Glad You Remember

Spatz, Pob, SuperTed and more

Mike & Angelo

Mike & Angelo was a popular Children's ITV sitcom from the writers of Spatz and T-Bag. Angelo was an alien lodger who got into scrapes via his superpowers (including walking on the ceiling) and "patent pending" inventions, often without leaving the house (7 Larkswood Lane, London NW3 1XB: the Cricklewood area) where he had landed via a wardrobe after leaving his home planet of Ptarg; Mike was the young human friend who followed Angelo into trouble or tried to help him out of it. It ran from 1989 to 2000 with four different Mikes, two different Angelo actors and two separate heads of the house, Rita and Katy.

Starting a year before Spatz, Mike & Angelo was my introduction to the world of situation comedy. Its combination of British and North American accents prepared me for a stream of sitcom entertainment from both sides of the Atlantic, as well as becoming a hallmark of many programmes I have particularly enjoyed, such as The CharmingsFrasier, SlidersFamily Guy and Star Trek: The Next Generation. (I wonder if Angelo had any relatives in the Q Continuum.) 

I didn't watch Mike & Angelo right through to the final year, though, so I'd been reluctant to make this a guide to the series in the same way as my Spatz pages are; but with little out there in the way of Mike & Angelo webpages, I decided to do more with this page than just offer up a few bits and pieces.

Below, then, is a full episode guide, details of one of Angelo's songs and a summary of the last episode of 1989, plus my thoughts on the series as a whole.

25th Anniversary Update

For Mike & Angelo's 25th anniversary in March 2014, its co-creators Lee Pressman and Grant Cathro kindly agreed to be interviewed about the series for Glad You Remember. Please see below for their answers to our questions.

In honour of the anniversary, I have also added more cast photos provided by Lee, the results of a children's survey conducted in 1995, information on how Angelo walked up the walls and onto the ceiling and a letter from Norman Wisdom's agent - all waiting for you as you make your way down the page.

Episode Guide

With the help of various sources, including the BFI Film & TV Database's Mike & Angelo episode listings, several magazine cutting scans that webmaster Jamie of the High-T website kindly sent me and a guide written by Grant Cathro, here is an episode guide for the entire series. If you have any episode memories you'd like to contribute, or wish to point out any errors that I've inadvertently included, please email me. Episode descriptions in quotation marks are provided by Grant Cathro (unless otherwise indicated), and those without quotation marks are by me, so please don't use these elsewhere without crediting this website.

Many of the pictures below can be clicked on to take you to a YouTube video for that episode: a CITV preview, a clip or in some cases the full episode. (All clips, sounds and images are copyright Thames Television / Tetra Films.) There are also several scans from the magazines Look-In and TV Times, some of which you can click on to enlarge.

For an overview of actors who appeared in Mike & Angelo as well as in one or more of Lee Pressman and Grant Cathro's other series, please see the Casting Crossover Chart at the bottom of my Spatz Episode Guide page.

If your ideal nostalgia trip would be to watch as much Mike & Angelo as you can, I have put together a YouTube playlist of all the episodes, clips etc. I could find. It's in chronological order too.

Over 11 years and more than 100 episodes, Mike & Angelo went through several phases, as I'll call them, marked by changes in the main cast. The first of those phases is:

Through 10 years and over more than 100 episodes, Mike & Angelo went through several phases prompted by changes in the main cast. Those phases are

Through 10 years and over more than 100 episodes, Mike & Angelo went through several phases prompted by changes in the main cast. Those phases are:

Phase 1 (1989-1990): The Original Cast

Main characters: Rita (Shelley Thompson), Mike I (Matt Wright), Angelo I (Tyler Butterworth)

The original line-up, seen from Series 1 to the beginning of Series 3.

Series 1 was broadcast on Thursdays at 4:25 and had 10 episodes.

Series 1, Episode 1
Originally broadcast: 16th March 1989
Repeated 5th September 1990
As American divorcée Rita King and her pre-teen son Mike move from Boston to their new home in London, so does someone else - only he's come from somewhere even further away.
Guest cast: John Levitt as Cyril Pinner, Alessia Gwyther as Philippa Fraser. These were the Kings' neighbours and both became recurring characters.
Watch a clip on YouTube of Mike and Angelo meeting for the first time.

Series 1, Episode 2
Originally broadcast: 23rd March 1989
Rita meets Angelo for the first time.
Guest cast: John Levitt as Cyril Pinner, Alessia Gwyther as Philippa Fraser

Series 1, Episode 3
Originally broadcast: 30th March 1989
Mike and Angelo do the cooking.
Guest cast: John Levitt as Cyril Pinner, Alessia Gwyther as Philippa Fraser

Series 1, Episode 4
Originally broadcast: 6th April 1989
'The next door neighbour Mrs. Fraser becomes obseesed with discovering the secret of Angelo's green fingers.' (BFI)
Guest cast: Alessia Gwyther as Philippa Fraser, Elizabeth Bennett as Mrs. Fraser (Philippa's mother)

Series 1, Episode 5
Originally broadcast: 13th April 1989
'Rita and Angelo decide to go to a dance.' (BFI)
Guest cast: Alessia Gwyther as Philippa Fraser, Valerie Hill as Mrs. Greystone

Series 1, Episode 6
Originally broadcast: 20th April 1989
Can Angelo teach Mike how to play cricket?
Guest cast: Alessia Gwyther as Philippa Fraser

Series 1, Episode 7
Originally broadcast: 27th April 1989
'A group snapshot threatens to expose their secret.' (BFI)
Guest cast: Gavin Richards as Brett Douglas. Became a recurring character.

Series 1, Episode 8
Originally broadcast: 4th May 1989
'Rita's mom comes to visit from Boston and Mike adopts a duck called fluffy.' (BFI)
Guest cast: John Levitt as Cyril Pinner, Libby Morris as Rita's mother - who would be seen again. Libby Morris also had a guest role in Spatz.

Series 1, Episode 9
Originally broadcast: 11th May 1989
Can Angelo manage the washing machine?

Series 1, Episode 10
Originally broadcast: 18th May 1989
'Rita and Phillipa are busy planning Mike's birthday.'
Guest cast: Alessia Gwyther as Philippa Fraser

Like Series 1, Series 2 was broadcast on Thursdays at 4:25 and had 10 episodes.

Series 2, Episode 1
14th September 1989
A new invention of Angelo's causes mayhem.
Guest cast: John Levitt as Cyril Pinner

Series 2, Episode 2
21st September 1989
'Angelo agrees to look after Philippa's pet.' (BFI)
Guest cast: Alessia Gwyther as Philippa Fraser

Series 2, Episode 3
28th September 1989
Rita's mother visits again.
Guest cast: Libby Morris as Rita's mother, Patrick Drury as Dr. Waterstone

Series 2, Episode 4
5th October 1989
Angelo tries to learn self-defence.
Guest cast: John Levitt as Cyril Pinner

Series 2, Episode 5
12th October 1989
Repeated: 3rd October 1990
Angelo becomes a ghost hunter.
Guest cast: Gavin Richards as Brett Douglas

Series 2, Episode 6
19th October 1989
Repeated: 10th October 1990
Angelo meets TV presenter Bob Bright.
Guest cast: Matt Zimmerman as Bob Bright. Here was one of the few actors to appear in each of Grant Cathro and Lee Pressman's 'big three': T-Bag, Mike & Angelo and Spatz (Witness, Series 3).

Series 2, Episode 7
First broadcast: 26th October 1989
Repeated on CITV: 19th September 1990. This version, with different theme music and added laughter track, was the one CITV repeated on 5th January 2013 during the Old Skool Weekend.
Angelo's alien fuzzball runs amok (well, flies and bounces amok) when it overeats and keeps on growing. Can Angelo and the Kings keep overnight house guest Philippa from literally getting caught up in it?
Guest cast: Alessia Gwyther as Philippa Fraser
This episode can be found on YouTube.

Series 2, Episode 8
2nd November 1989
Repeated: 26th September 1990
Angelo creates a super-strong hair tonic.
Guest cast: Alessia Gwyther as Philippa Fraser, Peter John as Ron Henderson

Series 2, Episode 9
9th November 1989
Cyril Pinner asks the Kings to join Neighbourhood Watch.
Guest cast: Alessia Gwyther as Philippa Fraser, John Levitt as Cyril Pinner

Series 2, Episode 10
First broadcast: Thursday 16th November 1989
Repeated: 7th November 1990
Guest cast: Jeff Harding as Tony King
Rita is looking forward to a French holiday with Mike and Angelo. Then Mike's dad flies in with plans for his son to spend the summer in America with him.
To read what happened, please see the '1989 episode summary' section below for my write-up of what happened.

As indicated above, assorted episodes from Series 1 and 2 were repeated from 5th September  to 7th November 1990, at 4:15 on Thursdays, with new opening credits and a new theme tune. Instead of the flute piece, we now had synth music while an American voiceover introduced the main characters. A laughter track was added too, bringing Mike & Angelo into line with Thames Television's other CITV sitcom Spatz, which had started in February of that year.

The week after those repeats finished, Series 3 started, and with it began the show's second era.

Phase 2 (1990-1992): A New Angelo

Main characters: Rita (Shelley Thompson), Mike I (Matt Wright), Angelo II (Tim Whitnall)

TV series Doctor Who has been able to change lead actors by having its main character 'regenerate' and begin life anew in a different body. Angelo did more or less the same thing, with Tim Whitnall taking over the part from Tyler Butterworth during Series 3's first episode.

Series 3 was broadcast on Thursdays at 4:25 and had 10 episodes.

Series 3, Episode 1
14th November 1990
'Shortly after Rita, Mike and Angelo return from their American holiday, Angelo starts to behave strangely.' (BFI)
Guest cast: Alessia Gwyther as Philippa Fraser, John Levitt as Cyril Pinner

Series 3, Episode 2
21st November 1990
Another visit from Rita's mother, but this time with a boyfriend in tow.
Guest cast: Libby Morris as Rita's mother, Alan Ford as Terence Creighton-Smythe
This was Tim Whitnall's first full episode in the role of Angelo.

Series 3, Episode 3
28th November 1990
'Angelo tries to get Rita and Mike talking to each other again.' (BFI)
Guest cast: Alessia Gwyther as Philippa Fraser

Series 3, Episode 4
5th December 1990
'Angelo invents a Time Machine.' (BFI)
Guest cast: John Levitt as Cyril Pinner

Series 3, Episode 5
12th December 1990
'Angelo gives Brett a Valentine card.'
Guest cast: Alessia Gwyther as Philippa Fraser, Gavin Richards as Brett Douglas

Series 3, Episode 6
19th December 1990
Mike's American cousin visits.
Guest cast: Nitzan Sharron as Milton

Series 3, Episode 7
2nd January 1991
Guest cast: Gavin Richards as Brett Douglas

Series 3, Episode 8
9th January 1991
Guest cast: Michael Bertenshaw as Mike's teacher

Series 3, Episode 9
16th January 1991

Series 3, Episode 10
23rd January 1991
From various sources, including the BFI website's Mike & Angelo episode guide and several magazine cuttings that Jamie of the High-T website kindly sent me, I've been able to put together an episode guide covering much of the series. If you can provide information to fill any of the gaps, or to correct any errors that I've inadvertently included, please tweet or email me.

Through 10 years and over more than 100 episodes, Mike & Angelo went through several phases prompted by changes in the main cast. Those phases are:

Phase 1 (1989-1990): The Original Cast

Main characters: Rita (Shelley Thompson), Mike I (Matt Wright), Angelo I (Tyler Butterworth)

The original line-up, seen from Series 1 to the beginning of Series 3.

Series 1 was broadcast on Thursdays at 4:25 and had 10 episodes.

Series 1, Episode 1
Originally broadcast: 16th March 1989
Repeated 5th September 1990
As American divorcée Rita King and her pre-teen son Mike move from Boston to their new home in London, so does someone else - only he's come from somewhere even further away.
Guest cast: John Levitt as Cyril Pinner, Alessia Gwyther as Philippa Fraser. These were the Kings' neighbours and both became recurring characters.
Watch a clip on YouTube of Mike and Angelo meeting for the first time.

Series 1, Episode 2
Originally broadcast: 23rd March 1989
Rita meets Angelo for the first time.
Guest cast: John Levitt as Cyril Pinner, Alessia Gwyther as Philippa Fraser

Series 1, Episode 3
Originally broadcast: 30th March 1989
Mike and Angelo do the cooking.
Guest cast: John Levitt as Cyril Pinner, Alessia Gwyther as Philippa Fraser

Series 1, Episode 4
Originally broadcast: 6th April 1989
'The next door neighbour Mrs. Fraser becomes obseesed with discovering the secret of Angelo's green fingers.' (BFI)
Guest cast: Alessia Gwyther as Philippa Fraser, Elizabeth Bennett as Mrs. Fraser (Philippa's mother)

Series 1, Episode 5
Originally broadcast: 13th April 1989
'Rita and Angelo decide to go to a dance.' (BFI)
Guest cast: Alessia Gwyther as Philippa Fraser, Valerie Hill as Mrs. Greystone

Series 1, Episode 6
Originally broadcast: 20th April 1989
Can Angelo teach Mike how to play cricket?
Guest cast: Alessia Gwyther as Philippa Fraser

Series 1, Episode 7
Originally broadcast: 27th April 1989
'A group snapshot threatens to expose their secret.' (BFI)
Guest cast: Gavin Richards as Brett Douglas. Became a recurring character.

Series 1, Episode 8
Originally broadcast: 4th May 1989
'Rita's mom comes to visit from Boston and Mike adopts a duck called fluffy.' (BFI)
Guest cast: John Levitt as Cyril Pinner, Libby Morris as Rita's mother - who would be seen again. Libby Morris also had a guest role in Spatz.

Series 1, Episode 9
Originally broadcast: 11th May 1989
Can Angelo manage the washing machine?

Series 1, Episode 10
Originally broadcast: 18th May 1989
'Rita and Phillipa are busy planning Mike's birthday.'
Guest cast: Alessia Gwyther as Philippa Fraser

Like Series 1, Series 2 was broadcast on Thursdays at 4:25 and had 10 episodes.

Series 2, Episode 1
14th September 1989
A new invention of Angelo's causes mayhem.
Guest cast: John Levitt as Cyril Pinner

Series 2, Episode 2
21st September 1989
'Angelo agrees to look after Philippa's pet.' (BFI)
Guest cast: Alessia Gwyther as Philippa Fraser

Series 2, Episode 3
28th September 1989
Rita's mother visits again.
Guest cast: Libby Morris as Rita's mother, Patrick Drury as Dr. Waterstone

Series 2, Episode 4
5th October 1989
Angelo tries to learn self-defence.
Guest cast: John Levitt as Cyril Pinner

Series 2, Episode 5
12th October 1989
Repeated: 3rd October 1990
Angelo becomes a ghost hunter.
Guest cast: Gavin Richards as Brett Douglas

Series 2, Episode 6
19th October 1989
Repeated: 10th October 1990
Angelo meets TV presenter Bob Bright.
Guest cast: Matt Zimmerman as Bob Bright. Here was one of the few actors to appear in each of Grant Cathro and Lee Pressman's 'big three': T-Bag, Mike & Angelo and Spatz (Witness, Series 3).

Series 2, Episode 7
First broadcast: 26th October 1989
Repeated on CITV: 19th September 1990. This version, with different theme music and added laughter track, was the one CITV repeated on 5th January 2013 during the Old Skool Weekend.
Angelo's alien fuzzball runs amok (well, flies and bounces amok) when it overeats and keeps on growing. Can Angelo and the Kings keep overnight house guest Philippa from literally getting caught up in it?
Guest cast: Alessia Gwyther as Philippa Fraser
This episode can be found on YouTube.

Series 2, Episode 8
2nd November 1989
Repeated: 26th September 1990
Angelo creates a super-strong hair tonic.
Guest cast: Alessia Gwyther as Philippa Fraser, Peter John as Ron Henderson

Series 2, Episode 9
9th November 1989
Cyril Pinner asks the Kings to join Neighbourhood Watch.
Guest cast: Alessia Gwyther as Philippa Fraser, John Levitt as Cyril Pinner

Series 2, Episode 10
First broadcast: Thursday 16th November 1989
Repeated: 7th November 1990
Guest cast: Jeff Harding as Tony King
Rita is looking forward to a French holiday with Mike and Angelo. Then Mike's dad flies in with plans for his son to spend the summer in America with him.
To read what happened, please see the '1989 episode summary' section below for my write-up of what happened.

As indicated above, assorted episodes from Series 1 and 2 were repeated from 5th September  to 7th November 1990, at 4:15 on Thursdays, with new opening credits and a new theme tune. Instead of the flute piece, we now had synth music while an American voiceover introduced the main characters. A laughter track was added too, bringing Mike & Angelo into line with Thames Television's other CITV sitcom Spatz, which had started in February of that year.

The week after those repeats finished, Series 3 started, and with it began the show's second era.

Phase 2 (1990-1992): A New Angelo

Main characters: Rita (Shelley Thompson), Mike I (Matt Wright), Angelo II (Tim Whitnall)

TV series Doctor Who has been able to change lead actors by having its main character 'regenerate' and begin life anew in a different body. Angelo did more or less the same thing, with Tim Whitnall taking over the part from Tyler Butterworth during Series 3's first episode.

Series 3 was broadcast on Thursdays at 4:25 and had 10 episodes.

Series 3, Episode 1
14th November 1990
'Shortly after Rita, Mike and Angelo return from their American holiday, Angelo starts to behave strangely.' (BFI)
Guest cast: Alessia Gwyther as Philippa Fraser, John Levitt as Cyril Pinner

Series 3, Episode 2
21st November 1990
Another visit from Rita's mother, but this time with a boyfriend in tow.
Guest cast: Libby Morris as Rita's mother, Alan Ford as Terence Creighton-Smythe
This was Tim Whitnall's first full episode in the role of Angelo.

Series 3, Episode 3
28th November 1990
'Angelo tries to get Rita and Mike talking to each other again.' (BFI)
Guest cast: Alessia Gwyther as Philippa Fraser

Series 3, Episode 4
5th December 1990
'Angelo invents a Time Machine.' (BFI)
Guest cast: John Levitt as Cyril Pinner

Series 3, Episode 5
12th December 1990
'Angelo gives Brett a Valentine card.'
Guest cast: Alessia Gwyther as Philippa Fraser, Gavin Richards as Brett Douglas

Series 3, Episode 6
19th December 1990
Mike's American cousin visits.
Guest cast: Nitzan Sharron as Milton

Series 3, Episode 7
2nd January 1991
Guest cast: Gavin Richards as Brett Douglas

Series 3, Episode 8
9th January 1991
Guest cast: Michael Bertenshaw as Mike's teacher

Series 3, Episode 9
16th January 1991

Series 3, Episode 1023rd January 1991 

Phase One (1989-1990): The Original Cast

Main characters: Rita (Shelley Thompson), Mike I (Matt Wright), Angelo I (Tyler Butterworth)

The initial line-up, seen from Series 1 to the beginning of Series 3. You can hear the original theme music in the background of this CITV clip from 4:45 onwards.

Shelley Thompson was born in Alberta in 1959 and came to London to train at RADA. She has also appeared in Labyrinth on the cinema screen, Drop The Dead Donkey on the TV screen and Trailer Park Boys on both. Shelley Thompson on Twitter

Matt Wright played Woody in 1988 comedy film High Spirits before appearing as Mike. In Grant Cathro's view, 'Matt Wright played his part with true sincerity, which really lifted the show out of the ordinary and gave it much warmth and weight – every writer's dream'.

Tyler Butterworth began as a child actor in the mid-1960s. His other TV work includes recurring roles in The Darling Buds of May and The Bill. YouTube user gbgameshows has uploaded two episodes of 3-2-1 featuring Tyler from 1983 and 1984 (don't miss his singing hare!). Playing as Mr. Archer in Whizziwig brought him back to CITV. In 1992, he co-starred in sitcom The Gingerbread Girl alongside Janet Dibley, whom he later married.

Tyler's latest project is the London Sights app, featuring interactive audio walks around the capital. Whether future walks will take listeners up walls and across ceilings is yet to be confirmed.

Lee Pressman has said that he 'was always surprised by the casting of Tyler Butterworth since we'd described Angelo in the first script as being very out of this world - think Michael Jackson or David Bowie – an angelic soul (hence the name Angelo). Tyler Butterworth didn't look physically how I'd imagined our hero although he did a good job in the role.'

To see more of what the main cast have done besides Mike & Angelo, I recommend this excellent 2014 round-up by Showbiz Geek.

Michelangelo? It's no coincidence that Mike & Angelo sounds like a famous painter and decorator. Grant Cathro explains that 'When Lee and I were struggling to think up a title for the show, I recalled the famous "touching fingers" image from Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel painting "The Creation of Adam" because at that point we were still toying with the idea of making our main protagonist a guardian angel, and I'd remembered that the poster art for E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial had used this iconic image as its basis. The artist's name immediately leaped at us, and almost in unison we both blurted out, "Michael & Angelo!" Two nods of approval, a one-second rethink, then we both blurted again, "Mike & Angelo!" – and that was that! Title and character-names discovered in one!' And although Angelo ended up being extraterrestrial in nature, he was angelic in name.

Series 1 was broadcast on Thursdays at 4:25pm and had 10 episodes. Recurring characters introduced this series included neighbours Philippa Fraser and Cyril Pinner, Rita's mother Nancy Mancini, Mike's dad Tony King and Rita's colleague Brett Douglas.

The theme music, used for the original broadcasts of Series 1 and 2, was composed by Jim Parker. 

1.1 Mike Meets Angelo
First shown 16th March 1989. Repeated 5th September 1990. Script by Lee Pressman and Grant Cathro
As American divorcée Rita King and her pre-teen son Mike move from Boston to their new home in London, so does someone else - only he's come from somewhere even further away.
Guest cast:
David Neville as Estate Agent. Also in Fawlty Towers, T-Bag (Sunstones of Montezuma)
John Levitt as Cyril Pinner. Appeared throughout Series 1-6. John Levitt also appeared in T-Bag (Bounces Back). Grant Cathro says: 'A few years earlier I acted on stage in London with John Levitt in Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice (he was Shylock and I was Launcelot Gobbo) so it was funny turning up on the first read-through day to discover that John had been cast as Mr. Pinner – the Shylock of Larkswood Lane.'
Alessia Gwyther as Philippa Fraser. Appeared throughout Series 1-3.
Christopher Driscoll as Telecom Man
There is a YouTube clip of Mike and Angelo's first meeting, but it's been removed twice before so I hope the link works! The full episode is available on YouTube too (from the 1990 repeat).

In her Television Review, Jeannette Kupfermann described the series as having 'started well [with] a good mix of seriousness and fun ... Apart from the sharp one-liners, it covers the quite adult themes of loneliness, divorce and being an alien of any type.' Mike & Angelo was also chosen as Bert Baker's Best On The Box and TV Mail's Pick Of The Day.

Thanks to behind the scenes photos taken by Grant Cathro, you can see how this episode managed to show upside-down Angelo and right-way-up Mike in the same shot.

 

1.2 The Big Secret
First shown 23rd March 1989. Script by Lee Pressman and Grant Cathro
Rita meets Angelo for the first time.


Guest cast:
John Levitt as Cyril Pinner
Alessia Gwyther as Philippa Fraser

1.3 The Meal
First shown 30th March 1989. Script by Lee Pressman and Grant Cathro
'Rita's boss, Ron Henderson, has invited himself to dinner.  On the day, Rita is up to her eyeballs in work, so Mike and Angelo race to the rescue and organise the meal.  The only problem is, Angelo has some singularly offbeat ideas about what constitutes food.  Will his eagerness to please prove to be a recipe for disaster?'
Guest cast:
Peter John as Ron Henderson. Would return in the Series 2 episode Hair Today.

1.4 Green Fingers
First shown 6th April 1989. Script by Lee Pressman and Grant Cathro
'An afternoon tea with the Frasers ends in chaos, thanks to the over-friendly Angelo.  He has revealed his uncanny talent for encouraging the growth of flowers.  When Mrs. Fraser, who's a big noise at the local horticultural society, sees Angelo's leafy handiwork, she becomes obsessed with discovering the secret of his miraculous way with plants.'
Guest cast:
Alessia Gwyther as Philippa Fraser
Elizabeth Bennett as Mrs. Fraser

1.5 Angelo's Essay
First shown 13th April 1989. Script by David Stafford
Guest cast:
Alessia Gwyther as Philippa Fraser
Valerie Hill as Mrs. Greystone

1.6 Angelo's Dancing Lesson
First shown 20th April 1989. Script by David Stafford
'Rita and Angelo decide to go to a dance.' (BFI)
Guest cast:
Alessia Gwyther as Philippa Fraser

1.7 Mug Shots
First shown 27th April 1989. Script by Lee Pressman and Grant Cathro
'The Kings get more than they bargained for when a group snapshot threatens to expose their secret - Angelo's image has failed to materialise.  Baffled photographer Brett Douglas develops an obsession - to get to the bottom of the mystery.'
Guest cast:
Gavin Richards as Brett Douglas. Appeared throughout Series 1-3 and again in Series 5. He also played Harold Fox in Hi-De-Hi!, Alberto Bertorelli in 'Allo 'Allo! and Terry Raymond in EastEnders.

1.8 Mother Turns Up
First shown 4th May 1989. Script by Lee Pressman and Grant Cathro
'Rita is taken aback when her mother unexpectedly turns up on the doorstep and plans on staying a short while.  The question is, what exactly is Mike's grandma doing here?  Has she really come to spy on his mother?  And if so ... what will she unearth?' According to the BFI website, Mike adopts a duck called Fluffy in this episode.
Guest cast:
John Levitt as Cyril Pinner
Libby Morris as Nancy Mancini. Appeared throughout Series 1-4. Libby Morris also had a guest role in Spatz (From Russia With Love, Series 2, 1991). She was one of Lee Pressman's favourite Mike & Angelo guest stars.

1.9 That's Not Cricket
First shown 11th May 1989. Script by David Stafford
Can Angelo teach Mike how to play cricket?

1.10 Mike's Birthday
First shown 18th May 1989. Script by Lee Pressman and Grant Cathro
'Tomorrow is Mike's birthday and Rita is anxious that Angelo doesn't ruin the big surprise she's got lined up and hidden in the cupboard.  But Angelo's more worried about Mike's recent depression: it turns out he's missing his dad - who's divorced and always busy back home in Boston.  It gives Angelo an insight into what Mike would really like for his birthday.'
Guest cast:
Alessia Gwyther as Philippa Fraser
Jeff Harding as Tony King. Appeared again in Series 2 and 4. Jeff Harding went on to appear in Series 1-3 of The Tomorrow People as General Bill Damon and to play Ed Winchester in The Fast Show.

Like Series 1, Series 2 was broadcast on Thursdays at 4:25 and had 10 episodes. All scripts were by Lee Pressman and Grant Cathro. This series featured further appearances by Mr. Pinner, Philippa, Brett and Nancy.

2.1 Up The Wall
First shown 14th September 1989
A new invention of Angelo's causes mayhem.
Guest cast:
John Levitt as Cyril Pinner

2.2 A Horse In The House
First shown 21st September 1989
Angelo offers to take care of Philippa's pet, Tabatha, during her weekend away. Can Angelo and Mike stop Rita discovering that "Tabby" isn't quite what she'd bargained for?
Guest cast:
Alessia Gwyther as Philippa Fraser
Mango as Tabatha 
This episode was uploaded to YouTube but then deleted. Its "horse-pital" joke was also used in episode 9.3.

2.3 Mother And The Doctor
First shown 28th September 1989
'Rita's mother pays another of her notorious flying visits - but there's hell to pay when it transpires that on the flight from Boston she met a handsome young and unmarried doctor, and on some ludicrous pretext invited him over to meet her beautiful, divorced and single daughter. Meanwhile, weird things happen to Angelo when he discovers he's incredibly allergic to candy floss.'
Guest cast:
Libby Morris as Nancy Mancini
Patrick Drury as Dr. Waterstone

2.4 Out For The Count
First shown 5th October 1989
'Angelo, bullied by a crowd of thugs, finds himself encouraged by Cyril Pinner (the erstwhile Harlesden Hurricane) to take up the noble art of boxing as a way of protecting himself in case of any future altercations. Boxing fever grips the King household, and for the first time in his life, Mike is forced to agree that Mr Pinner's a knockout.'
Guest cast:
John Levitt as Cyril Pinner
This episode was briefly on YouTube in early 2013, titled Boxing.

2.5 Ghostbusters
First shown 12th October 1989. Repeated 3rd October 1990
'Brett Douglas and Rita are both assigned to a reporting job where they must spend an entire night holed up in a haunted castle. The entire affair turns into a fiasco when a torrential downpour reveals to them that the castle has no roof. So it's everybody back to the King's place for a dry-out, hot bath and a late-to-bed. It's not long, however, before things begin to go bump in the night after all.'
Guest cast:
Gavin Richards as Brett Douglas

2.6 Angelo's Big Break
First shown 19th October 1989. Repeated 10th October 1990
'Rita is interviewing Bob Bright, doyen of TV talent show hosts, and it seems like nothing can be done to stop Angelo getting in on the act. But events take a fearful turn towards calamity when Bob decides that Angelo's the wackiest turn he's seen in years, and the succeeds in persuading his sensational discovery to appear on his show next week.'
Guest cast:
Matt Zimmerman as Bob Bright. Here was one of the few actors to appear in each of Grant Cathro and Lee Pressman's 'big three': T-Bag (Turn On To T-Bag, Revenge of The T. Set, Pearls of Wisdom, Rings of Olympus), Mike & Angelo and Spatz (Witness, Series 3, 1992). He had a further Mike & Angelo appearance as Lord Chief Justice in Series 9 episode A Turn Up For The Books. Grant Cathro lists both appearances among his favourites, making Angelo's Big Break one of his favourite episodes too.
Lucie Carey as Seraphina Spratt. Later seen in Grange Hill.
This episode is available in full on YouTube.

2.7 Fuzzball
First broadcast 26th October 1989. Repeated on CITV: 19th September 1990. This later version, with different theme music and added laughter track, was the one CITV repeated on 5th January 2013 during the Old Skool Weekend.
Angelo's alien fuzzball runs amok (well, flies and bounces amok) when it overeats and keeps on growing. Can Angelo and the Kings keep overnight house guest Philippa from literally getting caught up in it?
Guest cast:
Alessia Gwyther as Philippa Fraser
This episode can be found on YouTube.
 On one of the uploads of it, the description of the episode there has been copied from this page. If you would like to use original content from my website, please ask first.

2.8 Hair Today
First shown 2nd November 1989. Repeated 26th September 1990
'Angelo aims to help Mike create a cheap and animal-friendly fur coat for his mom's birthday by brewing up a liquid which, when sprayed from a bottle, produces masses of lifelike hair. In true sitcom style, the unintentional victims line up to get hairified, beginning with Philippa's guinea pig, and ending with Rita's boss, the extremely bald Ron Henderson.'
Guest cast:
Alessia Gwyther as Philippa Fraser
Peter John
as Ron Henderson. Last seen in Series 1 episode The Meal.
Angelo would again use hair grow tonic in the Series 7 episode Pinner Plc.

2.9 Neighbourhood Watch
First shown 9th November 1989
'When Cyril Pinner asks Rita and Mike to become part of his Neighbourhood Watch Scheme, he forgets that Angelo will naturally want to become involved as well - bringing some outlandish ideas of his own to bear on the problem of keeping out the burglars.'
Guest cast:
Alessia Gwyther as Philippa Fraser
John Levitt as Cyril Pinner

2.10 California Here We Come
First shown 16th November 1989. Repeated 7th November 1990
Rita is looking forward to a French holiday with Mike and Angelo. Then Mike's dad flies in with plans for his son to spend the summer in America with him. To read what happened in more detail, please see the '1989 episode summary' section further down this page for my write-up of the episode. One of Grant Cathro's favourite episodes.
Guest cast:
Jeff Harding as Tony King. Last seen in Series 1; next seen in Series 4.
This episode is available in full on YouTube.
There's a clip of this episode in the next episode.

As indicated above, assorted episodes from Series 1 and 2 were repeated from 5th September to 7th November 1990, at 4:15 on Thursdays, with new opening credits and music by David Stafford, who also wrote the music for Spatz. Instead of the flute piece, we now had synth music while a voiceover by Matt Zimmerman (who had appearances in Mike & Angelo as well as T-Bag and Spatz) introduced the main characters.

According to Grant Cathro, '[Director] Neville Green hauled me into the voiceover booth one day, saying, "You're an actor, give it a go." Misgivings aside, I launched into the "He came from another dimension..." blurb in my best mid-Atlantic Milwaukee-meets-Motherwell accent, and got about as far into it as "Ask Rita King..." before conceding, "You know, Matt Zimmerman would do this an awful lot better than me!" – and for once in my little life I was right.'

A laughter track was added too, bringing Mike & Angelo into line with Thames Television's other CITV sitcom Spatz, which had started in February of that year. For the writers' thoughts on the laughter track, see the 25th Anniversary Q&A section further down the page.

The repeats continued straight into a set of new episodes, and with them began the show's second era.

Rita

meets Angelo for the first time.Guest cast: John Levitt as Cyril Pinner, Alessia Gwyther as Philippa Fraser

Phase Two (1990-1992): Angelo Renewed

Main characters: Rita (Shelley Thompson), Mike I (Matt Wright), Angelo II (Tim Whitnall)

TV series Doctor Who has been able to change lead actors by having its main character 'regenerate' and begin life anew in a different body. Angelo did more or less the same thing, with Tim Whitnall taking over the part from Tyler Butterworth during Series 3's first episode.

Tim Whitnall was born in 1961. Interviewed by Katie Spain for 020 Magazine, he revealed how he started on the path to performing: "I was at a Christmas show with my parents and two drag queens asked for a volunteer. They dragged me up on stage and it was the first time I knew I wanted to be an actor." His first role, straight out of school, was in 1977 as a young Elvis Presley in the original West End production of the musical Elvis

These days, Tim Whitnall's cap is more feathery than a pillow fight in a dovecote. (Not all doves are pacifists after all.) There's his full portfolio of children's TV work, which includes Teletubbies (as the male narrator), Sooty HeightsUnderground Ernie, Fifi and the FlowertotsRoary the Racing Car and Tree Fu Tom. There's his playwriting, which includes the Olivier award-winning Eric Morecambe play MorecambeThe Fabulist and The Sociable Plover, which he later adapted to become acclaimed 2008 film The Hide. There's his TV writing, from Kenny Everett biopic The Best Possible Taste - for which Tim won the 2013 British Academy TV Craft Breakthrough Award - to Agatha Christie's Marple. He's wielded a quill (from among all those feathers) for radio too, and for magazines.

There's his continuing singing, which has proceeded from Elvis to spots on TV show Oh Boy in 1979 and 1980 (several available on YouTube) and onwards to Even Warren Beatty, the 2008 album he recorded with Matthew Strachan. He's a writer of songs too, including contributions to BAFTA award-winning sketch show Your Mother Wouldn't Like It, its spin-off Palace Hill and the Marshmellow Monday song from T. Bag and the Sunstones of Montezuma.

As a man of feathers, he certainly knows how to tickle his listeners. And there's all his other extensive voiceover work, samples of which can be heard on his Hobsons International page, and can be downloaded elsewhere to help you start or end a relationship. Tim's relationship is with Anna Murphy, with whom he runs Feather Productions Ltd. Like I said: feathery.

For Tim's insights into working on Mike & Angelo, see the 'Tim Whitnall in Legends of Kids TV 2' section further down the page.  

Series 3 was broadcast on Wednesdays and had 13 episodes, making it the only series of Mike & Angelo to have more than 10. The extra episodes may have been intended to make the most of Matt Wright's availability before he moved back to the USA. This series featured further appearances by Mr. Pinner, Philippa, Brett and Nancy. All Series 3 episodes were directed by Neville Green and had scripts by Lee Pressman and Grant Cathro.

In 2016, an ITV schools programme on the making of Mike & Angelo Series 3 (Design and Technology: The Programme Makers) was uploaded to YouTube. You can watch it here. Thank you to VideotapeFTW for this. 

3.1 The New Angelo
First shown 14th November 1990
'Rita, Mike and Angelo return from their holiday in America and are looking forward to being back home. But suddenly Angelo begins to act even more strangely than usual. At first it's all treated as a great big joke, but emotions soon run high when Angelo's condition deteriorates and he falls gravely ill.'
Guest cast:
John Levitt as Cyril Pinner
This episode is available in full on YouTube.
The episode includes a clip of the previous one, California Here We Come.
By coincidence, 14th November later became the date of a Doctor Who regeneration: Paul McGann to John Hurt in 2013 mini-episode The Night of the Doctor. One of Tyler Butterworth's first roles after Mike & Angelo was with someone who had regenerated too: Peter Davison, who starred alongside Tyler in 1991 sitcom Fiddlers Three.

3.2 Mother's Fiancé
First shown 21st November 1990
'Rita's mother is back from her vacation in Europe, and she's positively aglow. The reason?  She's in love, having made the acquaintance of a certain Terence Creighton-Smythe, casino playboy, gentlemanly companion and all-round good egg. But Mike has a funny feeling about his grandma's new beau, and when Mrs. Mancini announces that she are Terence are going to be wed, he gets Angelo to do a bit of private investigation - just in case the good egg isn't all he's cracked up to be.'
Guest cast:
Libby Morris as Nancy Mancini
Alan Ford as Terence Creighton-Smythe
This was Tim Whitnall's first full episode in the role of Angelo. The opening credits now showed Angelo II emerging from the wardrobe, rather than Angelo I.

This episode is available in full on YouTube

The new Angelo also meant that the wall and ceiling walk had to be refilmed. The use of a revolving room for this was, to set designer Graham Probst's knowledge, a TV first, preceded in film by revolving room sets in Royal Wedding2001: A Space Odyssey and the video for Lionel Richie's Dancing on the Ceiling. A 12 foot circular frame surrounded the set with the camera bolted on, due to the impossibility of the cameraman following the turn by any other means. As well as the obvious need to secure all props and furnishings, lighting had to be kept soft so that shadows didn't betray the illusion. The set was turned by a combination of Tim Whitnall's body weight and technicians with ropes and pulleys.

 

3.3 The Big Fall-Out
First shown 28th November 1990
'Rita makes herself perfectly plain to Mike: be back from the disco no later than 10.30 pm. When Mike rolls home in the middle of the morning, there erupts a fight of monumental proportions, resulting in the fall-out of the decade. Mike declares that he plans to move out of the house and go live in the garden shed. Angelo reckons it's up to him to try and help out his friend, but when he transforms the shed into a luxury penthouse flat, it becomes obvious that he's created more problems than he's solved.'
Guest cast:
Alessia Gwyther as Philippa Fraser
Grant Cathro's favourite episode of Series 3. Clips of it can be seen in Design and Technology: The Programme Makers on YouTube.

3.4 The Time Machine
First shown 5th December 1990
'Angelo's latest invention, a time machine made out of a shower cubicle, accidentally whisks Mister Pinner into the thick of the Battle of Hastings. At the same time, his ancestor, the lordly Sir Cyril de Pinner, is plucked from 1066 and plunked down in the middle of Rita's house. Sir Cyril soon decides he prefers life in the 20th Century, and when he gets the hots for Rita's mother, no power on earth will force him back to yesteryear.'
Guest cast:
John Levitt as the two Cyrils
Libby Morris as Nancy Mancini
The time machine would also play a part in numerous later episodes.

3.5 Valentine's Day
First shown 12th December 1990
'When Angelo gives Brett Douglas a valentine's card, it sets off an amorous chain of events, as Brett believes that Rita is secretly in love with him. Mike is thoroughly repulsed by the idea of Brett Douglas as his step-father and seeks Angelo's help in turning things a little ugly.'
Guest cast:
Alessia Gwyther as Philippa Fraser. Her last Mike & Angelo appearance.
Gavin Richards as Brett Douglas

3.6 Milton's Visit
First shown 19th December 1990
'Mike's loathsome cousin Milton comes to stay. Lying, cheating, sneaking, tricksy Milton is all sweetness and light when Rita's around, but when it comes to getting Mike into trouble, his nastiness knows no bounds. When a valuable watch belonging to Rita goes missing, it's Angelo who takes the wrap. However, time is rapidly running out on Milton, whose worst nightmare might just be about to come true.'
Guest cast:
Nitzan Sharron as Milton. Nitzan Sharron on Twitter
Watch the very beginning and end of this episode in this Children's ITV clip on YouTube from 5:32 onwards.

3.7 Brett Shrinks
First shown 2nd January 1991
'Unable to lift a heavy wardrobe up the stairs, Angelo solves the problem by inventing a handy, portable shrinking machine which reduces the wardrobe to the size of a matchbox.  Unfortunately, when Brett Douglas pays a call, he becomes intrigued by the mysterious gadget and accidentally turns it on himself.  For once in his life, Brett Douglas is cut down to size.'
Guest cast:
Gavin Richards as Brett Douglas
The making of this episode was shown in ITV Schools' programme Design and Technology: The Programme Makers, kindly added to YouTube by VideotapeFTW and available here.

3.8 The Form Master
First shown 9th January 1991
'Mike's in trouble at school. The Form Master phones up to speak to Rita, and in the heat of the moment Angelo lapses into falsetto and pretends to be her. Things get doubly sticky when the Form Master decides to pay a call, prompting Angelo to climb into Rita's dress and bung on a wig. Doubly sticky becomes trebly sticky when the Form Master realises he's developing a uncontrollable crush for "Rita".'
Guest cast:
Michael Bertenshaw as the Form Master. He also appeared twice in Spatz.
Watch the very beginning of this episode (and some of the subsequent episodes) in this Children's ITV clip on YouTube from 3:35 onwards.

3.9 The Dummy
First shown 16th January 1991
'Rita's new boss, Mrs. Roper, gives her a thrilling assignment. She is to interview the Prime Minister on national television, and in order to prepare, Mrs. Roper comes round to the house then is forced to stay overnight. But chaos is in the offing, because Angelo's new friend, a bizarre ventriloquist's dummy, suddenly gets legs and decides its time for some mischief.'
Guest cast:
Maggie Ollerenshaw as Mrs. Roper. Would be seen again in Series 4 episode The Hovel. Maggie Ollerenshaw also appeared in Open All Hours and T-Bag (Bounces Back)

3.10 Mother's Birthday
First shown 23rd January 1991
'Mother hits a late life crisis on her 60th birthday when she over-hears Rita plotting to have her "put out to grass". As it happens, Rita was referring to Angelo's pet goat - but mother is determined to prove that far from being over the hill, she's every bit the boogier she always was.'
Guest cast:
Libby Morris as Nancy Mancini
Bill Maynard
 as George Luscombe. One of Lee Pressman's favourite Mike & Angelo guest stars.

3.11 Mother Finds Out
First shown 30th January 1991
'Mike and Rita's efforts to keep the truth about Angelo from Mike's grandma crumble when Angelo is discovered hopping around on the ceiling. Mrs Mancini tells Mr Pinner, and soon the Army, Navy and Air Force are all homing in. Angelo admits it's time to take some drastic action.'
Guest cast:
Libby Morris as Nancy Mancini
John Levitt
as Cyril Pinner

3.12 The Basement
First shown 6th February 1991
'An escaped man-eating lion, a faulty door latch, and a Sony Walkman: three apparently disparate objects come together at the wrong moment to result in a day of unheard-of pandemonium at the King residence, as one by one, the members of the household begin to disappear.'
Guest cast:
Libby Morris as Nancy Mancini

3.13 Invisible Paint
First shown 13th February 1991
'Angelo gets into star-gazing - but rather than take the roof off the house he does things the simple way by sloshing the ceiling with invisible paint. Simple, that is, until he accidentally tips a whole bucket of the stuff all over Mike, who promptly vanishes from sight, on the very day that his grandma is going away and is anxious to see him before she leaves.'
Guest cast:
Libby Morris as Nancy Mancini
According to Grant Cathro, Mike's invisibility in this episode was to allow for a planned trip abroad by Matt Wright. When this trip didn't happen, Matt was able to deliver his lines from off camera as the scenes were filmed.

Next, a departing King heralded an interregnum of sorts for the series. 

Series 3, Episode 328th November 1990'Angelo tries to get Rita and Mike talking to each other again.' (BFI)Guest cast: Alessia Gwyther as Philippa Fraser

Series 3, Episode 45th December 1990'Angelo invents a Time Machine.' (BFI)Guest cast: John Levitt as Cyril Pinner

Phase Three (1991-1992): No Mike

Main characters: Rita (Shelley Thompson), Angelo II (Tim Whitnall

Mike left during the first episode of Series 4 (17th October - 19th December 1991), creating a gap in the main cast that wasn't properly filled until the fifth series in 1993. It was on Thursdays (4:20) but was then repeated in 1992 on Tuesdays (4:15).

In most episodes, Angelo had a new friend in the form of Ellie, played by Jade Magri. Ellie and Angelo are in an advert in this CITV clip on YouTube from 2:28 onwards. This series also featured the return of Rita's mother Nancy, and new neighbours the Hopes. All episodes of Series 4 were directed by Neville Green.

On the absence of a Mike for most of Series 4, Lee Pressman has said: 'I can't remember how this came about, but I would think that after our first Mike left we hadn't found a suitable replacement, and rather than hiring somebody inferior we decided to press on with a series called Mike & Angelo without a Mike.'

Series 4 included a number of Lee Pressman's favourite episodes: The Hovel, Sunflowers and A House Divided. 

In 2016, an ITV schools programme on the making of Mike & Angelo Series 4 (Middle English: Making Television) was uploaded to YouTube. You can watch it here. Thank you to VideotapeFTW for this. 

4.1 Mike's Farewell
First shown 17th October 1991. Script by Lee Pressman and Grant Cathro
'Angelo's efforts to rekindle Rita and Tony's love life seem to be paying off, until Tony discovers how badly Mike is doing at school and suggests his son would fare better back in the good old U.S. of A.'
Guest cast:
Jeff Harding as Tony King. His final appearance in the series.
Jade Magri as Ellie. Also appeared in in Spatz (Clowning Around, Series 1) and Runaway Bay.
This episode is available in full on YouTube.


4.2 New Friends And Neighbours
First shown 24th October 1991. Script by Lee Pressman & Grant Cathro
'As Angelo gets excited by the arrival of a potential new friend who moves in next door, Mr Pinner (blown out of his bath by one of Angelo's home-made ballistic missiles) persuades Lucy's dad that Angelo is a dire influence on all sane children.'
Guest cast:
John Levitt as Cyril Pinner
Christopher Bramwell as Richard Hope. Also appeared in T-Bag and the Sunstones of Montezuma as Diggory Hunt. 
Kate Ryan as Lucy Hope. The Hopes were seen again in two further Series 4 episodes.

4.3 The Hovel
First shown 31st October 1991. Repeated 15th December 1992. Story by Lee Pressman & Grant Cathro. Script by Lee Pressman
'When Rita gets the sack both Ellie and Angelo conspire to shame Mrs. Roper into reconsidering her decision.'
Guest cast:
Jade Magri as Ellie
Maggie Ollerenshaw
 as Mrs. Roper. Previously seen in Series 3 episode The Dummy.
This episode is available to watch on YouTube.
 There's a second upload with adverts, CITV continuity and a next episode preview.

4.4 Dad's Doubles
First shown 7th November 1991. Story by Lee Pressman & Grant Cathro. Script by Grant Cathro
'Angelo's three-dimensional photocopier runs amok and won't stop duplicating Lucy's dad.' Hope springs eternal?
Guest cast:
Christopher Bramwell as Richard Hope
Kate Ryan as Lucy Hope
Set designer Graham Probst (pictured) referred to this episode when commenting on his work on Mike & Angelo in the press. 'The scriptwriters come up with whatever they want and our job is simply to cope with it. The only time we haven't been able to was when Mike's father [sic] was supposed to fall into a 3-D copier and get reproduced umpteen times. It would simply have been impossible to have shown the same actor walking around the set multiplied so many times. Otherwise we've managed to cope with everything that's been thrown at us.'

4.5 Mother's Comeback
First shown 14th November 1991. Script by Lee Pressman & Grant Cathro
'Rita's retired actress mother hankers after a return to the stage, and successfully auditions for a role in a West End show. But then she really does break a leg.'
Guest cast:
Jade Magri as Ellie
Libby Morris as Nancy Mancini
This episode is available on YouTube.


4.6 The Blob
First shown 21st November 1991. Story by Lee Pressman & Grant Cathro. Script by Lee Pressman
'Angelo is invited to bring a girlfriend to Mr Pinner's party but the only woman Angelo knows well enough to ask is the one he regularly chats to on his intergalactic CB radio. When his date for the night turns up and resembles a walking blob with luminous antlers, Angelo has to risk hurting her feelings by backing out of going to the party.'
Guest cast:
Jade Magri as Ellie
John Levitt
 as Cyril Pinner
Linda Goggin as Marjorie
Marjorie's home galaxy, Amtoudi, was also mentioned by intergalactic superhero Captain Electric in an episode of Spatz shown earlier in 1991, and in The Tomorrow People serial The Rameses Connection in 1995. It's a reference to a special trip Grant Cathro made to Amtoudi in Morocco.
This episode is available on YouTube.


4.7 The Dinner Party
First shown 28th November 1991. Story by Lee Pressman & Grant Cathro. Script by Grant Cathro
'Angelo uses the rejuvenating powers of a magical crystal to try and breathe new life into an old dog.  Unfortunately for Rita (and her career prospects, on the night her important new boss is coming to dinner) the magical crystal's extraordinary effects get to work on the wrong subject.'
Guest cast:
Christopher Bramwell as Richard Hope
Kate Ryan as Lucy Hope
Doyne Bird as Spackman
This episode is available on YouTube.

4.8 Sunflowers
First shown 5th December 1991. Story by Lee Pressman & Grant Cathro. Script by Lee Pressman
'Sunflowers, the world-famous painting by Vincent Van Gogh, is stolen from the National Gallery. Rita is stunned when it mysteriously turns up in Angelo's attic.'
Guest cast:
Jade Magri as Ellie
John Levitt
as Cyril Pinner
This episode is available on YouTube.
 

4.9 The Warrior
First shown 12th December 1991. Story by Lee Pressman & Grant Cathro. Script by Grant Cathro
'Big trouble when Angelo's new interactive computer game goes awry. During a fight-till-the-death contest between Ellie and the god Thor, the great horned warrior escapes from the confines of his computer-generated home and runs rampage through Rita's house. Thor is programmed not to stop until he has killed his competitor - that is, unless 12-year old Ellie can beat him at his own game.'
Guest cast:
Jade Magri as Ellie
Gavin Richards
 as Brett Douglas
David Bowles as Thor
The making of this episode was shown in ITV Schools' programme Middle English: Making Television, kindly added to YouTube by VideotapeFTW and available here.

4.10 A House Divided
First shown 19th December 1991. Script by Lee Pressman & Grant Cathro
'Rita and her mother have a blazing row and realise they can't contemplate living together under the same roof any more. Angelo dreams up a solution designed to ease an impossible situation: he splits the house in two. Will his ruse break down barriers or create new ones?'
Guest cast (making final appearances in Mike & Angelo):
Jade Magri as Ellie
Libby Morris
as Nancy Mancini 
This episode is available on YouTube.

The start of Series 5 was the beginning of Mike & Angelo's next era.

Phase Four (1993-1994): The Second Mike Arrives

Main characters: Rita (Shelley Thompson), Mike II (Michael Benz), Angelo II (Tim Whitnall). Picture

Rita's son Mike had flown the nest and his place was taken by a younger namesake: Mike Mason, son of Rita's sister Patti. The series is given new opening titles and new theme music that would surely bring any line-dancing class to glorious life. (To hear the music looped and put to bizarre use, watch the animated YouTube video of Roy Hodgson's Musical Walkabout.)

Michael Benz is English by birth but his parents, Thomas and Peggy, are American, giving him dual nationality. He was one of six children. In a 2012 interview on the Georgetown University website, Michael recalls how "these producers and casting people came to the American School in London and said they were looking for a young boy, blonde preferably, to play this character Mike on this children's sitcom." Taking inspiration from Macaulay Culkin in Home Alone, Michael went for the part, and won it after 'five or six auditions'. Like his character, he lived in north London. Grant Cathro has praised Mike Benz for giving an 'astonishingly assured and nuanced performance that blew us all away'.

1993 publicity photo. Thanks to eBay user nordicpix

 

Series 5 (7th January - 11th March 1993) went out at 4:20 on Thursdays. Mr. Pinner made further appearances in this series, and Brett was seen for the first time since Series 3. As well as Patti, this series also introduced Mr. Pinner's niece Melanie and a new boss for Rita, Howard Fogle.

5.1 New Kid On The Block
First shown 7th January 1993. Script by Lee Pressman & Grant Cathro
'It's all change at the King household as Rita gets herself a new job and Angelo gets himself a new friend - Mike from the USA.' (BFI)
Guest cast:
John Levitt as Cyril Pinner
Jocelyn Cunningham as Patti Mason
This episode is available in full on YouTube.


5.2 Robot Rita
First shown 14th January 1993. Script by Lee Pressman & Grant Cathro
'Rita gets a chance to shine in her new job when Howard Fogle entrusts her with an advertising campaign for Klugman's Hair Rollers. But on the day of the presentation, she has an accident and is delayed. Fortunately (or not) Angelo's into building androids this week; enter Robot Rita!'
Guest cast:
John Savident as Howard Fogle. Would be seen again in this series and the next. Also appeared in T-Bag and Coronation Street. One of Grant Cathro's favourite guest stars.
John Grillo as Herr Klugman. John Grillo would appear again in Series 10 episode Upstairs, Downstairs. In 1992 he had appeared in Spatz (Driving Miss Wesley, Series 3, 1992) and B&B.

5.3 The Phantom Zone
First shown 21st January 1993. Story by Lee Pressman & Grant Cathro. Script by Grant Cathro
In the heat of a rant prompted by the breakage of Patti's award, Rita tells Angelo to go. And he does. Or does he?
Guest cast: Jocelyn Cunningham as Patti Mason
This episode is available to watch on YouTube.
 Duplicate upload here.

5.4 Tunnel Of Love
First shown 28th January 1993. Script by Lee Pressman & Grant Cathro
Mike falls for Mr. Pinner's niece, but Mr. Pinner is far from happy about it. When he bans them from going to a funfair on Hampstead Heath, Angelo decides to bring it to them.
Guest cast:
John Levitt as Cyril Pinner
Alexandra Milman as Melanie Pinner. She would be seen again in this series and the next. She also appeared in two more of Grant Cathro and Lee Pressman's shows, The Tomorrow People and the award winning B&B (here on YouTube).

5.5 Mountains Out Of Molehills
First shown 4th February 1993. Script by Lee Pressman & Grant Cathro
'Mike's birthday party approaches, and everyone is invited. Mike is horrified when he discovers an ugly pimple on his nose, and fearing humiliation before Melanie gladly accepts Angelo's home remedy guaranteed to "pull out the infection". Sadly, the potion pulls out rather more than the guys were expecting.'
Guest cast:
Alexandra Milman as Melanie Pinner

5.6 Putting Up With Pinner
First shown 11th February 1993. Script by Lee Pressman & Grant Cathro
'When Cyril Pinner's wife throws him out of the house, Rita does the neighbourly thing and invites him in.  Mike and Angelo find themselves saddled with the lodger from hell, and no force on earth can make him apologise to the short-suffering Mrs P.'
Guest cast:
John Levitt as Cyril Pinner
Miranda Forbes as Mrs. Pinner

5.7 Fly On The Wall
First shown 18th February 1993. Script by Lee Pressman & Grant Cathro
The devious nephew of Rita's boss is out to take the credit for her work, but Angelo's cranium interchange modulator could soon put a stop to it.
Guest cast:
John Savident as Howard Fogle. Would return in Series 6.
Joe Greco as Raymond Fogle. Joe played Vince Powers in Spatz
This episode is available to watch on YouTube in two parts: Part 1, Part 2. Also available: the whole episode.
The episode Fuzzball (Series 2 Episode 7) was mistitled Fly On The Wall when on ITV Player in January-February 2013.
Fly On The Wall was Mike & Angelo's 50th episode.

5.8 Brett's Lucky Day
First shown 25th February 1993. Script by Lee Pressman & Grant Cathro
'Angelo is amazed when out of the wardrobe flies a magic meteorite which brings good luck to whoever wears it.  But trouble looms in the shape of Rita's greedy ex-partner Brett.'
Guest cast:
Gavin Richards as Brett Douglas. Final appearance on the show.

5.9 Mister Perfect
First shown 4th March 1993. Script by Lee Pressman & Grant Cathro
'Hunky, talented Jeff appears on the scene and sets his sights on Melanie. Mike's jealousy turns to despair when it seems Jeff can outdo him at every turn. Melanie is especially impressed by Jeff's prowess at judo, prompting Mike to boast that he too is a martial arts champ. A match is arranged; pity the only black belt Mike owns is the one which keeps his pyjama bottoms up.'
Guest cast:
Alexandra Milman as Melanie Pinner
Nick Zwicky
 as Jeff

5.10 Homeward Bound
First shown 11th March 1993. Script by Lee Pressman & Grant Cathro
'It's the end of Patti's European business trip and time for Mike to return home. Potential sadness all round. Our loopy alien chum races to the rescue by knocking together a home-made Matter Transporter, so that Mike can come and visit any time. But the trial run goes disastrously wrong, leaving Mike marooned at the North Pole.'
Guest cast:
Jocelyn Cunningham as Patti Mason

It was between the showings of Series 5 and 6 that Susan Mather at Tetra Films received a fascinating letter about Mike & Angelo guest stars who almost were. You can read it here.

Series 6 originally ran from 22nd February to 26th April 1994. As well as seeing Patti again, we were also introduced to her husband (Mike II's dad) Barney. Cyril and Melanie Pinner made return appearances, as did Howard Fogle. And we finally got to see a member of Angelo's family.

6.1 Love Boat
First shown 22nd February 1994. Script by Lee Pressman & Grant Cathro
'Mike blows back into Angelo's life when his mum and dad arrive prior to a six week Mediterranean cruise: it's their second honeymoon. But Patti and Barney's relationship is in trouble, and it needs more than just sea air and sunshine to put it right. On the eve of their departure, Patti and Barney fall out spectacularly and the cruise is called off. Barney is suffering a mid-life crisis, and confides in Angelo that he wishes he were ten years younger - which is a little like fanning a kitten with a haddock. In double-quick time, Angelo has come up with the ideal solution, a rejuvenating cabinet guaranteed to knock off a decade and give Barney the new lease of life which he craves so badly.'
Guest cast:
Alexandra Milman as Melanie Pinner. Last seen in Series 5.
Jocelyn Cunningham as Patti Mason. Last seen in Series 5.
Peter Banks as Barney Mason. As well as playing Barney again in later episodes, Peter Banks would appear in the final episode of Mike & Angelo in 2000 as Travis B. Huckleberry III. He also appeared in T-Bag (Sunstones of Montezuma)
Harry Forte as Henry Edwards

6.2 Trust Me, I'm A Doctor!
First shown 1st March 1994. Story by Lee Pressman & Grant Cathro. Script by Lee Pressman
'Cyril Pinner's elder brother Sidney arrives from Canada, where he enjoys a formidable reputation as a top lawyer. His appearance throws Cyril into a pit of depression: Sydney's success makes him feel even more of a failure than he already is. Angelo decides to be neighbourly and concocts a cunning ruse designed to restore in his chum a little self-esteem.'
Guest cast:
John Levitt as Cyril Pinner
Roger Sloman as Sydney Pinner. Also appeared in T-Bag (Turn On To T-BagPearls of Wisdom) and The Tomorrow People (The Culex Experiment)

6.3 Like Father, Like Son
First shown 8th March 1994. Script by Lee Pressman & Grant Cathro
'There's amazement all round when Angelo's dad flies out of the wardrobe aboard his inter-dimensional flying bathchair. Angelo is overwhelmed to see his parent again after all these years, but is torn clean down the middle when dad announces he's come to rescue him and take him home.'
Guest cast:
Ron Moody as Angelo's Dad
This episode is available in full on YouTube. It includes the phrase "luminous chamois", also used in by a guest actor in Spatz episode 3.6


This episode includes the phrase "luminous Shammy", also used in by a guest actor in Spatz episode 3.6


6.4 Model Child
First shown 15th March 1994. Story by Lee Pressman & Grant Cathro. Script by Grant Cathro
'When Angelo's garden bobsleigh smashes into the house, he's determined to use his photographic skills to capture the moment. But the resulting picture falls into the hands of Rita's client, who decides she'd like to use the kid in the photo for her new global poster campaign. Enter Howard Fogle, persuaded against his better instincts to let Angelo organise the photo shoot. Melanie can't believe it when all of this goes straight to Mike's head. That's when Fogle floors them all by pointing out that the client didn't mean the boy kid, she meant the girl kid.'
Guest cast:
Alexandra Milman as Melanie Pinner
John Savident as Howard Fogle. Last seen in Series 5.
Episode available on YouTube.

6.5 Up To My Neck
First shown 22nd March 1994. Story by Lee Pressman & Grant Cathro. Script by Grant Cathro
'Mike and Melanie's ventriloquism act so outrages Uncle Cyril that he takes Melanie home and locks her in her room, to be freed only when Angelo digs a tunnel between the two houses. Pinner is confident that Melanie's mum will see for herself what screaming madcaps her daughter has befriended, so everyone determines to be on their very best behaviour. But on the day of mum's arrival, Angelo's magic "head in a suitcase" act goes awry and Mike's entire bonce does a bunk. What's worse, his body appears to have a mind of its own.'
Guest cast:
Alexandra Milman as Melanie Pinner
John Levitt as Cyril Pinner
Harriet Thorpe as Margaret Pinner. Harriet Thorpe on Twitter

6.6 Winner Takes All
First shown 29th March 1994. Story by Lee Pressman & Grant Cathro. Script by Lee Pressman
'Angelo is over the moon to hear he's gone and won the grand Betta-Buff Beeswax Furniture Polish competition, first prize: a complete home refurbishment. So as to surprise Rita, Mike and Angelo put all her furniture out to the binmen in advance of the prize turning up. Too bad Angelo read the letter wrong. He's won second prize: a lifetime's supply of furniture polish. Mike bluffs furiously and convinces Aunty Rita that the house has been burgled, but hasn't reckoned on her submitting an insurance claim. Enter Aubrey Hepburn, a fraud investigator who's been in the claim game for 28 years - with a devastating witness report of what actually happened. Is Rita about to be picked up by the fuzz?'
Guest cast:
John Bardon as Aubrey Hepburn. John Bardon would appear again in Series 11 episode Traffic. He had appeared in Spatz in 1992 (Poetry And Music, Series 3) and later appeared in EastEnders as Jim Branning.

6.7 Blast From The Past
First shown 5th April 1994. Story by Lee Pressman & Grant Cathro. Script by Lee Pressman
'Childhood sweetheart Jerry Finklestein looks up Rita, who casts her mind back and remembers him as the demi-god of the school sandpit. But the years have not been kind to Jerry, who arrives for Rita's eagerly-offered dinner invite looking like a warthog in a wig - the world's clumsiest, most pushy and tactless man. Meanwhile, Angelo is hard at work composing a love sonnet on behalf of Mike for Melanie, who has accused her boyfriend of being unromantic.  When Jerry believes the sonnet is meant for him, from Rita, wedding bells ring - as do alarm ones.'
Guest cast:
Alexandra Milman as Melanie Pinner
Kerry Shale as Jerry Finklestein. Also appeared in T-Bag (Sunstones of Montezuma, Take Off With T. Bag) Kerry's website
Belinda Peters as Maureen

6.8 Stuck On You
First shown 12th April 1994. Story by Lee Pressman & Grant Cathro. Script by Grant Cathro
'Angelo's clockwork ping-pong ball demolishes the sitting room, making Rita glad that she's been taking woodwork classes to save money on repairs. But she's not terribly proficient, and finally resorts to using Angelo's special formula glue to prevent her dovetail joints from flying apart. Meanwhile, Mike is overheard making secret plans to meet up with the mysterious Christine and spends all day doing his darnedest to avoid Mel - who suspects the worst. When Mike and Christine fall foul of Angelo's superglue, their entire friendship, unlike Mike and Christine's hands, looks like it could come quickly unstuck.'
Guest cast:
Alexandra Milman as Melanie Pinner
Xanthe Fuller
 as Christine

6.9 Pinner Plc
First shown 19th April 1994. Script by Lee Pressman
'A gang of yobs on Larkswood lane call Pinner a slaphead, which throws him into a depression. Angelo races to the rescue with a hair-grow tonic. Rita's Accounts Executive Ralph Dimpey turns up and finds a soulmate in Pinner, but as the hair grow tonic takes effect, Dimpey sees a way of exploiting Angelo's discovery and going global.'
Guest cast:
John Levitt as Cyril Pinner
Dave Hill as Ralph Dimpey
Angelo previously used hair grow tonic in Series 2 episode Hair Today.

6.10 A Wonderful Wife
First shown 26th April 1994. Script by Grant Cathro (this being one of his favourite episodes)
'Mike is astounded when Patti and Barney return unexpectedly from Majorca. Turns out their cruise has been curtailed by Mike's mum, who has returned to London for a vital job interview. Angelo dons a fedora, Mike clacks his castanets, and the pair of them dance a fandango to blow away Barney's post-holiday blues. But during the impromptu fiesta, a phone call comes for Patti, who's gone shopping for an all-important interview outfit. As Angelo's guitar catches fire, Barney jots down the message: "Come early, we're having a sixties party all day!" Patti obliges with a flower-painted face and a far-from-hip hippy outfit. Too bad for Barney he misheard the message: "Come early, we're having restricted parking all day!" Convinced her career is over, Patti vents her frustration by publicly announcing that she wishes she had never married Barney in the first place. In fact, she wishes she hadn't ever met him - and she means it. Angelo plays guardian angel to Mike's mum and dad, and shows Patti how things would have been if she'd got her wish.'
Guest cast:
John Levitt as Cyril Pinner
Alexandra Milman as Melanie Pinner
Jocelyn Cunningham as Patti Mason
Peter Banks as Barney Mason
All these characters made their final Mike & Angelo appearances in this episode, though Peter Banks would return as a different character in the last episode in 2000.
This episode is available in full on YouTube.
This also was Rita's 63rd and last episode...

...So with Series 7 came another new phase.

Phase Five (1995-1998): Katy Takes Charge

Main characters: Mike II (Michael Benz), Angelo II (Tim Whitnall), Katy (Katy Murphy)

With Rita's departure, a vacancy opened up in the house for a new mother figure and 'sensible one'. Cue Katy Murphy, who had played Fiona 'Freddy' Reddy in Spatz, joining the main cast as Scottish drama student and housekeeper Katy Andrews.

Katy Murphy was born in 1963. For the story of how she came to be in Spatz, please see my main Spatz page. For more on her acting career, please see Karen Barclay's blog article about her.

Series 7 ran from 5th January until 9th March 1995 for 10 episodes, on Thursdays at 4:15. Recurring characters included Mike's maternal uncle Bob, Mike's girlfriend Sam and neighbour Daphne Fawkes-Bentley: another great Pressman/Cathro casting crossover in the form of Elizabeth Estensen, the original T-Bag.

Alex Bartlette joined Lee Pressman and Grant Cathro on scriptwriting duties, having also worked with them as an actor on T-Bag (Rings Of Olympus, Take Off With T. Bag) and Spatz (Series 2, 1991: Time And Efficiency). Grant explains: 'When Series 7 of Mike & Angelo got commissioned, Lee and I were so swamped we experimented with bringing in some outside writers to share the burden. I asked Alex if he fancied a crack at it, and in my role as script editor we turned out three or four scripts together which were very well received – so later, while Lee was busy working on various solo projects, Alex and I decided to reform our old partnership and went on to write almost 30 more episodes of Mike & Angelo and a ton of other stuff besides.'

750 children were surveyed by the Television Opinion Panel about Series 7 of Mike & Angelo. Here are some of the results:

68% agreed with the statement 'I'd seen some of the previous series and liked it';
44% agreed with the statement 'It was one of my favourite programmes';
63% agreed that it was funny;
64% agreed that it was interesting;
64% liked the domestic setting;
62% thought the stories were good; 
81% of boys aged 7-9 said they would watch more of this series;
42% said that Mike & Angelo was better than most other children's TV programmes;
Only 9% said that they would not like to see another series;
58% chose Angelo as their favourite character, 35% chose Mike, 30% chose Katy;
51% liked Katy's nationality, 51% liked Katy's;
Only 10% didn't like seeing Angelo 'do magic';
53% disagreed with the statement 'Angelo should have acted more like an adult';
48% considered Series 7 to be Mike & Angelo's best series yet;
46% preferred Katy to Rita;
45% missed next-door neighbour Mr. Pinner.

7.1 Mrs Shoutfire
First shown 5th January 1995. Script by Lee Pressman
'Mike and Angelo are left guessing what the future holds for them when Rita zooms off across the Atlantic and leaves Mike's useless Uncle Bob in charge.'
Guest cast:
Ron Berglas as Bob Mancini. Also appeared in The Tomorrow People.
Janet Henfrey as Mrs. Hardacre
Annette Badland
as Miss Bliss
The title is a reference to that other great Scottish housekeeper Mrs. Doubtfire.
The clips of Mike and Katy in the Series 7-9 opening credits are taken from this episode.
This episode is available on YouTube.


7.2 Maestro Mike Mozart
First shown 12th January 1995. Script by Lee Pressman
'What better way for Mike to wow Sam than with some inside info about her favourite composer, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart?'
Guest cast:
Michael Benz as Mozart
Katie Pearson
as Sam
Lee Pressman remembers this as one of his favourite episodes.
The clip of Angelo in the Series 7-9 opening credits is taken from this episode.
This episode is available on YouTube.


7.3 Beat It, Kid!
First shown 19th January 1995. Script by Grant Cathro and Alex Bartlette
'All Sam and her friends Scott and Kelly need is a place to rehearse and the band's debut at the under-15s' disco will be a sure-fire hit. How could Mike refuse, especially since he is invited by Sam to pick up a pair of sticks and play drums? Even Katy thinks a bit of music in the house would be great... until she sees Scott and Kelly in action, and claps eyes on Angelo's home-made drum kit.'
Guest cast:
Katie Pearson as Sam
Richard Janes
as Scott
Rebecca Weeks as Kelly. Rebecca's posted on the Mike & Angelo fans' Facebook page.
The episode includes mentions of neighbour Mrs. Fawkes-Bentley, who is seen later this series.
This episode is available on YouTube.


7.4 Love Is Blind
First shown 26th January 1995. Script by Grant Cathro and Alex Bartlette
'He's tall, he's dark and he's handsome. And that's not only his mother's opinion, it's his. As far as Katy is concerned, fellow drama student Rupert Leach is a charmer: he certainly charms his way into Katy's house, which knocks the socks off his present student gaff, and soon he's all but moved in. Katy won't hear a word against Rupert, until Mike and Angelo uncover evidence which suggests that lovestruck Katy's boyfriend might not be quite the nice guy he seems.'
Guest cast:
Katie Pearson as Sam
Matthew Radford
 as Rupert Leach
Fiona McArthur
as Hilary

7.5 Ghost Of A Chance
First shown 2nd February 1995. Script by David Collier. Script edited by Grant Cathro
'Mike's convinced he's got to buy something nice to prove to Sam how much he likes her, but he's broke. Such minor issues are no impediment when Angelo is on the case.'
Guest cast:
Katie Pearson as Sam
Imogen Forte
 as Imogen

7.6 It's A Dog's Life
First shown 9th February 1995. Script by Lee Pressman
'What could Mike and Angelo possibly have said to hurt Katy so deeply that she'd sooner share her life with Daphne Fawkes-Bentley?'
Guest cast:
Elizabeth Estensen as Daphne Fawkes-Bentley. Made guest appearances in subsequent series of Mike & Angelo. Elizabeth Estensen had previously worked with Lee Pressman and Grant Cathro as the title character in the first five series of T-Bag.

7.7 Acting Up A Storm
First shown 16th February 1995. Script by David Collier. Script edited by Grant Cathro
'The storm of the century is about to hit southern England, but that's the least of Uncle Bob's worries when he overhears Katy wailing and gnashing her teeth.'
Guest cast:
Ron Berglas as Bob Mancini

7.8 Happy Families
First shown 23rd February 1995. Story by Stephen May. Script by Grant Cathro and Alex Bartlette
'Angelo wins a holiday in Lanzarote, but before they jet off to the sun, Angelo must cook a traditional family Sunday lunch for the competition's sponsor. Worse, he has to pull off the deceit of the decade by convincing a dubious PR man that he is not only Katy's loving husband but Mike's doting dad.'
Guest cast:
Robert Lang as Mr. Guthrie
John Vine as Mr. Pember

7.9 Recipe For Disaster
First shown 2nd March 1995. Script by James Stevenson. Scripted edited by Grant Cathro
'Nobody said life was fair, but as far as Mike's concerned it's downright loaded against him. About time, he reckons, to set Sam and Katy straight.'
Guest cast:
Katie Pearson as Sam

7.10 Hooray For Hollywood
First shown 9th March 1995. Script by Grant Cathro and Alex Bartlette
'All that hard work at Drama School has finally paid off for Katy as she gets an acting job in Hollywood. Mike feigns enthusiasm but really he's crushed - he's grown to love Katy and will miss her badly. Angelo decides that it would be in everybody's best interests if he can somehow talk Katy out of going.'
Guest cast (making their final Mike & Angelo appearances):
Katie Pearson as Sam
Ron Berglas as Bob Mancini
This episode is available on YouTube.

Series 8 ran from 4th January until 7th March 1996, at 4:15 on Thursdays, for 10 episodes. For the first time, we met a member of Katy's family: her sister Sheena. It was during this series that Michael Benz became the programme's longest serving Mike, notching up 35+ appearances to Matt Wright's 34.

8.1 Night Of The Zombie
First shown 4th January 1996. Script by Lee Pressman
'Mike has taken to staying up all night watching gory horror movies. In desperation Katy and Angelo disguise themselves as vampires to scare some sense into him.'
One of the few episodes not to feature guest characters.
A CITV preview of this episode is on YouTube.
 The full episode is also available on YouTube.

8.2 Private Angelo
First shown 11th January 1996. Script by Grant Cathro & Alex Bartlette
'Katy's in a lather following a run-in with Angelo's window-washing machine. She can't afford the repairs; it's high time Angelo marched out and got himself some paid work. Angelo returns all of a glow and doesn't understand why Mike and Katy don't share his enthusiasm for his new job - which involves every kind of fun from parachuting to mountaineering. He just doesn't get it; what's wrong with Angelo joining the Army? Afraid for their alien chum's safety (not to mention the safety of every British soldier) Mike and Katy finally persuade Angelo to unsign on the line. But no-one has reckoned on the furious reaction of Recruiting Sergeant Sayers - a man who believes that with the dishing out of discipline he can turn anyone into a soldier.'
Guest cast:
Tom Mannion as Sergeant Sayers. Tom Mannion had performed on stage with Katy Murphy years earlier, making Lee Pressman and Grant Cathro aware of her talents in the process. In 1992, he appeared in Spatz (Poetry And Music, Series 3).
A CITV preview of this episode is on YouTube.
 The full episode is also available on YouTube.

8.3 Don't Give A Monkey's
First shown 18th January 1996. Script by Lee Pressman
'Angelo believes he has turned Mike into a chimpanzee when Katy's animal activist sister, Sheena, hides a mistreated monkey in the house.'
Guest cast:
Julie Wilson Nimmo as Sheena. Later appeared in Balamory as Miss Hoolie.

8.4 My Pal Puck
First shown 25th January 1996. Script by Grant Cathro & Alex Bartlette
'Mike can laugh all he wants to, but Angelo is determined to write a television sitcom to beat all television sitcoms. All he needs is a funny idea. Following a sleepless night of non-stop typing and a rainforest's worth of crumpled paper, Angelo decides to find himself a writing partner: William Shakespeare. Will and Angelo's script, My Pal Puck, is a brilliant success with thrusting TV Executive Stella Steele, who commissions 63 further episodes on the spot. Trouble is, Shakespeare's in love with Katy - and until she responds in some positive way to his amorous advances, Will refuses to pen another single syllable.'
Guest cast:
Jasper Britton as William Shakespeare. Jasper Britton has acted in numerous Shakespeare plays. He is half-brother to presenter Fern Britton.
Debra Weston as Stella Steele. Debra Weston would return in Series 12 as Katy's cousin Monica.
Writer Grant Cathro once played the role of Puck in A Midsummer Night's Dream. Michael Benz went on to play Hamlet. This episode, available in full on YouTube, is among his personal favourites and was the all-time favourite of director Neville Green.

8.5 Good Morning, Cricklewood
First shown 1st February 1996. Script by Grant Cathro & Alex Bartlette
'It's turn on, tune in, to Radio Angelo - but when Angelo loses his voice he persuades Katy to step in and take to the airwaves for one day. However one day quickly turns into a whole new way of life as Katy discovers a hidden talent and wins over Angelo's audience with her own brand of chat show. The battle of the airwaves splits the household in two as Angelo sets up a rival station broadcasting from the garden shed.'
Guest cast:
Brian Shelley as Herman/Kelvin
Deborah Grant as Mary-Ann Mudge/Lady Caller
The episode title parodies Good Morning, Vietnam.
With this episode, Michael Benz's 35th, he exceeded Matt Wright's 34-episode tally, becoming (and remaining) Mike & Angelo's longest serving Mike.
This episode is available in full on YouTube.

8.6 An Actor's Life For Me
First shown 8th February 1996. Script by Lee Pressman
'Angelo believes he is helping Katy's acting career when he meets top director Mervyn K. Mertz. Unfortunately Mertz is no Hollywood bigwig, just the director of a company producing the Mertz Mighty Dust Busting vacuum cleaner.'
Guest cast:
Brian Murphy as Mervyn K. Mertz. Also appeared in T-Bag (Strikes Again).
Angelo can be heard singing the Mertz jingle while vacuuming the living room in Series 10 episode War And Pizza. He was one of Lee Pressman's favourite Mike & Angelo guest stars and this episode was one of Lee's favourites, as well as one of Tim's.
The episode is available in full on YouTube.

8.7 The Fugitive
First shown 15th February 1996. Script by Grant Cathro & Alex Bartlette
'Angelo goes down to the shopping mall for a pizza and comes back with a holdall full of dosh. Before Mike can figure out how to return the bag, a newscaster is warning viewers to call the police at once if they see the man pictured on mall security cameras; and there on TV is Angelo - bank robber! Archie McDuff, CID, is hot on the trail and Angelo is hauled down to the station for questioning. Katy is about to set everything straight when the real bank robber bursts into the house and lays siege to Mike and Katy until Angelo returns the stolen spondulicks.'
Guest cast:
Ron Donachie as Archie McDuff. Also been in Titanic, Doctor Who, Game of Thrones
Sebastian Abineri as Henry Hanks. Also appeared in T-Bag (Christmas Turkey, Take Off With T. Bag)
Henrietta Bess as Newscaster
Watch this episode on YouTube (titled The Robbery): Part 1Part 2. Also available as a single video.

8.8 The Larkswood Kid
First shown 22nd February 1996. Script by Ken Allen Jones
Katy becomes a used car salesperson.
Guest cast:
Mac McDonald as Cactus Billy. Also known for playing Captain Hollister in Red Dwarf.
The title is a reference to Larkswood Lane, where Mike and Angelo and Katy live, and parodies The Cincinatti Kid.

8.9 The Big Flap
First shown 29th February 1996. Script by Grant Cathro & Alex Bartlette
'Tents pitched in the sitting room, pterodactyls on the ceiling. It's the best time Mike's new friend Jodie has had in ages. But her father, Mr. Miller, doesn't see the funny side - all he sees are the dangers of his daughter dallying with the madcaps next door. Angelo makes a plan to save the day, disguising himself as Mike's dad, Barney, intent on having a "father-to-father chat" with Mr. Miller to reassure him and let Jodie accompany the gang on a forthcoming camping trip. But Angelo's pet pterodactyl goes nuts and carries him over the horizon. Can Katy pull off the acting challenge of her career?'
Guest cast:
Vanessa Cavanagh as Jodie Miller. Also appeared in The Biz and was a 'final fifty' Pop Idol contestant in 2002. Tragically died in a car accident later that year, aged 18.
William Chubb as Mr. Miller. Had appeared in CITV drama series Just Us.
This episode is available in full on YouTube.


8.10 Heirs And Graces
First shown 7th March 1996. Repeated 6th January 2013. Script by Lee Pressman
As Mike's 14th birthday approaches, he learns that he has inherited a title from a distant uncle, and is now Lord Michael. Will Angelo, not known for keeping his feet on the ground, help Mike as he tries to do the same?
The previous year, Michael Benz (Mike) had appeared in a BBC production ofLittle Lord Fauntleroy (which can be found on YouTube) playing the title role, making the episode something of an in-joke. This page has more information on his Faunterloy suit in Mike & Angelo.
This episode has been uploaded YouTube. On one of the uploads, the description of the episode there has been copied from this page. If you would like to use original content from my website, please ask first.

Series 9 was a 10-episode series in a Thursday 4:15 time slot. It ran from 9th January to 20th March 1997. Recurring characters were Daphne Fawkes-Bentley and Mike's new girlfriend Zoe. We also got to meet Katy's parents.

9.1 Down In The Dumps
First shown 9th January 1997. Script by Lee Pressman
'When their house is condemned, Mike, Katy and Angelo are on the verge of becoming homeless.  Before it’s demolished, it’s down to Angelo to convince the Man from the Council that William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar and the Duke of Flip Flop all once lived in this ancient and historic building.'
Guest cast:
Philip Pope as Graham Grimsdale
This episode is available on YouTube.


9.2 Snookered
First shown 16th January 1997. Script by Grant Cathro and Alex Bartlette
In need of quick cash after apparently ruining Katy's prized guitar, Angelo gets himself caught in the jaws of a loanshark. Is there a way he can turn the tables?
Guest cast:
Anthony O'Donnell as Dan Sharkey. The character would return in the next series. Anthony O'Donnell had previously been in Spatz (Loot, Series 2, 1991)... as a loanshark... called Danny, who lent money to Katy Murphy's character! Impressively, he also made appearances in two more Pressman & Cathro shows: T-Bag (Rings of Olympus) and The Tomorrow People (The Rameses Connection).
Jason Parker as Big Arnie
This episode is available on YouTube.

9.3 The Boomers
First shown 23rd January 1997. Script by Lee Pressman
'Noisy new Australian neighbours, the Boomers, are driving everyone crazy, so Angelo decides to make even more noise with his electric guitar in a desperate attempt to make them shut up. But when the Boomers' house starts to fall down around their ears they are forced to move in with Angelo, Mike and Katy.' Everybody needs good neighbours.
Guest cast:
Brad Hall as Baz Boomer
Moya O'Shea as Madge Boomer. Moya's website
This was one of Lee Pressman's favourite episodes. It's available on YouTube. Its "horse-pital" joke was also used in episode 2.2.
Fictional soap opera The Flying Foot Doctor, watched by the Boomers in this episode, had been mentioned more than once in Spatz.

9.4 Skin Deep
First shown 30th January 1997. Script by Grant Cathro and Alex Bartlette
'Angelo reckons that Katy's love life is a wreck and urges her to join a video dating agency. In order to get some peace, long suffering Katy humours him and is soon fast forwarding through a heap of tapes which feature every kind of weirdo. But then Katy happens upon the introductory tape of the gorgeous Jean-Pierre, a sophisticated Frenchman who hopes to meet an equally sophisticated English Rose. Can Katy seriously convince him?  Angelo thinks she can!'
Guest cast:
Andy Downs as Clifford
James Vaughan as Jean-Pierre
Candice Hallinan
as Zoe. She reappeared in several episodes of this series and the next.
This episode is available on YouTube.

9.5 The Antics Roadshow
First shown 6th February 1997. Script by Lee Pressman
'After Daphne is burgled, and her precious Ming Vase stolen, Angelo turns detective, assuming the mantle of Dick Angelo, private eye (with an eye for the ladies and a nose for the job). Things start to get a little sticky when the vase gets smashed and Angelo gets to work with the super glue.'
Guest cast:
Elizabeth Estensen as Daphne Fawkes-Bentley
The Mertz Dust Buster, the vacuum cleaner from episode 8.6, is mentioned in this episode.
The episode is available on YouTube.


9.6 Angelo And Cleopatra
First shown 13th February 1997. Script by Grant Cathro and Alex Bartlette
'Katy is overjoyed when she lands the part of Cleopatra. But she hasn't a lot of time to research the role.  Resourceful as ever, Angelo rushes to her aid by plucking the real Queen of the Nile from her palace in ancient Alexandria. Angelo pleads with Cleo to give Katy a few searing insights into her personality, but Cleopatra is only interested in one thing: Angelo.'
Guest cast:
Jennifer Calvert as Cleopatra. Another core member of Lee Pressman and Grant Cathro's crossover crew, she had worked with them (and Katy Murphy) on Spatz as Karen Hansson, followed by a guest role in T-Bag (Rings Of Olympus). Her guest appearance here as a 'lustrous, unhinged Cleopatra' is remembered by Grant Cathro as a favourite.
George Camiller as Antony
Candace Hallinan as Zoe
This episode is available in full on YouTube.

9.7 Jitterbugs
First shown 27th February 1997. Script by Grant Cathro and Alex Bartlette (this episode being one of Grant's personal favourites)
'Katy's mum and dad arrive from Scotland to take part in the grand London finals of a jive contest. But during a practise session, dad drops mum and she puts her back out. Mum is impressed by Angelo's healing skills and blown away when he takes her jive-dancing on the ceiling. Mum ditches dad as her partner in favour of Angelo, so Katy has her hands full if she's to get her parents to go to the dance contest together. And Mike's no help: he's trying hard to be in two places at once, by employing Angelo's amazing speed belt.'
Guest cast:
Candace Hallinan as Zoe
James Ellis as Harry Andrews. Fondly remembered by Grant Cathro for his 'superbly touching' performance here.
June Watson as Helen Andrews
This episode is available in full on YouTube.

9.8 Home To Roast
First shown 6th March 1997. Script by Ken Allen-Jones
Daphne Fawkes-Bentley's parrot Esmerelda escapes.

9.9 Angelo's About
First shown 13th March 1997. Script by Johnny Meres
'Angelo's interest in film production spells trouble for Mike.' (BFI)

9.10 A Turn Up For The Books
20th March 1997. Script by Grant Cathro and Alex Bartlette
'Who is the mystery librarian who comes from beyond infinity to hit Angelo with a seventeen-figure overdue book fine? Katy and Mike reckon there's more to the man than meets the eye - not least because he won't go away and spends every moment spying on Angelo. The situation turns grim when Angelo is accused of the greatest crime in the universe - changing the course of history on an alien planet. The sinister Prosecutor whisks the trio up before an intergalactic court, where Katy's last minute decision to act as Angelo's Council for Defence seems futile. Can she save him, or will Angelo be exiled forever?'
Guest cast:
Gareth Marks as Mister X. Gareth Marks returned in Series 12 episode Box Of Tricks as Sir Eglamour.
Matt Zimmerman as Judge. Provided the opening credits voiceover for Series 2-4. Previously appeared in Series 2 episode Angelo's Big Break as Bob Bright.Matt Zimmerman appeared also in Spatz and T-Bag.
This episode is available in full on YouTube.

Series 10 was on Thursdays at 4:20 or 4:15, from 8th January to 12th March 1998. It was to be the final series featuring Mike Mason. Characters Daphne Fawkes-Bentley, Dan Sharkey and Zoe made return appearances. Other guest stars included Christopher Biggins. The opening and closing credits were updated to include a glitzier juggling sequence, taken from episode 7 of this series. According to Tim Whitnall in Legends of Kids TV 2, the pair taught themselves juggling from an old book: 'Lovely to have it as a skill but Michael smoked me every time!'

10.1 Oh Give Me A Gnome
First shown 8th January 1998. Script by Lee Pressman
'Whilst testing his Patent Pending Plutonium Powered Matter Transporter, Angelo turns Mike into a garden gnome – on the very night of his big date with Zoe.'
Guest cast:
Candace Hallinan as Zoe

10.2 Room With A View
First shown 15th January 1998. Script by Grant Cathro and Alex Bartlette
'Katy entrusts Mike to buy a clock as a gift but Angelo's paper recycling machine turns the £60 into bog rolls. Luckily Katy is away filming for a couple of days, so Angelo (inspired by Katy's boast that she's staying in a £70-a-night hotel) decides to turn Katy's house into The Angelo Holiday Hotel. One guest, for one night, and all's kushtie. Enter out-of-town businessman Thomas Dicks, intent on a quiet evening and early to bed. Fat chance of that, especially when Katy returns home unexpectedly. '
Guest cast:
Colin Farrell as Thomas Dicks
Tim Whitnall would later guest-star as a hotel guest in an episode of Sooty Heights.
This was Mike & Angelo's 95th episode, meaning it had exceeded T-Bag's 94-episode tally to become Lee Pressman and Grant Cathro's longest running TV series.
This episode is available in full on YouTube.


10.3 Out Of The Wardrobe
First shown 22nd January 1998. Script by Lee Pressman
'When Angelo takes offence at the way 'space monsters' are portrayed on TV, he decides to go public and tell the world he's really an alien. Cue Brad Schnauzer, a sleazy journalist with a nose for a scoop.'
Guest cast:
Christopher Ryan as Brad Schnauzer. Also played Mike in The Young Ones.

10.4 Upstairs, Downstairs
First shown 29th January 1998. Script by Grant Cathro and Alex Bartlette
'Angelo is repairing his time machine. As a result, the entire house is propelled back 100 years, leaving Katy, Mike and Angelo squatters in their own home. In 1898, 7 Larkswood Lane was occupied by penny-pinching Albert Squeers and his nephew, the chimney-sweeping Charlie. But they're an unhappy pair. Can our heroes persuade Squeers to let them stay and resolve the family conflict before there occurs a time paradox resulting in every planet in the Milky Way being sucked into a black hole, "like marbles up a hoover"?'
Guest cast:
John Grillo as Albert Squeers. Previously seen in Series 5 episode Robot Rita as Herr Klugman. In 1992, John Grillo appeared in Spatz (Driving Miss Wesley, Series 3) and B&B.
Eric Graves as Charlie
This episode is available in full on YouTube.

10.5 Double Whammy
First shown 5th February 1998. Script by Lee Pressman
'After knocking him unconscious, Angelo is forced to disguise himself as Daphne's precious nephew, Freddy Fawkes-Bentley, to accompany Daphne on a date to the Badminton Club Annual Dinner and Dance.'
Guest cast:
Elizabeth Estensen as Daphne Fawkes-Bentley
Tim Whitnall
 as Freddy Fawkes-Bentley. Would be seen again in Series 12 episode Taking The Plunge.

10.6 Space Invaders
First shown 12th February 1998. Script by Grant Cathro and Alex Bartlette
'Angelo responds to Katy's demand for a massive clear-out of his stupid inventions by holding an intergalactic car boot sale. But his advertising signal sent deep into the universe attracts a particularly unfriendly amorphous alien life-form called Warnek, who immediately inhabits Katy's body, likes it, and won't come out. It looks like Katy is lost to the guys forever - unless Mike and Angelo can figure out if Warnek has a weak spot which might force him to release his grip on their friend. When they discover the alien's Achilles heel is laughter, Mike and Angelo set themselves up as the new Morecambe and Wise.'
This episode is available on YouTube.


10.7 Stars In His Eyes
First shown 19th February 1998. Script by Lee Pressman
'After half destroying the house with Cricklewood's first unmanned curry-powered mission to Mars, Angelo disguises himself as Hank Sinatra the crooning cowboy to win a big cash prize in a cheesy TV talent show.'
Guest cast:
Christopher Biggins as Chubby Cheese. One of Lee Pressman's favourite Mike & Angelo guest stars. Christopher Biggins on Twitter
Hank Sinatra would be seen again in the final episode of Mike & Angelo, both in the form of clips from this episode and in the flesh. The Hank Sinatra episodes were among Lee Pressman's favourites.
This was Mike & Angelo's 100th episode. It can be watched in full on YouTube.

10.8 Ike And Angelo
First shown 26th February 1998. Script by Grant Cathro and Alex Bartlette
'Angelo's new job as a singing telegram prevents him from being of much help to Mike on the day he realises he's completely forgotten Zoe's birthday. He hangs around just long enough to drop Mike right in it, by trying to convince Zoe that Mike isn't Mike, but Ike, Mike's visiting cousin from Texas. Mike triumphs with a compelling performance, but is taken more than a little aback when Zoe begins to fancy Ike a whole lot more than she ever did Mike.'
Guest cast:
Candace Hallinan as Zoe. Her final Mike & Angelo appearance.
This episode is available in full on YouTube.


10.9 War And Pizza
First shown 5th March 1998. Script by Lee Pressman
The success of Angelo's Patent Pending Paraffin Powered Precision Part Pizza Processor puts him on the wrong side of an old enemy.
Guest cast:
Anthony O'Donnell as Dan Sharkey. Last seen in Series 9 episode Snookered.
While tidying during this episode, Angelo sings the Mertz Fluff Buster jingle from Series 8 episode An Actor's Life For Me.
Mike and Angelo have been watching Teletubbies, for which Tim Whitnall did voiceover work.
It's something of a coincidence that one of the pizza-loving Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was called Michelangelo.
This episode is available on YouTube.


10.10 Mister Sensible
12th March 1998. Script by Grant Cathro and Alex Bartlette
'It's Angelo's Name Day and according to Ptargian folklore he finally passes "from childhood to grownuphood". To celebrate, Angelo's favourite Auntie Jeannie shows up and grants him his proprietary three wishes. Use them wisely, she warns, microseconds in advance of Angelo completely squandering the first two by first wishing for a wine gum and then by wishing he hadn't wished that. Angelo becomes peeved by Aunty Jeannie's childish nicknames such as Dumpy Drawers and decides it's about time he grew up. But nobody can take an adult Angelo seriously. He just can't ever be sensible, see.  Ah, but Angelo can wish, can't he?'
Guest cast:
Anna Wing as Auntie Jeannie. She was also in Spatz (The Curse Of Karen, Series 3, 1992).
This episode marked Mike Mason's final appearance in the series. Interviewed on the Georgetown University website, Michael Benz looks back on Mike & Angelo as "a really lovely, wholesome show [that] was kind of a British Mork and Mindy."

After leaving the series, he studied at Georgetown University in the USA, then at RADA in the UK. In late 2012 he toured both countries in a Globe Theatre production of Shakespeare's Hamlet, playing the lead role. 

In 2014, Michael was back on stage in Tom Stoppard's Travesties in the USA. He discusses his role as Tristan Tzara in this video.

In 2015, he appeared as Jack Worthing in Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest in the UK. It received UK cinema showings in 2016.

His highest-profile screen role since Mike & Angelo is probably his guest appearance as an American valet in Downton Abbey's 2013 Christmas special. This was proudly tweeted about by Michael's cousin, actress Julie Benz.

The success of Angelo's pizza machine puts him on the wrong side of old enemy Dan Sharkey (last seen in Series 8 episode Snookered).Anthony O'Donnell as Dan SharkeyThe first half of this episode is available on YouTube.
10.6 Space Invaders12th February 1998'An alien blob takes over Katy's body and threatens the Earth.' (BFI)10.7 Stars In His Eyes19th February 1998'Angelo enters a TV talent competition as a cowboy singer.' (BFI)Christopher Biggins as Chubby10.8 Ike And Angelo26th February 1998'Mike tries to pretend that he hasn't forgotten Zoe's birthday.' (BFI)Candace Hallinan as Zoe10.9 War And Pizza5th March 1998The success of Angelo's pizza machine puts him on the wrong side of old enemy Dan Sharkey (last seen in Series 8 episode Snookered).Anthony O'Donnell as Dan Sharkey
The first half of this episode is available on YouTube.
Acting Up A StormSeries 7, Episode 7
16th February 1995Guest cast: Ron Donachie as Archie McDuff

Phase Six (1999): Mike's A Girl

Main characters: Angelo II (Tim Whitnall), Katy (Katy Murphy), Mike III (Gemma Gregory)

With Mike Mason moving on, a new Mike was needed to keep the title valid. This Mike was a girl: Michaela Fawkes-Bentley, a.k.a. Mickey, the niece of established neighbour Daphne Fawkes-Bentley (Elizabeth Estensen), who made three appearances this series. The opening credits were changed to include swirling colours in place of the juggling. The end credits featured clips from throughout this series.

Gemma Gregory was born in 1986 and attended the Sylvia Young Theatre School. Her TV appearances have included 1999's Great Expectations, Gypsy Girl and Made In Chelsea. She has also worked as a model and a club promoter. Gemma Gregory on Twitter

Series 11 was shown on Tuesdays at 4:25 from 5th January to 16th March 1999.

11.1 Cementing A Friendship
First shown 5th January 1999. Script by Lee Pressman
'Angelo and Daphne cement their newly found friendship by putting their handprints (Hollywood style) in quick drying concrete.'
Guest cast:
Elizabeth Estensen as Daphne Fawkes-Bentley

11.2 Traffic
First shown 12th January 1999. Script by Grant Cathro and Alex Bartlette
'Angelo adores his new job as a traffic warden but gets carried away when he confiscates an illegally parked white van and (courtesy of his shrinking ray) brings it home. Returning the van to its normal size in the kitchen, Angelo is horrified to discover four things: one, that the van is actually an abandoned getaway vehicle; two, that Sir Stanley Swann, Head of the Metropolitan Police, is waiting to be interviewed by Katy in the next room; three, the shrinking ray has gone berserk which means the van is here to stay; and four, Katy is now five inches tall.'
Guest cast:
John Bardon as Sir Stanley Swann. John Bardon had previously appeared in Series 6 episode Winner Takes All, and was also in Spatz (Poetry And Music, Series 3, 1992).
Stan Swan was the name of a director who worked with Lee Pressman and Grant Cathro on Spatz.

11.3 Troglodytes
First shown 19th January 1999. Script by Grant Cathro and Alex Bartlette
'Mickey is agog when Angelo wires his time machine up to a video camera to reveal views of their prehistoric back garden. When Mickey spots a cute-looking Rinkydinkdyethinkysaurus snuggled behind a rock, she reckons it would make a great pet and coaxes Angelo into beaming the mini-dino into the present. Alas, a violent-looking caveman appears at the wrong moment and soon Stomps Like A Bison is marching around Katy's house creating havoc. Will the addition of a Hawaiian shirt and a pair of snazzy specs be enough to convince Katy that the hairy slobbering weirdo is in fact Mickey's Uncle Wally?'
Guest cast:
Forbes Collins as Stomps Like A Bison. Also appeared in Maid Marian and her Merry Men as King John.

11.4 Flight Of Fancy
First shown 26th January 1999. Script by Grant Cathro and Alex Bartlette
'Angelo has been deep sea diving in the garden pond, hunting for treasure in order to pay for the glamorous sightseeing trip to Cairo that's so caught his fancy. To prove that she need not stoop to such desperate measures (and to impress her friend Tiffany Soames-Jessop to boot) Daphne Fawkes-Bentley decides to take her neice Mickey on the £1500 holiday and gets Katy to book the tickets for her. Later, on the eve of their departure, Katy realises there's been a disastrous mix-up thanks to Angelo's 1955 calendar: Daphne and Mickey have missed their flight, which left yesterday. But all is not lost, reckons Angelo, who in a flash of inspiration-stroke-madness coaxes Daphne's head inside his back-to-front diving helmet and sets the release timer for sometime tomorrow. Katy is certain that Angelo has flipped. In fact he merely plans to pull off the deception of the decade by screaming, "you shall see the pyramids!" - the pyramids of Cricklewood!'
Guest cast:
Elizabeth Estensen as Daphne Fawkes-Bentley
This episode is available in full on YouTube.

11.5 Men In Brown
First shown 2nd February 1999. Script by Grant Cathro and Alex Bartlette
'Katy is struggling to write a funny speech because she's been asked to be "Best Man" at a friend's wedding, and Mickey is her cruelly demanding audience. Meanwhile, Angelo is perplexed because Spartacus, his pet rooster, won't lay a single egg. Almost nobody has noticed that the two strange men who arrived earlier to read the gas meter are still lurking mysteriously in the cupboard under the stairs. But doing what? Who is the curious Mister Smith and the equally enigmatic Mister Jones?  When the others are out, Angelo discovers that they are undercover "alien hunters" - Men From The Ministry, even - convinced beyond doubt that "extraterrestrial scum" has penetrated suburbia and lurks nearby even as they speak. Without realising that the Men In Brown are hell-bent on eradicating all alien life forms, Angelo tries to convince them that he is not of this Earth. To humour him, the Men in Brown conscript Angelo and try to prove that Katy and Mickey are the likely suspects.'
Guest cast:
Roger Griffiths as Smith
Peter Geeves as Jones

11.6 Bargain Basement Birthday
First shown 9th February 1999. Script by Lee Pressman
'It's Daphne’s fancy dress party, but Katy, Mickey, Daphne and her pet parrot Miguel find themselves missing all the fun when they become locked in the basement.'
Guest cast:
Elizabeth Estensen as Daphne Fawkes-Bentley
This episode was one of Lee Pressman's personal favourites. It's available in full on YouTube.

11.7 Name Dropper
First shown 16th February 1999. Script by Grant Cathro and Alex Bartlette
'It's pet day at Mickey's school, and Angelo coaxes from the wardrobe a startlingly pink space gerbil called Geronimo. Meanwhile, Katy is embroiled in another of Tony Bamber's tacky promotional stunts, the grand opening of a Dollis Hill supermarket, and persuades her old acting pal Jim de Vane (the pig breeder from Brambleberry Farm) to do the honours. But thanks to Angelo, Bamber gets the idea into his head that Katy is referring to Hollywood comedy actor Jim Carrey. He can't believe his luck: this is has turned into a "media happening". By the time Katy unravels the horrible truth, every kind of wheel is already set in motion. For the sake of her career, she can only agree to go along with Angelo's remedial action of impersonating Jim Carrey. But then Angelo gets bitten on the finger by Geronimo - and rapidly turns into a rodent.'
Guest cast:
Philip Bird as Tony Bamber
This episode is available on YouTube.

11.8 The Merry Widow
23rd February 1999. Script by Grant Cathro and Alex Bartlette
'Whilst auditioning for the part in the school play written by her megalomaniac Head Teacher Derek Frost, Mickey employs Angelo's bagpipe-powered bass trombone and blows half the school into the canal. Frost is far from amused and decides to have it out with Mickey's Aunt Daphne. Disaster that way awaits - so Angelo pulls on a tweed skirt and a very dodgy wig, intent on getting his new friend off the hook. Unfortunately, Katy needs Angelo to be upstairs at precisely the same moment, helping her rebuild her wrecked hair design in time for this evening's West End film premiere where she's interviewing famous director Steven Wheelberg.'
Guest cast:
Stuart McGugan as Derek Frost. Would make another appearance in Series 12.

11.9 Mr Motormouth
First shown 2nd March 1999. Script by Lee Pressman
'Angelo squanders all the cash that Katy has saved to buy a car on a pile of old junk from tricky Dicky Grebe. Angelo and Katy disguise themselves as gangsters, Mugsy McAndrews and Angelo Fettuccine (the Big Cheese) to scare Dicky into returning the money.'
Guest cast:
Paul Reynolds as Dicky Grebe. He had played Colin in Children's ITV series Press Gang. He later appeared in Tim Whitnall's play The Fabulist.

11.10 Please Sir
First shown 16th March 1999. Script by Grant Cathro and Alex Bartlette
'Tony Bamber is back, this time with his 12-year-old son Junior in tow. Katy was supposed to have arranged a private tutor for the boy, but has been so caught up getting caught up in Angelo's snapping Croc O'Doyle puppet that she forgot. Enter Angelo as a crooning science master whose specialist subject is gravity. Junior is amazed when Angelo takes the kid into the garden shed and demonstrates the startling effects of his anti-gravity paint. There follows an unfortunate accident and next thing you know Bamber Junior is in orbit seventy miles above the Earth. Only one thing for it: go up there inside Angelo's converted shower unit and fetch him back before Bamber Senior notices. But thanks to a minor miscalculation, the entire house goes along for the ride.'
Guest cast:
Philip Bird as Tony Bamber
Jason Girdler as Junior Bamber
This was Mickey Fawkes-Bentley's last episode.

Phase Seven (2000): The Last Mike

Main characters: Angelo II (Tim Whitnall), Katy (Katy Murphy), Mike IV (Steven Geller)

For what was to be Mike & Angelo's final series, there came a new Mike in the form of Katy's nephew.

Steven Geller was born in 1985 and was acting by the age of 8. Prior to Mike & Angelo, he had appeared in the Grant Cathro and Alex Bartlette series Microsoap. His other roles include the lead in both Oliver! on stage (Palladium) and a film role in 2004. He then branched out into music and video production, graphic design and international DJing. Tragically, he died in of a brain tumour in 2015, aged just 30. We can continue to celebrate his part in Mike & Angelo and all the enjoyment he brought. At the time of writing, Steven's YouTube channel and other social media outlets can still be viewed.

Series 12 was shown on Tuesdays from 4th January to 7th March 2000.

12.1 Box Of Tricks
First shown 4th January 2000. Script by Grant Cathro and Alex Bartlette
Angelo's new Jumanji-type board game, Kanchinjunga, unleashes chaos in the form of a very camp knight who won't leave without a duel.
Guest cast:
Gareth Marks as Sir Eglamour. Had previously appeared in Series 9 episode A Turn Up For The Books as Mister X.
This episode is available in full on YouTube. Clips can be seen in this video.

12.2 Nothing But The Truth
First shown 11th January 2000. Script by Grant Cathro and Alex Bartlette
A child superstar who's outgrown his image, his manipulative agent, a lie-preventing "Truth-brush" and an exploding lava mix. What could possibly go right?
Guest cast:
Michael Fenton Stevens as Miles
Dean Cook as Brad Barclay. Also appeared in another of Grant Cathro's CITV shows, Snap.
This episode was on YouTube
, as was a video of Tim Whitnall answering viewers' questions in the CITV studio before and after the episode. Both videos have been blocked. The male CITV presenter in the clip, Tom Darvill, is now better known as Doctor Who actor Arthur Darvill.
Grant Cathro talks about this episode in his 22nd anniversary T-Bag interview on the High-T Website: 'The usual thing with child actors – drat them! – they will keep growing up! I once wrote a MIKE & ANGELO episode that was built around this very fruitful theme, where a kid actor associated with a super-successful movie franchise wasn't allowed to age naturally. He was about 17 or something, but was being forced by the Producers of the franchise to make out that he was still only 9. It was all very funny, but poignant as well.'

12.3 Taking The Plunge
First shown 18th January 2000. Script by Lee Pressman
'Freddy Fawkes-Bentley is back – on the run from his own wedding! In an attempt to avoid his jilted bride to be, Tiara Thickerton-Plank, he shaves off his moustache, and passes himself off as his lookalike, Angelo.'
Guest cast:
Tim Whitnall as Freddy Fawkes-Bentley. Last seen in Series 10 episode Double Whammy.
Pippa Haywood as Tiara Thickerton-Plank

12.4 Changing Rooms
First shown 25th January 2000. Script by Grant Cathro & Alex Bartlette
'Intergalactic superhero Captain Catastrophe (Angelo, who else?) fires a paint-splot gun at Mike, transforming the sitting room wall into a work of abstract art. Katy's not amused: she's expecting a visit next week from Monica Doppleman, her swanky, style-conscious cousin from New York. Katy seizes on the incident and decides it's time to give the room a sorely-needed makeover. Angelo is star-struck when Katy hires top TV interior designer Tony Velucci, "he of the tumbling tresses and the liquid liquorice longjohns".  When Velucci cancels out at the last minute, Angelo determines to fill the void "for Katy's sake!" His patent-pending wallpaper stripper subsequently strips both the paper and the wall - Monica arrives a week early - and Katy is left with the teeny problemette of giving the editor of NY's premier lifestyle magazine a guided tour as the entire house collapses around their ears. What are the chances that Monica won't actually notice?'
Guest cast:
Debora Weston as Monica Doppleman. Had appeared in Series 8 episode My Pal Puck as Stella Steele.


12.5 Shipmates
First shown 1st February 2000. Script by Grant Cathro & Alex Bartlette
'Katy decides to bring a touch of desperately-needed peace and harmony to the home by employing a spot of Feng Shui. Angelo declares that his room has only been Fenged - he demands the complete Shui. Against Katy's express wishes, Angelo gets Mike to help him move his bulky time machine. The cabinet topples over, bursts into life, and spits out a pirate called Edward Teach - Blackbeard! - plucked from his poop deck and mightily bewildered: "be this a dream, or delusions brought about by chewing on the anchor rope?"  Believing that Katy's Flow-of-Chi Feng Shui Hot-Spot diagram is a treasure map, Blackbeard becomes quickly obsessed with locating the booty, and nobody can stop him. The best Angelo can hope for is to join up, become a trainee pirate (another excuse to climb into a cozzie) and try to make him see sense before every room in the house has a hole in the floor. Never before defeated, Blackbeard suffers a crisis of confidence which no amount of psychiatric counselling from Katy can cure. But then through a window he catches sight of Daphne Fawkes Bentley's "stash of loot" (a.k.a. her bedroom dressing table) and decides it's time to wheel out the big guns.'
Guest cast:
Tony Selby as Blackbeard
Clips from this episode are available on YouTube.


12.6 Timeshare TV
First shown 8th February 2000. Script by Lee Pressman
'Katy assumes that Angelo has bought her an expensive state of the art widescreen digital TV for her birthday (when actually he’s only looking after it for Daphne). Rather than disappoint Katy, Angelo keeps up a ludicrous and exhausting pretence, moving the TV backwards and forwards from house to house in an attempt to keep everybody happy.'
Guest cast:
Elizabeth Estensen as Daphne Fawkes-Bentley. Final appearance in Mike & Angelo.
This episode can be found on YouTube.

The end credits seen on the TV at the end of the episode appear to be from Delta Wave, another of Lee Pressman and Grant Cathro's CITV series.

12.7 Angelophobia
First shown 15th February 2000. Script by Grant Cathro and Alex Bartlette
'Katy can't believe she's agreed to let Angelo be the stuntman on her latest PR project - but her original declamation "not in a Millennium of Mondays" resulted in such a neverending sulk that she finally crumbled and gave in (bluesy bagpipe playing would change anybody's mind). Now Angelo is modelling himself after Arnold Schwarzenegger, "I been pumpin' da iron, baby" (with only balloons for muscles to show for it). But then the script arrives: stuntman Angelo is not after all required to leap from tall buildings nor indulge in loopy acrobatics atop a burning motorbike - he is expected to submerge himself in a bathful of snakes. Trouble is - Angelo can't abide the wriggling hissing things; the very thought makes him blanch.  Crying off sick with Martian Flu cuts no ice (those lime green self-adhesive spots were a dead giveaway). With filming imminent, and every other stuntman in town tied up, Katy is scuppered. There's only one thing for it: help Angelo to overcome his snake phobia.'
A previous-week preview of this episode can be watched on YouTube.
This was Tim Whitnall's 100th episode in the role of Angelo.

12.8 The Emperor's New Clothes
First shown 22nd February 2000. Script by Grant Cathro and Alex Bartlette
'This week Katy's too caught up in her jury duty service to notice that there's a flying saucer just crashed through the roof. Out steps The Emperor of Ptarg, who has apparently heard all about Angelo's splendid new saucer repair business - the intergalactic star-traveller's equivalent of Kwik Fit. Whilst an awestruck Angelo gets to work servicing the Emperor's "nifty little runaround", Mike gets suspicious that the fat man in the flowing lilac robe may not be all he claims to be.'
Guest cast:
James Saxon as Emperor of Ptarg. Remembered by Grant Cathro as a 'fantastically funny' performance. The late James Saxon was another stalwart of the Pressman/Cathro crossover clan, having worked with them four times on T-Bag (Revenge of the T. Set as an emperor, Pearls of Wisdom, Christmas Ding-Dong, Sunstones of Montezuma), and once on Spatz (Takeover, Series 2, 1991).
Kristy Bruce as Emperor's Mother. Also appeared in another of Grant Cathro's CITV shows, Snap.

12.9 Overnight Frost
First shown 29th February 2000. Script by Grant Cathro and Alex Bartlette
'Angelo is having the time of his life: he's finally got his own chat show, live online every night from the hills of Cricklewood - but the laughter stops when Katy returns with Mike's Head Teacher Derek Frost in tow. Transpires that Angelo's live link-up satellite has fallen from its orbit and demolished Frosty's bungalow. Homeless during the repairs, Frost accepts Katy's offer of bed and board. It's the ultimate nightmare for Mike, who now has no escape from this endlessly carping man. Mike reckons Frost has zero sense of humour; over breakfast on the first day, Angelo accepts a bet that he can thaw out "the ice monster". Once Frost finds himself starring on The Angelo Show, he admits that in his early days he appeared in amateur dramatics. Angelo coaxes him to demonstrate. The ensuing warm response seems to turn a key in Frosty's mind, and pretty soon there's no stopping him. Angelo takes Frosty under his wing and determines to turn him into a "majorly wacky guy". But Katy is concerned: how will the rest of Mike's schoolmates react when their Head Teacher turns up on day two wearing a turkey suit?'
Guest cast:
Stuart McGugan as Derek Frost. Last seen in Series 11.

12.10 The Return Of Hank Sinatra
First shown 7th March 2000. Script by Lee Pressman
Katy's new client thinks country and Western singer Hank Sinatra is perfect to advertise his ice cream, but his heart is cold for Angelo - little realising that they are the same person.
Guest cast:
Peter Banks as Travis B. Huckleberry III. Peter Banks had appeared twice as Barney Mason (Mike II's dad) in Series 6.
This episode included clips from Series 10 episode Stars In His Eyes, in which Angelo's Hank Sinatra guise had previously appeared.
Interviewed by Garry Vaux for his 2012 book Legends of Kids TV 2, Tim Whitnall recalls 'the make-up artists Viv Gunzi and Sally Hennen saying to me after the final scene of the last series, 'We're shaving your head now, no more comb-overs!', which I shall always love them for.'
This episode has been uploaded to YouTube.

Looking Back

And that was it. The end, but a happy and triumphant one for the characters. According to Katy, Angelo's performance as Hank Sinatra was being watched by a global television audience of 100 million. The Kings and the Masons were surely among them. Hank Sinatra had returned, but the series did not.

I never forgot Mike & Angelo, but seeing it on TV again during CITV's Old Skool Weekend in January 2013 (more on that below), and hearing from a friend who liked it a lot, made me particularly nostalgic. It's sad to think that a series that ran for so many years with so much energy, adapting to all those cast changes without ceasing to be about companionship (and I use that word as a nod to its Doctor Who echoes), delivering extraordinary capers in an ordinary setting, keeping children entertained week after week, could just stop.

Whether you sympathised with Mike trying to hold onto a sense of childlike wonder and mischief as adulthood beckoned, identified with Angelo trying to fit in and do right by the people he cares about without sacrificing his passion for life, or felt for Rita and Katy striving to be the grown-up one in the face of relentless, loveable mayhem, Mike & Angelo was a series with charm, and I hope that this page is a reasonable contribution towards preserving its memory.

At the risk of sounding mawkish (and perhaps there's a pun in there too), I hope also that somewhere out there, Angelo is still jumping up and down with a big grin on his face, a kid called Mike is starting to get worried about what's going to happen (but not worried enough to really try and stop it), and a lady is resting her sore throat in readiness to scream "ANGELO!" again, yet knowing that she wouldn't have it any other way.

Tim Whitnall in Legends of Kids TV 2

Thanks to an interview by Garry Vaux in his vibrant and engrossing 2012 book Legends of Kids TV 2, we have several insights into Tim's experience of being Angelo.

Audition: 'My main memory ... was of the fire alarm going off during it and having to conclude my test on the pavement outside. When I got called-back for a pucker camera-test, I actually taped it on the old Rainbow set at Teddington - a personal thrill.'

Enjoyment: 'I LOVED doing a show, rehearsing it, recording it, wiping the hard-drive and having to restart on a new one. We had a brilliant crew, talented directors, some fantastic guest artists - Ron Moody, Christopher Biggins, Alan Ford, John Savident - to name but a few, always a very happy core cast in writers Lee Pressman and Grant Cathro, two ring-sharp legends of Children's TV. (I was a huge fan of T-Bag!)'

Incidents: 'I did once suffer an exquisite fracture of my left elbow when I slipped on a patch of wet floor in the hallway. Off to Kingston A&E then back to work after lunch. What a trooper.'

Ending: 'I suppose the show - like all shows - just reached the end of its natural life ... Twelve series is an amazing run for any series.'


Audition: 'My main memory ... was of the fire alarm going off during it and having to conclude my test on the pavement outside. When I got called-back for a pucker camera-test, I actually taped it on the old Rainbow set at Teddington - a personal thrill.'

Enjoyment: 'I LOVED doing a show, rehearsing it, recording it, wiping the hard-drive and having to restart on a new one. We had a brilliant crew, talented directors, some fantastic guest artists - Ron Moody, Christopher Biggins, Alan Ford, John Savident - to name but a few, always a very happy core cast in writers Lee Pressman and Grant Cathro, two ring-sharp legends of Children's TV. (I was a huge fan of T-Bag!)'

Incidents: 'I did once suffer an exquisite fracture of my left elbow when I slipped on a patch of wet floor in the hallway. Off to Kingston A&E then back to work after lunch. What a trooper.'

Ending: 'I suppose the show - like all shows - just reached the end of its natural life ... Twelve series is an amazing run for any series.'

25th Anniversary Q&A with Lee Pressman and Grant Cathro

Here are Lee Pressman and Grant Cathro's answers to our questions about Mike & Angelo, marking 25 years since the first episode. My thanks to them for turning a trip down Memory (here called Larkswood) Lane into a fascinating and witty guided tour.

 

What were your favourite moments or episodes?

Lee: So many to choose from! 123 episodes going back 25 years. Actually, unlike many series, I think the show got better the longer it went on. Some of the earlier episodes were pretty good, especially ones with Libby Morris. But I'm going to jump forward to Series 4, where I have fond memories of The Hovel and A House Divided. And Sunflowers was fun. Moving swiftly on, I like The Mozart episode, Heirs and Graces and one of my particular favourites was An Actor's Life For Me with Brian Murphy, who was great. I enjoyed the two episodes with Tim playing Hank Sinatra. Bargain Basement Birthday was amusing (actually any Daphne Fawkes-Bentley episode was always going to be good) and who could forget The Boomers? Now that I've started looking back on the list of episodes I could go on for hours (but, relax - I won't).

As the series went on Grant and I started writing separate episodes so I probably have a better memory of my solo efforts whilst Grant will no doubt recall episodes that he wrote with Alex.

Grant: I agree with Lee that the later series contain some of the brightest stuff. That's not to demean the early episodes, many of which have a certain charm that sometimes got a little mislaid later on. From series two I love Angelo's Big Break particularly for Matt Zimmerman's zestful performance as Bob Bright, and California Here We Come which was funny and emotional too [see episode summary below]. My Series 3 favourite was The Big Fall-Out, where once again the laughs slug it out with some pretty proper drama.

Around this time, the producer noticed that actually, the more sitcom-skewed episodes got the strongest audience reaction, so he encouraged us to make the show a little wackier. For me and Lee, this was like throwing bunny rabbits at a velociraptor, if you know what I mean (you do?), hence those farcical episodes like Robot Rita and Up To My Neck. Energetic and laugh-out-loud as they are, I still go for the ones which also tug on the heartstrings, my personal favourites being A Wonderful Wife, Jitterbugs and My Pal Puck (which the director Neville Green told me was his all-time favourite Mike & Angelo episode). 

 

What were your thoughts about the main cast?

Lee: We were delighted with Shelley and Matt. I was always surprised by the casting of Tyler Butterworth since we'd described Angelo in the first script as being very out of this world - think Michael Jackson or David Bowie – an angelic soul (hence the name Angelo). Tyler Butterworth didn't look physically how I'd imagined our hero although he did a good job in the role. I think it was Tim who defined Angelo and created the character we know and love.

Grant and I always got on well with the main cast. And let's not forget Mr. Pinner, a great old school knockabout performance from John Levitt.

Grant: A few years earlier I acted on stage in London with John Levitt in Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice (he was Shylock and I was Launcelot Gobbo) so it was funny turning up on the first read-through day to discover that John had been cast as Mr. Pinner – the Shylock of Larkswood Lane.

On a personal note I'd like to sing the praises of the two really outstanding Mikes: Matt Wright played his part with true sincerity, which really lifted the show out of the ordinary and gave it much warmth and weight – every writer's dream; later, Mike Benz gave this astonishingly assured and nuanced performance which blew us all away. Lee and I always feared writing big parts for kids, extremely wary of the outcome – especially in comedy, where a lot of adult actors struggle.

Without these two brilliant guys, I doubt if our show would ever have become one of the longest running sitcoms in British TV history – a very nice credit to have etched on my tombstone, along with "the lousiest Launcelot Gobbo of all time". 

 

The main cast changed several times during Mike & Angelo's run. Were you worried by these?

Lee: Cast changes are always a worry for about five minutes. As I said earlier, we were lucky to gain Tim. The various changes of Mikes (and even his absence for a whole series) were challenging, but we ended up with Mike Benz, who was excellent. It was a blow when Shelley left, but we gained Katy – and we knew she'd be brilliant, because we'd worked with her so many times. 

Grant: No, not worried exactly (I was much more anxiety ridden about us writing a duff script and having the cast glower across the read-through table with a "how am I supposed to act this?" look emblazoned on their eyeballs, a.k.a. writer's paranoia) but certainly watchful in case the chemistry between the actors wobbled. We knew at once if it had – the smiles were deafening, as they say. We'd then take swift remedial action, chop and change again until it stopped wobbling and started, er, not wobbling (forgive me but I have no idea what the opposite of wobbling is). It's a very interesting and unpredictable process. 

 

Who were your favourite guest stars?

Lee: Libby Morris, Bill Maynard, Brian Murphy, Christopher Biggins.

Grant: John Savident, always hilarious as Rita's boss; Jennifer Calvert (Spatz's Karen Hansson) as a lustrous, unhinged Cleopatra; James Ellis, superbly touching as Katy's dad; James Saxon, fantastically funny in The Emperor's New Clothes; and the ever-effervescent Matt Zimmerman, appearing not only as the mad Bob Bright but also as the fruity, gavel-bashing Lord Chief Justice in A Turn Up For The Books. What lucky fellows to have actors of this calibre delivering our lines and making them appear five times funnier than they were on the page. 

 

What other TV programmes influenced the development of Mike & Angelo?

Lee: Mork and Mindy. My Favourite Martian. I Love Lucy. The Phil Silvers Show. Doctor Who. Steptoe and Son. You name it, we nicked it. 

Grant: He means "paid homage" – and also missed out Bewitched, The Munsters, I Dream of Jeannie, Green Acres, The Addams Family, The Beverly Hillbillies, Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In, The Odd Couple... Interesting how many of these influences come from America, and yet somehow Mike & Angelo is quintessentially British.

As kids, Lee and I both remember being bored out of our skulls by most of the stuff that was aimed at us on children's TV, and instead we found ourselves drawn to the lunatic majesty of The Goons and Round the Horne on radio, Tony Hancock and Steptoe and Son on television, the Carry On films in the cinema and all of those great American comedies which somehow miraculously managed to combine silliness with sophistication – shows that anybody could watch and enjoy. When we came to write our own kids' shows, we never forgot those feelings.

And who wasn't a fan of Doctor Who? In the summer of 1966, aged 10, I wrote my very own version of Doctor Who and the Daleks which was premiered in my mum and dad's garage in Motherwell. As evidence, a photograph of the juvenile me at rehearsals in the back garden. 

 

What were the particular challenges and pleasures of working on a Mike & Angelo script?

Lee: Well in the beginning it was great when Alan Horrox, the head of Thames Children's department, asked Grant and me to invent a brand new series. We already had T-Bag on the go and that was doing well. But in that show the hero travelled through time and space – every single week – which involved building new sets every week. The new (cheaper) idea was to set a fantasy comedy series totally within the walls of a house. And that was a challenge, but a very good challenge.

To come up with 123 episodes without ever going out of the house is pretty incredible when you think about it. So what we had to do was to keep bringing amazing things into Mike's home, whether it be a fuzzball from outer space or Rita's mother from the USA.

Grant: Not only was the action limited to just a few rooms, but the entire cast seldom numbered more than four. I did an episode once which had seven characters in it, and it felt like I was writing Ben-Hur. But as young writers we learned so much so quickly thanks to these budgetary restrictions. It forced us to solve story problems creatively in a thousand different ways – and the pleasure often grew out of that. 

 

What were were you able to do on Mike & Angelo that wouldn't quite have worked on Spatz or T-Bag?

Lee: Well Spatz was one of the few shows we've done that had no fantasy element at all. And to be honest we loved it. No magic. No transporting. No special powers, magic lamps or enchanted anything.

I guess despite Mike & Angelo being a comedy fantasy, we were able to do some more emotional family stories that we wouldn't have been able to do on T-Bag and Spatz. Issues such as Rita's divorce from Mike's dad and Mike's initial loneliness gave the series a bit of heart.

Grant: Yes, it was first show Lee and I wrote together where a realistic family was at the centre of it – albeit a broken one. We really liked the idea that Mike, as an American boy living in the UK, was an alien with a small 'a' – which is why he connected so powerfully with an Alien with a large 'A'. Even at its craziest heights, Mike & Angelo was always underpinned by this emotional compulsion for the family members, however oddly concocted in the later series, to survive and thrive. 

 

How demanding was the filming schedule?

Lee: Always demanding. Scripts had to be churned out one a week. Rehearsals lasted over four days and then the cast had one day in the studio. That may seem fast, but today the situation is even worse – recent live action series that Grant and I have worked on now record two shows a week with barely any rehearsal time. Thinking back, I guess we were lucky.

Grant: I don't know how we did it, to be honest. Oh, wait a minute, yes I do – they kept asking us, and we hadn't yet learned how to move our lips into the no position. 

 

What led to Angelo walking the walls and ceiling?

Lee: I don't remember how the upside down ceiling thing started, but it was there from episode 1. It was simply an amusing gimmick that was fairly easy to achieve and looked very effective. And I don't think it had been used too often on other shows. Making Angelo walk up the wall was another thing entirely and involved building a huge hamster wheel contraption with a room inside it, which was slowly turned as Tim walked (rather shakily) up the wall and onto the ceiling. [See the Series 3 section above for more on this TV first.] One of Tim's many skills was juggling and it looks pretty cool if someone is doing that upside down.

 

And was Angelo's upside-down juggling symbolic of the experience of working on two to three children's TV series (not to mention any other projects) at the same time? 

Grant: Er, no (you see, I can do it now). 

Lee: I don't remember any hidden significance although we were juggling three successful shows simultaneously and writing scripts at the speed of light. 

 

Spatz and Mike & Angelo were both set in Cricklewood. Did you ever consider having characters cross over? (Anthony O'Donnell appeared in both series as a loanshark named Dan but with different surnames. So near yet so far!)

Lee: Cricklewood: it's a funny name. [See below for the lyrics of Angelo's song about Cricklewood.) And it has a 'k' in it. I really wish we had done some crossovers between series. You're right, Dan the loan shark was the nearest we got. Actually I believe he was the same character, but being such a crook he'd simply changed his name to avoid his creditors.

Grant: My first London flat was in Cricklewood, so it came from that. Too bad I couldn't afford a flat in Knightsbridge, as that has a 'k' in it too.  We did sometimes talk of doing crossovers. I was keen to have T.Bag and T.Shirt ping in for a cheese burger and fries at Spatz.  I guess we felt it was too self-indulgent and suppressed the urge. I kind of regret that, now – we could have had a lot of fun mixing it all up.  Rudy Rooster meets Nancy Mancini, I'd watch that. 

 

After a couple of series, a laughter track was added. Were you involved in this decision?

Lee: Stuff like this was never discussed. One day there was no laugh track the next it had appeared. I'm not a great fan of laugh tracks especially when they are badly done. There were occasions when we would write what we thought was a great gag and the director didn't think it worthy of a titter. On other occasions one of the actors would do an unscripted pratfall and inane howls of laughter would explode from the TV. It can be very annoying.

Grant: I share that view. We never had a laughter track on T-Bag and somehow the background silence made it all the funnier. I remember grumbling to the producer one day about this horrible addition (I complained about the background music, too) and his jovial response was to wave the massively increased viewing figures in my face. If anybody out there aspires to being a producer, this is an excellent device for sending grumbling, complaining writers back to their desks.

 

Series 4 in 1991 was almost completely without a Mike. Was this intentional?

Lee: I can't remember how this came about, but I would think that after our first Mike left we hadn't found a suitable replacement, and rather than hiring somebody inferior we decided to press on with a series called Mike & Angelo without a Mike. Well Taggart died years ago and that series went on for years, still called Taggart, without him in it. If they can do it so can we.

Grant: I suggested calling the fourth series "& Angelo" but I was overruled. 

 

How did Alex Bartlette become involved in the writing of Mike & Angelo episodes? 

Grant: Alex was my first writing partner. We met as student actors in 1976 at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow and hit it off doing improvisational comedy together. While at drama school we co-wrote a radio script which won us the BBC Muriel Finlayson Award, and I rather hoped we might enter the profession as writer/performers. However, it wasn't to be – not yet anyway. I managed to acquire a London agent, headed south, and for several years Alex and I pursued separate careers as actors, occasionally working together in the theatre and once co-writing a stage play for kids. It was during this time that Lee and I first crossed paths (our 30th anniversary looms on 10th May this year, expect a cake with two bald heads on it) and the pair of us got on like a TV studio on fire – so much so that the writing lark left the acting lark flapping in the shade. "Who needs another Hamlet?" I asked myself and hunkered down to T-Bag and the rest.

When Series 7 of Mike & Angelo got commissioned, Lee and I were so swamped we experimented with bringing in some outside writers to share the burden. I asked Alex if he fancied a crack at it, and in my role as script editor we turned out three or four scripts together which were very well received – so later, while Lee was busy working on various solo projects, Alex and I decided to reform our old partnership and went on to write almost 30 more episodes of Mike & Angelo and a ton of other stuff besides. I feel doubly privileged to have met and worked with two such talented men. And there's not a theatre-lover alive who isn't grateful to Lee for luring me off the stage. 

 

What kind of Mike & Angelo merchandise would you like to have seen?

Lee: I have a vague feeling we may have been asked to do some books. DVDs would be great. Patent Pending Pizzas. Cuddly Fuzzballs. A Mr. Pinner Action Figure. Hank Sinatra Finger Pickin' Chicken In A Bucket. And talking of Hank, a single of 'Ten Gallon Hat'. Huckleberries Ice Cream.

Grant: Yes, why no DVDs? A forty-disc box set crashing through the Earth's crust. Our planet needs more sink holes and what better a way to create them?

 

Of what aspects of Mike & Angelo are you most proud? (And least proud?)

Lee: The viewing figures were astronomical, sometimes hitting the 5–6 million mark. I think we must have been the most popular kid's sitcom on TV and certainly the longest running (12 years). Oh yes, and we also featured the longest on-screen snog on kid's TV between Rita and her ex-husband.

Grant: ...Leaving me to answer the 'least proud' bit – thanks, old buddy. Looking back, I do wish I had been a lot more vocal about the use of background music. I must stress this is a purely personal observation, but however well done the music score was (and it was) I never saw the point of it – particularly during the farcical comedy moments. Never in a million years would I have the audacity to compare our show with a masterpiece like Fawlty Towers, but just imagine Basil running up the stairs in pursuit of Manuel to the accompaniment of xylophone music. It's like winking at the audience, "Isn't this hilarious?" (Answer – "It used to be.") Yes, I regret that I wasn't much more bullish about that, I believe it cheapened the actors' work. 

 

Do you think that Mike & Angelo could have gone on longer?

Lee: Well any show can keep going, but it won't necessarily be any good. As I said before, I think the standard of many of the later episodes was better than many of the earlier ones. During the final series there were some great episodes. So yes, it could easily have gone on longer. But that doesn't mean it should have. I reckon most of the key players would have been up for another outing.

Grant: Also, the technology was changing all around us, and our show was beginning to look a bit creaky, as if it was 12 years old or something. Let's also remember that Mike & Angelo is one of the few shows on television where not a single member of the original cast was still in it by the end. Doctor Who shares this weird honour – only the TARDIS lingered on, where we were left rather less excitingly with a kitchen, a hallway and a sitting room. 

[By happy coincidence, Sophie Aldred (the current Doctor Who companion when Mike & Angelo started in 1989) was to become friends with one of the Angelo actors. She gives details in Legends of Kids TV 2: 'I kept hearing about this legendary Tim Whitnall and then I met him on Tree Fu Tom and he's just the most amazing guy, he's so versatile ... we got on so well it was really lovely and he's become a mate.']

Mike & Angelo repeats in January 2013

Children's ITV (Freesat 602, Freeview 122, Sky 621, Virgin 734) repeated Mike & Angelo as part of its 30th anniversary Old Skool Weekend. It was the first programme to be shown on both days. The episodes were then available for a month via ITV player on the ITV website.

Saturday 5th January 2013:
2.7 Fuzzball
First shown on CITV: Thursday 26th October 1989
Repeated on CITV: 19th September 1990, 4:15. (This version, with different theme music and added laughter track, was the one repeated in January 2013.)
Script: Lee Pressman & Grant Cathro
Main characters: Mike I, Angelo I, Rita i.e. the original line-up
Guest cast: Alessia Gwyther as Philippa Fraser
Angelo's alien fuzzball runs amok (well, flies and bounces amok) when it overeats and keeps on growing. Can Angelo and the Kings keep overnight house guest Philippa from literally getting caught up in it?
Philippa Fraser had been a recurring character since the first episode.
This episode can be found on YouTube.
On one of the uploads, the description of the episode there has been copied from this page. If you would like to use original content from my website, please ask first.

Sunday 6th January 2013:
8.10 Heirs And Graces
First shown: 7th March 1996 (last of its series)
Script: Lee Pressman
Main characters: Mike II, Angelo II, Katy
As Mike's 14th birthday approaches, he learns that he has inherited a title from a distant uncle, and is now Lord Michael. Will Angelo, not known for keeping his feet on the ground, help Mike as he tries to do the same?
The previous year, Michael Benz (Mike) had played the title role in a BBC production of Little Lord Fauntleroy, making the episode something of an in-joke. This page has more information on his Faunterloy suit in Mike & Angelo. 17 years later, Michael would be seen as a valet in Downton Abbey.
This episode can be found on YouTube. The description of the episode there has been copied from this page. If you would like to use original content from my website, please ask first.

Episodes of Grant Cathro and Lee Pressman's other CITV programmes, T-Bag and Spatz, were also repeated during the Old Skool Weekend, which made it a great weekend for fans of two of children's TV's best writers.

1989 episode summary: California Here We Come (Series 2)

Details of an episode from Mike & Angelo's first phase.

2.10 California Here We Come (last of its series)
First shown on CITV: Thursday 16th November 1989. Repeated on CITV: 7th November 1990, 4:15. Script by Lee Pressman and Grant Cathro
Main characters: Mike I, Angelo I (last full episode), Rita
Guest cast: Jeff Harding as Tony King
Rita is looking forward to a French holiday with Mike and Angelo. Then Mike's dad flies in with plans for his son to spend the summer in America with him.

This particular episode is a fine illustration of the fact that Grant Cathro and Lee Pressman were writers who knew not just where the funny bone was (ironically, this was the last episode of the Mike & Angelo to broadcast with no laughter track), but where the heart was too. The dynamics within the King family (which has had to cope with both a divorce and an extraterrestrial lodger) are handled sensitively, but not at the expense of amusing dialogue and entertaining special effects. Grant himself has included this episode among his favourites.

Since I wrote this summary, the episode has been uploaded to YouTube

It's a few days away from the school holidays. In the King household, Angelo (played by Tyler Butterworth) is doing something in the hallway; Rita King (played by Shelley Thompson) is vacuuming; Mike King (played by Matt Wright) is doing French homework, and asks Rita for some help. She tells him she doesn't want to be pestered for translations when they're on holiday in France, e.g. being asked what the French is for "I wanna coconut pizza".

Then the pair go downstairs to find out what Angelo is doing, and find him in mid-air by the front door, flapping a pair of wings which Rita realises are made from her duvet. Angelo says he is preparing to fly to France; Mike explains that they'll be going by plane. Mike goes to answer the phone: it's his dad, Tony King, who is soon to be visiting while in England on a business trip. Angelo's confused about Rita and Tony's relationship, so she explains that although they're divorced and living in separate countries, they're still friends. In light of this, Angelo wants Tony to come to France with them.

Later: the three of them are having a good time choosing their ideal French holidays from travel brochures, though it turns out that Angelo is reading the video manual. Angelo answers the door: it's Tony (played by Jeff Harding, later known to many as General Damon in The Tomorrow People and Ed Winchester in The Fast Show). They're all pleased to see one another, and head into the garden for a barbecue.

The meal is finished. There's a lot of pudding left over, which Angelo takes to the fridge. It won't fit, so he eats a little to trim it down... and ends up nearly clearing the plate. Mike goes up to bed, and with Angelo beginning to intrude on private time between Tony and Rita, Rita hints that Angelo should go to bed too. But it takes him a long time to say goodnight, and he keeps popping back downstairs for things: a plant, a glass of water, the video manual...

As they do the dishes, Tony announces to Rita that he wants Mike to spend the summer in America with him. Rita is upset at the lack of communication and accuses Tony of being selfish for not bringing this up much earlier. Tony retorts that Rita is stubborn, and they continue to argue until Tony leaves. Angelo, who overheard, is confused: "I thought you two were still friends." Rita snaps that they are and storms into the kitchen. Angelo notes that there's so much he doesn't understand before he finally goes up to bed.

Lunchtime on the following day: Rita is on the phone to her mother, explaining that Tony has taken Mike to the zoo. Angelo appears, dressed as a stereotypical Frenchman (striped top, onions, beret, accent). He has made a "long lunch": a baguette that stretches right across the kitchen table.

After lunch: Mike and Tony return. Mike is thrilled to be going to California for the summer, and takes Angelo upstairs to show it to him in the atlas. Rita looks at her ex-husband: "Thanks, Tony. Thanks a million."

Later that week: Rita finds Mike packing in his bedroom, and begins to fuss. Mike apologises for not going to France, and senses that Rita is upset. They hear noise, and go downstairs to investigate. Angelo is banging a drum in the hallway, dressed as Uncle Sam. He tells them that the "Super Basin" is about to start, and ushers them into the living room. Angelo has turned it into an American football stadium.

First he appears dressed as a hot dog and popcorn vendor; then simultaneously in a blonde wig as a seven-strong team of cheerleaders (who spell out 'Angelo'); then simultaneously as every player of an American football team (the Los Angeles Raiders - Angeles sounds like his name, after all!). Why has he done all this? So Mike won't have to go to America. Mike explains that it's not America he wants to see, it's his dad, be it in the USA or the North Pole. Angelo understands, but notes, "I do a pretty convincing North Pole." With one breath, he turns the living room into the North Pole, with snow falling and all three of them dressed as Eskimos!

It's the day of the flight to Boston. Mike takes his suitcase down to the hall, where a packing case is waiting. Rita is fussing, checking Mike's packed everything. Tony is late; and where is Angelo? They realise that he's hiding in the packing case. He says he'll miss Mike over the summer, and Mike says likewise. Tony arrives - he said he'd be there at 11, but the flight isn't until 5pm. Mike has everything except his ticket, which Tony gives him. Then he hands Angelo his ticket, and Rita her ticket! Mike and Tony thought that they might like to come too. Rita tells Angelo to pack, whereupon he shuts himself in the packing case, and re-emerges dressed as a tourist: "California, here we come!"

We see the aeroplane taking off and the end credits roll.

Angelo's Cricklewood song

Spatz was set in a fictional shopping centre in the non-fictional London area of Cricklewood. It's no coincidence that writers Lee Pressman and Grant Cathro chose that area, as Lee explains:

'Grant was living in that neck of the woods at the time, and for some reason we always found Cricklewood and Dollis Hill funny names. Our other series Mike & Angelo was also set around there, and in one memorable episode of that show I had Angelo (dressed, naturally, in a sailor suit) sing a big Hollywood type musical number called 'Cricklewood' which went something like this...

Cricklewood
It's a wonderful town.
The Edgware Road
Running up and down.
Through Cricklewooooood.
From Dollis Hill
It's around the bend,
Spelt C-R-Ickle
Stick a wood on the end,
That’s Cricklewoooooood.
The Taj Mahal and the pyramids
May look pretty,
But the place I love
Is north of London City.
Cricklewood
Has a Broadway to boot,
Just like New York,
Well more like Beirut.
It's Cricklewooood,
It's flippin' good,
Hooray for Cricklewooooood!!!'