It featured a set of stereotyped Liverpudlian characters or Scousers, "Ga'", "Ba'" and "Te'" (Gary, Barry and Terry) played by Gary Bleasdale, Harry Enfield, Joe McGann, and Mark Moraghan. The original inspiration for the Scousers sketches were Barry Grant and Terry Sullivan, two characters from the Channel 4, soap opera Brookside, set in Liverpool.
The Scousers were usually depicted with Kevin Keegan bubble perm hairstyles and bushy moustaches, wearing shell suits, and speaking in exaggerated Scouse accents. Common catch phrases they came up included "Eh? Eh? Eh?" "Dey do do dat dough don't dey dough" ("They do do that though, don't they though").
Whenever a potential problem or dispute arose, this would result in The Scousers repeating to each other their most famous catch phrase:
" Eh! Eh! Alright! Alright! Calm down! Calm down!"
This catch phrase was Bleasdale's input as he changed the scripted original, which was "Break it up 'ey, come on, break it up", during the first rehearsal. McGann brought "Dey do dough, don't dey dough" to the sketches. The characters had allegiances to the city's football teams with "Ga'" being an Everton fan while "Ba'" & "Te'" were Liverpool fans. This leads to even more disagreement.
The actors Paul Usher and Brian Regan who played Brookside characters "Barry" and "Terry" also appeared in a "The Scousers" sketch "Terry Gets Married". One of The Scousers re-emerged in Enfield's latest sketch show Harry and Paul.
Influence of "The Scousers"
Even though the TV series finished over a decade ago, the catchphrases, the haircuts and the dress senses of the characters are still often associated with people from the city of Liverpool. Particularly young-to-early-middle-age males, despite such fashions being fairly short-lived and even outdated before the show actually began or the fact that none of it is based on the image of any particular Liverpudlian person.
The characters could also be considered as a forerunner to the Chav stereotype.
- Harry Enfield The Scousers "Terry Gets Married" - YouTube
- Brookside fans hold Scouse demo - BBC News
- Harry Enfield Scousers in Liverpoool (spoof) - Flickr
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