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Genre Sitcom
Created by Frank Muir
Denis Norden
Country of origin United Kingdom
No. of episodes 60
Running time 30 minutes
Original network BBC1
Original release 4 October 1956 – 27 December 1960
27 November 1971 – 26 February 1972

Whack-O! was a British sitcom TV series starring Jimmy Edwards, written by Frank Muir and Denis Norden, and broadcast from 1956–60 and 1971–72.

The series (in black and white) ran on the BBC from 1956–60 and (in colour) from 1971–72. 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 1971–72, slightly retitled Whacko!. In all, it ran for a total of 60 episodes, with 47 of black-and-white 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 – 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, and are now being broadcast on Radio 4 Extra.

The front of the historic house of Great Fosters was used in the opening title sequence of the TV comedy series behind the name of the fictional Chiselbury School.[1]


Missing episodes[edit]

Most of the show's episodes are missing, presumed lost. Six 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.[4]

Only 7 episodes exist in the BBC TV archives, with 3 (out of the 6 remaining B&W episodes) having been rediscovered in December 2016.

  • TBA
  • Series 3 episode 5 (21-10-1958)
  • Series 5 episode 4 (01-12-1959)
  • Series 6 episode 4 (03-06-1960)
  • Series 7 episode 1 (22-11-1960)
  • Series 7 episode 5 (20-12-1960)
  • Series 8 episode 2 (04-12-1971)

See also[edit]


External links[edit]