|Created by||Frank Muir
Arthur Howard (series 1-7)
Julian Orchard (series 8)
Edwin Apps (series 1-7)
Peter Greene (series 8)
Gordon Phillot (series 1-7)
Harold Bennett (series 8)
Gary Warren (series 8)
Greg Smith (series 8)
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of episodes||60|
|Running time||30 minutes|
|Original run||4 October 1956 – 27 December 1960,
27 November 1971 – 26 February 1972
The series (in black and white) ran on the BBC from 1956 to 1960 and (in colour) from 1971 to 1972. Edwards took the part of Professor James Edwards, M.A., the drunken, gambling, devious, cane-swishing headmaster who tyrannised staff and children at Chiselbury public school (described in the opening titles as "for the sons of Gentlefolk"). The Edwards character bore more than a passing resemblance to Sergeant Bilko as he tried to swindle the children out of their pocket money to finance his many schemes.
The first six episodes were subtitled "Six of the Best". In 1959 a film was made based on the show, called Bottoms Up!. The series was revived in colour with updated scripts in 1971-1972, slightly retitled Whacko!. In all, it ran for a total of 60 episodes, with 47 of B&W and 13 colour, of 30 minutes each. There were three special shorts. There was also a radio version, on the Light Programme, 45 episodes of 30 minutes broadcast from May 1961 till July 1963, with Vera Lynn starring as herself in the second episode. Many of these radio episodes were recovered by a BBC archivist from a listener's collection of tapes in 2012.
- Professor James Edwards played by Jimmy Edwards
- Mr Oliver Pettigrew played by Arthur Howard in 1956-60 and Julian Orchard in 1971
- Mr F.D. Price Whittaker played by Kenneth Cope
- Mr S.A. Smallpiece played by Norman Bird
- Lumley (a pupil) played by John Stirling
- Mr R.P. Tench played by Peter Glaze
- Mr Halliforth played by Edwin Apps in 1956-60 and Peter Greene in 1971
- Parker played by David Langford
- Mr Forbes played by Keith Smith
- Mr Proctor played by Brian Rawlinson
- Mr Dinwiddie played by Gordon Phillot in 1956-60 and Harold Bennett in 1971
- Mr Cope-Willoughby played by Frank Raymond
- Matron played by Barbra Archer, Liz Fraser and by Charlotte Mitchell
- Taplow played by Gary Warren in 1971
- Potter played by Greg Smith in 1971
- Clodagh Rodgers appeared as herself during the colour series in 1971.
Most of the show's episodes are lost. Three of the original black-and-white episodes are known to exist today; from the colour revival series of the 1970s, only one is known to have survived.