Monkey Trousers, ITV1

by | May 27, 2005 | All, Reviews


1 – Professional Footballers’ Wives, a 1950s version of the show, sponsored by Norton’s cigarettes (“now with an extra-safe asbestos tip”). Alastair McGowan played gentleman footballer Stan, Alex Lowe was teammate Ted, Ronni Ancona was Stan’s wife Constance, who dutifully irons his shorts, and Patsy Palmer was Constance’s maid Aggie (who was also Ted’s pre-op transsexual mistress). The best bits were Stan’s claim: “Everyone gets beaten by Blackpool. I can’t imagine a time when they won’t be the most feared team in the country.” And Stan’s outrage when Constance revealed she ironed her petticoat in the presence of the insurance man. “Filthy whore! I’m going to get roaring drunk on pale ale.”

2 – Bob Mortimer’s clueless estate agent with limp hair who picked up on all the banal irrelevant features of the home he was guiding the prospective buyer around:

“Here we have the first of a number of corners I’ll be showing you throughout our little tour.”

“The breakfast bar is finished at a 90 degree angle which could prove really useful if your son’s studying geometry.”

“This window is shaped like a mandarin segment. It gives the property a fruit salady feel.”

“The cupboards open outwards rather than inwards so you food doesn’t get crushed.”

But the moment he’s asked a question, he responds with a uniform, “I don’t know.”

3 – John Thomson as the public face (“I’m an ex-copper, did I mention that?”) of the amoral insurance claim firm Ablett Associates, promising compensation (minus his cut). Each sketch was incrementally funnier than the one that preceded it. In the first, a chef picked up a hot saucepan (an injury); the second saw the chef’s hair turn ginger (a gingery); in the third, a different chef was assaulted by a ninja (a ninjury); and the conclusion saw that chef trip over an electric flex and a saucepan was pushed wilfully onto him causing him multiple injuries (a minjury).

4 – The appearance of Burnside and Roach from The Bill in a sketch which was ruined by the appearance of Vic Reeves’ Monkey Trousers, a character which seems to mock the mentally ill and is in no way funny. (Vic also flopped as the lazy vicar who can’t be bothered to finish his sermons and as one of the three Geordie astronauts who had to abort their mission when Mickey complained that he didn’t have an ashtray.)

5 – Mackenzie Crook’s sneezer who ruins a giant leaving card for a workmate and stains his friend’s new £4,000 plasma screen TV with his huge gobbets of snot.

6 – Bob Mortimer as the Croc Botherer who spies a dog in the park but mistakes it for “some kind of bush hound that looks like a freakin’ panda.” On closer inspection he whispers: “I reckon it’s got two… maybe four plus legs. C’mon let’s dive on the shit!”

7 – Rebecca Front advertising Poltisan Fructose Gauze Express pads that contain gunpowder essence and cleanse the skin when exploded near to the face. “It hurts for three to six weeks. I’ve had my face blasted six times this year and I’m 52 not 49 like yous wa’ thinkin’.”

Monkey Trousers: episode two

1 – The latest episode from the 1950s archives of Professional Footballers’ Wives (sponsored by Norsons Meths, the sportsman’s meths) in which Stanley and Constance are the subjects of an at-home photo feature in How Do You Do? Very Pleased To Meet You! magazine (the one that’s so racy it printed a picture of Princess Margaret without her hat on).

2 – The advert for Bullwinkle Face Cream, with Exhausted Multiplum, which will beat all seven signs of aging: decrepidnessness, hunchbackery, grimness, Fatiguery, slow-thinking, odour release and death’s doorness.

3 – The customers at Roy’s Toys seeking a farmyard set and being offered one depicting a farm after the foot and mouth outbreak and the suicide of the farmer.

Monkey Trousers: episode three

• Bob Mortimer’s useless estate agent values a house and is impressed by several of its attributes. “The first floor is directly above the ground floor so there’s no need for maps. The road outside is going to be a boon because it comes up adjacent to your pathway, so whoever built that road was very forward thinking. The garden is outside the premises. People like that these days.”

• The mission into space by the three Geordie astronauts is aborted because Brian’s nagging wife shows up. “You can’t go to the moon, You promised to paint the fence.”

• PMTv presenter Penny Smith losing patience with John Thomson’s foul-mouthed celebrity chef

• Professional Footballers’ Wives, sponsored by Norsons Pies (“the sportsman’s pie with an extra layer of fat”) in which Constance catches the eye of new Italian signing Gino, who cost £312, eight shillings and fourpence.

Luke Knowles

Luke Knowles


Editor of the website and host of the podcast. A general TV obsessive. I've been running the site since 2008 and you can usually find me in front of the TV. My Favourite show of all time is Breaking Bad with Cracker coming a close second. I feel so passionately that television can change the world and I'm doing my little bit by running this site. You're Welcome!


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