Alfresco – 1983

Some well known names from the world of comedy assemble for this forgotten ITV sketch show.

Conceived as an answer to the BBC’s hugely successful Not The Nine O’ Clock News, Alfresco ran for two series totalling thirteen episodes.

It followed on from a series There’s Nothing To Worry About! which ran for one series in the ITV Granada region only, this was actually a three part pilot for Alfresco.

When Alfresco hit TV screens Paul Shearer who was part of the pilot series was replaced by Robbie Coltrane.  Although the pilot series was only shown in the Granada region, the third episode of the first series was actually a compilation of the pilot series.

The title for the show Alfresco is actually Italian for in the fresh air and unusually for a sketch show of the time it was shot on location as opposed to being studio based.


The series was a sketch show.  Series one sketches had a very unusual and surreal mood to them.  For series two the style was changed a little.  Sketches were linked from a set deliberately mocked up as a “Pretend Pub” and were not as dark as in series one.





Robbie Coltrane
Ben Elton
Stephen Fry
Hugh Laurie
Siobhan Redmond
Emma Thompson


Channel: ITV
Written By:
Ben Elton (series 1&2)
Stephen Fry (series 2)
Hugh Laurie (series 2)
Produced By: Granada TV for ITV
Original Transmission Dates: 1 May 1983 – 2 June 1984




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