1986, Comic Relief, Magazine Articles

What is Sir Clifford Richard Doing With This Lot? – Smash Hits 1986

12-25 March 1986

What Is Sir Clifford Richard Doing With This Lot?

Sir Cliff Richard?” splutters Rik Mayall in complete and utter indignation. “At the very least it should be Sir Cliff! In fact it’s almost an insult just to knight him,” he froths. “It should be much more than that. Maybe ‘Saviour Of The Kids’!”

Remarkably enough, until The Young Ones got together with Cliff “the man who invented rock and roll almost single-handedly” Richard to re-record one of his greatest hits from the ’50’s, none of them had ever met the great man, even though their series practically revolved around him. The started it by stealing their name from the title of one of Cliff’s most famous songs and films, and they ended it “officially” killing themselves off by crashing in a London double-decker bus (as seen in Cliff’s totally brilliant feature film, Summer Holiday) through a giant poster of Sir Clifford’s face and over a … cliff!!

But they’ve just brought themselves back from the dead, so to speak, and asked Cliff to join in the completely fabulous “Living Doll” to raise money for Save The Children and Oxfam…

“I was quite worried about how we were going to get on with Cliff, but I didn’t say ‘Hello farty breath’ or anything…”

Rik Mayall

“They approached me with the idea,” explained Sir Clifford politely, “and I liked it. I didn’t see very much of the TV series, and some of what I did see was ridiculous. I saw one where the guy was nailing himself to the table. It was disgusting. He nailed the table to his leg and I thought ‘eugh!’ It made me cringe. But I didn’t mind the Cliff Richard jokes. It was quite flattering to be filtered into the scripts.”

But wasn’t Rik Mayall a bit nervous about meeting such a living “legend?” “I thought I was going to be embarrassed . You know, we’d taken the… mick out of him quite a bit so we didn’t know what to expect. and after all, i was aged one when ‘Living Doll’ came out. But he was terribly nice.

“He’s a very nice, straight person – open and friendly. He just seemed to find the whole thing funny. I was quite worried about how we were going to get on, but I didn’t say ‘Hello farty breath’ or anything… I suppose you want me to dish the dirt on Cliff?… THERE WAS NO DIRT! I don’t want to say anything rude about Cliff. He’s a very nice bloke.”

What is it, one wonders, that makes TV comedians produce these usually not awfully good and only a bit funny records? Do they have secret ambitions? “I think all comedians are frustrated rock ‘n’ roll stars,” says Rik. “Actually, Nigel (Planer – Neil the hippie) is relatively musical and Ade (Edmondson – Vyvian the “punk”) can play guitar but I’m deaf in one ear, so I have trouble hearing, let alone singing. I think you can spot the ones on the record who aren’t good at singing (i.e. not Cliff). We actually had to put Ade in one corner of the studio behind screens because he was so bad and we didn’t want Cliff to hear.”

They’ve done a video too, which also features the man who originally played the guitar on the song, the “legendary” Hank B. Marvin. And Sir Cliff, what does he make of the re-recording of the song that he first recorded a staggering 27 years ago (and-still-sounds-like-it-could-have-been-done-yesterday)?

“I’ve heard it,” announces the great man, “and I think it’s t’riffic!” T’riffic.

Interview: William Shaw. Photo: Simon Fowler/L.F.I

Living Doll – Cliff Richard and The Young Ones

  • Neil: Look everyone, he’s coming through the doors!
  • Vyv: Brilliant! He didn’t even open them!
  • Neil: He’s here!
  • Mike: Quick, Rik, do the speech.
  • Rick: Hey kids!, stop snogging and pay attention to me, ‘cos if you’re a wild-eyed loner standing at the gates of oblivion, then hitch a ride with us because we’re on the last freedom moped out of nowhere city and we haven’t even told our parents what time we’ll be back. so put on your dancing trousers and get down to the totally and utter king of rock ‘n’ roll, Cliff Richard.
  • Cliff: Got myself a crying talking sleeping walking living doll. Got to do my best to please her just ‘cos she’s a living doll. Got a rovin’ eye and that’s why she satisfies my soul. Got the one and only walking talking living doll.
  • Cliff: OK guys, ready Vyv?
  • Vyv: Completely ready when you are, Shaky.
  • Cliff: Neil?
  • Neil: Does anyone know where the toilets are?
  • Cliff: Mike?
  • Mike: Does all this money really have to go to charity?
  • Rick: Yes it does, Michael. Hi Cliff, it’s me!
  • Cliff: Who are you?
  • Rick: Great joke, your majesty.
  • Cliff: Got myself a crying talking sleeping walking living doll.
  • Young Ones: Living doll
  • Cliff: Got to do my best to please her just ‘cos she’s a living doll
  • Young Ones: Living doll
  • Cliff: Got a rovin’ eye and that is why she satisfies my soul
  • Young Ones: Fies my soul
  • Vyv: Fies my soul?
  • Rick: Yes Vyvian, it’s raunchy.
  • Mike: Shut up guys.
  • Vyv: What does this button do? (Explosion)
  • Cliff: Got the one and only walking talking living doll. Take a look at her hair it’s real . If you don’t believe what I say, just feel
  • Mike: Do I know this girl?
  • Cliff: Gonna lock her up in a trunk
  • Young Ones: Trunk
  • Cliff: So no big hunk
  • Neil: Hunk
  • Cliff: Can steal her away from me
  • Young Ones: Get down!
  • Neil: OK
  • Cliff: Got myself a crying talking sleeping walking living doll. Got to do my best to please her just ‘cos she’s a living doll
  • Vyv: Hey Cliff, I’ve just invented a great new sound. (Cracking)
  • Neil: Oww!
  • Mike: Untie Neil’s legs, Vyvian.
  • Cliff: Settle down chaps.
  • Cliff: Got a rovin’ eye and that is why she satisfies my soul
  • All: Got the one and only walking talking living doll
  • Rick: OK, Daddy-O, lay the next funky riff on me!
  • Mike: He means, what happens now, Cliff?
  • Cliff: The instrumental break.
  • Vyv: Great, Cliff, what instruments do you want us to break?
  • Vyv: Piano… Violin… Diggery Doo…
  • Rick: Vyvian’s trousers!
  • Vyv: Rick’s head!
  • Neil: Neil’s head!
  • Vyv: Cliff’s head!
  • The Other Three: No!!
  • Rick: Well, take a look at her hair, it’s real
  • Neil: And if you don’t believe what I say just feel
  • Vyv: Gonna lock her up in a trunk
  • Mike: So no be hunk
  • Cliff: Can steal he away from me
  • Rick: I still feel locking girl’s up in trunks is politically unsound
  • Mike: It’s only a song Rick
  • Neil: Well I feel sorry for the elephant.
  • Cliff: Come on guys.
  • All: got myself a
  • Neil: Crying
  • Vyv: Talking
  • Mike: Sleeping
  • Rick: Walking
  • All: Living doll
  • Cliff: Living doll. Got to do my best to please her just ‘cos she’s a
  • All: Living doll
  • Cliff: alright guys, harmonies now!
  • All: Got a rovin’ eye and that is why she satisfies my soul. Got the one and only walking talking living doll. Got the one and only walking talking living doll
  • Cliff: Living doll
  • Cliff: Can I go now?
  • Rick: Er, thanks Cliff, ‘bye. Right kids, if you don’t buy this record You’re an utter utter utter utter… (Sound of record scratch)

Words and music by Lionel Bart/EMI music. Additional material by Ben Elton/Lise Mayer/The Young Ones



Are you enjoying the content on this website?

Would you like to show your appreciation for it?

Then why not donate to help support it and the running costs. In return you will receive an exclusive Rik Mayall Scrapbook badge. £5 Donation – choose 1 badge. £10 Donation – choose 3 badges. £20 Donation – choose 6 badges. £30 Donation – get the full set. There are 12 different designs to choose from, so make sure you message me with your choice. See support page for more details. Thank you x

£5.00

1 thought on “What is Sir Clifford Richard Doing With This Lot? – Smash Hits 1986”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s