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The Young Ones is a popular Britishmarker sitcom, first broadcast in 1982, on BBC2. Its anarchic, offbeat humour helped bring alternative comedy to television in the 1980s and made household names of its writers and performers. Soon afterwards, it was shown on MTV, one of the first non-music television shows on the fledgling channel.

The main characters were four undergraduate students sharing a house: violent punk metal Vyvyan (Adrian Edmondson), pompous would-be anarchist Rick (Rik Mayall), long-suffering hippie Neil (Nigel Planer), and the mysterious and diminutive Mike (Christopher Ryan). It also featured Alexei Sayle, who played the quartet's landlord, Jerzei Balowski, and other members of the Balowski family.

The show combined traditional sitcom style with violent slapstick, non sequitur plot-turns and surrealism. These older styles were mixed with the working and lower-middle class attitudes of the growing 1980s alternative comedy boom, in which all the principal performers except Ryan had been involved.

Although the series was set in North Londonmarker, many external scenes were filmed in Bristolmarker. All four characters attended the fictional Scumbag College. As one of the characters (Neil) sometimes wore a University of London T-shirt, it seems likely that Scumbag is one of the University of London's constituent colleges. Although they were never seen attending the institution and were rarely seen studying.

The show was influenced by the sitcom The Monkees which also featured four characters and a landlord along with a musical segment, jump cuts and free-flowing loose narratives.

The show was voted #31 in the BBC's Best Sitcom poll in 2004.


The series originated on Londonmarker's comedy club circuit during the late 1970s. Most of the cast gained popularity at The Comedy Storemarker. Alexei Sayle was the prominent act, drawing attention as the manic, aggressive compere. Adrian Edmondson and Rik Mayall worked as the double act, 20th Century Coyote, which later became The Dangerous Brothers. Nigel Planer was in a double act with Peter Richardson called "The Outer Limits."

As The Comedy Store became popular, Sayle, 20th Century Coyote and The Outer Limits, with French and Saunders and Arnold Brown, set up their own club called The Comic Strip in the Raymond Revue Bar club in Soho. The Comic Strip became one of the most popular comedy venues in London, and came to the attention of Jeremy Isaacs of Channel 4. Peter Richardson then negotiated a deal for six self-contained half-hour films, using the group as comedy actors rather than stand-up performers.

The first of this series, The Comic Strip Presents..., was on Channel 4 on 2 November 1982. In response, the BBC began negotiations with Edmondson, Mayall, Richardson, Planer and Sayle to star in a sitcom in a similar style. Paul Jackson was installed as a producer.

The series was written by Mayall with his then-girlfriend Lise Mayer, and with Ben Elton (who had attended the University of Manchester with Mayall and Edmondson). Richardson was originally set to play Mike, but clashed with Jackson. He was replaced by Christopher Ryan, the only member of the group who was not a stand-up comedian.


Stories were set in a squalid house where the students lived during their time at Scumbag College. It can be classified as a comedy of manners.

When it was first broadcast, the show gained attention for violent slapstick. Though new to mainstream audiences, Mayall and Edmondson had been using it in 20th Century Coyote for some time. The show also featured surreal elements, such as puppets playing talking animals or objects. Confusion was added with lengthy cutaways to scenarios not involved in the main plot.

Episodes in the second series sometimes included "flash frames" (three frames, equivalent to 1/8 of a second), but these were edited out of some repeats. These were included as a mockery of the British and American public's fear of subliminal messages in television and music. Unlike original flash frames, which lasted only one frame, these were long enough to be noticeable without actually being identifiable. The images included the end caption of Carry On Cowboy, a rusty dripping tap, a leaping frog, a dove in flight, a skier, and a hand making pottery.

The episodes ran 35 minutes, and episodes were very often edited to a standard half-hour running time when repeated on the BBC or satellite channels.

In the United States, The Young Ones ran on PBS, MTV, Comedy Central in 1994, and BBC America in the early 2000s.


The series' theme song featured the cast singing Cliff Richard and The Shadows UK #1 song "The Young Ones". Throughout the series there were many references to Richard, as Mayall's character was a fan.

The theme over the end credits was written by Peter Brewis, who also created the incidental music on many episodes.

In 1984, after the second season, Planer (in character as Neil) reached No. 2 in the UKmarker charts with a version of Traffic's "Hole In My Shoe". The accompanying Neil's Heavy Concept Album, a loose collection of songs and spoken comedy, included appearances by The Young Ones alumni Dawn French and Stephen Fry.

In 1986, the cast sang "Living Doll" with Cliff Richard and Hank Marvin for Comic Relief. The song, a reworking of his 1959 hit, reached the top of the UK Charts.

Most episodes had a musical guest performing in the house or street. By including the groups, the show qualified as variety rather than light entertainment with the BBC and was allocated a bigger budget than a sitcom. This helped introduce several British bands to American viewers, such as Dexys Midnight Runners, Motörhead, The Damned, and Madness. The latter appeared in two episodes; they were under consideration for a Monkees-style show at the time.

Some of these performances were omitted from DVD release for copyright reasons. Some musical acts were also edited out for similar reasons on some satellite reruns.

Band Song
Series 1
1 Demolition Nine Below Zero "Eleven Plus Eleven"
2 Oil Radical Posture (with Alexei Sayle) "Dr. Martens Boots"
3 Boring Madness "House of Fun"
4 Bomb Dexys Midnight Runners "Jackie Wilson Said"
5 Interesting Rip Rig + Panic (with Neneh Cherry) "You're My Kind Of Climate"
6 Flood no band
Series 2
1 Bambi Motörhead "Ace of Spades"
2 Cash Ken Bishop's Nice Twelve "Subterranean Homesick Blues"
3 Nasty The Damned "Nasty"
4 Time Amazulu "Moonlight Romance"
5 Sick Madness "Our House"
6 Summer Holiday John Otway "Body Talk"


Mike "The-Cool-Person"

Played by Christopher Ryan, Mike is the odd-one-out of the four. He is the assumed leader of the group, despite his diminutive size, and does not involve himself in the battles between the other three. He makes puns, which are either deliberately cheap or humorous but over-celebrated.

He frequently utters confusing, profound-sounding phrases which baffle the others (for example, when asked by Rick if he stole his apple, Mike replies "Well, if you're gonna sin you might as well be original."). Mike is supposedly the ladies' man of the bunch and brags about his prowess with women, although he is shown to share his bed with an inflatable Sex doll and once almost admitted his virginity to the others in "Nasty". He makes every attempt at wooing the opposite sex, being quite forward and unsuccessful.

A con artist, he always has some kind of plan to make quick money such as renting out Rick's bedroom as a roller disco and soliciting bids for the unexploded atom bomb that fell into the house. Mike attends Scumbag College only nominally as he has blackmailed his tutor and the Dean of the school for grants and apparently passing grades. In "Summer Holiday" he muses "I think I'll ask for one of those Ph.D.s next year."

While Mike often does things at the expense or detriment of his housemates, he rarely expresses the sort of open hostility that the others do, and seems to cause them trouble only when it benefits him, rather than out of sadistic joy. He has, however, managed to nail his own legs to a table, and knocked Neil out during a game of cricket, albeit unintentionally. We only see violence inflicted on him three times (possibly due to Ryan's small stature):

  • At the end of the "Living Doll" video, Vyvyan knocks him unconscious with a hammer.
  • During a dream sequence in "Summer Holiday" Neil transforms into the Incredible Hulk, picks up Mike and throws him to the ground.
  • In "Time" Helen Mucus (the psychotic murderess played by Jennifer Saunders,) attempts to suffocate him with a pillow.
  • While it does not count as violence, Neil also blows snot all over Mike in the beginning of "Sick".

Mike's surname is ambiguous - The Bachelor Boys book refers to him as "The Cool Person" several times, but in different styles including quotes. This could imply that "The Cool Person" is not a surname but instead a title - similar to Steve "Interesting" Davis the snooker player or Earvin "Magic" Johnson the basketball player - however the matter is never clarified one way or another.


Played by Rik Mayall, Rick is a self-proclaimed anarchist who is studying sociology and/or domestic sciences (depending on the episode). Rick writes poetry and calls himself "The People's Poet".

Rick is a hypocritical, socially and physically clumsy (of course this may be a result of circumstance and the situations in which he is placed, especially at the hands of Vyvyan) tantrum-throwing, attention-seeking Cliff Richard fan, or, as Vyvyan describes him, "The classic example of an only child!" Rick tries to impress the others with his non-existent wit, talent and humour. He insults Neil at every opportunity, fights and bickers with Vyvyan and attempts to impress Mike.

Rick's political beliefs vary, depending on how they benefit his particular situation. Mostly Rick is seen as being an anarchist, but in reality can be somewhat reactionary. Rick has an unhealthy obsession with Leninism, a subject about which he professess to be particularly enlightened. While Rick sees himself as an enlightened revolutionary, he in reality has little understanding of the political ideals he purports to follow.

Rick is a vegetarian, agnostic and wishes all men to love each other like brothers. However, he rarely does anything that can be attributed to brotherly love.

Rick is portrayed as unlikeable and so self-absorbed that he believes he is the "most popular member of the flat" even though his housemates hate him. Vyvyan describes Rick's name as being spelled "with a silent P". Despite the fact that the other members dislike and disregard Rick, he is heard to say that they "really are terrific friends".

Believing himself the 'People's Poet' or the "spokesperson for a generation", Rick exaggerates or lies about his political activism and class background and is exposed in the final episode "Summer Holiday", when it is suggested he comes from an upper class, Conservative background. He seems to also be a closet transvestite, as Neil finds a dress in Rick's closet with his own name stitched on it in the episode "Nasty".

Rick perceives himself as an anarchist, and is fond of ideals produced by Vladimir Lenin and Leon Trotsky and states his interest in them in several episodes. He claims to dislike Margaret Thatcher, as is noted by his efforts threatening to blow up England with an atom bomb in the episode "Bomb" if she "doesn't do something to help the kids, by this afternoon." This is also mentioned in The Young Ones Book, first published by Sphere Books, wherein negative references are made to Thatcher and the Conservative Party.

Vyvyan Basterd

Played by Adrian Edmondson, Vyvyan is a psychotic punk metal and medical student. He has orange-dyed & spiked hair and has several metal stars seemingly embedded into his forehead. In the episode "Interesting", he drinks a pint of blue liquid which makes his hair fall out and the tattoo of 666 is visible on the side of his head. He is extremely violent and regularly attacks Neil and Rick with pieces of wood, cricket bats and other large objects. He never harms Mike, whom he respects, and often addresses as "Michael". He despises Rick more than he does Neil, taking every opportunity to insult and attack him. For example, when Rick, Mike and Neil meet his mother at a bar in the episode "Boring", he calls both Neil and Mike his friends, but not Rick, whom he refers to as "a complete bastard." Ironically, this antagonistic relationship between Rick and Vyvyan makes them virtually inseparable, as the two spend by far more time together than with the other housemates. Unlike Neil and Rick, Vyvyan appears to come from a working class background (something Rick incorrectly believes himself to have).

Vyvyan owns a yellow Ford Anglia, with red flames painted along the sides, and a Glaswegianmarker hamster named Special Patrol Group ("SPG" for short) whom he is very fond of, although SPG is also frequently subjected to Vyvyan's extreme violence. His mother is a barmaid and former shoplifter, who before "Boring" had not seen Vyvyan in ten years and has no idea who his father is.

Vyvyan occasionally displays feats of superhuman strength (surviving a pickaxe through his head, moving entire walls with his bare hands, lifting Neil above his head in a fight with Rick, biting through a brick and even being decapitated and re-attaching his own head) and eats just about anything: televisions, dead rats, caviar and cornflakes with ketchup.

In "Bambi" Vyvyan displays impressive mathematical talent (working out instantly that 807 days have passed since the last date of their laundry, and that he has therefore worn his own knickers 269 times since then), yet also that he cannot tell the time.

Despite being a homicidal maniac, Vyvyan occasionally seems quite sociable and creative - in the episode "Flood", he developed his own potion to transform a person into an axe-wielding homicidal maniac (he claims "it's basically a cure... for not being an axe-wielding homicidal maniac... the potential market's enormous!"). He has more friends than the others but apparently "he doesn't like any of them." He frequently causes havoc or damage such as wiring the doorbell to a bomb to "pep it up a bit" and adding what looks like a small car engine to the vacuum cleaner as previously it "looked a bit on the tentative side" - which then proceeds to suck up the carpet, the floorboards and a friend of Neil's (the vacuum also prompted one of the few clashes between Vyvyan and Mike; when Mike admonished Vyv not to use it anymore, Vyv replied by calling him a "poof"). Disturbingly, Vyvyan appears to be the only member of the group with a driving licence.

Neil Pye

Played by Nigel Planer, Neil Pye, the hippie, is a clinically depressed, pacifist, vegetarian and environmentalist working towards a Peace Studies degree. He is victimised by other housemates (especially Rick and Vyvyan) and forced to do the housework, including shopping, cleaning and cooking. He is never acknowledged for it unless it goes wrong.

Neil is pessimistic and believes everyone and everything hates him, although he does have three hippie friends - one also named Neil, one named Warlock and a female hippie named Stonehenge. This actually makes him the second most sociable character behind Vyvyan and also the only character to have a female friend. He dislikes most forms of technology, (Except for TV and Video) and speaks out for Vegetable Rights and Peace. He is also a chronic insomniac, believing that sleep causes cancer.

Neil wants the others to feel sorry for him, or just acknowledge his presence. His attention-seeking ranges from banging himself on the head with a Frying pan, being at the other flatmates' beck and call all day long, and in the pilot episode repeatedly attempting Suicide. He claims "the most interesting thing that ever happens to me is sneezing". When that happens it results in a big explosion.

In the pilot episode "Demolition" Neil is shown to have suicidal tendencies - attempting to kill himself at least three times - however this was not carried through for the rest of the series, with the exception of the episode "Boring", in which he attempts to kill himself in a desperate attempt at relieving boredom.

In the second series episode "Sick", Neil's parents are revealed to be upper middle class Tories who look down on Neil for starring in such a disreputable comedy series.

As established in Neil's Heavy Concept Album, Neil comes from Twickenham.

Neil also says 'heavy' frequently.

Balowski Family

Throughout the two series, Alexei Sayle routinely appeared as many different characters, interjecting his own material into the programme in ways that emulated his stand-up comedy routines. His main role was that of the flat's landlord Jerzei (Jeremy) Balowski, which was the only character he reprised, appearing in "Demolition", "Flood" and "Summer Holiday". The rest of the time, he was billed as playing various male members of "The Balowski Family", including nephew Alexei Balowski (a protest singer), son Reggie Balowski (an international arms dealer), brother Billy Balowski (a lunatic who believed he was a taxi driver), cousin Tommy Balowski (a drunk), escaped convict Brian Damage Balowski, and a medieval jester "Jester Balowski" (with Helen Lederer as his sidekick).

Jerzei was apparently Russian, however several times during the series he would break character, or in one case the fourth wall and declare directly to the camera "I'm not really foreign, you know - I just do it to appear more sophisticated!" Also during a discussion between the guys about his nationality Vyv comments "He certainly knows a lot about the Mersey Scene." - implying he is in fact from Liverpoolmarker.

In the second series, Sayle's characters also included a train driver, a Benito Mussolini look-alike (by day the head of the local police force, by night an entrant in the Eurovision Song Contest), and "Harry the Bastard" (manager of the local Rumbelows store, disguised as a South African vampire).

In-house relations

Mike is the natural "leader" of the house. Always trying to make himself appear more important and exciting than he really is, he does appear to have done some of the things he claims to have done (such as getting Bambi the "Babycham" commercial in "Bambi"). He experiences little hostility from the other members of the house. If there is any "fruitful" or amicable relationship in the house it is between Mike and Vyvyan. Vyvyan accepts Mike's role as the house leader whereas Mike needs Vyvyan's physique and willingness to act forcibly to enforce his own authority (as was literally shown in "Oil" when Vyvyan became 'Col. Vyvyan', the right-hand-man to Mike's 'El Presidente').

Neil is the third most unpopular of the four, although he is the only one who performs any kind of household chores and is therefore needed by the other three.

Rick is the most disliked. Rick thinks very highly of himself. He tells poor jokes and stories (but finds them hilarious himself), is a would-be anarchist (although deep-down he is quite conservative) and frequently acts like a child when he does not get his way. He generally vents his frustration (when trying to impress the others) on Neil, since Neil never sticks up for himself and is ignored by the others. The majority of his anger is generated in endless battles with Vyvyan, which he invariably loses.Rik Mayall has pointed out the fact that the characters in The Young Ones form the basis of a classic nuclear family:


In the final episode, the four students steal a red AEC Routemaster after robbing a bank, only to drive it through a billboard with a picture of Cliff Richard on it and then over a cliff, which they roll down until back upright - at which point you hear all of them say "Phew! That was close!". After they say this, the bus bursts into flames.

After the series

The end of the series was not the last appearance of The Young Ones. For the British charity television appeal Comic Relief, the four recorded a song and video for Cliff Richard's "Living Doll", accompanied by Richard and Shadows guitarist Hank B. Marvin. Alexei Sayle was not involved, but had already achieved chart success in 1984 with "'Ullo John! Gotta New Motor?".

At the 1986 Comic Relief stage show they performed the song live (following a short skit which involved Rick doing a comic song about showing his underwear and bodily parts, before being ejected from the group by Mike, and Vyvyan supposedly having backstage sex with Kate Bush with Neil as his contraceptive). The skit climaxed with Neil claiming Cliff Richard could not perform with them and John Craven had been booked as a replacement, only for Cliff Richard himself to appear on stage.

In 1986 MTV aired edited versions of the episodes.

Mayall, Planer and Edmondson reunited in 1986 for the Elton-written Filthy Rich & Catflap. The series had many of the same characteristics as The Young Ones as did Mayall and Edmondson's next sitcom Bottom. Ryan, for his part, was regularly recruited to play roles on associated series (such as Happy Families, Bottom and Absolutely Fabulous). Mayall, Edmondson and Planer have also appeared in episodes of Blackadder.

The series went unrepeated until 1989, when the second series was shown on BBC2. In the mid 1990s all twelve episodes of The Young Ones were shown on BBC2 in a 30 minute revised format, missing scenes and dialogue. A mix of both the edited and unedited versions was shown in the later part of the 1990s on UKTVG2.

DVD releases have been somewhat basic: only the U.S. "Every Stoopid Episode" edition featured documentaries and no extra footage was included. Musical references proved difficult to clear so "The Sounds of Silence" (one line) and "Subterranean Homesick Blues" were excised from the U.S. editions. A "bloopers" tape made for the amusement of cast and crew has, according to a BBC employee, gone missing from the BBC archives .

A new DVD release of all episodes ("Extra Stoopid Edition") was launched in November, 2007, containing new documentaries and two commentary tracks (pilot and final episodes only). This edition restores the line from "The Sounds of Silence" and "Subterranean Homesick Blues."

The UK 25th Anniversary box set also features documentaries and claims to have the full uncut episodes.

American pilot episode

A pilot episode was filmed of an American version of The Young Ones. It was called Oh, No! Not THEM! and featured Nigel Planer as Neil, and it had a claymation opening credit sequence. Fox did not make the series. In the pilot they were all sleeping in one bed and Rick (not played by Mayall) was having a dream about a hot punk girl and woke up and Neil asks him why he did not kiss her.Robert Llewellyn wrote in his book The Man In The Rubber Mask (1994):

  • "The Young Ones was taken over the Atlantic in the mid eighties, and Nigel [Planer] was the only member of the British cast to go. He had experienced a fairly hideous time, worried sick that he was going to have to stay there for six years with a group of people he hated who managed to make The Young Ones into a sort of grubby Benny Hill Show. He was hugely relieved when the pilot was a flop and he was released from his contract."

Colin Abrahall, member of Birminghammarker punk band Charged GBH, appeared in the episode, and it was his one and only acting gig:

  • "I have acted in Hollywood, actually. It was a very small part in a very small 'movie'. The band played a party—our guitarist's wife's sister was studying film in Hollywood when we were staying there, and she was involved in this show that was supposed to be the American version of The Young Ones. There was a nasty landlord, and all these kids living in a house, and they were going to get thrown out, and we did a gig for them to raise their rent. It was all filmed in one take, and we did the gig bit in a garage full of cameramen and extras. It wasn't a very good 'movie', but now I can tell people I acted in Hollywood."

Links to other series

In Bambi, the housemates appeared on University Challenge, where they played against Footlights College, Oxbridge, a reference to Footlights drama club at Cambridge Universitymarker. The Footlights College team was played by show writer Ben Elton and three actors who were once members of the real Cambridge Footlights: Emma Thompson, Hugh Laurie, and Stephen Fry, the last of whom had actually appeared on the quiz show while at Cambridge. The episode title is a reference to the show's presenter, Bamber Gascoigne, impersonated by Griff Rhys Jones.

Mayall and Edmondson elaborated on some of the series' concepts later in their sitcoms Filthy Rich & Catflap (written by Elton, with additional material by Mayall) and Bottom (written by Mayall and Edmondson).

Most of the regular cast (and several of the guests) also appeared in Channel 4 and BBC2's comedy films, The Comic Strip Presents. All four main actors have since gained reputations as dramatic, as well as comic, actors.

The fourth wall

Several times throughout the series various characters break the fourth wall:

  • Rick speaks directly to the camera during a pseudo-political outburst in Cash and whilst on the train in Bambi.
  • In Nasty the scene-stealing postman gratefully receives flowers and over the top applause from the audience thanking them as he leaves the stage.
  • At the very end of Oil Vyvyan speaks directly to the audience through the camera.
  • The fourth wall is broken several times during Sick:
*Vyvyan speaks to the audience through the camera whilst suffering in bed.
*Neil's parents refer to their shame at him appearing in The Young Ones, and compare the programme to several other TV shows - Triangle, Grange Hill and The Good Life.
*A prop chair is broken too soon causing a "real" chair to be smashed over Rick's head later on in the programme - all commented on by Mike.
*After being stunned by Rick and recovering in the compost Neil speaks to the audience through the camera
  • Vyvyan breaks the fourth wall in Summer Holiday, when after being evicted he explains that he has lots of narrative "because we're in a television studio Mike, and they can't do any long shots"


Guest appearances

The following is a list of comedians, actors, singers and cameo appearances in The Young Ones. The end credits of the programmes do not mention any character names.

  • Keith Allen - as Pestilence in Interesting
  • Mark Arden - as policeman #1 in Boring; as cornflakes box dad in Bomb; as gatecrasher #1 in Interesting; as gravedigger #1 and police victim #1 in Flood; as headless ghost #1 in Cash; as spy #1 in Nasty; as manure deliverer #1 in Sick
  • Roger Ashton-Griffiths - as Orgo the devil in Boring
  • Helen Atkinson-Wood - as the woman in the painkiller advert in Nasty
  • Nicholas Ball - as Rick's lecturer in Interesting
  • Gary Beadle - as the DJ's servant in Time
  • Chris Barrie - as the ship captain in the wall-poster in Nasty
  • Paul Bradley - as the pilot in Demolition; as Warlock in Interesting and Cash
  • Arnold Brown - as the criminal waiting to be cast in the pit in Flood; the chess player in Nasty
  • Robbie Coltrane - as the doorman in Oil; as Dr Carlisle in Bambi; as the one-eyed pirate DJ in Time
  • Ron Cook - as a convict on the wall-poster in Nasty
  • Lee Cornes - as Spasspecker the Dull in Time; as MC in Cash
  • Andy de la Tour - as the co-pilot in Demolition; as a convict on the wall-poster in Nasty; as the road safety announcer in Cash
  • Ben Elton - as the TV presenter in Demolition; as the blind DJ in Flood; as Mr Kendall Mintcake in Bambi; as the campaigning schoolboy in Sick; as the drinker in the lager advert in Summer Holiday
  • Alan Freeman - as God in Cash and Summer Holiday
  • Dawn French - as the religious visitor in Interesting; as the devil in the painkiller advert in Nasty; as the Easter bunny in Time
  • Stephen Frost - as policeman #2 in Boring; as gatecrasher #2 in Interesting; as gravedigger #2 and police victim #2 in Flood; as headless ghost #2 in Cash; as spy #2 in Nasty; as manure deliverer #2 in Sick; as the bank manager in Summer Holiday
  • Stephen Fry - as Lord Snot in Bambi
  • Gareth Hale - as medieval guard #1 in Flood; as gravedigger #1 in Nasty; as yokel #1 in Time
  • Lenny Henry - as the postman in Summer Holiday
  • Jools Holland - as the punk in the bank in Summer Holiday
  • Terry Jones - as the vicar in Nasty
  • Hugh Laurie - as Lord Monty in Bambi
  • Helen Lederer - as Gwendolyn the jester's assistant in Time; as the repetitive bank teller in Summer Holiday
  • Norman Lovett - as the penny arcade owner in Summer Holiday
  • Pauline Melville - as a bus passenger in Demolition; as Vyvyan's mother in Boring and Sick; as a witch in Sick
  • Paul Merton (under his real name of Paul Martin) - as yokel #3 in Time
  • Norman Pace - as medieval guard #2 in Flood; as gravedigger #2 in Nasty; as yokel #2 in Time
  • Daniel Peacock - as the stabbed man in Nasty
  • David Rappaport - as Ftmch[sic] the devil in Boring; as Shirley in Flood
  • Tony Robinson - as Dr Not The Nine O'Clock News in Bambi
  • Griff Rhys Jones - as Bambi in Bambi
  • Jennifer Saunders - as Sue the party guest in Interesting; as Helen Mucus the murderess in Time
  • Mel Smith - as the commissionaire in Bambi
  • Emma Thompson - as Miss Money-Sterling in Bambi

Episode list

Series 1

(Originally broadcast 9 November-14 December 1982 on BBC2; shown on Tuesdays at 9 pm)

Title Musical Performance Original air date Production code

Series 2

(Originally broadcast 8 May-19 June 1984 on BBC2; shown Tuesdays at 9 pm)
Title Musical Performance Original air date Production code

DVD releases

Series 1 & 2 of The Young Ones have both been released on DVD individually and in a special edition boxset in both regions 2 & 4. Region 1 has released just two boxsets, one being just series 1 & 2, the other being series 1 & 2 special edition.

DVD Title No. of Discs Year Episodes DVD release
Region 1 Region 2 Region 4
Complete Series 1 1 1982 6 5 August 2002 29 August 2002
Complete Series 2 1 1984 6 18 August 2003 1 October 2003
Complete Series 1 & 2 2 1982 & 1984 12 17 September 2002
Complete Series 1 & 2

Special Edition
3 1982 & 1984 12 13 November 2007 29 October 2007 7 November 2007


  1. BBC Comedy website
  2. The Young Ones FAQ
  3. Roobarb's DVD Forum

External links

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