HAVE you been following The Comedy Map of Britain?
The Saturday night BBC2 series reaches Manchester this weekend with more revelations about comedy locations and the people involved.
There’s never before broadcast footage of a TV pilot starring Caroline Aherne as “Mrs Murton”, interviewing Rochdale brother and sister radio hosts Andy and Liz Kershaw.
Eamonn Holmes, who knew Caroline as a secretary from the time they both worked at BBC Manchester, talks about her ambition to get on screen.
“You can be as talented as whatever,” he says, “but you need to be lucky, you need to get the break.
“And, boy, did she get the break and she grabbed it with both hands.”
Older viewers may remember BBC1’s Harry Worth Show, which began with a classic opening sequence.
It featured Harry (pictured right) creating a simple optical illusion, with the help of one arm, one leg and a shop window in Manchester’s St Ann’s Square.
Script writer Vince Powell worked in the store when it was a tailor’s and reveals: “I used to do it as a kid – the BBC paid me seven guineas every time Harry Worth cocked his leg up.”
Click here for The Official Harry Worth Website and, once there, click on that site’s Home Page photo to reveal an image of the illusion.
The BBC2 cameras return to the location which helped inspire The Young Ones – the now demolished house in Didsbury where Rik Mayall lived with other Manchester drama students.
Memories are also revived of Mancunian Films, the first feature film studio outside London.
Known as Manchester’s Jollywood, the company began life in 1947, based in the former Rusholme Wesleyan Church, later to become the northern studios of BBC TV between 1954 and 1975.
Charles McGhee tells of being a schoolboy extra in one of the films, which starred Diana Dors.
He recalls: “We were told that we shouldn’t show too much interest because, if we did, we might well go blind.”
You can read more about Saturday’s Comedy Map programme here.
The Mrs Merton Show
The Official Harry Worth Website
The Young Ones