The Navy Lark: Series 6 and 7

The Navy Lark: Series 6 and 7

The Classic BBC Radio Sitcom


The sixth and seventh series of the much-loved comedy, plus the 1965 Christmas Special

All aboard HMS Troutbridge for maritime mishaps and merriment, as the crew return from eventful leave and sail into more trouble.

This collection contains the complete Series Six and Seven of the long-running sitcom, in which Pertwee becomes embroiled in various money-making schemes, Povey has a few domestic difficulties, 'Fatso' Johnson's literary and culinary efforts cause havoc - and there's romantic rivalry between Mr Phillips and Mr Murray for Wren Chasen's affections... Also included is a short festive episode 'Hitting the Ice Floe', aired on Christmas Day 1965 as part of an Overseas Service Broadcast to the British Antartic Survey Teams.

Jon Pertwee, Leslie Phillips and Stephen Murray star in these 33 laugh-out-loud episodes, alongside regulars Ronnie Barker, Richard Caldicot, Michael Bates, Tenniel Evans and Heather Chasen, and guest stars including Amanda Murray, Jan Waters and writer Lawrie Wyman.

NB: Some of the language on this recording reflects the era in which it was first broadcast, and due to the age of the source material, the sound quality may vary

Production credits
Scripted by Lawrie Wyman
Produced by Alastair Scott Johnston
Starring: Leslie Phillips, Jon Pertwee, Stephen Murray, Richard Caldicot, Michael Bates, Heather Chasen, Ronnie Barker and Tenniel Evans
With Lawrie Wyman (uncredited), Amanda Murray and Jan Waters

Remastered by Ted Kendall
Thanks to Keith Wickham

Note: none of the episodes were originally given titles. The ones here have been adopted for easy reference and are in line with previous commercial releases

For more information on the programme, contact:
The Navy Lark Appreciation Society
Honeysuckle Cottage
Little Street

Episode guide

First broadcast on BBC Light Programme on the following dates:

Series 6
Wren Chasen Returns 27 September 1963
On the Carpet 4 October 1963
The Bungalese Spies 11 October 1963
Troutbridge's Party 18 October 1963
Rescuing Admirals 25 October 1963
Demise of the Depth Charges 1 November 1963
The Struggle for Promotion 8 November 1963
Navigation by Computer 15 November 1963
Stormy Weather 22 November 1963
Chasing the Kepeac 29 November 1963
The Submerged Island 6 December 1963
The Sicilian Secret Agent 13 December 1963
Germany's Troutbridge 20 December 1963
Confirming Povey's Rank 27 December 1963
The Calais Dock Strike 3 January 1964
Johnson's Memoirs 10 January 1964
The Emperor of Tratvia 17 January 1964
Open Day 24 January 1964
Stuck on a Sandbank 31 January 1964

Series 7
Taking Some Liberties 11 July 1965
Smugglers in the Solent 18 July 1965
Mr Murray is Victimised 25 July 1965
The Poveys Move House 1 August 1965
Captain Povey Reports Sick 8 August 1965
Admiral Pertwee's Fleet 15 August 1965
Let Loose with a Chopper 22 August 1965
Making a Right Pig's Breakfast 29 August 1965
The Mysterious Pudding Mine 5 September 1965
The Hovercraft Training Course 12 September 1965
Sabotaged Floggle-Toggle Box 19 September 1965
The Potarneyland Training Exercise 26 September 1965
Going on Leave to Croydon 3 October 1965

Christmas Special
Hitting the Ice Floe 25 December 1965

© 2024 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd. (P) 2024 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd.

About the author

Lawrie Wyman

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.
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