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Summary

Michael Williams stars in all three series of the BBC Radio 4 sitcom based on Frank Dickens’ famous comic strip character.

Bristow is a middle-aged, ineffectual buying clerk for the Chester-Perry Organisation. He is merely a small cog in a gigantic wheel...and he knows it. But he has his own small ways of rebelling, and together with sparring partner, Jones, and tea lady, Mrs Purdy, he weaves hopeless tangles of red tape to confound the system and liven up everyone’s day.

In these 14 episodes, Bristow hopes to make a mint from a rumoured takeover bid, helps Jones to plan his escape from Chester-Perry, crusades to improve conditions for the cleaning ladies, and falls in with troublemaker, Tom Paine, at the office dinner dance. Plus, he obtains some inside information that must surely lead to promotion, learns the meaning of poetic justice while writing for the house journal, and bumbles towards proving his theory that he is surrounded by incompetents.

Adapted by Frank Dickens from his own cartoon strip, which ran for 41 years in London’s Evening Standard, and was syndicated internationally, this charming corporate comedy stars Michael Williams (A Fine Romance) as Bristow, with Rodney Bewes (The Likely Lads) as Jones, and Dora Bryan (Last of the Summer Wine) as Mrs Purdy.

Written by Frank Dickens

Produced and directed by Neil Cargill

Music composed and performed by John Whitehall

First broadcast BBC Radio 4: 21 April-26 May 1999 (Series 1), 24 November-15 December 1999 (Series 2), 7-28 July 2000 (Series 3)

Cast:

Bristow……………………Michael Williams

Jones……………………Rodney Bewes

Mrs Purdy……………………Dora Bryan

Hewitt……………………Owen Brenman

BJ Bothwick……………………Christopher Benjamin

Miss Sunman……………………Katy Odey

Fudge/Stationmaster/Samson/Hawkins/Tom……………………Jon Glover

Mrs Dimple/Molly……………………Sheila Reid

Jonathan Quartly……………………Bernard Cribbins

Rupert Clement……………………Royce Mills

Richard Blobb……………………Norman Bird

Miss Golightly……………………Lucy Akhurst

Postboy/Little Red……………………Simon Schatzberger

Receptionist/Yellow Overcoat Girl……………………Zeena Eate

Gert……………………Liz Fraser

Daisy……………………Joan Sims

Fred Stokes……………………David Battley

Hickford……………………Roger Lloyd Pack

Lift Boy……………………Ian Kelland

Miss Peach/Miss Glockling……………………Carol Starks

Moorcroft……………………Robert Bathurst

Witherspoon……………………Peter Kelly

Fenella……………………Anna Mountford

Perkins……………………Leslie Phillips

Teacher……………………Jane Booker

Sylvana/Miss Pleasant……………………Jackie Neglia

Liftboy……………………Ian Kelland

With Sarah Huntley and David Ryall.

©2020 Frank Dickens (P)2020 BBC Worldwide Ltd

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Good Comedy to Revisit

If you enjoyed the original radio series, it’s all here. The excellent Michael Williams in the lead/title role and other characters well voiced by the cast. Amusing stuff.