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Bottle Boys 1984 British sitcom

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Vince Powell was author of several sitcoms, most of them gained with time poor, although not always well deserved, reputation. Bottle Boys from the beginning was more or less doomed to fail, although this time it had nothing to do with anything controversial that Vince Powell would do - there were no controversial topics, characters nor scenes, just a story of few milkmen working in depot in London.

Robin Askwith gained reputation as actor who usually plays in sex comedies, especially in 1970s when they were popular in Great Britain, which could have put off some of the viewers from giving Bottle Boys a chance. The title music did not helped either - cockney song with innuendos about milkmen perhaps wasn’t the best choice, especially since the scripts had very little to do with actual milkmen jobs or sex comedies.

Another perhaps not best choice was the chemistry between characters, or rather lack of it. Vince Powell often used his old scripts in new productions and Bottle Boys wasn’t a exception - one of the episodes was almost identical to one in Mind Your Language and another to episode of The Wackers - but this time it did made the difference. Since the characters were rather bland and the chaos in the scripts that were put together without a bigger concept did not helped either.

The cast did their best, there were few good scenes, but to be honest the only thing that made this production watchable was Richard Davies constantly tormented by the drivers laziness and the mistakes of his secretary. Rest of the characters made very little difference, especially since the scripts were patched up together from old Vince Powell productions or were new material that did not fit well with the characters.

Overall a really forgettable sitcom that had potential, but failed on many levels. Still I wouldn’t go as far as calling it the worst sitcom ever.


  • The part of Dave Deacon was originally written for Jim Davidson, who was by this time moving into sitcom with Up the Elephant and Round the Castle. Future BBC controller John Birt, during his tenure at London Weekend Television, suggested that Askwith take the part instead.

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