“Ooh Betty” looks set to ring out around the BBC studios once more, as Michael Crawford has agreed to don his famous beret in aid of the charity fundraiser Sport Relief. The special sketch will feature a somewhat unexpected admirer of the comedy star in the shape of Olympic and Tour de France winner Sir Bradley Wiggins.
Delight at reunion
Both of the #Show’s main protagonists and firm friends, Crawford and Michele Dotrice seem genuinely excited to be resurrecting their roles in a new millennium. Crawford stated that he was “thrilled and delighted,” while his co-star expressed her “absolute joy” at the news.
The Sport Relief sketch is expected to feature the foolhardy Frank becoming involved in some typically sticky situations. Viewers have been promised a grandstand conclusion, as the drama culminates in a meeting with Wiggins in London’s Olympic Park.
Wiggins enthused about his role
Wiggins seemed equally enthusiastic to be sharing the spotlight with “such an icon” as Crawford. The revered cyclist said that he was “a huge fan” and that the invite to be involved alongside him was “an absolute honour.”
Popular 70s show
The disaster-prone job seeker Frank Spencer burst on to our TV screens in the 1970s, becoming a staple diet in the early Saturday evening prime-time slot in the energetic “Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em” situation comedy show. The 1975 Christmas special attracted a whopping 25.6 million viewers.
Written and created by Raymond Allen, the sitcom was first broadcast in 1973 and ran for three series plus three riotous Christmas specials, the stock and trade of a successful programme at the time.
Life after Frank
Following its conclusion in 1978 (after the Christmas Day programme), Crawford moved almost seamlessly into the theatre, starring in a number of box office successes including “Barnum” and “The Phantom of the Opera”. He has starred on London’s West End and on Broadway during a multi-award winning career.
Regular TV work
Sixty-seven-year-old Dotrice has continued to pop up periodically on popular TV programmes since the show ended, including guest appearances on “Midsomer Murders”, “Holby City”, “Doctors” and “Death in Paradise”. She also starred alongside Bob Hoskins in the 1999 film “Captain Jack”. Her long-time real-life husband, fellow actor and “Callan” star Edward Woodward tragically passed away in 2009.
Some Mothers’ curious combination of slapstick humour – including some outrageous but brilliant stunts – and the fabulous pairing of Crawford and Dotrice became a huge hit with the viewers. Crawford’s energy and vitality drove the action along at a breakneck speed on more than one occasion. Fans will vividly remember his famous scene on roller skates as he careered around the streets before ultimately crashing through a store window.
Rumours of new series?
There had been rumours last year that both Frank and his long suffering wife Betty on the hit show, played so joyously by Dotrice, were involved in discussions to bring the show back to the BBC for a brand new series. Social media reaction was extremely promising and favourable, reflecting the great affection still held by many for the comedy.
For now though at least fans will have some new material to look forward to when the sketch is shown as part of Sport Relief Night in March. Although only the brief one-off cameo appearance has been agreed so far, fans will surely welcome the joie de vivre and boyish exuberance - typified by the now 74-year-old Crawford - back into their homes. #Television #Celebrities