Sykes


Episode: Sykes and a Following
Comedy duo Eric Sykes and Hattie Jaques apply their own distinctive style to their roles as driver and conductor of a London Transport AEC Routemaster.
A report in 'Buses Illustrated' June 1964 decribes an episode screened on 17th March using three London Transport AEC Routemasters.
"Three buses were used in the filmed sequences, evidently shot last autumn, these being RMs 1627, 1632 and 1633, then new, which carried running numbers CS2/3/4; CS is the LT code for Chiswick Works, and it is rarely seen on the sides of a bus. The buses carried route 136 and route 179 destination blinds, which were made up by the BBC. Filming was undertaken at Chiswick Works, Barnes Common and in the vicinity of Chiswick Station, whilst the Television Centre in Wood Lane, White City, became a bus garage for the duration of the shooting." Comedy it may have been, but this show introduced a couple of ideas later taken seriously: Here conductress Hattie Jacques welcomes passengers in airline stewardess style!
Ultimately, when Eric and Hattie are prevented from taking a bus out on the road, they take their passengers on foot - a forerunner of the 'walking school bus'.....
Allan Haynes notes a photograph of Eric Sykes being filmed while in the cab appeared on the front of the BBC staff magazine 'Ariel' in January 1964.
Episode: Bus
This 1973 episode is a remake in colour of the 'Sykes and a Following' black and white episode. As in the original, the duo set about revolutionising the bus service. First seen is RT2501 (KXW130), with Eric at the wheel:
.....and it's later seen equipped with potted plants, a screen over the door, and a cleaner!
It appears the only other bus used for filming was AEC Routemaster RM970 (WLT970).
All the street scenes are filmed with the Routemaster, but it magically transforms into the RT ) back at the garage, to the extent that when the RM breaks down, the passengers push it back to the garage, but it's the RT that we see arrive, with the RM in the background!
(thanks Richard Dodge) Episode: Sykes and a Haunting
Patrick Hall recalls "I remember one of Eric Sykes' series of comedies, I believe it was called 'Sykes and a Haunting', which was screened in 1962 and contained former Southern Vectis Bristol K5G/ECW lowbridge double decker DDL986. I believe its owner at the time was Lansdowne Luxury Coaches, of London E11" This episode dates from 1962.

Episode: Haunting
A remake of 'Sykes and a Haunting' includes a scene with London Transport RT935 (JXN325). Hattie and Eric are handcuffed together, but only Hattie is allowed aboard the bus, so Eric has to run behind:

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