The Navy Lark
A satirical radio sit-com
based on board a British warship named HMS Troughtbridge, transmitted on the BBC Light Programme and subsequently BBC Radio 2
. Heavily reliant upon extreme accents and voice impediments for its humour, also tended to cast women as junior ranks and feature somewhat unsubtle sexist wordplay, which probably remains appropriate to a military satire. Featured timeless and distinctive musical breaks and several enduring catchphrases, most notably from Sub Lieutenant Phillips "ooh nasty" "oh lummie" and "left hand down-a-bit". The latter phrase, reflecting general ineptitude and casual seamanship, would often be followed by the sound effect of the ship crashing. Programmes were self-contained rather than episodic. Examples may be heard on-line on BBC7 at www.bbc.co.uk/bbc7 at 19:30hrs GMT on Thursdays. The series made household names of Leslie Phillips
, Jon Pertwee
and Richard Caldicot, but Ronnie Barker
's versatile contributions were only recognised after he had become better known through television comedy.
There was also a film based on the series, as well as several radio sequels such as The TV Lark.