From Radio Times "Disaster looms .......... in the last few days of a desperate government, riots spread as the economy collapses and the threat of nuclear conflict grows. Despite this, the BBC screens the final episode of The Young Ones."
Set in a house shared by four students who (occasionally) attend Scumbag College,
the show starred new comedians who had not come up from pubs and social clubs but
from fringe theatres, non OxBridge Universities and cabaret. They had met up at The
Comedy Store, a room set aside upstairs at a strip club in London's Soho. There was
no agenda to the new comedy, but it attracted like-
Both Twentieth Century Coyote (Rik Mayall and Adrian Edmonson) and French & Saunders made their debuts on BBC2's Friday Night Saturday Morning, while Boom Boom Out Go The Lights broadcast by BBC2 in October 1980 and May 1981 featured Rik Mayall (as poet Rik), The Outer Limits (Nigel Planer playing an early version of Neil and Peter Richardson) and Alexei Sayle. Despite having one foot in the past with Neil Shand as script editor, contact had been made with light entertainment producer Paul Jackson. The Young Ones show was commissioned by the BBC in response to Channel 4's The Comic Strip Presents which was about to debut at about the same time. The original idea was to use the two double acts Twentieth Century Coyote and The Outer Limits to play the four students, but Peter Richardson fell out with producer Jackson, so actor Christopher Ryan was brought in to become the fourth student.
The show came under the heading of the Variety department rather than Comedy at the BBC which allowed for a larger budget as long as it could justify itself by having other acts within the show, so bands were invited in to perform in the house living room, bathroom or local pub.
Show 1 Demolition 9th November 1982 Nine Below Zero -
Show 2 Oil 16th November 1982 Alexi Sayle and Radical Posture -
Show 3 Boring 23rd November 1982 Madness – Our House (playing in the pub The Frog and Calculator)
Show 4 Bomb 30th November 1982 Dexys Midnight Runners – Jackie Wilson Said
Show 5 Interesting 7th December 1982 Rip Rig and Panic -
Show 6 Flood 14th December 1982 no music act
Show 1 Bambi 8th May 1984 Motorhead -
Show 2 Cash 15th May 1984 Alan Freeman (as God), Kevin Bishop’s Nice Twelve (Jools
Holland, Stewart Copeland, Chris Difford) – Subterranean Homesick Blues, Alexi Sayle
The show skips a week due to the live Eurovision Young Musician of the Year
Show 3 Nasty 29th May 1984 The Damned -
Show 4 Sick 5th June 1984 Madness -
Show 5 Time 12th June 1984 Amazulu -
Show 6 Summer Holiday 19th June 1984 John Otway -
Despite the show having ended the characters would still occasionally appear. Nigel Planer's Neil scored a number two single in the UK charts in 1984 with a cover of Hole In My Shoe, while Neil and Vyvian appeared in a series of adverts for a building society. But the real surprise was on BBC1's Wogan who on 12th March 1986 when guest Rik Mayall introduced the promo clip for that year's Comic Relief charity single Living Doll by The Young Ones with Cliff Richard which got to number one.
Meanwhile in America, in 1985 the show is broadcast by MTV, their first non-