I bring up "Porridge" tonight because I was searching online for information about one of the characters, a gay character named Lukewarm. He was played by an actor named Christopher Biggins.
I looked up the character and discovered this article from 2007 where some fan of the program complained about a "politically correct" decision by the BBC to edit out a joke involving Lukewarm:
Fans of the sitcom, which regularly pulled in more than 10 million viewers, have accused the BBC of "giving in to the politically correct brigade" after a phrase was removed from the programme on Saturday. They claim the comment "that sort do, don't they", referring to Lukewarm's ability to keep his cell clean, was taken out because it could be offensive to homosexuals. While the BBC denies the allegation, fans say the change is akin to removing a line from a Shakespeare play.Unless things are done much differently in the UK than they are done here in the US, the joke was likely edited out to make allowances for longer commercial breaks compared to the 1970s. It's pretty common to notice missing portions of favorite American sitcoms. And that particular line in that particular episode is edit-free on Britbox. For what it's worth.
Anyways, that's not why I was writing tonight. I'm actually responding to this particular description of Lukewarm from that article:
Ronnie Barker's character Fletcher was always ribbing his fellow inmates, not least Lukewarm, the outlandishly camp chef played by Christopher Biggins.Now maybe I'm too immersed in the LGBT communities. And maybe I've watched too many episodes of "Are You Being Served?" with Mr. Humphries, not to mention half of the British television programs that included any portrayals of gay or trans men from the 1970s to the present. But Lukewarm isn't any more "outlandishly camp" than any of the other characters in "Porridge." I mean, it's clear that he's gay. And he often knits. But he doesn't mince, and he doesn't lace his conversations with sexual inuendos, and he doesn't do anything with his clothing or appearance to stand too far out of the norm. So I don't get where they get off on calling him "outlandishly camp." I just don't see it.
Anyway, Lukewarm returned in a 2003 follow-up movie (which I've only see this portion of) called "Life Beyond the Box: Norman Stanley Fletcher." His full name is revealed for the first time (I believe) in this story: Timothy "Lukewarm" Underwood. It's revealed that he's living in Denmark with his husband Trevor, who's a motivational speaker. We met Trevor once before in the final episode of the first season of "Porridge."