Here’s an interesting little curio for those who love British comedy - an interview with Eric Sykes on the set of of his little known feature film directing debut, You Better Go In Disguise in 1973. To the younger generation, Sykes may be best known for his performances in Harry Potter, The Others and even The Tele-Tubbies, but for those who grew-up in the seventies, he will always be remembered for his classic sit-com Sykes.
Long before Schwarzenegger and De Vito, Sykes and the wonderful Hattie Jacques were the original comedy twins. Over 9 series, Eric and Hat were essential Monday night viewing, and were the perfect neighbors, and the kind of relatives I always wishes I had.
Sykes was a comedy genius, who started his career writing brilliantly surreal monologues for Frankie Howerd, his first script was the tale of Frankie taking two elephants on a journey by train. Sykes then went onto write The Goons, when Spike Milligan was indisposed, and formed a legendary writing group with Milligan and Alan Galton and Ray Simpson (the talent behind Tony Hancock and creators of Steptoe and Son). Then in the 1950s, Sykes started a partnership with Hattie Jacques that would last until the beautiful Hat’s untimely death in 1980.
Hattie makes an appearance in this clip along with sixties TV ‘tec, Stratford Johns who looks like he’s being interviewed by a giant. Of course, Johns was best known for his role in Softly, Softly, Barlow and Watt and Brond. Sykes gives a purposely confusing description of You Better Go In Disguise, which bombed and was later remade in a slightly different version by Eric in 1981 as If You Go Down to the Woods Today.
Eric Sykes interview after the jump…