The Navy Lark
The Very Best Episodes - Vol 1

Starring: Jon Pertwee, Leslie Phillips, Tenniel Evans, Ronnie Barker and Richard Caldicot
BBC Audio
RRP: 12.99
ISBN 0 563 50468 4
Available 03 April 2006

Fred Vintner, the President of The Navy Lark Appreciation Society, has selected these four favourite episodes for you to enjoy. So climb aboard and join the merry crew in these four classic capers, starring Jon Pertwee, Leslie Phillips, Ronnie Barker, Tenniel Evans and Richard Caldicot...

The Navy Lark was one of Britain's longest-running radio comedies. It launched in 1959 and finally ran aground for the last time almost 20 years later in 1977 - national service to punk. At heart the show is a comedy of manners and class set aboard a royal navy vessel, HMS Troutbridge. However, it was the regular cast of Ronnie Barker, Jon Pertwee, Leslie Philips (not to mention Dennis Price and Stephen Murray) that lifted the show into greatness.

It's therefore only fitting that the BBC should release collected 'best of' compilations, the first of which has just been released. This two-disc set comprises of An Exercise In Filming (28.6.59), The Lighthouse Lark (29.1.60), A Deliberate Bashing (19.4.63) and Tug-Of-War (19.2.60) - and what a fine collection of misadventures.

Over four half-hour 'larks' HMS Troutbridge gets involved with a film company, rescues a lighthouse keeper, collides with something avoidable and escorts a VIP. Does it all go wrong? Yes. Are Pertwee's nefarious relatives on hand? Yes. Are figures of authority lampooned? Yes, of course.

There are a number of excellent compilations of Navy Lark episodes - both large and small - available from the BBC but this tidy package is as good a place to start as any. Welcome aboard to first time sailors; welcome back to seasoned travellers.

Left hand down a bit? Need you ask?

Anthony Clark

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