You have been watching…

In which we stay to the end of the credits


…is a phrase I never really understood.

It’s a sudden flashback I had today, to old sitcoms like Allo Allo and Hi-de-Hi. They didn’t end with your standard telly credits; they ended with “You have been watching…”, and everybody would suddenly come out of character and wave at the camera.

Presumably it’s a stage thing adapted for the telly. Even when young, though, I found it rather disruptive. I didn’t want to be shown these people were actors. I wanted to suspend my disbelief all week until the next episode. Moreover, I wasn’t always sure what the names of all the characters were. I wanted to read the credits and find out!

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