The Young Ones

By Bernie Bell

Are people watching the films on the ‘Talking Pictures’ channel?

Our telly is playing up – it might be the weather – the atmospherics – or it might be due to re-tuning. It tells us we have to re-tune, or we’ll lose channels, then, when we do so, it goes weird.  1984.  Things don’t work as they should.

Anyway, I was pressing buttons, looking for something easy to watch – I need to watch easy things, just now – and I happened on the film, ‘The Young Ones’, staring Cliff Richards, before he got too creepy.

At one time he was lauded as the British Elvis – I was never convinced about that.  He did start as a rebellious rocker in ‘Expresso Bongo’

and then ended up singing ‘Mistletoe and Wine’, and performing to whites-only  audiences in apartheid South Africa.

‘The Young Ones ‘ is one of those ‘Let’s put a show together’ films, hearkening back to the Gene Kelly/Donald O’Connor movies such as ‘Singing in the Rain’ –

Young persons, at the mercy of the Fat Cats ( in the form of Robert Morley), throw something together, and suddenly it’s a mega- huge production – costumes, scenery, everything

And, for that matter, it also reminded me of what happened with un-official raves in the 90’s – where the organizers would put the word out, then move on, dodging officialdom.

This film also took me back, way back, to personal memories. My sister Reene was a Rock ‘n’ Roll fan  – loved Gene Vincent – saw Gene Vincent, live, and ’nicked his comb!

She also loved Cliff Richard, and, when I was a child ( six years old when ‘The Young Ones ‘ was released), she used to take me to see his films.  I presume I was allowed in, as they are so anodyne – I’m afraid so, has to be said – but she loved them, loved watching Cliff, who she also went to see live, with The Shadows.  The family used to tease her by calling him Stiff Pilchard.

As she used to take me to the Ted’s café, under the guise of taking me for an outing, so, she also took me to the Stiff Pilchards films, and I enjoyed them.  I remember ‘Summer Holiday’ vividly, nearly 60 years later, just because of the fun of it – sunshine, rebellion (however mild), cheery songs, lovely dresses. Same goes for ‘The Young Ones’ – fun, catchy songs  – “All for one and one for all, united we stand, divided we fall.”  They actually sing that – have a look, have a listen.  It’s just so…lively,  and it reminds me of my sister, Reene, who is no longer around for me to reminisce with.

Writing this makes me realise that there are some good things about being  old – we remember this stuff!

Cliff Richard in The Young Ones 2


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1 reply »

  1. Aye Bernie, I remember ‘Summer Holiday’ but not for Stiff Pilchard the theme song was used as the leaving harbour song on Brittany Ferries for years (Portsmouth to St. Malo) and for the French on their way home it was ‘Homeward Bound’. Ah, yes those were fun, sun and wine caravanning holidays through SW France’s Atlantic Coast.

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