Beadle's About

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Beadle's About!
Genre Comedy
Created by Ralph Edwards
Presented by Jeremy Beadle
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 10
No. of episodes 94
Production
Location(s) The London Studios
Running time 30 minutes (inc. adverts)
Production company(s) LWT in association with Ralph Edwards Productions and Action Time
Distributor ITV Studios
Release
Original network ITV
Picture format 4:3, PAL 576i
Original release 22 November 1986 (1986-11-22) – 21 September 1996 (1996-09-21)
Chronology
Related shows Game for a Laugh

Beadle's About! is a British television programme hosted by Jeremy Beadle, where members of the public became victims of practical jokes behind hidden cameras. It was produced by LWT for ITV, and ran on Saturday nights from 22 November 1986 to 21 September 1996.

Format[edit]

An example of one of the practical jokes would involve someone's car or van secretly being swapped for an identical one, and then, having a disaster befall it, such as exploding, falling into the sea, or being dropped from a great height, as the owner of the vehicle looked on in horror. After a few minutes, Beadle would appear in disguise (typically, as a policeman or some other figure of authority, and often wearing a fake beard on top of his natural beard), and interact with the shell-shocked and/or irate victim. He would subtly drop more and more hints and would remove his disguise and point a stick microphone at the person. As the public were familiar with Beadle from the earlier show Game for a Laugh, they would then immediately realise they had been had, often with the words "I don't believe it!". A follow up series was entitled 'It's Beadle!' which followed a similar format.[1]

Memorable pranks[edit]

One of the most notable pranks was where Dorset resident Janet Elford was convinced into believing that aliens had landed in her garden. Members of the public were set up by a resident team of Beadle's About! actors including: Pam Cole, Ricky Diamond, Tony McHale, Nicholas Young and Flavia Brilli.[2]

Popularity[edit]

At its peak, the show attracted approximately 15 million viewers, making it one of ITV's most popular Saturday night programmes during that period.[3]

Profanity bubble[edit]

The "Bleep!" or "Oops!" bubble used to block out offensive language was a well known feature from the show. The bubbles were simply clouds with either "Bleep!" or "Oops!" in them, the text being set in a font looking similar to the Balloon typeface. These were also used to cover up offensive hand gestures as well.

Jeremy once revealed in an interview that during editing, they deliberately inserted "bleeps" where there were no profanities as this made it funnier.

DVD releases[edit]

The first two series of Beadle's About! have been released on DVD by Network DVD.

DVD Title Discs Year Episodes Release date
Region 2
Complete Series 1 1 1986 6 28 March 2011
Complete Series 2 1 1987 8 2 April 2012

Transmissions[edit]

Series Start date End date Episodes
1 22 November 1986 27 December 1986 6
2 5 September 1987 24 October 1987 8
3 22 October 1988 17 December 1988 8
4 16 September 1989 2 December 1989 11
5 15 September 1990 24 November 1990 11
6 22 September 1991 1 December 1991 10
7 10 October 1992 26 December 1992 10
8 29 October 1993 12 February 1994 10
9 11 March 1995 13 May 1995 10
10 29 June 1996 21 September 1996 10

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Jeremy Beadle: Loved and loathed TV prankster". The Independent. Retrieved 4 November 2014. 
  2. ^ "Janet Elford". News.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 4 November 2014. 
  3. ^ Martin Hodgson. "Veteran TV joker Jeremy Beadle dies of pneumonia, aged 59". the Guardian. Retrieved 4 November 2014. 

External links[edit]