Classic TV Moments – Porridge: Fletcher’s Weekend Off


Norman Stanley Fletcher (Ronnie Barker) is ‘an habitual criminal who accepts arrest as an occupational hazard and presumably accepts imprisonment in the same casual manner’.

As such, he knows all the old tricks to get the most out of prison life. The other inmates look up to him and respect his advice but it seems he’s made an error when, after advising all and sundry on the secrets of happy marriage, his eldest, Ingrid, turns up to tell him that Mrs Fletch has left him for another man.

Despite the opposition of Scottish ‘nerk’ Mister Mackay, our affable lag convinces clueless governor Mr Venables (shades of John Le Mesurier in the Italian job – with Genial Harry Grout as Mr Bridger?) to grant him compassionate leave.

Fletch then enjoys a weekend watching Spurs, having Sunday dinner and a bit of nookie with the missus, which he gloriously relates to his open mouthed fellow inmates on his return.