Life Beyond The Box (BBC-2 with Ronnie Barker)


UK / BBC Two / 2×50 minute episodes / Broadcast 26-31 December 2003

Mock-documentaries on the lives of popular characters from sitcoms revealing unknown or merely hinted-at aspects of their early lives and showing what happened to them after the period of their lives in which their sitcom was set.

1) Norman Stanley Fletcher (26 December 2003)
Writer: Danny Robbins, Dan Tetsell (Script Consultants: Dick Clement, Ian La Frenais) / Producer/Director: Kim Flitcroft

The life of the notorious petty criminal from “Porridge” is told. Featuring most of the surviving original supporting cast reminiscing “in character” on Fletcher. Ronnie Barker also briefly appeared in character as Fletcher shown enjoying his new life as a bar owner.

2) Margo (31 December 2003)
Writer: Jonathan Harvey (Script Consultant: Bob Larbey) / Producer: Helen Jerome / Director: Margy Kinmoth
A rather more fanciful tale of the life of Margo Leadbetter from “The Good Life” – telling the story of how soon after the period of the Good Life, she divorced Jerry and tried to enter politics but became embroiled in a political scandal when photographed on holiday with an MP – then she became a minor celebrity presenting a cooking show for posh people on a minority channel and writing an outrageous newspaper opinion column and was later accused of cheating on a game show.

Neither Penelope Keith, nor any of the main surviving Good Life stars took part – Margo’s friends were either newly invented or were people that had been mentioned but never seen on screen.