Running from 28 February 1969 to 6 May 1973
Key Cast List:
|Reg Varney||Stan Butler|
|Bob Grant||Jack Harper|
|Stephen Lewis||Inspector Blake|
|Anna Karen||Olive Rudge|
|Michael Robbins||Arthur Rudge|
MY FIRST REMEMBRANCE OF ‘On The Buses’ was from seven years of age. One Sunday evening, past my bedtime my mum was telling me to go to bed for school the next morning, thank god my dad stepped in and said “he can to bed after this”.
Me and my Dad were watching ‘Holiday On The Buses’ film and straight away I fell in love with the show. I then started to watch the TV series which I thoroughly enjoyed and my favourite part of each episode saw Stan and Jack getting one over on Blakey. It’s simple, funny and connects with the audience with ease.
The sitcom makes you believe that Luxton actually exists and that the Cemetery Gates is a genuine bus turn-around point. Furthermore it was a ‘clean’ sitcom, no swear words, violence or any bad language, just great acting and script writing was enough to make the sitcom such a great success.
It goes down as one of my all time favourites and the show remains as popular as ever, still being shown today on our screens. Blakey impersonation of “Oh I hate you butler”, “Get that bus out” and his awkward laugh still remain a massive hit with fans today.
‘One the Buses’ hit our screens in 1969. The loved sitcom that ran for seven series and revolved around bus driver and his conductor working the number 11 route to the Cemetery Gates.
Stan Butler and his best friend, Jack Harper the lecherous conductor, try their best to avoid work by being constantly on the lookout for ‘crumpet’ and most importantly of all, trying to get one over on their Inspector, Blakey.
Stan is employed by the Luxton and District Bus Depot and tries to earn as much money as possible to pay the bills by working as little as he can. Much to the dislike of Blakey, who Stan and Jack insult continually due to his long black mac and moustache looking like Hitler. He spends most of his time telling them to get their bus out on time or trying to get them sacked.
Putting more efforts into chasing after the ‘clippy’s’ and spending too much time in the canteen eating endless helpings of cholesterol laden food, they make Blakey’s life a misery.
The easy viewing mentality that ‘On The Buses’ had made me enjoy watching. The laid back approach was a breath of fresh air and was loved by many people.If you mention ‘On The Buses’ to someone you generally get one of two responses. Both a grin and then an impersonation of the famous Blakey laugh or how the sitcom was very sexist and a little racist.
The sitcom wasn’t focused around racism, but when it did touch the surface it was never in a serious or bad way. For example there was a very popular West Indian employee called ‘Chalky’ and also the Nazi salute to Blakey was more aimed at mickey taking. The sexism is harmless and its fun approach towards the ladies showed them as sex objects.
Surprisingly the BBC rejected the show when offered to them due the fact that they thought it was not a winner. But when ITV took the show on ‘On The Buses’ never looked back. By 1971 the sitcom was a strong favourite across the nation, with global audiences reaching 22 million.
With the show becoming more popular with fans, three films were made. ‘On The Buses’, ‘Mutiny On The Buses’ and ‘Holiday On The Buses’. All three films becoming massive hits with the viewers, with ‘Holiday On The Buses’ becoming Britain’s top box office film at the time, beating James Bond movie ‘Diamonds are Forever’ in 1971.
My earliest memory on ‘On The Buses’ was the episode ‘Foggy Night’. I watched this episode over and over again on my dad’s video. Stan can’t see to drive so everyone has no choice but to sleep on the bus. Stan and Jack stay awake and for a bet, attempt to throw peanuts in Blakey’s mouth while he is asleep.
Broadcast on ITV