The Detectives began life as a regular sketch on Jasper Carrott's 'Canned Carrott' series. Jasper, and his long time friend Robert Powell (As Jasper said 'He was once Jesus Christ and now I've got him down to my level), play Bob Louis and Dave Briggs, two detective constables so happless, it is inconcievable that they ever graduated from Hendon police school.
Their boss 'the super' although worn out by their inabillities within police work, always had a special bond for them, and partook in a love-hate relationship with them. The Super, Frank Cottom, was played by veteran London actor George Sewell. There are subtle differences from the sketch to the TV series. For instance, in the sketches, Dave Briggs was married, yet both Bob and Dave are single in the series, and it is made clear that they both lack in romantic experience.