Scallywagga, BBC3

by | May 2, 2008 | All, Reviews

Did we like it?

It’s a comedy sketch show so, in time-honoured fashion, we must say there were hits and there were misses. But, you ask, was the balance towards the former or the latter? And we can reveal a reasonably significant leaning towards…. hits. Congratulations, Scallywagga.

What did we like about it?

• The young cast did nothing to make us to doubt their acting credentials, but the star of the show was one of the oldies, Sally Lindsay (she used to be in a soap opera called Coronation Street, possibly as Bet Lynch but we don’t watch those sort of things). Sally was especially good as a French teacher with a very shoddy accent.

• The serious, sad motorbike safety information film starrng Neil Fitzmaurice and Sally Lindsay as concerned parents which turned into a cruel sketch in which they tried to rid themselves of son Adrian by a) buying him a bike but no helmet; b) sabotaging the stairs; c) evicting him Big Brother style.

• The central theme – of how young people are obsessed with impressing each other – was explored with wit and freshness in sketches such as the comparison of mobile phone functions, the Cribs spoof and the three lads sitting on the wall.

• The Cribs spoof featuring Bazz who coveted street cred but was saddled with a mother complaining about the cameraman’s shitty shoes.

• The running sketch with three lads trying to outdo each other with their boasts, rounded off each time by the goth boy who claimed “I drink my own blood with a splash of cranberry juice to taste” (“It’s Tizer,” claimwed the others), insisted he had worn a powdered wig and reported that he’d smoked the “crushed up bones of a melancholic Victorian clown”.

• We’re suckers for silliness so were very amused by the girl who spent an eternity straightening her frizzy hair, only for it to curl up again when she sneezed.

• The scout earning a badge for rolling a joint was funny, too. As was the dude who could guess PINs (we especially loved it when his guesses coincided with the lyrics of 2-4-6-8 Motorway).

• The rather risky but successful dig at TV comedy shows which only thrive thanks to catchphrases. “Chilimondo” was the word on every kid’s lips – despite an attempt by Sally Lindsay’s teacher to discourage them – “Can’t you see, this is what they want you to do. It doesn’t have to catch on if you don’t want it to.”

• Peter Bjorn and John’s Young Folks (a favourite) was among the well-chosen songs featured. The look of the show was good, too, by not being too yoofy.

What was bad about it?

• Opening up with a weak item (a cyclist who forgot to bring his bike) was unwise.

• Other not-so-good moments included the facts of life sketch involving dolls, the Favourite Things/Iron in face sketch, the butcher’s shop, the jokey girl, The Officer and a Gentleman and the search for synonyms for breasts.

• The rather obvious punchline to the sketch when a lad was trying to persuade his girlfriend for sex. She eventually gave in; he was watching Top Gear by then.

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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