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The Worker. Charlie (Charlie Drake). Image credit: Associated Television.

The Worker

Charlie Drake is The Worker, a man who has had 980 jobs in 20 years - most of them for one day! He is unemployable but that doesn't stop him trying

Genre:
Sitcom
Broadcast:
1965 - 1978  (ITV)
Episodes:
36 (5 series)
Starring:
Charlie Drake, Percy Herbert, Henry McGee
Writers:
Charlie Drake, Lew Schwarz
Production:
Associated Television
& London Weekend Television

Charlie's visits to the Labour Exchange are a regular part of his week. In twenty years he has had 980 jobs and few have lasted more than a day. Somewhere out there is the perfect job for him but who will employ him? Mr Pugh, at the Labour Exchange, is a ticking timebomb - on the outside patient and professional but on the inside a volcano of frustration having to deal with the worst worker in the world!

Our Review: A popular series in its time that drew largely on the stock Charlie Drake character which had served him well. There were few regular characters apart from the two leads but an ensemble of actors would reappear in different guises throughout. The first two series had an extra ten minutes to develop the story of the little man fighting authority and his inability to conform.

The relationship between 'The Worker' and Mr Pugh was deemed sufficiently memorable for it to be featured in the hugely over-hyped Bruce Forsyth's Big Night Out - an old time mix of variety with a hint of nostalgic comedy sketches from The Worker and The Glums. The latter was to branch out into a series but, for Charlie Drake, it was to signal the end of a career that had taken him to the heights of British comedy.

The Bruce Forsyth's Big Night Out sketches have been included in our guide as 'Series 5' for completeness. They were in fact sketches circa 8 minutes in length, set in the Labour Exchange and featuring just the two main characters - all but 3 have been lost. Only one colour episode remains of the 1970 series, Hallo Cobbler, but the rest survive in black and white.