Ripping Yarns hops to DVD marked by world record attempt

Ripping Yarns DVD

Any British lad of a certain age will remember Ripping Yarns, the TV show that poked fun at the kind of tales of derring-do published in countless boys’ comics and annuals down the years. 

Created by members of the Monty Python team, the shw was hugely popular when first shown by the BBC in the 1970s – and it’s about to be released on DVD.

Originally broadcast on the BBC between 1976 and 1979, this set is a must-have item for all fans of great British comedy – and there will be a special Guinness World of Records hopathon attempt, homaging an episode of the show, to mark the release.

Following the phenomenal success of Monty Python’s Flying Circus, Michael Palin and Terry Jones created the BAFTA-winning parody of Boy’s Own-style adventure annuals. Ripping Yarns sees Palin take the lead role in nine fantastic adventures – from stirring tales of sporting endeavour, intrepid exploration and wartime heroism to skullduggery, supernatural mystery and murder!

An illustrious supporting cast includes Ian Ogilvy, John Le Mesurier, Iain Cuthbertson, Denholm Elliott, Joan Sanderson and Don Henderson, with Terry Jones starring in one episode and fellow former Python John Cleese also making a cameo appearance.

Ripping Yarns was produced and directed by the multi award-winning team of Terry Hughes (The Two Ronnies), Jim Franklin (The Goodies) and Alan J.W. Bell (The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy)

Set for release as a two disc set on 5th March 2012, special features include commentaries on all episodes by Michael Palin and Terry Jones; a deleted scene from Murder at Moorstones Manor; audience laughter-free tracks on all episodes bar “Tomkinson’s Schooldays” and “Murder at Moorstones Manor”; and Comic Roots – Michael Palin returns to his home-town of Sheffield; “Secrets” – a BBC play from 1973; a Stills Gallery; and Michael Palin’s original scripts in PDF format.

To mark the DVD release and as an homage to the episode “Tomkinson’s School Days”, Network DVD are looking to recruit members of the public to set Guinness World Records for the largest group 400 metre hop as well as a 400 metre relay hop. This free event will take place at the Grade 1-listed Hampstead Heath Athletics track on Saturday 3rd March 2012.

People can apply to participate by visiting Both Michael Palin and Terry Jones will be attending and presenting prizes to the overall winners – £500 to the charities of their choice.

The Ripping Yarns Hopathon is inspired by the 30-Mile Hop at Graybridge School, motto: “Only in true misery can you find true contentment” which featured in the first ever episode of the cult comedy series “Tomkinson’s School Days”. Thankfully Messieurs Palin and Jones have rejected the idea of pitting members of the public in the much -featured grizzly bear fight (still compulsory for some boys at Graybridge), or a St Tagder’s Day ceremony (where students are nailed to the school walls). However, selected participants will be provided with Team Graybridge and Team St Anthony’s t-shirts plus a commemorative certificate for their commendable sporting efforts.

To break The Guinness World Records as listed above, Network DVD requires at least 250 people to participate in the largest group hop and also needs to set a time of seven minutes to achieve the fastest 400 metre hop on one leg. Participants must be over 18 years of age and in sound physical health. 

– Full details about registration are available at by ‘LIKING’ the hop or accessing the facebook tab for existing people who ‘like’ Network DVD

Ripping Yarns – The Complete Series (15) is available from Network DVD on 5th March 2012. RRP: £19.99. Discs: 2 Running Time: 225 mins (approx.) Screen Ratio: 1.33:1 Colour Catalogue Number: 7953361

Disc One


Set in the frontier days of British education, when upper lips were stiff with cold and corporal punishment was an A-Level. A savage, searing indictment of something or other.Produced and Directed by Terry Hughes. Original BBC Transmission 7 January 1976


A boy becomes a man in the harsh world of the Depression. The rough, tough story of folk who couldn’t afford to go on the Jarrow March.Produced and Directed by Jim Franklin. Original BBC Transmission 27 September 1977


A tale of courage and valour behind the lines in the Kaiser’s Germany. An inspiring story of camp life and a British officer who wouldn’t lie down.Produced and Directed by Jim Franklin. Original BBC Transmission 4 October 1977


Hugo and Dora drive down to see Mumsie and Dadsie-pie for a long weekend in the country. But it turns out to be longer than they thought.Produced and Directed by Terry Hughes. Original BBC Transmission 11 October 1977


The stirring story of one man and six frogs who tried to defy the world in the greatest gamble of all.Produced and Directed by Terry Hughes. Original BBC Transmission 18 October 1977


The terrifying account of a man who dabbled in the dark mysteries of the Orient, and lived to tell the tale. Or did he…?Produced and Directed by Jim Franklin. Original BBC Transmission 25 October 1977

Disc Two


Dashing, debonnaire Gerald Whinfrey saves his country twice a week. But in 1913 a German plot to start the First World War without telling anybody coincides with his holiday. Where do Whinfrey’s priorities lie? Has he got any? A knockabout tale of international intrigue.Executive Producer Sydney Lotterby. Produced and Directed by Alan J.W. Bell. Original BBC Transmission 10 October 1979


A torrid tale of football fanaticism in the 1930s. Super-fan Gordon Ottershaw supports a team which hasn’t won a match for six years. But worse is to come, and Gordon and his bicycle clips are reunited in a last desperate bid for glory and Bovril. Executive Producer Sydney Lotterby. Produced and Directed by Alan J.W. BellOriginal BBC Transmission 17 October 1979


Roger Bartlesham comes of age in a world of eighteen-course breakfasts and twelve servants per leg. But when the Great War breaks out Roger finds himself in a world of changing values and is forced by circumstances to the most despicable act known to the British Army. Produced and Directed by Jim Franklin.Original BBC Transmission 24 October 1979


Categories: British Comics

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