Mike and Angelo

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Mike and Angelo
GenreSitcom
Created byGrant Cathro
Lee Pressman
Written byGrant Cathro
Lee Pressman
Alex Bartlette
StarringShelley Thompson
Matt Wright
Tyler Butterworth
Tim Whitnall
Michael Benz
Katy Murphy
Gemma Gregory
Steven Geller
ComposersAlan Coates
Kim Goody
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original languageEnglish
No. of series12
No. of episodes123
Production
Running time20 minutes
Production companiesThames (1989-91)
Tetra Films and Carlton (1993-2000)
DistributorFremantle
Release
Original networkITV Network (CITV)
Original release16 March 1989 (1989-03-16) –
7 March 2000 (2000-03-07)
Chronology
Related showsSpatz

Mike and Angelo was a British sci-fi TV sitcom series, that ran on CITV between 16 March 1989 and 7 March 2000.[1]

Plot[edit]

The shows initially centred on Mike King (played by Matt Wright), and his mother Rita moving to London from the United States after she divorces Mike's father. In their new house, and feeling lonely in his new surroundings, Mike discovers a mysterious wardrobe. It bursts open containing Angelo (Tyler Butterworth), an alien who came from another world; the portal being the wardrobe. Angelo has no knowledge of life on Earth or of his own - so relies on the help of Mike to understand the world he has crashed on. At the same time, Mike is in turn helped by Angelo to integrate into life in London.

Together, Mike and Angelo have many crazy adventures, all within the vicinity of the house that they live in. Angelo is always inventing something crazy, or walking on the ceiling (due to him being an alien), and generally misunderstanding various aspects of human behaviour and daily life which leads to various escapades and situations.

The series[edit]

The title of the series is a play on the name of the painter Michelangelo. In the early planning stages of the series, creators Grant Cathro and Lee Pressman had toyed with the idea of making Angelo somehow a guardian angel towards Mike. They were inspired by Michelangelo's The Creation of Adam, which in turn had inspired the poster for E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. Although the idea of the guardian angel was ultimately unutilised in the series, they liked the name-play and stuck with it.[2]

The tone of the first two series was more comedy-drama (Early episodes were even billed as a drama.) Several episodes of the first series focussed on the loneliness Mike was feeling after moving to a different country which was helped by his new friendship with Angelo, and without the canned laughter that would feature from Series 3 onwards. The original two series featured a quirky, whimsical flute-led theme tune on the opening and closing credits, written by Jim Parker; on a repeat run of the first two series in the lead-up up the Series 3, this original theme tune was replaced by the version which would be used from Series 3 onwards, written by David Stafford, as well as a new opening credits narration (read by Matt Zimmerman), also used from Series 3, also added to these repeated episodes. Additionally, the laugh track, which was also added from Series 3 until the end of the show's run, was also dubbed on to these repeated episodes, where it had not originally been present. These changes to the originally shown versions were in part to make the series more 'uniform', as Children's ITV had hoped to sell the series to stations in America; a plan which never fully came to fruition.

The first of the show's many cast changes occurs at the beginning of Series 3, when Tim Whitnall replaced Tyler Butterworth as Angelo. In the first episode of the new series, Angelo falls ill and eventually "regenerates" (borrowing a concept first used in Doctor Who). Tim Whitnall would remain as the character for the next nine years, for the rest of the programme's run. At around this point, the comedy-drama tone of the first two series shifted towards the more fantastical and farcical, with Angelo creating many inventions which typically run out of control, and occasionally summoning up historical figures from the past.

Mike King moves back to the US at the beginning of Series 4 to be with his dad, with Ellie, a young neighbour, filling the gap left by the character for the rest of Series 4, befriending Angelo and getting caught up with his various gadgets and escapades.

Series 5 was the first series to be produced by Tetra Films, resulting in a more farcical tone to the comedy, and features a new theme composed by Kim Goody and Alan Coates, which would remain, in several slight variations, for the remainder of the show's run. Rita's nephew Mike Mason (Michael Benz) is introduced - as well being in keeping with the title of the series (despite the character of Ellie in Series 4), Benz would become the longest-running "Mike" character, featuring in 5 of the 12 series.

By the start of Series 7, Rita has decided to return to the USA. Her place is filled by new character Katy Andrews (Katy Murphy), a new housekeeper.

Series 11 saw the exit of Michel Benz, and the series began with Angelo and Katy reading a postcard explaining that Mike was having a good time in America after returning there. In his place, Daphne Fawkes-Bentley's niece Mickey (portrayed by Gemma Gregory) became Angelo's sidekick.

For the final series, Katy's nephew, also called Mike (played by Steven Geller), joined. The final series was shown in 2000. Geller later passed away in 2015 aged 30. Although the series never came to an official conclusion, it was not renewed after Series 12, broadcast in 2000 (filmed in 1999), due to it being felt that the series had run its course, and a general shift in Children's ITV's audience demographic.

Writers Lee Pressman and Grant Cathro set Mike & Angelo in Cricklewood, London. Their later series Spatz was set in the same area.[3]

Cast and Characters[edit]

Main[edit]

  • Angelo - Tyler Butterworth (1989–1990) & Tim Whitnall (1990–2000):
    Angelo is a goofy alien from the planet of Ptarg. He has the ability to make crazy inventions for his friends and among other things, is able to on the ceiling.
  • Mike King - Matt Wright (1989–1991):
    The original Mike, Mike King discovers Angelo and helps him accustom to life on Earth - all while ensuring no-one finds out his secret.
  • Rita King - Shelley Thompson (1989–1994):
    Rita is the owner of the house and Mike's mother. She is aware of Angelo and helps her son keep him a secret from visitors to the house.
  • Mike Mason - Michael Benz (1993–1998):
    The second and longest-appearing Mike, Mike Mason is the nephew of Rita.
  • Katy Andrews - Katy Murphy (1995–2000):
    The quick-tempered housekeeper who takes over looking after the house.
  • Michaela "Mickey" Fawkes-Bentley - Gemma Gregory (1999):
    The niece of neighbour Daphne, Mickey is more fun-loving than her aunt.
  • Mike - Steven Geller (2000):
    The final Mike, he is snarky and intended to act as a Straight man to Angelo.

Supporting[edit]

  • Cyril Pinner - John Levitt (1989–1994):
    A nosey neighbour, Mr Pinner is suspicious of the events happening next door.
  • Philippa Fraser - Alessia Gwyther (1989–1991):
    A young snooty neighbour who attempts to befriend Mike King.
  • Brett Douglas - Gavin Richards (1989–1993):
    Rita's friend who is suspicious of Angelo.
  • Nancy Mancini (Rita King's mother) - Libby Morris (1989–1991):
    Sassy and a gossip, she stays occasionally in the house.
  • Tony King (Rita King's former husband) - Jeff Harding (1989–1991):
    Father of Mike King who has a strained relationship with Rita.
  • Ellie - Jade Magri (1991):
    Neighbourhood girl who helps Angelo in Series 4.
  • Melanie Pinner - Alexandra Milman (1993–1994):
    Mike Mason's girlfriend in Series 5 and 6, niece of Mr Pinner.
  • Uncle Bob - Ron Berglas (1995):
    Uncle of Mike Mason who checks in on Mike, Angelo and Katy regularly in Series 7.
  • Sam - Katie Pearson (1995):
    Mike Mason's girlfriend in Series 7.
  • Daphne Fawkes-Bentley - Elizabeth Estensen (1995–2000):
    The stuck-up neighbour and aunt of Mickey. Played by Elizabeth Estensen, who portrayed the first T-Bag in fellow Lee Pressman and Grant Cathro show T-Bag. As a result, much of her character is in reference to the character of T-Bag.
  • Zoe - Candace Hallinan (1998):
    Mike Mason's girlfriend in Series 9 and 10.

Old Skool Weekend[edit]

In 2013, two episodes of Mike & Angelo were repeated on CITV as part of its 30th anniversary Old Skool Weekend:[4]

  • The first, shown on 5 January 2013, entitled "Fuzzball", had originally been broadcast on CITV on 26 October 1989
  • The second, shown on 6 January 2013, was titled "Heirs And Graces", and had originally been broadcast on CITV on 7 March 1996.

Transmissions[edit]

Series Start date End date Episodes
1
16 March 1989
18 May 1989
10
2
14 September 1989
16 November 1989
10
3
14 November 1990
13 February 1991
13
4
17 October 1991
19 December 1991
10
5
7 January 1993
11 March 1993
10
6
22 February 1994
26 April 1994
10
7
5 January 1995
9 March 1995
10
8
4 January 1996
7 March 1996
10
9
9 January 1997
13 March 1997
10
10
8 January 1998
12 March 1998
10
11
5 January 1999
16 March 1999
10
12
4 January 2000
7 March 2000
10

References[edit]

  1. ^ "BBC - Comedy Guide - Mike & Angelo". Archived from the original on 2 November 2004. Retrieved 6 September 2013. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link) CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  2. ^ "Glad You Remember: Mike & Angelo". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 11 September 2020.
  3. ^ "Mike & Angelo". Glad You Remember. Retrieved 9 January 2013. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ "CITV celebrates 30th anniversary with a weekend of classic children's programmes". RadioTimes. Retrieved 6 June 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

External links[edit]