The Bed Sitting Room. Mate (Spike Milligan)
The Bed Sitting Room

The Bed Sitting Room

  • 1970 film

Surreal post-apocalyptic satire set in London after a nuclear war, following the last 20 people alive. Co-created and starring Spike Milligan. Stars Rita Tushingham, Dudley Moore, Harry Secombe, Arthur Lowe, Roy Kinnear and more.

The Bed Sitting Room. Image shows from L to R: Police Inspector (Peter Cook), Police Sergeant (Dudley Moore)

Key details

Spike Milligan and John Antrobus
Rita Tushingham, Dudley Moore, Harry Secombe, Arthur Lowe, Roy Kinnear, Spike Milligan, Ronald Fraser, Jimmy Edwards and more
John Antrobus and Charles Wood
Richard Lester
Richard Lester, Oscar Lewenstein and Roy Stevens

World War III has been and gone, and very quickly too. The shortest war in history, "the nuclear misunderstanding" lasted just 2 minutes and 28 seconds (including the signing of the peace treaty).

Three or four years later London has now been almost totally destroyed, with only about 20 people still alive. These include one man on a bicycle providing the electricity for the entire country (played by Henry Woolf); a newsreader (Frank Thornton) in half a dinner suit working as the BBC; and Mrs Ethel Shroake of 393A High Street, Leytonstone (Dandy Nichols), the Queen's charwoman who is now first in line to the throne and thus the monarch.

The film followers these survivors. Other notables include Lord Fortnum (Ralph Richardson), who due to nuclear radiation is soon to mutate into a bed sitting room; a small family (Arthur Lowe, Mona Washbourne and Rita Tushingham) who have been living off chocolate bars on the Underground Circle Line and whose daughter is 17 months pregnant; soldier-turned-doctor Captain Blues Martin (Michael Hordern); and a pair of policemen (Peter Cook and Dudley Moore) who tell everyone to keep moving.

Then there is also Mate (Spike Milligan), who works for the whole of the GPO; and a nurse (Marty Feldman) who is the entire National Health Service.

The film is an adaptation of the play of the same by Spike Milligan and John Antrobus.

Additional details

We've got a bomb on our hands; The great nuclear misunderstanding lasted 2 minutes & 28 seconds (including signing the peace treaty)
UK certificate
91 minutes
UK release
Thursday 26th March 1970
UK premiere
Tuesday 25th March 1969

United Artists

Camera set-up
Music composed and conducted by Ken Thorne.

Website links

Broadcast details

Most recent repeats
  • Friday 30th June 2017 at 10:00pm on London Live
  • Saturday 15th April 2017 at 4:15pm on London Live
  • Saturday 18th February 2017 at 12:40am on London Live

Recording details

  • Chobham
  • Chesil Bank and St Austell
  • Staffordshire

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