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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/

'Allo 'Allo! Regular Cast List (actors listed first)

Gorden Kaye - René Artois
Carmen Silvera - Edith Artois
Vicki Michelle - Yvette
Kirsten Cooke - Michelle
Jack Haig - M Leclerc (series 1-5)
Derek Royle - M Leclerc (series 6)
Robin Parkinson - M Leclerc (series 7)
John D Collins - Flying Officer Fairfax
Nicholas Frankau - Flying Officer Adamson
Richard Gibson - Otto Flick (series 1-8)
David Janson - Otto Flick (series 9)
Kim Hartman - Helga
Richard Marner - Col Von Strohm
Guy Siner - Lieutenant Gruber
Rose Hill - Mother (Fanny 'Fifi' Lafanne)
Arthur Bostrom - Crabtree (from series 2)
Kenneth Connor - M Alfonse
Francesca Gonshaw - Maria (series 1-3)
Sam Kelly - Capt Hans Geering (series 1-3)
Hilary Minster - General von Klinkerhoffen (from series 3)
John Louis Mansi - Von Smallhausen (from series 3)
Sue Hodge - Mimi La Bonque (from series 5)
Gavin Richards - Capt Alberto Bertorelli (series 5 & 6)
Roger Kitter - Capt Alberto Bertorelli (series 7)
Philip Kendall - 'London Calling' (series 1 & 2)
Paul Cooper - 'London Calling' (series 3 & 5)
Peter Bradshaw - 'London Calling' (series 4)

'Allo 'Allo! DVDs available from - in association with

Allo Allo - BBC Series 1 & 2 Box Set DVD Allo Allo - BBC Series 1 & 2 Box Set [1982] ~ Gorden Kaye, Carmen Silvera
Allo Allo : Complete BBC Series 3 & 4 DVD Allo Allo : Complete BBC Series 3 & 4 [1982] ~ Gorden Kaye, Carmen Silvera

'Allo 'Allo! Book available from - in association with

Allo 'Allo
Author: Jeremy Lloyd

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