ARCHIVE TV ADVENT CALENDAR DAY FIFTEEN: 15 December 1986

TV Times Listing: 
4.45 From the Top 
BY BILL ODDIE
LAURA BEAUMONT 
JOLLY AID 
School's out as closure faces the Jolly Theatre School in this final episode of the series. 
DESIGNER MIKE PERRY 
PRODUCERS PAUL HARRISON. PETER MURPHY 
DIRECTOR PAUL HARRISON 
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER LEWIS RUDD Central Production

Must admit, I’ve no idea how I’ve no memory of this programme – I will have been exactly the right age and audience for it – but this one is new to me. It’s the final episode of long-forgotten Bill Oddie Children’s ITV vehicle From The Top.

The premise: Lloyds Bank employee William Worthington grows tired of his life in financial circles (okay, going by the title sequence he gets kicked out by this employer and his family for acting the arse), and embarks on his dream of a theatrical future by become the oldest student at The Jolly Theatre School. Basically, your typical mid-80s CITV school sitcom, except one of the kids happens to be Bill Oddie.

SCREENGRAB: Bill Oddie (okay, William) and a fellow pupil in tattered uniforms are addressed by a teacher.

Not especially notable in itself save for the unusual premise, and certainly nowhere near as anarchic other Central sitcoms for Children’s ITV of the era (Your Mother Wouldn’t Like It, Palace Hill). HOWEVER, the end credits reveal a theme tune supergroup for the ages: “From the Top Theme by Bill Oddie and Michael Dolenz”, with several episodes of the series having also been directed by Dolenz. A Goodies/Monkees musical crossover? Oh, what could have been.

SCREENCAP FROM END CREDITS: 
"From the Top Theme by Bill Oddie and Michael Dolenz"

Admittedly, I couldn’t find a video of that final ever episode, but here’s a full episode from earlier in that second series. Slipping a little from my remit of finding exact episodes, but this show is too much of an interesting curio not to include it.

Also, even though I’ve already linked to it twice, the title sequence is worth seeing as it’s much better than the actual episode that follows it. That’s not in the above video, but here’s an isolated copy of it:

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