New channel BBC Scotland is offering up some comedy classics with a time-travelling trawl back to the 90s for Saturday nights.
On Saturday, May 18, the 1990s will ride over the hill and zoom onto the screen with the first episodes of Your Cheatin’ Heart and The High Life with Sebastian and Steve back where they belong, on the gangways of Air Scotia.
Within the 90s season, there will also be some further fun from the decade with Chewin’ the Fat compilations and documentary items including Scooby and the Rave Years, about the life of rave music pioneer Stuart ‘Scooby’ Cochrane.
The BBC Scotland drama comedy serial Your Cheatin’ Heart, shown in 1990, was penned by John Byrne, who had previously written Tutti Frutti.
Tilda Swinton starred as Cissie Crouch, a waitress in an American-themed bar and restaurant in Glasgow called ‘Bar L’. Her husband Dorwood Crouch (Kevin McMonagle) is in prison for a robbery she believes he didn’t commit. With the help of journalist Frank McClusky (John Gordon-Sinclair) she hopes to clear Dorwood’s name by investigating violent small-time criminal Fraser Boyle, (Ken Stott) who has links to the Country and Western scene in Glasgow.So Cissie and Frank go ‘undercover’ as performers with The Wild Bunch, meeting up en route with the McPhail Sisters (Katy Murphy and Eddi Reader), C & W singers and taxi operators.
Taking off on our TVs in 1994, The High Life was written by and starred Alan Cumming and Forbes Masson as Air Scotia junior cabin crew Sebastian and Steve, longing for promotion but totally scared of chief-stewardess Shona (Siobhan Redmond), otherwise known as ‘Hitler in tights’ . Episodes covered everything from Sebastian trying to enter the Eurovision Song Contest to a small business espionage plot involving biscuits.
Both are six-part series and their episodes will play out on successive Saturdays along with a large treat for those missing Still Game.
An integral part of this Nineties line-up will be compilations of Greg Hemphill and Ford Kiernan’s previous comedy hit Chewin’ the Fat.
Classic sketches from the series, which started in 1999, ranged from dodgy painters Bish & Bosh, the Banter Boys, to the Lighthouse Keepers and the Smoking Family. And who could forget Karen Dunbar’s Lonely Shopkeeper, or indeed Betty the Auld Slapper or her antithesis Miss Gourlay, the prim and proper Chemistry teacher. Last but not least, of course, was Ford’s tour de force as the world’s worst actor Ronald Villiers.
Winding up the night’s 90s nuggets will be the series Rewind taking viewers through the decade and its major events, year by year, starting with 1990.
New documentary Scooby and The Rave Years will be aired later in the season run. It is the story of Stuart ‘Scooby’ Cochrane, who raved riotously through the thriving dance music scene in Scotland and has lived a life of decadence. He scaled greatness throughout the 80s and 90s, then fell short of the summit. This film ranges from barn dances in Stirling through raves at Prestwick Airport to clubbing and fashion via Ibiza, where he was instrumental in the rise of Cafe Mambo.
Tony Nellany, BBC Scotland channel manager and commissioning executive, said: ‘For many of us the season will be a nostalgic romp through our yesterdays, for “new Millennials” it will be an eye-opener about their parents’ younger days. Either way, there will be a lot to enjoy.’
Saturday May 18: Your Cheatin’ Heart 9pm; The High Life 9.50pm; Chewin’ The Fat 10.20pm; Rewind 1990s – 11pm. Scooby and the Rave Years will go out later in the season.