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Rutland Weekend Television (1975-76)


Warning: screenonline full synopses contain 'spoilers' which give away key plot points. Don't read on if you don't want to know the ending!

The Rutland title makes way for the first programme, The Old Gay Whistle Test, hosted by a Bob Harris impersonator who introduces the band Toad the Wet Sprocket. He then interviews Mantra Robinson, a rock star who is working on a lengthy album title and has attempted to kill a band member. They are joined by Siggy, Mantra's guru, who receives deep spiritual insights from his landlady. Splint perform Bandwagon from the Gerrard's Cross pop festival, followed by Stan Fitch, the first all-dead singer, who, without moving but with wacky camera effects, performs a song from his new album.

The Rutland titles appear and the female presenter, sitting next to a vase of flowers, welcomes the viewers. The opening titles play in full and the presenter returns with more flowers and introduces Rutland Weekend Theatre. A couple standing on their veranda have difficulty in remembering their names. They are joined by their son, Virginia's lover and a friend of Harry's, all of whom are suffering from memory loss.

After a little thinking time, a male presenter introduces the programme Amnesia. He promptly forgets the show's content and says goodnight. Rutland's presenter returns with even more flowers and has also lost her memory.

The Rutland Weekend Documentary follows Ron Grainger, a Worcestershire farmer who breeds beauty queens, feeding them hay and copies of Vogue. At one time poachers stole some of his girls and feminist demonstrators infiltrated the group with the radical feminist magazine Foot and Mouth, leaving Ron no option but to put them down. He takes his girls off to market to be bought by butchers. A beauty show presenter asks a cow if she is being exploited. While the judges make their decision, singer P.B. Sutton is killed before he sings a note by the Yorkshire Showbiz Butchers.

With flowers up to her neck, the presenter introduces A Penny for your Warts, a quiz show for doctors. The two teams are British Urinologists and the Somerset Consultant Gynaecologists. After a series of questions in which one of the gynaecologists dies from a patient's infection, Somerset are pronounced the winners.

The presenter, now surrounded by flowers, introduces the Fabulous Bingo Brothers, who sing a song about their donkey. The real Bob Harris appears and introduces the last act. The Rutland presenter, engulfed by flowers, closes the broadcast.