Music hall entertainer Arthur Atkinson appeared in the first two series in scratchy black and white. He performed his incomprehensible but amazingly authentic-feeling act, complete with cutaways of contemporary audiences in apparent gales of laughter at his routine.
Atkinson's banter inevitably leads to one of his catchphrases - 'How queer!' and 'Where's me washboard?'. Who knows what that's all about, but Paul Whitehouse's character is so convincing it's easy to forget Atkinson isn't real.
In the third series time has moved on. Arthur Atkinson crops up in a 50s sitcom (Blame Arthur!) and a British sex-romp film (Confessions of a Door to Door Cucumber Salesman) - all fantastic pastiches.