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Return of the Majestics

Pauline McLean | 16:58 UK time, Monday, 3 August 2009

Glad i got my order in early for the long awaited DVD release of the television series Tutti Frutti.

A number of online retailers are already sold out of their initial supplies, perhaps taken aback by the demand.

Then again, this is a show which has taken 22 years to appear on anything other than a bootleg video, it has twice sold out screenings at the Glasgow Film Theatre and, according to cast and crew, even two decades on still results in at least one question a day about "whatever happened to Tutti Frutti?"

"Every day. every bloody day, someone asks, what happened to Tutti Frutti, even in the States, everywhere," says Robbie Coltrane, who starred as Danny McGlone.

The reason, according to the BBC, was that paperwork relating to the performance of Tutti Frutti was never submitted to Jerry Lewis's record company (pedants will recall Robbie Coltrane's character changes the words to "I've got a girl in love, she makes me sleep in the tub" - a reference to Emma Thompson's character Suzie Kettles).

"I've heard so many stories over the years," says the show's creator John Byrne.

"I heard that somebody lost the paperwork but there have been so many stories.

"A guy phoned up a few years ago and said there were plans to release it and i just said good luck, it never came to anything.

"So yes, i'm thrilled it has happened at last. I honestly didn't think it would ever see the light of day."

But after 22 years, will it be worth the wait?

On the strength of the first episode, I think it'll still live up to the hype.

The TV style is as old-fashioned as the 80s outfit, those lingering shots look so dated in contrast to today's swiftly edited fast paced shows.

But the script is as sharp and as funny as it was back in 1987, thanks in no small part to performers like Richard Wilson as Eddie Clockerty and Katy Murphy as the long suffering Ms Toner.

The screen chemistry between Robbie Coltrane and Emma Thompson can't be faked - they're clearly big pals - and their on-off, will they, won't they relationship is genuinely engaging.


  • Comment number 1.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 2.

    I loved this series from the start and had it on video tTape for years before transfered it to dvd and now my kids watch it too.

    I hope the picture quality has been upgraded as it was pretty wishy washy when tramsmitted all those years ago.

    I ordered the DVD as soon as it was announced for realese, awaiting delivery today?

    Now this has been released here's hoping that the classic THAT SINKING FEELING will be also be released?

  • Comment number 3.

    As one of the campaigners for the reissue of this series I feel a certain degree of personal satisfaction, matched and exceeded last night when my copy of the DVD arrived in the post and I sat down to watch. Have no fear, everybody, it is as good as your memory of it.

    As for you, dear Pauline, what can I say. You are young, it's not your fault. When you grow up you will come to realise that all those irritating tricksy cuts and swerves and speed-ups - the hallmark of what you are pleased to describe as "today's swiftly edited fast paced shows" are generally a substitute for good scriptwriting and sensitive direction. And you will also come to see that "those lingering shots" that you now regard as "so dated" were actually the result of intelligent directors who knew their business and respected their scriptwriters and actors and audience. When you have a good story and you are trying to tell it well, the last thing you think of doing is sending in the clowns.

    Well done for giving something so old a fair chance though.

  • Comment number 4.

    Tutti Frutti was a Little Richard song, so presumably it was his paperwork that got messed up. You may have been confusing him with that other great piano rocker Jerry Lee Lewis of Great Balls of Fire fame, but if so you still haven't quite got it right because "Jerry Lewis" was the plastic-faced american clown often to be seen in movies with Dean Martin.

    Pedantry aside, great to have the DVD. Watched the first episode last night and it was everything I remembered it to be.


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