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On the Buses (TV Series 1969–1973) Poster

(1969–1973)

Trivia

Although the character Stan Butler was supposed to be in his mid-30s, Reg Varney was already 52 when the series began. He wore heavy make-up so that he would appear younger.
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There were plans to revive the series in 1990 as "Back on the Buses".
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Reg Varney wouldn't sit out his part all the way. He left the series in the final season, after episode 69 (entitled "Goodbye Stan"). So Varney wasn't in the last six episodes of this series. His absence was explained by Stan moving to the Midlands, to work in a bus manufacturing factory. Inspector Blakey moved into the Butler household as a lodger, so he was promoted from a bit-player to the show's primary character. Varney did feature in the third "On the Buses" movie later on in 1973, Holiday on the Buses (1973).
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Bob Grant, playing bus conductor Jack, had actually worked in real life as a bus driver in order to pay his way through RADA (the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art). He mentions this in the TV interview he did on the Wogan show in 1990. The rest of the cast were also present talking about the planned new series which sadly never got made.
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Michael Robbins (Arthur Rudge) left the series after Season 6 to concentrate on his stage work again. The first episode of the final season is called "Olive's Divorce", so Arthur and Olive finally get divorced.
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Due to a technicians' strike during Season 4, seven of the 13 episodes were made in black and white rather than color--"Christmas Duty", "The Anniversary", "Cover-Up", "Safety First", "The Lodger", "The Injury" and "Not Tonight". On some of these a voice is audible directing the audience's applause prior to the credits cutting off.
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Reg Varney was the first person in the UK to use a cash point, when he was hired by Barclays Bank to publicise the first ATM available to the public.
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Doris Hare was only 11 years older than her screen "son" Reg Varney.
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One reason given for Michael Robbins leaving the series, was that the actor had grown dissatisfied with the quality of the dialogue by 1972. However, Michael Robbins did return for the film "Holiday On the Buses" in 1973.
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Stan and Jack's bus is the Luxton & District Traction Company's #11 to the Cemetery Gates.
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Doris Hare was first choice for the role of Mum. However she was unavailable for the first series, and Cicely Courtneidge was signed for the first series only.
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As Olive, Anna Karen played a character who was presented as frumpy and uncaring of her appearance, though in real life Karen had been a model and dancer prior to her breakthrough role in this series. When she showcased her natural look during a magazine shoot in the 1970s, viewers were shocked at just how different she appeared from her character.
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The buses were diesel-powered Eastern National Bristol Lodekka FLF6LXs with 70-seat bodies.
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Following the death of Stephen Lewis in August 2015, Anna Karen is the only surviving principal cast member.
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The series often attracted better ratings than the BBC's Dad's Army (1968)..
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The nickname of Inspector Blake (Stephen Lewis) was "Blakey" but he was also nicknamed at times "Hitler" and Dracula.
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The TV series' two creators were both named Ronald--Ronald Wolfe and Ronald Chesney. There was a series on TV from 1971 starring Ronnie Corbett and Ronnie Barker called The Two Ronnies (1971)--the pair were nicknamed both this and "The Two Ronalds".
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For Bob Grant, playing Jack Harper for four years led to his being typecast as "leering, randy" characters. He found work hard to come by after "On the Buses" finished. After a short-lived sitcom, "Down The Gate" about a Billingsgate fish market porter, Reg Varney's tv career also declined and he returned to mostly cabaret work in clubs and cruise ships.
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Three "On the Buses" films were made in consecutive years between 1971-73 while this series was still being broadcast on television.
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Although the Inspector is supposed to be older than Stan, in reality Reg Varney who played Stan was 7 years older than Stephen Lewis who played the Inspector.
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In the title/credit sequence, Stephen Lewis's character is simply referred to as "Inspector" not "Inspector Blake" or even "Blakey" His first name is Cyril.
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There was no widespread condemnation of the character "Chalky".
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There was criticism over certain racist elements in the series.
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The title of the theme tune to the series was Happy Harry
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In series 6 episode 7 "The prize". Stan, Arthur and Olive are trying to get round mum so she would choose one of them to accompany her on her prize draw holiday to Spain. In a scene where Stan and Arthur are both running towards mums bedroom door, Olive is coming in carrying a breakfast tray. They collide and the tray goes flying upwards, you notice that Stan holds his hand to his mouth and turns away from the camera. In the next scene with Stan taking to Arthur you can see that Stan has a nasty cut on his bottom lip obviously caused by the flying breakfast tray.
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Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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