A Kick Up The Eighties , 1981

It’s the early 1980’s and we come accross a sketch show that introduces us to some rather well known names that would go on to much greater things.

Created by Tom Gutteridge (who producerd and directed the show) and Sean Hardie (who was executive producer) the series was seen by many as a natural successor to Not The Nine O’ Clock News.

Despite successfully blending straight comedy sketches with satire, A Kick Up The Eighties never caught on with viewers in the same way as Not The Nine O’Clock News.

The show is credited with launching the television careers of Rik Mayall and Tracey Ullman.   Rik Mayall appeared in his own segment as Kevin Turvey.  To maintain the illusion that Kevin Turvey was real, Mayall’s name did not appear in the closing credits whereas Kevin Turvey’s did.

Someone by the name of Peter Capaldi, a trained graphic artist from Scotland, contributed to designing the show’s opening sequence prior to launching his own career as an actor (now what did he go on to become?).

A Kick Up The Eighties ran for ten shows between 1981 and 1984 over two series, the shows for both series went out at 9pm.  With a slight cast change there would be a later spin off show  Laugh??? I Nearly Paid My Licence Fee.


The cast appear as a variety of different characters in a series of sketches and musical parodies.






This character first appeared on Kick Up The Eighties


Ron Bain
Miriam Margolyes
Roger Sloman
Tracey Ullman
Rik Mayall – Kevin Turvey
Richard Stilgoe – (series 1)
Robbie Coltrane – (series 2)


Channel: BBC2
Written By: Various
Original Transmission Dates:
Series One (6 episodes) 21st September – 26th October, 1981
Series Two (4 episodes) 3rd – 24th January, 1984

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