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On the face of it, ''Allo 'Allo!' wasn't obvious material for a successful comedy, with its central theme being the French Resistance trying to outwit the Nazis! But with one of the strongest casts in the history of British sitcom, and written by talented writers Jeremy Lloyd and David Croft, ''Allo 'Allo!' became increasingly popular - after initial claims of bad taste.
There were 85, mainly half hour, episodes in all, spread over nine series, plus two 45 minute specials. The pilot episode was first broadcast on BBC1 on December 30th, 1982, and the last episode was screened on BBC1 on December 14th, 1992.
Gorden Kaye was outstanding as René Artois, an unlikely sex symbol, who somehow fended off both inquisitive Nazis and wife Edith (Carmen Silvera) questioning his fidelity. Vicki Michelle played the lovely Yvette, who, for some reason, found René irresistible.
Lots of catchphrases came out of ''Allo 'Allo!', including "You stupid woman!" (René to his wife, when caught in a compromising position); "I weel say this only once" (Kirsten Cooke's Michelle character); "the fallen Madonna with the big boobies" (actually a painting of a voluptuous lady the Nazis were looking for); "Good moaning" (one of a number of confused sentences uttered by Arthur Bostrom's Crabtree character, who was an Englishman who couldn't speak fluent French. Clever and confusing, with the script being in English!).
- Paul Rance/booksmusicfilmstv.com.
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