The Melting Pot, 1975
The Melting Pot was supposed to have been a six part BBC sitcom, featuring Spike Milligan blacking up again. Starring alongside him was the well known satirist (these days probably best remembered for his work on Bremner, Bird and Fortune). There was also a guest appearence from Bill Kerr of Hancock’s Half Hour fame.
It will come as no surprise as to the fete of this sitcom – yes, you guessed it – cancelled after just one episode, as it was felt by some to handle racial issues in an insensitive way (that phrase seems very familiar these days).
To date the remaining five episodes have never been broadcast, although they are believed to still exist in the BBC archives.
Spike Milligan plays Mr. Van Gogh, one of two Asian illegal immigrants shown as landing on a beach in Britain, and making it to a district of London known as “the melting pot” in the first episode.
As the series was cancelled after just one episode we’ll never know what happens next.
Another video deleted, there’s a market for a commercial release of some of these one offs.
Spike Milligan – Mr Van Gogh: an illegal Pakistani immigrant
John Bird – Mr Rembrandt: Van Gogh’s son, also an illegal immigrant
Frank Carson – Paddy O’Brien: an Irish Republican landlord and coalman
Alexandra Dane – Nefertiti Skupinski: O’Brien’s voluptuous, South African-bred daughter
Wayne Brown – Luigi O’Reilly: a black Yorkshireman
Harry Fowler – Eric Lee Fung: a Chinese cockney spiv
John Bluthal – Richard Armitage: an Orthodox London Jew
Anthony Brothers – Sheik Yamani: an Orthodox Arab who speaks with a Scots accent as he’s been learning banking at the Bank of Scotland, Peckham
Robert Dorning – Colonel Grope: an ex-Indian Army, alcoholic racialist
Bill Kerr – Bluey Notts: an Australian bookie’s clerk, a crude racialist
Channel: BBC1 (confirmation req’d)
Written By: Neil Shand
Original Transmission Date: 11th June 1975