Series 1, Episode 1
Demolition Title
Air date 9 November 1982
Written by Ben Elton
Rik Mayall
Lise Mayer
Directed by Paul Jackson
Episode Guide


The four students go about their day-to-day life in their shared house which includes a lentil casserole which is made with Lux washing powder & some of Neil’s snot for dinner and one of several of Neil’s failed suicide attempts. Vyvyan acquires an amputated human leg on which he has to write an essay for anatomy class, though he would prefer to mount it on the bonnet of his Ford Anglia. Balowski visits and admits that he isn’t really a foreigner. Vyvyan then announces that they had received a letter from the council, who are planning to demolish their house the next day.

Basic informationEdit

"Demolition" was the pilot episode for British sitcom The Young Ones. It was written by Ben Elton, Rik Mayall and Lise Mayer, and directed by Paul Jackson. Although made as a pilot episode, the five subsequent episodes had been commissioned and recorded by the time of broadcast, so instead "Demolition" was promoted as the ordinary first episode of a series, and has remained as so. It was first aired on BBC2 on 9 November 1982. The episode featured a performance from post-punk/blues band Nine Below Zero and a first appearance for Vyvyan's vicious pet hamster, SPG.


Click here for transcript of this episode.

Character developmentEdit

As with all episodes of The Young Ones, the main four characters were student flatmates Mike (Christopher Ryan); Vyvyan (Adrian Edmondson); Rick (Rik Mayall) and Neil (Nigel Planer). However, there are several telltale signs of this being the pilot episode - the characters' individual personalities aren't as fleshed out as in later episodes, Rick's outfit is different, and Vyvyan and Rick sport shorter haircuts. The episode also introduces their landlord Jerzei Balowski (Alexei Sayle), a character who would only appear once more during the first series, and twice more in total. Sayle, however, featured in every episode of the dozen made.