Tutti Frutti (1987 TV series)

Tutti Frutti (1987 TV series)

"Tutti Frutti" was a BBC Scotland six part drama series, transmitted in 1987 and written by John Byrne. It starred Robbie Coltrane, Emma Thompson, Maurice Roëves, Richard Wilson and Katy Murphy. It brought many of the cast to national prominence.


Legendary Scots rock 'n' roll outfit The Majestics are a Scottish rock band, are on the eve of their 1986 "Silver Jubilee" tour, and find themselves in trouble when their lead singer, Big Jazza McGlone is killed in a car crash.

The group's manager Eddie Clockerty (Wilson) talks Big Jazza's younger brother, Danny (Coltrane), home from New York for the funeral, into joining the band as their new lead singer. Suzi Kettles (Thompson), a sharp cookie and old classmate of Danny, picks up the guitar and also joins the band. From that moment the ill fated tour and the band's fortunes appear to take a turn for the better.

The Majestics' final dispiriting tour of Scotland's less salubrious clubs and pubs is punctuated by childish backstage squabbling and a series of personal disasters. The fractious on-off relationship between rotund but sexy Danny McGlone and Suzi Kettles adds a further comic dimension, along with the 'double-act' of the dour Mr Clockerty and his lippy secretary Janice Toner (Murphy).

Re-release difficulties

Although it attained 'cult' status, it was only repeated once, albeit on BBC One, 10 months after its first transmission on BBC Two, and is not available on video or DVD. Various rumours circulated for many years as to why, but the BBC never confirmed the reasons. However, in March 2007 John Byrne explained that the problem had been due to a performance of the song Tutti Frutti in one episode (not the title sequence) where Danny McGlone changes the lyrics to "here's the rub, she makes me sleep in a tub". This is a reference to an earlier scene where Kettles is coerced into letting McGlone sleep at her flat, but insists on the bathtub. As a result of this change the BBC's usual music licensing did not apply, and the copyright holder Little Richard requested a prohibitively high fee. [ [http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/uk.cfm?id=455582007 The Scotsman ] ]

In 2006 a BBC spokesperson stated that these issues were now 'resolvable' and that a future DVD release or BBC Four transmission may happen. Even so no immediate plans have been issued for either. John Byrne has also said he thinks the original film stock (including out-takes) may have been destroyed, and that only the broadcast masters may survive, limiting the scope for 'extras' on any future DVD release. [ [http://sundayheraldsalon.com/salon/2006/09/tutti_frutti_ready_to_return_a.html NewsTalk: Tutti Frutti ready to return after 20 years in BBC vault (sundayheraldtalk) ] ] Potential picture quality is therefore also limited, as film-to-video transfer technology has improved considerably since the series was first broadcast.

tage Play

In 2006 Byrne reworked the series into a stage play, produced as a co-production between the National Theatre of Scotland and His Majesty's Theatre in Aberdeen, where it ran to packed houses in late 2006. The NTS production cast included some well-known faces from the Scottish theatre and TV worlds.

In 2007 the show was staged in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Blackpool by NTS, again playing to packed audiences.


The series won six Baftas in 1988.

* Best Actress - Emma Thompson
* Best Drama Series - Andy Park, Tony Smith
* Best Graphics - Sandi Anderson, John Byrne
* Best Make Up - Lorna Blair
* Best Sound Supervisor - Brian Dewar
* Best VTR Editor - Peter Hayes

Original Cast

* Robbie Coltrane - Danny McGlone
* Emma Thompson - Suzi Kettles
* Richard Wilson - Eddie Clockerty
* Katy Murphy - Janice Toner
* Maurice Roeves - Vincent Diver
* Stuart McGugan - Bomba MacAteer
* Jake D'Arcy - Fud O'Donnell
* Ron Donachie - Dennis Sproul

List of Episodes

# The Boy Can't Help It
# On The Road Again
# Gin A Body Dig A Body...
# Don't You Rock Me Daddy-O
# Love Hurts
# A Wop-Boppa Loo-Bop A Wop-Bam Boom


External links

*imdb title|id=0092471
*bbc.co.uk|id=comedy/guide/articles/t/tuttifrutti_1299003203.shtml|title="Tutti Frutti" Comedy Guide
* [http://www.screenonline.org.uk/tv/id/789683/index.html "Tutti Frutti" review on Sceenonline]

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