Filthy, Rich & Catflap – 25th Anniversary Edition

 

Two years after The Young Ones ended, Ben Elton (and Rik Mayall’s ‘additional material’) brought us Filthy, Rich and Catflap. The show follows the exploits of faded TV star Richie Rich (Rik Mayall), his minder Eddie Catflap (Ade Edmondson) and his brothel owning manager Ralph Filthy (Nigel Planer).  Elton totally breaks ‘the fourth wall’ in this series and the characters constantly talk to the camera which works extremely well and is very very funny. The show became famous for consistent toilet humour, over the top story-lines and famous guest stars (Hugh Lawrie, Stephen Fry, Barbara Windsor, The Nolans). Watching it now you can see the seeds were planted by Mayall and Edmondson for their ‘Bottom’ characters, even ‘borrowing’ the series character’s first names.

The series has Richie desperate to become famous again (he did the links for TVS in the 70’s) and there  is no shortage of crazy goings-on to make this happen.  Dead milkman, camp art critics, bad gameshows, Midge Ure turns up when they can’t afford Bob Geldof  – these are some of the stupid antics that the show brings to the screen and they all work brilliantly.

The series was dead on with it’s humour especially with Australian media baron Dingo Wucker and his treatment of the unions.  I wonder who Elton based him on?  I personally can’t believe its 25 years old and although a little dated at times, its still amazingly funny.  I still use the ‘Oooer sounds a bit rude’ joke at times and still laugh when I hear a door bell buzzer. Keep an ear out for some of Ralph Filthy’s underground chums with such great names as Body Loser Gary and Enormous Derek.

Is it funnier than The Young Ones you may ask?  Yes at times it is much funnier, but generally both shows can stand together proudly.  It’s a damn shame only six programmes were made, but like only a few other comedies they went out on top.

An essential purchase, if you can’t laugh at this you seriously have not got a sense of humour.

  • Starring Rik Mayall  Ade Edmondson  Nigel Planer
  • Directors Paul Jackson and Ed Bye
  • Distributor Acorn Media UK