The Navy Lark: Volume 33

Lawrie Wyman (and others)

Jon Pertwee, Leslie Phillips and Stephen Murray star in four more classic episodes of the much-loved nautical comedy

Hijacked! (‘Working Their Passage’) 13 October 1961
Mr Merrivale of Naval Expenditure decides to split up the troublesome crew of HMS Troutbridge, but a plan to remove the ship while they are away on leave goes somewhat awry…

Admiral Troutbridge (‘Working Their Passage’) 20 October 1961
At a nosh-up for the late Admiral’s 220nd birthday, Pertwee has a historical tale to tell, and relates the true story of the events of 1797.

The Smugglers Return (‘Dredging Their Way Through’) 27 October 1968
When HMS Troutbridge accidentally knocks a customs offi cer into the dock, the crew must rescue him from one side while hastily dumping their smuggled contraband over the other…

Commander Trotter Takes Charge (‘Instructing Their New CO In The Ways Of ’) 3 November 1968
With Commander Bell away on compassionate leave, the crew are allocated a new CO – Commander Trotter, who hasn’t been to sea in years.

Starring Jon Pertwee, Leslie Phillips and Stephen Murray, with Ronnie Barker, Richard Caldicot, Heather Chasen, Tenniel Evans, Michael Bates and Judy Cornwall.

Ronnie Barker's More Lines From My Grandfather's Forehead

Ronnie Barker (and others)

Here's a further cornucopia of clever comedy, featuring sketches, monologues, poems and songs in this 'sequential entertainment for radio'. The sketches on this recording include: a bizarre slice of Shakespeare, a poem for a man with a plan, and a forgetful actor. There are also people who use lots of words - but say very little. As well as a musing pianist, we also hear a two-headed 'Great Eccentric', a spoof Paul Temple, and wires get crossed on the telephone.

Co-written by Gerald Wiley (the pseudonym used by Ronnie Barker) and many others, this sophisticated cabaret-cum-sketch-show contains plenty of witty wordplay. Starring Ronnie Barker, with Terence Brady, Pauline Yates, Josephine Gordon and Dick Abell.

2 CDs. 1 hr 59 mins.

All I Ever Wrote: The Complete Works

Ronnie Barker

Ronnie Barker has long been known as one of Britain’s greatest comedy performers. But he was also responsible for writing much of the material he performed, often hiding the fact from the public by using a number of pen names. Showcasing the complete work of a true comic icon, All I Ever Wrote is a laugh-out-loud collection of sketches, monologues, songs, poems and scripts from every strand of Ronnie’s long and brilliant career.

With gems like ‘Fork Handle’s,’ Three Classes’ and ‘Pismonouncers Unanimous', Ronnie’s clever writing, double entendres and spoonerisms will bring a smile to your face, as you rediscover some of the twentieth century’s finest comedy moments.

A Few Well-Frozen Worms

Ronnie Barker

With a fondness for spoonerisms and double entendres, Ronnie Barker is one of the nation’s greatest comics. Gathered together in this second ‘best of’ volume is a cocktail of his sketches and monologues from every strand of his long and brilliant career.

Fork Handles

Ronnie Barker

With a foreword by Ronnie Corbett.

Loved by millions and collected here for the first time is the very best of Ronnie Barker’s classic sketches, monologues, songs and, of course, the brilliant two-handers that he wrote for The Two Ronnies. Celebrating his genius for comic wordplay, this wonderful collection includes ‘Pismonouncers Unanimous’, ‘An Appeal for Women’ ‘Swedish for Beginners’ and the nation’s favourite sketch, ‘Fork Handles’.

As talented a writer as he was performer, Ronnie Barker was behind the best known Two Ronnies’ material. His comedy writing was so prolific that he began using the pseudonym Gerald Wiley while working on Frost on Sunday, which he continued when making The Two Ronnies, so eager was he to ensure that his writing was judged on its merit alone.

Showcasing the work of a true comic icon, and one of the best writers and comedians of the twentieth century, Fork Handles is every bit as warm and funny as Ronnie Barker himself.

The Navy Lark Volume 28: Troutbridge's Party

Lawrie Wyman (and others)

Jon Pertwee, Leslie Phillips, Stephen Murray and Ronnie Barker star in four more hilarious radio episodes. 'Troutbridge's Party'/''Finding Their Way Through' (18 October 1963): A peeved Pertwee is barred from a wardroom celebration for Admiral Sir Benjamin Troutbridge. 'Rescuing Admirals'/ 'Working Their Passage' (25 October 1963): The crew need to rescue two of the top brass from a lighthouse, Pertwee meets his uncle and an old face sails back. 'Captain Povey Reports Sick'/'Doing a Mischief' (8 August 1965): When the Captain catches a cold, Murray takes over and chaos ensues. Then Troutbridge is sent out to sea to look for a stranded boat - which, thanks to Mr Phillips, they can't find. 'The Relief of the Weather Ship'/'Weathering' (26 January 1959): Troutbridge needs to take a professor out to their weather ship urgently. However, the Professor turns out to be a rather attractive woman who catches the eye of the crew... With Richard Caldicot, Heather Chasen, Tenniel Evans and Michael Bates.

2 CDs. 1 hr 52 mins.


The Navy Lark is the second longest-running comedy in British radio history (the topical Friday night show, Week Ending, which ran from 1970 to 1998, is currently the longest). In 1958, writer Laurie Wyman announced that he wanted to build a series around talented comic actor Jon Pertwee. Having secured Pertwee as the lead, he looked for other main characters and is quoted in the Radio Times as saying 'I felt we needed an idiot, and there was no one better at playing idiots than Leslie Phillips - so we got him.' The first episode of the series went out on 29 March 1959 and, from the start, the light-hearted and affectionate spoof on the Senior Service won many fans - some of the highest order! On the occasion of the show's 21st anniversary, for example, the crew were asked by WRNS to put on a special performance. They duly obliged, and in the audience that night at the Royal Festival Hall was Her Royal Highness the Queen Mother. Sir Charles Lambe, who was the first Sea Lord at the time, had also visited the studio during rehearsal. The crew of HMS Troutbridge were a motley bunch: Jon Pertwee, who actually served in the Navy during the Second World War, played the conniving Petty Officer and was established as a household favourite by the series. Leslie Phillips was the vague chinless wonder Sub-Lieutenant. His parrot cry of 'left hand down a bit' has passed into A Dictionary of Catch Phrases, whose author Eric Partridge writes 'within two years, it was a standard piece of Navalese'. The young Ronnie Barker (long before attaining fame as a television comedy actor) also appeared in the series, playing two parts: (Un)Able Seaman Fatso Johnson and Lieutenant-Commander Stanton. The Navy Lark gripped the nation for the best part of twenty years. Its signature tune, composed by Tommy Reilly and James Moody, was the jaunty Trade Wind Hornpipe and did much to contribute to the popularity of the series. The key to the show's popularity, though, was its irreverent but essentially gentle humour and, most of all, the many-voiced talents of its stars. As Leslie Phillips remarked in 1987, 'I caused more damage to Naval property than the Navy had done in two world wars'. The final episode was broadcast on 18 January 1976. However, the crew all jumped on board one last time for a Jubilee Special on 16 July 1977.