Of these, Balamory has to be one of the strangest TV programmes ever made.
For a start, it has to be the most politically correct and ethnically diverse Scottish islands in existence. The number of actual Scots there has to be a worry. Why do Josie Jump and Spencer both sound so American? Is Josie’s jumpsuit a pointer to a camp X-Ray style thing going on? Is there an america airbase nearby?
And let’s be honest, Spencer isn’t making too much money painting is he? Do you you think he be pimpin’ hos? The quality’s not great though is it? down at the sweet shop there’s certainly a bit of a ‘Killing of Sister George‘ vibe (either that or ‘Whatever Happened to Baby Jane’), and Suzie Sweet looks and sounds like she’s off her face on Tamazepam (that she probably has to go to the mainland to get). The whole island’s a hotbed of repressed lesbian tension, what them, Miss Hoolie and Edie McCreedie and her big torque wrenches.
Let’s not forget PC Plum. PC Bum more like. Is this the campest man in Scotland? Oh yes! I love the fact that this plod spends most his day with a magnifying glass looking at wildlife…’Hull tress, hullo sky’ in a Basil Fotherington-Thomas-sort of way. And he eats for Scotland.
Let’s not forget the permanently befuddled Archie. While he’s not exactly Christopher Lee in The Wicker Man, I wouldn’t be surprised if there’d been a few burning straw effigies on that island in the past. And he lives in a pink castle. Are they trying to tell us something?
I wondered what would happen if they did an Ulster version: Ballymory. The kids have to go to the nursery under armed guard, while the locals stone them. Every time we are asked which coloured house are we going to first today, the choice is either orange or green. If we go to the green house, Ian Paisley pops up to complain about good loyalist children being sent to see dirty, Fenian bastards; if the house is orange, Gerry Adams and Martin McGuiness demand that the route is changed to prevent reaching it. Penny Pocket is in a wheelchair as the result of a kneecapping.
I think it would be a winner!