Perhaps the television series for which Charlie Drake will be best remembered and which almost certainly has had influences on other sitcoms.
The Worker was produced for ITV by Associated Television and London Weekend Television and ran for thirty six episodes over five series between 1965 and 1978. Elements of the show almost certainly inflenced an episode of Some Mothers Do Ave ‘Em – The Employment Exchange which runs along very similar lines to The Worker.
Meet Charlie, here’s a man who has had 980 jobs twenty years, of which few have lasted more than a day. Charlie’s visits to the Labour Exchange are a regular part of his week, Somewhere out there must be the perfect job for him but who will employ him with his track record?
Each week Mr Pugh, at the Labour Exchange, would dispatch Charlie to a new job. All of which ended in disaster, sometimes with a burst of classic slapstick, sometimes with a bewildered Drake himself at the centre of incomprehensible actions by the people employing him. Bookending these sequences were the encounters between Drake and Pugh. Running jokes included Drake’s inability to manage Mr Pugh’s name, his mispronunciations ranging from a childish “Mi’er Poo” to “Peeyooo”.
Charlie – Charlie Drake
Mr Pugh – Henry Mc Gee
Percy Herbert – Mr Whittaker
Lew Schwarz (series 1-4)
Produced By: ATV & LWT for ITV
Original Transmission: 27th February 1965 – 24th December 1978