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VIDEO - York actor celebrates The Brittas Empire 20 years on

Mike Burns Brittas Empire

2:57pm 16th October 2017

The Brittas Empire was a BBC sitcom created and originally written by Andrew Norriss and Richard Fegen. It ended 20 years ago after a long run on BBC1

Chris Barrie played Gordon Brittas, the well meaning but incompetent manager of Whitbury New Town Leisure Centre. It was actually filmed at Television Centre and in Ringwood.

York actor Mike Burns played Colin Weatherby, a deputy manager and janitor described as a gentle, loyal and friendly character who is popular with all of his colleagues.

Colin was also highly incompetent and appears constantly dishevelled and filthy.

The show ran for seven series and 53 episodes from 1991 to 1997.

Recently the cast came together in Ringwood, near Bournemouth, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of it coming to an end.


VIDEO - Mike Burns in The Brittas Empire


VIDEO - Mike Burns talks about his time on the show


The creators often combined farce with either surreal or dramatic elements in episodes.

In the first series, the leisure centre prepares for a royal visit, only for the doors to seal, the boiler room to flood and a visitor to become electrocuted.

Unlike the traditional sitcom, deaths were quite common too.

Mike told Minster FM

"We were getting 12 and half million viewers at the time.

People were so kind about Colin and I never got any trouble.

I remember travelling on a train from Kings Cross and it just went mad.

Everyone was standing up cheering Colin.

We had such a good time making it and I think if the BBC had found out how good a time we were having they would have stopped it"


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