[edit]