Q (BBC comedy sketch show, 1969-80)


Bob Wingrove recalls a sketch in Spike Milligan's Q series featuring Milligan as a bus conductor with a false nose aboard an AEC RT. "I think at this time the BBC had a stock bus as a prop (this was probably the same RT) with most of the nearside lower saloon side panels removed so you could film people inside. (I think it was shown as such during the same programme."

Shaun Hyle adds: "The bus was provided to the BBC by my Dad's business (Wombwell Diesels Ltd). I believe the bus was cut out by the Barnsley Fire Brigade for the TV show. I think that within the bus there were some green stickers that said 'Wombwell Diesels'. If I have a look I think I may still have some of the wax bottles which came back with in the bus."

Also an RT (probably the same one) crashing through the wall in Milligan's version of the 'Chinese Restaurant' joke ('I'll have a number 19....!').

Scot Fergie adds to Bob's comments: "Spike Milligan was playing Richard III in a sketch about the British public being unable to get theatre tickets and the 'London Passenger Transport Board' "(Milligan's fairly accurate quote) obliges by performing on the buses. He's dressed as a conductor with Richard III hair/hump and a coronet on top of his hat:

Passenger - (Alan Clare) 'Two to the bit where Queen Anne gobs in your face..' Milligan - 'Spitalfields !'
Mid way through an RM appears on film travelling down what looks like Oxford Street on a faked up blind on a 247A "RICHARD THE THIRD" - can't make the reg out from my poor video copy - but looks like a "WLT8xx" four bay machine.

The sketch continues in the studio with the cut-away vehicle running up the back of a '6A Midsummers Night's Dream'. It then cuts to a shot of the upper deck stairwell of an open-topped rear-entrance vehicle whilst Milligan appears up the stairs dressed as Rudolph Valentino with an LT conductors hat and a banjo asking 'Where else would you get The Desert Song for fourpence on a 137?'

This shot the vehicle has wood slatted seats and the interior panels and seating are all painted uniform dark blue (an ex BMMO D9 open top vehicle on the sightseeing tour?)
The cut away vehicle - (astonishingly accurately remembered by Bob) appears in the background (showing the whole lower deck of the vehicle, but unfortunately not a wide enough shot to show whether it still retained a top deck) of the previous musical number with Alan Clare playing 'The Way We Were' on piano. What was this bus?

The programme was Q7, episode 5, transmitted on 31 January 1978. Only just got a copy of this after 25 years! You must congratulate Bob on his amazing memory."
[Conside it done!]

Created with Boltwire.
All the movies, TV programmes and clips referred to remain the copyright of their respective owners, and no infringement is intended by reproducing screen captures on this website.
Click here for information about how Buses on Screen uses cookies.