Tuesday 16 February 2016

Down the 'Gate with Dilys Laye


In the mid-1970s sitcom legend Reg Varney branched out in a new direction. Over two series he played Billingsgate Market porter Reg Funnell in the comedy series Down the 'Gate. His co-star and onscreen wife was played by none other than Carry On actress Dilys Laye. Further support came from Carry On Jack and Cowboy actor Percy Herbert.

The series proved less than a success, coming in the wake of Varney's big hit On The Buses. Perhaps the television audiences of the day could only identify with his bus driver cheeky chappy character. Anyway, sadly although twelve episodes were produced over 1975 and 1976, only the 1976 episodes remain. 

The 1976 episodes are available from Network. According to their site, the episodes only survive because they are copies Reg Varney made himself. That's quite something! Here is one of the few episodes that survive. Look out for an appearance from the late Shirley Stelfox too.

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