Imagine s TV show where every character is Archie Bunker on steroids. This is it. Spike Milligan stars as a Pakistani named Kevin O’Grady. He’s immigrated to England and is looking for a job. He finds one.
Opening episode: November 20,1969: The Lilicrap,Lmtd. company makes novelties. They have everything from rubber spiders to whoopee cushions. Kevin O’Grady (Spike Milligan) talks to foreman Arthur Blenkinsop (Eric Sykes) about a job. He’s hired. Unhappy is Norman (Norman Rossington) the shop steward. They already have a black working there. He’s Kenny (Kenny Lynch). Norman says that’s enough.
They all sit down for a lunch of pork and the ethnic one liners never let up. Kevin says his father was Irish but the crew can’t get over his color. The slurs fly fast and furious. Even Kenny adds his two cents. Arthur tries to be the voice of reason.
That night Arthur takes Kevin to his pub. Norman and others from the plant are there. One patron, an old man, is afraid Kevin will try and hit on his elderly girlfriend. They all keep tossing stereotypes at each other with Kevin the big target. They can’t believe he’s Irish and never heard of Guinness. When they buy him one Kevin is insulted because they got him a black drink.
Arthur takes him to his rooming house to get him a room. The landlady Mrs.Bartok says he’ll have to pay the colored rate. Kenny doesn’t want him there. He tells Arthur some story hinting that all of Kevin’s people are gay and now Arthur is paranoid. Mrs.Bartok is getting turned on.
That’s how this show goes. It was canceled after only six episodes because various groups including the Race Relations Board and the Independent Television Authority deemed it racist. Milligan and the writers said the objective was to point out British bigotry but there were too many complaints. They also didn’t like that the white Milligan darkened his face. An experiment gone wrong or a show that just went over the line? It’s all in the eye and ear of the beholder.