Scotch and Wry

Scotch and Wry

"Scotch and Wry" was a Scottish comedy sketch show which was broadcast on BBC ONE Scotland and starred Rikki Fulton. After two series, in 1978 and 1979, the programme continued as a regular part of the channel's Hogmanay celebrations between 1980 and 1992.This show also gave early exposure to actors like Gregor Fisher, Tony Roper, Gerard Kelly and Miriam Margolyes.

Very much a regional comedy show, the focus of Scotch and Wry was on predominantly Scottish (and in particular Glaswegian) humour - the viewer had to be familiar with the Glasgow Patter in order to understand many of the jokes. As a result, much of the humour was constructed around distinctly Glaswegian themes; such as the city's suburbs, its football clubs, and even its famous sectarian divide was also played for laughs. In later episodes, less of an emphasis was placed on this, and the writers began to draw on major news events that had happened during the previous year as their basis.

Notable recurring characters included:

*Supercop, an incompetent traffic policeman with the catchphrase "Awright Stirling, oot the car!", only to find himself dealing with Batman, an extraterrestrial, DCI Jim Taggart, Dr Crippen or any other unlikely traffic offender.

*Dirty Dickie Dandruff, Gallowgate Gourmet, the unbelievably unhygienic television chef who would always say, "Hullo and welcome to Dirty Dick's. (billed as "Dickie Dandruff's Delicatmessen")

*Aloycious {AKA Tam} McGlinchey, a colourful Rab C Nesbitt type character.

*Alky Broon, similar to the Dickie Dandruff character, and appeared in two different guises - firstly as a terminally unhygienic barber, then again some years later as a dentist.

*The perennially depressed Reverend I.M. Jolly, who, with his catchphrase "Ah've had a helluva year", proved to be the most popular of several fictional ministers played by Fulton in "Last Call", a parody of Scottish Television's late-night "God slot" programme "Late Call". Even after the series finished, Jolly's "Last Call" continued to be part of the Hogmanay programming.

One of the most memorable "Last Call" sketches (which many fans believe was the finest "Scotch and Wry" sketch of all time), was broadcast in 1978 and featured a minister who accidentally has his water decanter spiked with gin before the broadcast starts, and the hapless Reverend David Goodchild progressively becomes more and more intoxicated as he delivers his "message".

There were many memorable one off characters such asBig Chief Swift Half, a Glaswegian Red Indian; Mrs Ida Closeshave, a missionary;, S.W Duff the Funeral Director, and Fulton's irreverend versions of such cultural heroes as Robert the Bruce and Bonnie Prince Charlie. As well as the aformetioned parody of "Late Call", The Beechgrove Garden and The Corries also got similar treatment.

The show also repeatedly poked fun at British Rail (a recurring sketch was Fulton playing a rude ticket clerk who would pull the shutter down in front of an unfortunate passenger with the line "the last train left five minutes ago"), and the alleged corruption of Motherwell district councillors.

Scotch and Wry also attracted many celebrity guests like Barry McGuigan, Jim Watt, Mark McManus, Gavin Hastings, Dougie Donnelly, Archie Macpherson and
Sydney Devine.

In later years it became customary of "Scotch and Wry" to include a post-closing credits sketch which usually was a dig at "The Hogmanay Show" which followed immediately afterwards.

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