British Comedy Guide

All Gas And Gaiters. Image shows from L to R: Henry - The Archdeacon (Robertson Hare), The Rt. Rev. Dr. Cuthbert Hever - The Bishop (William Mervyn), The Rev. Mervyn Noote - The Chaplain (Derek Nimmo). Copyright: BBC.

All Gas And Gaiters

BBC One sitcom. 34 episodes (pilot + 5 series), 1966 - 1971. Stars Robertson Hare, William Mervyn, Derek Nimmo, John Barron, Ernest Clark and Joan Sanderson.

All Gas And Gaiters - The Lost Episodes I

All Gas And Gaiters - The Lost Episodes I

All Gas And Gaiters was the first TV comedy series about the Church of England that struck a chord with viewers. Written by actors Pauline Devaney and Edwin Apps, it starred Robertson Hare, William Mervyn, John Barron and Derek Nimmo as the senior clergy of a small English Cathedral.

First shown in 1966, it was an instantaneous success and romped through five series. It was equally successful in Australia, New Zealand and throughout the Commonwealth and its fans included the Queen Mother who insisted her diary was arranged so that she didn't miss it.

It was shown and repeated so often that in 1972 the BBC decided it was of no further interest and a useful economy would be to clean the recording tapes so they could be used for something else. But although it has been off the screen for almost fifty years, people have never stopped talking about it and it has regularly been referred to in the press as "the classic comedy series about the C. of E.". Now the writers have decided to publish a selection of the lost scripts, so a new generation can enjoy the series in book form.

The scripts will appear in four books to be published at intervals, each book containing eight scripts with introductions in the form of conversations between the authors, whose memories of writing and producing television comedy fifty years ago and the difficulties they encountered with the hierarchy of the BBC at that time are both revealing and highly amusing.

First published: Wednesday 20th May 2015

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