The 1970s Office
Paul Darrow (voiceover)
Granada for Sky One, 21 October to 4 November 2004 (3 episodes)
Granada for Sky Mix, 11 to 25 November 2004 (3 episodes in the resumed series)
A bunch of people are plucked out of their ordinary jobs to live the life of an advertising agency office from the 1970s for two weeks. That's no mobile phones, no cash points, no computer, no Internet - in fact, nothing more than a few flip charts, drawing boards and extra staff.
Although there are smaller challenges along the way, it all leads up to a big pitch where our team of sideboard-wearing, fluorescent-hued executives try to win an imaginary contract to promote a space hopper against a team who have none of the anachronistic restrictions placed on them.
The set is fabulously kitsch and the feel is surprisingly good, but whether it adds up to a hill of beans at the end of the day is somewhat doubtful. What would have been more meaningful (but much more difficult to pull off) would be to get them to pitch for a real ad campaign. Still, a cut above the usual Sky fare and we get to hear the dulcet tones of Paul "Annunciator of the Year 1973" Darrow again.
Tony Blackburn's "so cheesy it has mold" videotaped introduction to the team.
1970s novelty turn Bernie Clifton (you know, the ostrich guy) appearing out of the blue to chase Nicole around the office for describing him as "all washed up".
The name of the fictional ad agency the contestants are supposedly working for is Thornton, Thacker, Turner, Torville, Thomas, Thompson & Tompkinson. (Seven "T"s, get it?)
Natasha Alexander (the receptionist) and Joe Rowntree (the office boy) are both stand-up comics in real life. Joe previously appeared on flop BBC2 comedy gameshow The Sack Race and worked behind the scenes on Love on a Saturday Night (and also Sky One's Brainiac: Science Abuse, which isn't a game show.)
Theme music by Mcasso, plus lots of seventies hits, mostly disco and thereabouts.