1983 | United Kingdom

Running for two series in the early 1980s, Alfresco was the same quickfire combination of anarchic sketches and musical items that made Not the Nine O'Clock News, The Two Ronnies and Monty Python's Flying Circus so successful. 

Featuring six young comedians who were destined to become household names within a few years of its transmission, Alfresco starred Ben Elton (who did the bulk of the writing), Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie, Emma Thompson, Robbie Coltrane and Siobhan Redmond. 

Alfresco set the seeds for future shows like A Bit of Fry and Laurie, Ben Elton's The Man from Auntie and Saturday Live. Everything was fair game and a target for their humour - chat shows, effeminacy, British WWII films, Shakespeare and private health care, to name a few. 

Before Alfresco Granada Television tried out the format in a short mini-series of three titled There's Nothing to Worry About! which was only shown in the North-West. Alfrescofollowed a year later. 

Published on November 27th, 2018. Written by Laurence Marcus for Television Heaven.