The Grumbleweeds Radio Show, 1984
The Grumbleweeds formed in 1962, turning professional after an appearence on Oppurtunity knocks.
They still enjoy success to this day, although the line up has changed through the years.
It was a combination of five (primarily three members) that concern us for this post. Sadly Graham Walker passed away in 2013.
The Grumbleweeds had been enjoying considerable success with a long running radio show, that would continue to run until 1991 (but that’s entirely different story for another time), when 0n 17th August 1982, the duo made an appearance on “The Video Entertainers”
Following on from this success program makers Granada Television decided to make a pilot for a potential TV series. This was shown on March 29th, 1983. coincidentally it was entitled The Grumbleweeds Radio Show, despite being a television show.
A full series was commissioned for ITV and produced by legendary TV producer Johnnie Hamp. The first series was broadcast in 1984, two Christmas Specials followed, with a second series broadcast in 1985. Series three arrived in 1986 under a new title – The Grumbleweeds show, series four was screened later the same year.
The fifth series, which began in April 1987, saw a number of changes to the format. The group filmed sketches on location in addition to the studio-based material. The “radio studio” format was abandoned in favour of a more grandiose set and the group’s self-performed theme song “We Are The Grumbleweeds” was replaced with a big band version. The Sutcliffe brothers decided to leave the group in 1987, with their places taken by backing musicians for the final few television shows. The final programme was transmitted on 9th July 1988.
Up until series five the show was set in a mocked-up radio studio in order to build on the image the group had built up through radio, the TV shows themselves were geared toward a more family audience than the live stage show.
The show like it’s radio counterpart was a fast-moving sketch format, producer Johnnie Hamp upped the pace of the radio show a little, with thirty or more sketches per half-hour episode, interspersed with impressions and a selection of regular characters from the radio series. Sketches were generally performed in the studio, using hand-drawn backdrops produced by Granada’s in-house designers.
Albert Sutcliffe (1984 – 1987)
Carl Sutcliffe (1984 – 1987)
Produced By: Johnnie Hamp for Granada Television
Original Transmission Dates: 5th May 1984 – 9th July 1988
To date the TV shows have not been released to DVD