Film ID: NEFA 10704 Video of NEFA 10704 The Little Waster Makes Good LIFESTYLE: THE LITTLE WASTER MAKES GOOD 1973 Visitor TabsDescription An edition of the Tyne Tees Television programme Lifestyles on north east comedian Bobby Thompson. The film begins and ends with Bobby on stage performing to large audiences in a north east working men's club. The film follows him as he returns to his childhood home of New Penshaw where he is recognised by children outside his old school. He reflects on his time working at North Biddick Colliery and walks around the North Biddick Miners Hall where he first performed as a young man. He is also filmed enjoying at day at Newcastle Racecourse. The film is intercut with interviews with Bobby at home talking about his career as well as interviews with radio producer Richard Taylor and journalist Jack Amos who talk about Bobby’s career and development. Title Tyne Tees Colour Title: Lifestyle Title: The Little Waster Makes Good The programme begins with Bobby Thompson on stage in his trade-mark flat cap and stripy jumper. There are views of the audience in a large hall laughing and smiling along to his performance. He begins to play a harmonica. The film fades to show a view looking down on the village of New Penshaw. A flock of pigeons fly past. General views show the rear of a street of terraced houses. Bobby Thompson walks along a terraced street past two women standing in the doorway of a house. General view of a derelict terraced street shows broken or boarded up windows and overgrown waste ground out front. With a smile Bobby walks through the waste ground. The sun shines through the columns of Penshaw Monument. The film cuts to show three boys sliding down the steep embankment beside the monument. With the Penshaw Monument in the background Bobby walks past a school gate as a number of pupils run past. One of them calls out his name. He goes through the gate and walks around the schoolyard watching the children play. A boy rings the school bell and the pupils head inside. The film cuts to show a view looking down on Penshaw. In the doorway of a terraced house an older man with a pipe stands watching Bobby as he walks along the street and begins to sing. Before he walks off camera Bobby turns and waves at the man in the doorway. Leaning against a farm gate Bobby looks across the field towards the Victoria Viaduct. He turns and walks through overgrowth and looks down on a family playing a ball game on the site that was once North Biddick Colliery. He looks up across the landscape, a view of a miner’s hall in the distance. The film cuts to show Bobby walking around the exterior of a partly derelict Gem Cinema. A stone carving above the door reads ‘North Biddick Miners Hall 1909’. He looks up towards the roof at a broken weathervane. Bobby walks around the side of a building and enters the building through an open side door. He looks around in awe at the now derelict interior. The film cuts back to the Bobby on stage playing a harmonica. The tune comes to an end and he waves to the crowd as he comes off stage. In the living room of his home Bobby talks about his early career following the closure of North Biddick Colliery in 1931. The film cuts to Bobby walking along a street waving to someone off screen. He gets into a car and is driven away. The film cuts to Newcastle Racecourse at Gosforth Park where race horses are lead around the paddock. Leaning against the fence is Bobby watching as the horses go past. General views of judges and jockey’s inside the paddock. There is a view of a tic tac bookmaker and the crowds enjoying the day. On the course a small crowd stands around Bobby as he places a bet with Alex Lewis bookmakers. The horses are lead onto the course and the race starts. From the stands Bobby looks through binoculars following the horses around the track. General views of the crowd watching the race and the horses speeding around the track. As the race comes to the end Bobby becomes more and more excited. The film cuts back to Bobby being interviewed at home where he talks about being discharged from the army and his first wife; Ms. Coates. There is a photograph of them together following their marriage in 1944. In a dressing room Bobby is assisted in changing into his costume by his dresser Paddy Fox. He takes off his suit and puts on his trade mark trousers, stripy jumper and cap. On stage Bobby slowly opens a packet of Wills cigarettes for the laughing crowd. General view of the audience in the hall who are all older women. One of the women is interviewed and says that Bobby is ‘true to life’. Back on stage Bobby tells a joke while holding a cigarette in his left hand. A second woman is interviewed who says how Bobby is ‘full of joy’ and a ‘grand lad’. The film cuts to show Richard Taylor, Radio Producer sitting in a chair. He talks about meeting Bobby while working on the BBC radio variety programme ‘Wot Cheor Geordie'. The film cuts to a photograph of Bobby and another man performing on the radio. The film cuts back to Bobby at home and he talks about his television show from 1959 and why it didn’t work. In the hallway of his house Bobby’s housekeeper Lottie Tate irons one of his shirts. Bobby in a dressing gown stands beside her talking. The film cuts to an interview with Jack Amos, Journalist and Show Promoter who says that Bobby has improved with age. Standing by a mirror Bobby rehearses his facial expressions for his show and talks about how to perform gags. The film cuts back with Jack Amos who says Bobby is the biggest comedian in the north east. On a stage a compere introduces the ‘Geordie genius’. The audience applauds as Bobby, wearing a crumpled army uniform and hat, walks down the aisle towards the stage. The film cuts to Bobby on stage as he begins to tell the story of his time during World War Two meeting Chamberlain, Montgomery and Mountbatten. There are views of the audience watching and laughing at his performance. The image freezes with the voice of Richard Taylor saying there can be only one Bobby Thompson. The film begins again and Bobby continues his story. The film freezes again on Bobby as the audience begin to sing ‘Blaydon Races’. End Credit: Camera Fred Thomas F.R.P.S. End Credit: Sound Ken Scorfield End Credit: Film Editor Ken Oxenham End Credit: Written and Produced by Michael McHugh End Credit: Executive Producer Leslie Barrett End Credit: Director Roger Cheveley Title: TTTV Colour Context A ‘little waster’ goes a long way in comedy The north east’s finest flat-capped stand-up, Bobby Thompson, talks about his life in comedy. The Little Waster’s monologues are spiced with reference to a past that 'only the north east fully experienced.’ With his trademark tatty woollen gansey, flat cap and Woodbine tab, Bobby Thompson pedalled a comedy of debt, dole and marital war in perfect pitmatic dialect. This insightful TV portrait reveals the roots of his sparkling northern wit, from early life in a Durham pit village to show biz stardom. But the comic genius of this stand-up legend failed to travel south. This superb Tyne Tees TV documentary was broadcast on the 2nd May 1973 as ‘Wor Bobby’, part of the About Britain series, and in the Lifestyle series as ‘The Little Waster Makes Good’ in 1976.