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The lingering curse of Frank Spencer.

In the nineteen seventies the site of a slight built man in a long grey trench coat and, for some unspecified reason, a beret, approaching them would have caused a sense of amusement but also mild panic as it was probably the appearance of Frank Spencer. If they heard the words “Excuse I”, then they were in trouble. Frank was a man that had had many jobs including a salesman, engineer in the RAF plus a delivery man and all had been an unqualified disaster. With his track record he’d be unlikely to get a job with Gloucestershire Property Maintenance Services specialists Redbridge and sons. Redbridge and sons provide Gloucestershire Property Maintenance Services that is based on trust and excellence so the poor hapless Frank would have to apply elsewhere.

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Not that this ever stopped him applying for things. Frank Spencer is one of the most lampooned and remembered characters from the 1970’s which still made a big focus on the visual gag and pratfall. In the programme “Some Mothers do Ave em!” Frank Spencer endures a lot of these be it sliding down the stairs inside a cupboard only to be flung out at the end or almost being crushed by a lorry when on some wayward Roller skates. What is even more remarkable is that the actor Michael Crawford did all his own stunts in the show which was a big risk for the BBC. Crawford was in all the roles he played, a perfectionist who thought that the audience should not be short-changed by seeing a stuntman perform the difficult roles. For example, for the Roller-skating scenes he had to learn to skate beforehand having never done it before.

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The character of Frank Spencer is thought to be unlucky, but this is a matter of perception. Considering the amount of times, he could have been seriously injured or even killed, yet seemed to come away without a scratch (unlike others around him) he seems rather lucky indeed. The fact is that Frank is more of an average everyman than we care to admit. He usually fails spectacularly, like when he auditioned to be a Holiday Camp entertainer and his magic coat explodes sending glitter, doves and flames everywhere (only for him to memorably ask the interviewer “How did I do?”) but this is something that we generally all experience. We never know greatness just mediocrity. Maybe that’s Franks greatness, when he does something wrong, he really does it wrong.


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