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Series / All Gas and Gaiters

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All Gas and Gaiters is a British sitcom that ran on BBC1 television from 1966–71, and then as a radio programme from 1971–72.

It's been described as an "ecclesiastical comedy" revolving around the fictional St Oggs Cathedral and its Bishop, the Right Reverend Cuthbert Hever (William Mervyn). Whilst he varies from seeking higher status in the Church or just wishing to be left alone to his domestic duties, he never acheives either due to any number of convoluted plots that usually leave him extremely humbled. The Bishop is accompanied by his nervous chaplain, Mervyn Noote (Derek Nimmo), and Henry Blunt (Robertson Hare), the elderly Archdeaon. Their lives are often made difficult by the presence of The Dean (John Barron, then Ernest Clark), a no-nonsense official whose focus on tradition frequently clashes with the day to day financial concerns the Bishop has to face.

Came 72nd in Britains Best Sitcom.

This work contains examples of:

  • The Alcoholic: The Archdeacon does love a glass of sherry. Or two.
  • Annoying Laugh: Noote's laugh bears some resemblance to a horse with a sore throat.
  • Calvin Ball: "The Game", a game that the three principle characters play which has some connection with railway timetables, but otherwise appears extremely nonsensical. When Noote leaves and the Dean begins to play, he begins altering the rules to suit him.
  • Catchphrase: "Crikey Moses!" or similar variants from Noote.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: The Bishop has been hopelessly in love with Mrs Arnold since he was a young man, but was never able to ask her out. It turns out she never felt the same way about him, and later becomes married to the boorish Geoffrey, who was her real sweetheart.
  • Disguised in Drag: At the fete, the Archdeacon disguises himself as an old gypsy woman whilst telling fortunes. This leads to some confusion when the Dean and his wife assume that he is the Bishop's sweetheart.
  • Dirty Old Man: The Archdeacon is prone to making suggestive (and often downright explicit) comments about women, and was once involved the highly scandalous "Weymouth Incident", though he insists this before he got the Call.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: As a young man, the Bishop was known as "Piggy."
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": The Bishop is only ever referred to anything other than his title when he is being introduced to another party. The Dean is known by his title to all but his wife.
  • "Fawlty Towers" Plot: Practically Once per Episode.
  • Hen Pecked Husband: The Dean to Mrs Pugh-Critchley.
  • Last-Name Basis: Chaplain Mervyn Noote is only ever called by his first name on a few occasions when being formally introduced (or when the Bishop is trying to get him to do something.)
  • Lethal Chef: Mrs Pugh-Critchley.
  • Not So Above It All: The Pugh-Critchleys claim to be against television, but when Mrs Pugh-Critchley is left at the Bishop's house after his new television is installed, she insists on proving that there is too much sex and violence on air... by watching various programmes.
  • Old Windbag: The Dean's sermons are known to put his parishioners (and the Bishop) to sleep.
  • Serious Business: Noote knows something is wrong with the Archdeacon when he turns down a glass of port. It's actually because he has a bottle of champagne.
  • Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: The Bishop and the Dean. Played with in that the Dean knows that whilst the Bishop is somewhat prickly towards him, he doesn't realize the extent that he dislikes him.
  • The Dog Bites Back: After seeing the Bishop break his promises once too often, Noote hands in his resignation.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: In "Only Three Can Play", the long-suffering Noote finds a female companion (who takes him to see The Sound of Music every time they meet.) This leaves the Bishop and Archdeacon stuck with the Dean, until they are invited along by the young girl's mother and grandmother respectively.
    • In addition, after an episode of not noticing the Dean's niece's interest in him, Newt and the young lady retire to his bedroom (which they had previously done so as it was an easier place to work from.)