Comedy Connections

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Comedy Connections

Post by sharoma »

I am aware of the BBC TV series Comedy Connections and Drama Connections. However, before these existed, I used to play a game in my head where I would try and link two TV shows or films, and later music bands. I found that almost everything could be linked, such is the incestuous nature of TV, film, and music. Anyway, every winter we rewatch Red Dwarf. After watching an episdoe I switched to S01E06 of Frasier (2023). Since it stars the legendary Nicholas Lyndhurst, I thought to myself, 'How quickly can I link the new Frasier with Red Dwarf?' Turns out it took me about half a minute. It started with Fulton Mackay appearing suddenly in my thoughts. It was easy from there! Nicholas Lyndhurst was in the Porridge sequel Going Straight as Fletcher's son, Raymond. Fulton Mackey reprised his role as Prison Officer Mackay in episode 1 of this series. Fulton Mackay was also in two episodes of Dad's Army. He played a regular officer running a training course in "We Know Our Onions" (S06E04) and a doctor in "The Miser's Hoard" (S09E04). Of course, Arthur Lowe starred in Dad's Army as Captain Mainwaring. Before Dad's Army, he starred in Coronation Street as Leonard Swindley. There we have it! Craig Charles, Dave Lister in Red Dwarf, was also in Corrie, playing Lloyd Mullaney.

In the days that followed, my brain presented other ways this link could have been achieved:

Daniel Peacock appeared alongside Nicholas Lyndhurst in Only Fools and Horses, playing Mental Mickey. He was also a regular in the The Comic Strip Presents..., alongside Rik Mayall. Rik Mayall was in various episodes of Blackadder. In S03E03, "Nob and Nobility", Chris Barrie, starring as Arnold Rimmer in Red Dwarf, played a French revolutionary. Peacock also played Rudge in the Porridge film (1979).

Rising Damp was a sitcom which starred Richard Beckinsale (Lennie Godber in Porridge) and Don Warrington. Don Warrington was in Red Dwarf S05E01 "Holoship".

During a bout of insomnia last night, my brain told me that Ken Jones is another way of linking Red Dwarf to Frasier (2023), in place of Fulton Mackay. How? Well, he was also a regular in Porridge, playing "Horrible" Ives. David Jason was also in Porridge, playing Blanco Webb. David Jason starred alongside Nicholas Lyndhurst in Only Fools and Horses. It doesn't stop there, though. Ken Jones, playing a character called Owen Jones, was also in an episode of Goodnight Sweetheart, which starred Nicholas Lyndhurst. How can Ken Jones link back to Red Dwarf though? In 1967, he also appeared in Coronation Street as Harry Eastham. He appeared in Corrie again in 1970-71.

Additionally, Patricia Brake (Ingrid - Raymond's sister - in Porridge and Going Straight) was also in Coronation Street as well as EastEnders. The latter also featured Paul Bradley, who played Chen in Red Dwarf.

Ronald Lacey was in Porridge as Harris. He also appeared in both The Likely Lads and Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads? as Ernie, as well as Blackadder II as the Bishop of Bath and Wells, which through Rik Mayall links him to Red Dwarf.

Something I didn't know but later gleaned from Wikipedia:

Lyndhurst played Uriah Heep opposite Daniel Radcliffe in David Copperfield. Radcliffe was the lead in the Harry Potter film series, which also featured Mark Williams as Arthur Weasley. Williams played Olaf Petersen in Red Dwarf.

Another one: Timothy Spall was in S05E06 "Back to Reality" of Red Dwarf. As well as appearing in the Harry Potter films as Peter Pettigrew, he was also Barry in Auf Wiedersehen, Pet, which was written by Dick Clement and Ian Le Frenais, writers of Porridge and Going Straight.

Days later, the most direct link of all was revealed in Red Dwarf S06E03 "Gunmen of the Apocalypse". Denis Lill played Alan Parry, Rodney's father-in-law, in Only Fools and Horses.

Finally, check out the intro screen from S01E06 of Frasier (2023). Is that supposed to be a reference to the Trotter's three-wheeled Reliant Regal van?! I really hope so!

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Robin Sharrock
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