‘Allo ‘Allo! star Vicki Michelle: Comedy is being neutralised

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‘Allo ‘Allo! actress Vicki Michelle has said “comedy is being neutralised – or nuked” as she defended the popular 1980s BBC wartime comedy series.

The actress, 71, played waitress Yvette Carte-Blanche in the show which ran for nine series, ending in 1992, but which remains one of Britain’s best-loved sitcoms.

Her waitress character was the mistress of cafe owner Rene Artois, played by the late Gorden Kaye in the show, which was set in Nazi-occupied France during the Second World War.

‘Allo ‘Allo! Photocall – Elstree Studios
Yvette Carte-Blanche (Vicki Michelle) and Gestapo officer Private Helga Geerhart (Kim Hartman) on the set at Elstree Studios (Adam Butler/PA)

The series returned for a special in 2007. Reports said that last year re-run episodes were given an ‘offensiveness warning’.

Michelle, who appears in the Channel 5 documentary, ‘Allo ‘Allo!: 40 Years of Laughter, told the Daily Mirror: “Comedy is being neutralised – or nuked.

“I think 80% of this country would love comedy like ‘Allo ‘Allo! to be made again, so 20% might take aversion to some of the content.

“But people eff, blind and use the c-word on telly and that’s considered fine.

“And on reality TV people make love under a sheet, and that’s fine.

“There was none of that in ‘Allo ‘Allo!.

“We stayed covered up, embraced instead of kissed and used nicknames which were used during wartime when the series was set.

“I don’t think there’s anything in there that would upset a normal person.”

Collect 99/Gorden Kaye
The late Gorden Kaye (Tony Harris/PA)

Michelle, who has also appeared in Emmerdale and Doctors, added: “‘Allo ‘Allo! didn’t send up anyone in particular – we sent up everyone: German, French, English.

“In fact, this is how co-writer David Croft described the characters: ‘The Germans were kinky, the French were randy and the English were stupid.’ So I think we came off worse.

“It was a family show where the adults got the double entendres and the children just thought the situations were funny.

“You can see someone on telly in a bikini and their boobs out.”

‘Allo ‘Allo! followed Kaye’s character Rene as he risked his life to help the resistance and stay out of trouble with the Nazis.

Carmen Silvera starred as his wife Edith, Richard Gibson as Gestapo officer Herr Flick and Arthur Bostrom as Officer Crabtree, whose mangled vowels led him to adopt the greeting ‘Good moaning’.

A long-running joke had Rene hiding a painting, The Fallen Madonna With The Big Boobies, inside a garlic sausage.

Kaye died in 2017 at the age of 75.