I’m from Seattle, you see, so the only context I’ve ever heard that… unusual exclamation is through the Red Dwarf Smeg Ups tapes. Craig Charles, who plays Lister, stopped by the local PBS station one day, and he belted out the word once himself. Unfortunately, he failed to explain what it meant. Okay, so it’s a little funny even without an explanation, especially because Chris Barrie and the rest of the cast seem to be having a lot of fun while chanting “extraordinary” in unison.
I assume this must be an imitation of some BBC personality who is virtually unknown in America, and I’d sort of like to know who. A newsreader, a sportscaster, a comedian, a political commentator… I dunno.
I also seem to recall John Cleese in the old Monty Python days doing an impersonation of someone the audience seemed to recognize, an old man with a permanently raised eyebrow who was perpetually excited and shouted out “extraordinary” quite a few times.
Are both these imitations of the same BBC personality?