‘Allo ‘Allo! is a BBC television British sitcom that was broadcast on BBC1 from 1982 to 1992, comprising eighty-five episodes. The story is set in a small-town café in German-occupied France during the Second World War. It is a parody of another BBC programme, the wartime drama Secret Army. ‘Allo, ‘Allo! was created by David Croft, who also wrote the theme music, and Jeremy Lloyd. Lloyd and Croft wrote the first six series. The remaining series were written by Lloyd and Paul Adam.
German Colonel Von Strohm is on good terms with René but exploits the café to hide a stolen painting (the oft-mentioned Fallen Madonna with the Big Boobies by Van Klomp) he plans to sell after the war for his retirement. Unfortunately Hitler also wants the painting and has sent Gestapo agent Otto Flick to find it. But the Germans aren’t René’s only problem.
The French Resistance, led by Michelle, force him to aid their persistent attempts to return two bumbling British airmen to England and all the time René must keep secret from his wife his long-running affairs with his two waitresses or risk losing his cherished café. An innovative trick was the portrayal of languages, with French characters speaking English in a French accent whilst the ‘English’ had an upper-class twang.
Hence the poor French of Englishman Crabtree (disguised as a gendarme) could be depicted by his serial mispronunciations, especially his famous greeting “Good Moaning”. It’s the best known of a raft of catchphrases (Michelle’s “Listen very carefully, I shall say zis only once” coming a close second).
The comedy maintained a large number of subplots and returning characters (including the camp Lieutenant Gruber, undertaker Monsieur Alfonse and forger Leclerc), cheerfully revelling in a bawdy ‘picture postcard’ humour.
|Gorden Kaye||René Artois|
|Carmen Silvera||Edith Artois|
|Jack Haig||M Leclerc|
|John D Collins||Flying Officer Fairfax|
|Nicholas Frankau||Flying Officer Adamson|
|Richard Gibson||Otto Flick|
|Richard Marner||Col Von Strohm|
|Guy Siner||Lieutenant Gruber|
|Kenneth Connor||M Alfonse|
|Sam Kelly||Capt Hans Geering|
|Hilary Minster||General von Klinkerhoffen|
|John Louis Mansi||Von Smallhausen|
|Sue Hodge||Mimi La Bonque|
|Gavin Richards||Capt Alberto Bertorelli|