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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 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.

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