Wednesday, 25 May 2016

QUIZ: Burt Kwouk There

Its been a weird, unsettling and occasionally shocking year for celebrity deaths. Indeed, despite my non-believer status, I'd love to think there's an afterlife like a party full of incongruous stars having a knees up with an all-star band of Bowie, Victoria Wood, Lemmy and Prince entertaining a clapping Ronnie Corbett, Alan Rickman, Paul Daniels and Terry Wogan. And as the centrepiece, the late, dearly missed Burt Kwouk appears in his "dog bed pants" singing "Hey Little Hen" to a standing ovation from the delighted millions. 

Of course, Burt played a myriad of beloved roles including, most famously, Cato in the Pink Panther films, plus Tenko and every oriental gentleman part David Yip wasn't offered in everything from Doctor Who to T-Bag, Space Precinct, The Avengers and Boon on British telly. But it was his role in the 1997-2000 Channel 4 "Harry Hill" shows, initially as a hapless chicken catcher, that cemented my love for him. Series two expanded his role and gave us the mini-sitcom "Harry And Burt At Home"... 


These four to five minute segments would frequently revolve around the two in their shared bunk bed bedroom coming up with ways for Harry to get on zeitgeist-riding sports comedy panel show "They Think Its All Over" and befriend comedian Rory McGrath. Later, in a twist of supreme irony, the final series for Channel 4 (who repeatedly delayed series 3 then completely buried it) featured Harry and Burt trying elaborate schemes to get the former one of those "big ITV cheques". The highlight, however, was the sudden cutaways to snippets of songs, featuring both dressed fully as whoever they were impersonating. Kwouk clearly looked baffled by some of it but was having a whale of a time and gave it a real lift with some fantastic comic timing. 

Here's Burt dressed up in ten of his funniest outfits. Can you work out who he is meant to be in each one? Answers below, after the parade...



And now the Badger Parade! Unless...PARADE'S OFF?! I'd better get down that grooming bay. Quick Burt, do one of your hit songs...


Its going to be bigger than Tenko! Rest in peace, Burt. Thank you for all the laughs.