The British Are Coming…

‘Allo, ‘Allo! – The Pilot Episode, 1982

Two years before the long running sitcom began there was a pilot episode screened in 1982.

The series that followed was almost exactly a carry on with just a couple of notable continuity points.

In the pilot, the painting is referred to as The Reclining Madonna with the Big Boobies. In the series, it is called The Fallen Madonna with the Big Boobies.

In this pilot, Michelle claims to be a member of ‘Lifeline’ – a reference to the same organization in BBC drama Secret Army.


The setting is Nouvion, northern France, during the German occupation of World War Two.

For the first time we meet café owner René Artois.  His main day-to-day concerns should be ensuring that he doesn’t displease the local German army personnel, and ensuring his wife does not suspect his affairs with his younger waitresses.

However the local leader of the Resistance has other ideas, declaring the peaceful café is to become a safe house for the hiding of two RAF pilots, shot down and without uniforms.

If that is not enough there is the arrival of Monsieur Roger Leclerc.  A forger, recently busted from jail, who just happens to be an old flame of his bedridden mother-in-law.






René Artois – Gordon Kaye
Edith Artois – Carmen Silvera
Yvette – Vicki Michelle
Maria – Francesca Gonshaw
Michelle of the Resistance – Kirsten Cooke
Colonel Von Strohm – Richard Marner
Captain Hans Geering – Sam Kelly
Lieutenant Hubert Gruber – Guy Siner
Herr Otto Flick – Richard Gibson
RAF Flight Lieutenant Fairfax – John D. Collins
RAF Flight Lieutenant Carstairs  – Nicholas Frankau


Channel: BBC1
Written By: Jeremy Lloyd and David Croft
Originally Transmitted: 30th December 1982