Spooner’s Patch – 1979
Another one of those forgotten sitcoms from ITV, you know the ones, never appear on the repeats that get a regular airing on ITV’s digital channels.
At the time of the first series Starsky and Hutch were big news on late Saturday nights on the BBC and when you mention Starsky and Hutch (if you’re old enough remember) you think of the car red with that white stripe. So it may come as no surprise that the one memory from this sitcom that stood out was the car. Starsky and Hutch had the big red Ford Grand Torino, in Spooner’s Patch there was a red car with a white stripe just like Starsky and Hutch and it was a Ford – Ford Anglia.
The show ran for three seasons between 1979 and 1982 (with a year’s gap between series two and three) and had the benefit of being written by two top comedy writers Ray Galton and Johnny Speight.
Like many other shows the archive was not complete, with three episodes missing and one, irreparably damaged. However as with Steptoe and Son Ray Galton had kept copies for his own use. Subsequently when Network DVD acquired the rights he was able provide the missing links enabling the full series to be released to DVD.
Meet Inspector Spooner, a man of few ambitions. He likes golf, girls and alcohol, longs for the quiet life, and would be quite happy not have to deal with anything more challenging than illegal parking.
However his squad consists of the fascistic PC Goatman, DC Bulsover – a would-be Starsky – and PC Killick, who isn’t averse to exchanging verbal abuse with his superior.
Unfortunately the problems that plague Inspector Spooner seem to come more from his own incompetent force than the criminal fraternity!
Regretfully no clips are available and very few images exist.
Donald Churchill … Inspector Spooner (unknown episodes, 1980-1982)
Patricia Hayes … Mrs. Cantaford, the Traffic Warden (unknown episodes, 1980-1982)
Peter Cleall … Detective Con. Bulsover (unknown episodes)
John Lyons … PC Killick (unknown episodes)
Ronald Fraser … Inspector Spooner (unknown episodes, 1979)
Dermot Kelly … Kelly (unknown episodes, 1979)
Norman Rossington … PC Goatman (unknown episodes, 1979)
Ian Bannen … Inspector Spooner (Pilot episode)
Wendy Richard (unknown episodes)
Bill Treacher (unknown episodes)
Written By: Ray Galton and Johnny Speight
Produced By: William G. Stewart
Original Transmission Dates: 9th July 1979 – 27th May 1982
Despite a lack of images you can still get all three series on DVD, worth buying just to see the Ford Anglia painted to look like the car in Starsky and Hutch.