Students are no longer like The Young Ones

3 min read

The Young Ones was a hugely popular slapstick comedy that appeared on British TV between 1982 and 1984. It followed the crazy, grubby, messy and anarchic lives of several students living away from home. It starred Alexei Sayle, Rik Mayall, Nigel Planer and Adrian Edmondson. It didn’t paint a particularly pleasant view of student life and we’re pretty sure the students of the 21t century are a little more discerning and studious! Here are some things you might not know about the iconic sitcom:

1.The producer, Paul Jackson was notoriously bad-tempered. Ed Bye, who worked on the set as production manager and would later direct Red Dwarf, was so wary of his angry outbursts that he left his job on set.

  1. The reason Vyvyan’s name is spelt so strangely is because one of the writers and co-founders of the show used to live in a road called Vyvyan Terrace when she herself was a student in Bristol. For clean, spacious and very much 21st century Gloucester student accommodation, visit

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  1. Alexei Sayle would always request a bottle of vodka, some orange juice and a bottle of sparkling water. He would immediately empty the water away and use the bottle to mix himself a vodka and orange cocktail. He would also fill his dressing room sink with ice to chill his lager!
  2. Nigel Planer based the character of Neil on himself. As he started work on The Young Ones, Planer was an understudy for David Essex in a performance of Evita. Planer’s grandmother once complained that his character was far too untidy and should be wearing a suit.

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  1. One of the writers of the show is convinced that the show would never be aired today because there are too many ‘committees’ and any controversial parts would never be aired.
  2. Most of the stunts would be set up and performed by the actors themselves, with a few incidents resulting in trips to Accident and Emergency. In one scene, Vyvyan bites into an exploding brick that was made with muesli and Ryvita with an air pump inside. This didn’t go too well and led to a trip to casualty for the actor.
  3. One of the worst stunts to go awry was a scene where Rik Mayall gets burned by an exploding oven. The team in charge of special effects filled the oven with explosives, then took a break for lunch. On their return, they forgot they’d already filled it and filled it again! In the episode, that scene had to be shown in slow-motion as they only filmed a few frames properly due to the explosion.
  4. Planer had to go to an osteopath after the gang were crushed by a giant eclair. Being the tallest he took the brunt of the impact. Most embarrassing of all was being asked ‘So what happened to you?’ at his first app

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