Many of us who partied in the 90s must be terrified of ever seeing ourselves on the internet, obviously drunk, smiling dumbly at the camera and saying something completely ridiculous. What would happen, for example, if an episode of the Sky TV show ‘Uncovered’ – which filmed sweaty young people partying without pants, drinking pints and rocket fuel drinks – emerged from your hometown ?
Episodes of the show which ran from 1997 to 2002 were filmed across the world, from Greece to Tenerife, Ibiza to Australia. But you might not know that a seemingly imitated version of the show was filmed in Croydon – and if you do, you might be praying no one ever sees it.
READ MORE:Girls show off Lambrini bouncers for free – Croydon’s Blue Orchid nightclub
Yes Uncovered Blue Orchid was filmed at the legendary Blue Orchid club, which was once the city’s favorite nightspot for youngsters to let off steam and then puke in the alleyways. And like the East of Croydon Cool website points out, “Blue Orchid Uncovered” was shot before the smart phone. That means there are a lot of people who have done things on camera that they wouldn’t have done if they knew it would be splashed all over the internet. But oops, now it is.
It was also shot in a very different time before influencer makeup straighteners and tutorials, so people looked a lot more “natural” with a lot less manicured eyebrows, false eyelashes and long pink nails. than you see today. Notice the guys seem to have a lot less facial hair than many young Londoners prefer these days!
*Warning – some of the video clips below contain profanity.
The first episode is filmed in Yates’ bar where clubbers went to get hammered before they could be persuaded to strut at the Blue Orchid. Film crews interview guys and women who are already clearly drunk. A boy insults the camera saying Yates is “a kinda cool place”. He was clearly already hammered back then! Another simply admits, “I’m w******d ain’t I mingin’!” Well at least he’s honest! A lot of guys say to the camera, “I love you mom!” Quite annoying!
Sadly, the well-known 90s boy culture and misogynism is never far away and some of the commentary is definitely irreplaceable these days.
Film crews stop at the Old Brief pub where serious garage music plays and you can literally smell the cheap Sambuca and Martini and taste the Smirnoff Ice. Everyone looks very drunk already.
Finally, the cameramen enter the Blue Orchid but, like many of us, they clearly arrived too early because there is no one there. Still, one hopeful customer ogles, “There’s quite a few girls I’d like to see here tonight at Blue Orchid, I’m telling you.” A girl enthuses: “It’s lively, the music is good and there are always plenty of cheap drinks.” It’s basically as complex as it gets!
Judging by the queue outside Blue Orchid, the Park Lane venue was really popular. The police must have dreaded the time of departure every weekend! Inside the venue there are guys who keep ogling and sticking their tongues out at the camera. Many guys are what you would call underdressed by today’s standards with just a t-shirt and jeans and seem to enjoy throwing their arms around each other.
The girls usually wear short skirts and skimpy tops and the presenter tries to put them together with nearby boys. It’s like a 90s version of Tinder where people use booze banter instead of swiping.
And it’s unclear how many of them would have had matches given their drunken behavior. The presenter is clearly trying to befriend the local guys but goes a little overboard by telling us he lost his virginity in Wallington! TMI! There’s a dressed up dancer strutting the dance floor and – something we haven’t seen in a long time – people smoking in the corners. Remember that horrible smell of smoke on your clothes the next day and having to put them straight in the washing machine and hide them from your parents who obviously knew about it!
In a later episode, a DJ flirts with the guys as they gargle beer in their faces. You can smell the cheap shots, dry ice and cigarette smoke as if you were there. In episode 8, everyone, including the presenter, is completely lost! A blank-eyed boy mutters into the microphone, “More beers, more beers.” He doesn’t seem able to handle a glass of water at this point.
And then just like that the night is over. A woman almost blinks at the camera and we start to see everyone coming down the stairs under the Blue Orchid neon sign, on their way to a kebab! It’s not fancy, but if you want another sweaty, dirty night at the Blue Orchid that will leave you feeling drunk and probably sick, this is the way to do it!