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Series cast summary:
Jimmy Edwards Jimmy Edwards ...  Professor Jimmy Edwards 60 episodes, 1956-1972
Arthur Howard Arthur Howard ...  Oliver Pettigrew 47 episodes, 1956-1960
Edwin Apps ...  Mr. L.J. Halliforth / ... 31 episodes, 1958-1960


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Comedy | Drama







Release Date:

4 October 1956 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Whacko! See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (13 episodes)

Sound Mix:



Black and White (1956-1960)| Color (1971-1972)| Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The vast majority of the episodes produced of this series are no longer extant and are presumed lost. Only 3 or 4 episodes are known to exist from it's first 7 seasons, though the final eighth season survives intact. See more »


Spin-off Bottoms Up (1960) See more »

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User Reviews

Calling all Old Boys ...
9 March 2008 | by SpondonmanSee all my reviews

I used to enjoy watching Whacko! with the inimitable Jimmy Edwards as the star attraction, the BBC repeated episodes made years before (1956-1960) throughout the '60's. There was a last colour series made in '71/'72, but I can't remember much about that – either the episodes weren't very good or the zeitgeist had gone by then. Whacko! is in the same boat as the Billy Bunter TV series is – the times and mores have almost completely vanished and the BBC as the voice of the state for political correctness refuses to release any of the surviving episodes, except maybe to Universities for their august dissection.

The Pools Win first broadcast 1960 seventh series: The headmaster of Chiselbury School for the sons of gentlefolk is pouring his pint of bitter for breakfast and chucking all the bills away when he finds he's won £38,000 on the football pools. After a mad half minute he realises it's really his wimpish no. 2 Mr. Pettigrew (played by Arthur Howard) who's won it. Rather than let him give it all away to his favourite charity Jim decides to make him sample The Fleshpots to try to change his mind … Did Pettigrew "feel the bubbles go up his hooter" or not? Cheaply made to be sure, but more than making up for it with witty dialogue and delightful main characterisations by writers Frank Muir and Denis Norden. It's the usual tour de force performance from Jim, with his seedy cynicism and yet just-in-time optimism somehow always made you root for him instead of the boys he was sometimes compelled to thrash so soundly. Nobody was thrashed in this episode which was probably the only reason the BBC showed it again in 1991 – deviant sexual angles are always at the top of their minds nowadays, whether banning harmless old stuff like this or showing endless modern filth instead.

So popular a film and radio series followed - it's great stuff, old fashioned TV comedy for the initiated, but probably totally incomprehensible to todays generations of serious folk.

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