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Anything Legal by Wally K. Daly

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Anything Legal by Wally K. Daly (1984). Dir. Jon Clegg. Perf. Donald Hewlett, Michael Knowles. BBC Radio 4 Extra, 26 Mar. - 15 May 2015. BBCiPlayer
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0088z2b


Wally K. Daly's comedy builds on the television reputation of Donald Hewlett and Michael Knowles, the tele-double act which became famous in the sitcom "It Ain't Half Hot, Mum" and reunited in "You Rang, M'Lord?" In this eight-part comedy drama they play two executives who have spent years traveling to London on the same train to their jobs, as a computer boffin and an advertising executive, but discover to their cost that they are superfluous to their firms' needs, so speak. Cast out with nothing else except the obligatory carriage clock and the insincere send-off, the two of them maintain a respectable fašade while setting up a variety of schemes designed to exploit their skills as would-be entrepreneurs.

The comedy is mildly amusing, even though the situations are somewhat predicable (and archaic, based on the idea of the little wife waiting for her husband to come home) but perhaps the principal interest of "Anything Legal" lies in its evocation of the mores of the Thatcher period, when private enterprise was actively encouraged and entrepreneurship values. The two middle-aged duffers might not necessarily be very good at their chosen vocations, but they should be admired for their persistence.