The Fast Show Wiki
Advertisement

Arthur Atkinson was one one the great wartime comics and dominated the comedy scene up and down the country. He appeared on his great radio show 'hot and cold all over', and he really was the pick of the crop of comics in those days.There was fantastic competition: Billy Onions with his great catchphrase "here's my wife, here's my life". Ron Smyke, there were duos Benson and Hedges Lambert and Butler and the controversial nude spoon players from Czechoslovakia

Tommy Cockles

Arthur Atkinson was a fictional character from the BBC's sketch comedy The Fast Show, played by Paul Whitehouse.

Arthur's performance was cut with genuine period-audience reactions, so while his material was almost complete gibberish, his declaration of "You know what I'm talking about, even if I don't!" seemed apt.

"Where's me washboard?" and "How queer!" were his catchphrases.  He was once caught swearing on radio and was vilified.  At times it is intimated that he's not a very nice person, even strongly hinting in one sketch (in which he cast his very young niece as his love interest, referring to her lasciviously as 'practically a child') that he might be a pedophile. He also seems to have had an affair with Chester Drawers' wife when he asks Chester about the child's paternity.

He had a terrible singing voice and was made to mime to someone else's material.  Later, he would be cast in his own sitcom (Blame Arthur!) and would cameo in the 70's sex comedy Confessions of a Door to Door Cucumber Salesman.

Tommy Cockles[]

Tommy Cockles, portrayed by Simon Day, generally introduces Arthur's material in a nostalgic and yet contemptuous manner.  He claims that working with Arthur was 'hell'.  He has referred to his work as a 'debacle' and when Arthur was outcast for his slip-up on air, asked of himself "Do I care?  No."