Tracey Ullman: A Class Act

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Tracey Ullman: A Class Act
Tracey Ullman A Class Act.png
Genre Comedy film
Written by Dick Clement
Kim Fuller
Gary Howe
Ian La Frenais
Richard Preddy
Tracey Ullman
Directed by Les Blair
Starring Tracey Ullman
Michael Palin
Theme music composer Simon Brint
Country of origin United Kingdom
Producer(s) Allan McKeown
Jo Wright
Editor(s) Tony Woollard
Cinematography Geoff Harrison
Running time 40 min.
Production company(s) SelecTV
Witzend Productions
Original network ITV
Original release 9 January 1993

Tracey Ullman: A Class Act is a sketch-comedy special starring actress-comedian Tracey Ullman, along with Michael Palin playing a variety of original characters. It originally aired on ITV; subsequently HBO in the United States on 23 November 1993.


A Class Act skewers the British class system. The show is broken up into three sketches. Ullman, accompanied by Monty Python alum Michael Palin, play the majority of the show's characters.

A Class Act served as the follow-up to her American HBO comedy special Tracey Ullman Takes On New York, which aired a month prior in 1993

The show introduced Trevor Ayliss, Virginia Bugge, and Janie Pillsworth. Two of Ullman's characters would go on to appear in Tracey Ullman Takes On New York HBO special, and then all three would appear regularly in the latter, Tracey Takes On....

The special was produced for ITV in the United Kingdom. The show would go on to make its American television debut on HBO in late 1993, after the success of Tracey Ullman Takes On New York.

The American cut of the special opens with Ullman explaining the English class system.


The show opens aboard "Class Air", a British airline that seats passengers according to social class: lower, middle, upper. Airline steward, Trevor Ayliss, explains to an American passenger the seating arrangement.

37 up[edit]

In a parody of the British documentary Seven Up!, three children are followed from childhood to adulthood.

Powder Room[edit]

Ullman plays a multitude of characters in a public powder room.


A young girl, Jeannine Pillsworth is placed into a posh boarding school by her working class parents. Her mother and father give up all their possessions in order to afford tuition; her father sells one of his kidneys. Jeannine, now calling herself Janie, is reinvented into a posh young woman. She disowns her parents, making them promise to never speak to her again. Despite Janie's contempt, Mr and Mrs Pillsworth couldn't be happier that Jeannine has become exactly what they wanted to become.

Back on Class Air[edit]

Trevor visits the American passenger in the Working Class section of the plane. The show closes with Trevor singing "I Am What I Am".

Commercial release[edit]

A Class Act was released on home video in the UK in 1993. In 2009, the special (HBO version) became available in the United States via iTunes and Amazon Video-On-Demand albeit edited. The character Trevor Ayliss is deleted entirely, as is the concluding song "I Am What I Am". The unedited British cut of the special was made available on Hulu in the United States in 2012.


The special was nominated for a CableAce Award in 1995 in the category of International Dramatic or Comedy Special or Series/Movie or Miniseries.

External links[edit]