Goodness, Gracious, Me

Starrring Sanjeev Bhaskar, Kulvinder Ghir, and Meera Syal, this is an Asian sketch show. This show, like so many, started life on Radio 4, only later on making the transfer to BBC2, but unlike most, this was originally planned as a TV series, with producer advised to use radio as a cheap alternative to a TV pilot - the result was a full series (3 in fact) and a Sony Award. Of course, once there was an award in the bag, the origianl goal, TV, was much more realistic.

With a realtively small budget, the producer spent prudently and provided at least one glossy, lavish-looking sketch in each show, and saved cash elsewhere by simplifying pieces that didn't call for anything elaborate. There were a series of regular characters (similar to the Fast Show, and indeed, ITMA) that provided a continuity throughout the series. The humour itself was broad enough to cater for a wide audience, although the writers were inspired by their own experience, and there was an Asian slant on much of it, but this show broke the mould in becoming popular with a non-Asian audience.

Like most popular comedies, there was a UK Theatre Tour in 1999 (this is in the same vein as The League of Gentlemen, Not the Nine O'Clock News, and even Dad's Army) after just a couple of TV series, and it has been the subject of a themed night on BBC2 (24.7.99), comprising four main items - Unpugged, a behind-the-scenes glimpse at how the show is put together; Brimful Of Asia, a light-hearted look at the portrayal of Asians on British television over four decades; Goodness Gracious Me Live, a documentary following the team as they toured Britain; and finally a repeat of the first TV show from January 1998.

The title of the show alludes to the hit comedy record 'Goodness Gracious Me' made by Peter Sellers and Sophia Loren to promote their 1960 film The Millionairess, in which Sellers, in brownface make-up, played an Indian doctor.

Series One

I don't have much information about this series, yet, so if anyone can help, please drop me a line.

Tx. DateRpt. DateDetails
18.12.96Best of Compilation Show

Series Two

Broadcast on Radio 4 at 11pm on Fridays. This, like the previous series, contained 4 shows, but was repeated the next day at 6.25pm.

Tx. DateRpt. DateDetails
11.7.9712.7.97Featuring the massive and fierce Bhangra Muffins, the Competitive Mothers and the Buddhist Pest Controller.
18.7.9719.7.97Featuring a recreation of the the heart-stopping passion of `Brief Encounter' and introduces a Muslim Woody Allen.
25.7.9726.7.97Introducing a new superhero - Divorced Woman - and the Melodramatic family risk death.
1.8.972.8.97Featuring Guru, the massive and fierce Muffins, and India's most successful advertising agency.

Series Three

Broadcast on Radio 4 on Thursday evening at 6.30pm, this series was repeated a few months later in the Tuesday Late Night on 4 slot at 11pm. This was the only series on Radio after the TV series began.

Tx. DateRpt. DateDetails
21.5.9828.7.98Featuring the stunning revelation that the royal family are Indian, introduces the new Asian gladiator Pharmacist, and launches a pop song - `Hindi People'
28.5.984.8.98This week, the Gourmet Maharaja offers a recipe for fried meerkat toes; the Punjabi-speaking aliens arrive; and there is an unseasonal song about Ranjit the Red-nosed Reindeer.
4.6.9811.8.98This week, the Sindi Dolls wave Daddy's gold card at the shops, and Mrs `I Can Make It Home' tries her hand at Paris.
11.6.9818.8.98This week, Nehru and Jinnah: the Cambridge Years. And Smeeta Smitten faces a lonely retirement with a crumpled picture of Art Malik.
18.6.9825.8.98More fun from the award-winning Asian sketch show.
25.6.981.9.98The Guru shows decidedly literary inclinations. The Minx twins tackle the thornier aspects of feminism and a new smash-hit - `I'm a Punjabi Girl'

Details of the TV series will follow shortly.