I watched this possibly for the first time when the BBC ran a series called “The Lost Steptoes”. The reasons behind the 2 near full “Lost” Colour series are well documented elsewhere but we should be gratefully that G & S taped the missing episodes ( albeit in B/W ) for in Alan Simpson’s own words their own personal consumption.
This episode as Alan commented on a special VHS video compilation was there odd soiree into politics to get away from the “business” episodes or Harold’s eternal quest for a “bird”….
The episode begins with a fictional by-election taking place in Shepherd’s Bush and of course G and S wrote the episode in that Harold and Albert were at opposite ends of the political spectrum with Harold a committed left wing socialist and Albert a raving right wing conservative….
Harold is branch secretary for the local Labour party and is delivering election leaflets on Labour’s behalf while Albert is doing similar work on behalf of the Tory’s ( although Harold is convinced Albert is only doing it to wind him up ). Much to Harold’s dismay the new Prime Minister Ted Heath wants to take tea with a local resident and Albert is chosen by Tory Central Office…
It was extremely topical to the time of it’s showing in November 1970 as Ted Heath (Tory) had only just taken over from the previous Prime Minster Harold Wilson (Labour) in the General Election in May of that year. It does helps to have an understanding of the political climate of the time for some of the humour in the episode (Similar to the “Buckingham Palace” sketch…).
Will Mr Heath enjoy his first “full frontal” from Harold and Dolly Clackett?
And what does Harold have waiting for Mr Heath in the freshly whitewashed outside toilet?