Sitcoms Blog

The Dustbinmen 1969 British sitcom

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Comedy Series

Jack Rosenthal started his career as writer for British soap opera Coronation Street, but after he wrote spin-off called Pardon the Expression (starring Arthur Lowe) that was rather typical sitcom his next project was something from completely other dimension - The Dustbinmen. The title pretty much explains the topics covered in this sitcom, but the approach to comedy was something completely unconventional.

In 1969 Bryan Pringle was still a not well known name with only handful of TV and movie roles, Trevor Bannister was just before his best known role as Mr. Lucas in Are You Being Served??, Brian Wilde few years later will play his most remembered role in Porridge. But all of those actors met in The Dustbinmen, quite unusual production that was far from typical sitcoms of the era - about working class characters doing anything to avoid work and do anything that will drive their superior mad. With help of unconventional scripts and absurd humour the series quickly gained popularity - wide range of viewers enjoyed the misadventures of Cheese & Egg, Heavy Breathing, Winston and Eric plus the misery of their inspectors, played by John Wood' title='John Wood' target=_blank>John Woodvine and later Brian Wilde, who try their best to make them work.

It is hard to call The Dustbinmen a unique sitcom, after all On the Buses from the same year was based on similar concept and similar conflict between staff and management, but while other sitcoms were rather predictable in The Dustbinmen we have a lot of pseudo-profanity (like "bog off", "you buttock" or "piggin"), we have unusual approach to characters and situations. Of course with time the series only lost on quality and today it could hardly compete with later productions, but still it has bits of nostalgia and colourful characters that still make The Dustbinmen quite entertaining once you get used to the atmosphere.


  • Jack Rosenthal based the characters in The Dustbinmen on people he met during gathering materials for the production - he spent time with real dustbin man and tried to transfer their world into the sitcom format.

The Dustbinmen 1969 British sitcom classic british sitcoms working class dustbin men

Comedy Series Blog - we search all the interesting (and sometimes not that interesting) comedy series from around the world. Some of them might be slightly better than the others, but in comedy there are no strict rules - sometimes less funny series, but made with skillful touch could be a hit. On the other hand there are series that try too hard to be funny and lose on the plots and characters building.

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