Delightful post title.
I’ve just finished watching a random episode of “Rumpole of the Bailey”, which is, for the young / Canadian amongst us, a TV series about top-end posh barristers in London (starring the late Leo McKern), which ran from approx. 1978 - 1992.
It was quite astonishingly bad, in terms of a) the hammy acting, b) the frankly bizarre attempt by the scriptwriters to juxtapose some kind of Agatha Christie Victoriana with modern London, but mostly c) one of the sub-plots, which concerned Rumpole’s practice’s attempt to be “inclusive” by recruiting someone from a “minority”. They settled on a barrister who was believed to be gay, and the conversation amongst the senior partners went something like this:
“Not black, is he?”
“No, he’s not black, but being black isn’t so bad; old Fanshawe” (head of another chambers) “appointed a black fella who ended up becoming King of Limpopoland, or something. Made Fanshawe his Chief Justice. No, this one’s a pooftah.”
That’s only a very slight exaggeration of the actual dialogue. There followed an excruciating interview with the candidate in question, in which the senior barrister indulges in all manner of old Tory innuendo about gays, before refusing to shake the interviewee’s hand on the way out. As it turns out, he was a “rampant heterosexual”, so everything was OK.
What this suggests is that 1) my rose-tinted opinion of the halcyon days of ’70s and ’80s television may well be completely flawed, and b) the most likely reason why they don’t repeat more “classic” comedy stuff (eg Monty Python / The Goodies) is that it’s jam-packed with every kind of horrible right-wing prejudice under the sun. Or should that be in “The Sun”.
This entry was posted on Monday, December 11th, 2006 at 8:24 pm and is filed under Film / Telly / Books, General, or uncategorized due to sloppy editing. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.