The Glam Metal Detectives was a comedy show combining both sketch and sitcom elements, produced by the BBC in 1995. It was screened on BBC2 in the Thursday 9pm slot, a place long renowned as a breeding ground for new and more experimental comedy. As with other shows launched in this timeslot, The Glam Metal Detectives attempted to innovate and combine genres, resulting in an off-the-wall mix of the sublime and the surreal which broke new ground with its 'multimedia' approach. The show lasted one series of seven episodes.
The scripts were written by the cast, and director Peter Richardson, and the series starred Gary Beadle, Phil Cornwell, Doon Mackichan (playing most of the female roles), Sara Stockbridge, George Yiasoumi, and Mark Caven.
The show was designed to appear as if the viewer was channel surfing through a multi-channel wasteland, happening upon spoof adverts, short sketches, and recurring show elements. Like other BBC content of the mid-1990s (most notably KYTV), it often lampooned the harsh and low-quality satellite television available in the UK at the time.
Show segments included:
* The Glam Metal Detectives themselves. A rock group charged with the mission of "saving the planet's ecology with your top-selling records", they would fight the evil media mogul Royston Brockade in between gigs. This segment combined elements of the cultish, kitsch and televisual trash in an unpredictable manner.
* Betty's Mad Dash - a supposed 1950s adventure serials, set in the 1930s, about two flappers, Betty and Maisie on the run from the police. Each episode involved hiding from the police in some period location and robbing from people at gunpoint.
* Bloodsports - a short segment portraying violent UK topics such as ram raiding as if they were recognised sports, complete with commentators.
* Running From Death - an innovative attempt at self-parody, which saw the group running from the Grim Reaper. Each episode would include this sequence, which always bore a remarkable similarity to the chase sequence in the Betty's Mad Dash section, ending with the group robbing the Grim Reaper at gunpoint. The appearance of the Grim Reaper in the show is said to have been inspired by that of the director's friend Allan Yates.
* The Big Me - a chat show parody featuring Morag, who was extremely self-obsessed and egomanaical, ignoring her guests and instead talking about herself.
* Colin Corleone - a nondescript Londoner who acted as if he was as a mafia godfather, complete with henchmen; for example, when his dole is cut off because he refuses to work in Do It All, he arranges a 'hit' on the DSS office worker, shooting him with a water pistol while he has his lunch.