TV

Mad About Alice to Mike and Bernie

man-about-the-house-cast-1973-1976

The Ultimate Guide to British Sitcoms

All sitcoms starting with the letter M. This is part one and takes you from Mad About Alice to Mike and Bernie.

Head back to main sitcom page.

MAD ABOUT ALICE

BBC1 / 6x30m / started 23 January 2004
Writer: Paul Waite / Director: Gareth Carrivick / Producer: Sue Birbeck

Interior designer Alice and her ex-husband Doug are separated but still have feelings for each other as their lives continue to intertwine whenever he visits to see their young son.

With:- AMANDA HOLDEN as Alice / JAMIE THEAKSTON as Doug / JOHN GORDON-SINCLAIR as Ted / DEBRA STEPHENSON as Kate / BILLY HILL as Joe

 

MAGGIE AND HER

LWT / 13×30 minute episodes / 1978-79
Writer: Leonard Webb / Producers: David Askey, Simon Brett
Sitcom. Divorced schoolteacher Maggie has to cope with her elderly but very nosy neighbour Mrs Perry, who is determined to set her up with a new ‘fella’. There was a pilot broadcast on the 13 Aug 1976 under the title Poppy and Her.
Maggie……………………………………….. JULIA McKENZIE
Mrs Perry…………………………………….. IRENE HANDL

 

THE MAGNIFICENT EVANS

BBC1 / 6×30 minute episodes / 1984 13 Sep – 11 Oct Thurs 8.00pm
Writer: Roy Clarke / Producer/Director: Sydney Lotterby
Sitcom. The exploits of Plantagenet Evans, a philandering photographer in a small Welsh town.
Plantagenet Evans………………………….. RONNIE BARKER
Rachel…………………………………………. SHARON MORGAN
Willie…………………………………………… DICKIE ARNOLD
Bron……………………………………………. MYFANWY TALOG
Home Rule O’Toole…………………………. DYFED THOMAS

 

MAN ABOUT THE HOUSE

ITV – Thames / 39×30 minute episodes / Broadcast 15 August 1973 – 7 April 1976 / 6 Seasons

Writers: Johnnie Mortimer, Brian Cooke / Producer and Director: Peter Frazer-Jones

Sitcom Man About the House told comedic tales of flat sharing in the 1970’s when it was considered very permissive for a guy (O’Sullivan) to share with two girls (the gorgeous Paula Wilcox and Sally Thomsett), downstairs was crotchety landlord George Roper and his sex starved wife Mildred and living in the attic flat at the top of the house was larrikin Larry (who didn’t become a regular until the second season but was always good value with his talk of birds, booze and football.

The heart of the show was been Robin doing his best to persuade either of the girls to sleep with him, this being prime time ITV he always failed of course, his favourite was clearly Chrissy and its a situation that as the series entered it’s final season there was some real depth and a genuine sense of melancholy as Chrissy actually falls in love with Robin’s brother Norman (Norman Eshley, who had been in the series before as a different character romancing Chrissy) and in the final episode marries him, a great way to wrap up the series, showing the characters growing up, at last, and moving on. And also paving the way for spin-offs Robin’s Nest and George and Mildred.

The series never ventured far outside the confines of the studio but always attracted quality guest stars including the likes of Peter Jones in A Little Knowledge which sees Robin working as an encyclopedia salesmen to try and earn some cash. Other guest stars included the gorgeous Jenny Hanley and Ian Lavender in While The Cat’s Away, Dennis Waterman as a German doctor in Did You Ever Meet Rommel?, Brush Strokes’ Karl Howman in the babysitting episode Two Foot Two, Eyes of Blue (Jo Kendall who had just been killed off in Emmerdale Farm also appears in this episode) and the already mentioned Norman Eshley (who of course would also go on to play Geoffrey Fourmile in George and Mildred) who in season two was a married man hoping to have an affair with Chrissy. The great Leslie Sands pops up too as Robin’s father.

The show was always very funny, especially when George and Mildred were involved, a withering look from Mildred could set anyman a trembling in terror and with a cast that appeared to get on really well and a series of fun plotlines Man About the House is one of the better ITV sitcoms of the 1970’s.

The series gained a pretty good big screen outing in 1974 (made by horror specialists Hammer films of all companies) and also two spin-offs in the shape of George and Mildred and Robin’s Nest. The series was also the inspiration for popular US sitcom Three’s Company.

cast
RICHARD O’SULLIVAN as Robin Tripp / PAULA WILCOX as Chrissy Plummer / SALLY THOMSETT as Jo / DOUG FISHER as Larry Simms / BRIAN MURPHY as George Roper / YOOTHA JOYCE as Mildred Roper

 

THE MANAGEMENT

C4/LWT / 6×30 minute episodes / 1988 27 January – 2 March Wednesday 10.00pm
Writers: Gareth Hale, Norman Pace, Geoff Atkinson / Producer: Charlie Hanson / Director: John Gorman
Sitcom. Dodgy bouncers The Two Rons are left a nightclub by their late uncle in his will. The Two Rons had previously been seen in Hale and Pace’s sketch series.
Ron……………………………………………… GARETH HALE
Ron……………………………………………… NORMAN PACE
Mr Crusty……………………………………… BRYAN PRINGLE
Naomi………………………………………….. KATE McKENZIE
Fiona…………………………………………… SERENA EVANS
Mrs Crusty……………………………………. VILMA HOLLINGBERRY
Typhus Los Bentos…………………………. ANDY LINDEN

 

MANN’S BEST FRIENDS

C4/Thames / 6×30 minute episodes / 1985 15 April – 20 May Mondays 8.30pm
Writer: Roy Clarke / Producer/Director: Derrick Goodwin
Sitcom. When Hamish James Ordway retires from his job at the water board he is offered a rent free home at Henry Mann’s boarding house if he can sort out the problems of all the other residents.
Hamish James Ordway…………………… FULTON MACKAY
Henry Mann…………………………………. BARRY STANTON
Duncan………………………………………. BERNARD BRESSLAW
Dolly ‘Doll’ Delights………………………… PATRICIA BURKE
Mrs Mann……………………………………. BARBARA HICKS
Mrs Anstruther……………………………… LIZ SMITH
Irvin…………………………………………… CLIVE MERRISON

 

THE MANY WIVES OF PATRICK

LWT / 20×30 minute episodes / 1976-78 Three seasons
Creators: Patrick Cargill, Wiiliam G. Stewart, Colin Frewin / Writer: Richard Waring / Theme Music: Johnny Johnston / Producer/Director: William G. Stewart
Sitcom. Antiques expert Patrick Woodford has problems coping with the demands of his six ex-wives.
Patrick Woodford………………………… PATRICK CARGILL
Elizabeth Woodford…………………….. URSULA HOWELLS
Harold……………………………………… ROBIN PARKINSON
Nancy……………………………………… ELSPET GRAY
Josephine…………………………………. WENDY WILLIAMS
Helen………………………………………. ELIZABETH COUNSELL
Laura………………………………………. BRIDGET ARMSTRONG
Patrick’s Mother………………………… AGNES LAUCHLEN

 

MARJORIE AND MEN

Anglia / 6×30 minute episodes / 1985 28 June – 2 August
Writers: John Gorrie(3 episodes), Peter Spence(7 episodes) / Producer: John Rosenberg / Director: John Gorrie
Sitcom. Newly divorced Marjorie Bolton sets out to find herself a new man.
Marjorie Belton……………………………….. PATRICIA ROUTLEDGE
Alice Tripp…………………………………….. PATRICIA HAYES
Henry Bartlett………………………………… JAMES COSSINS
Sid Parkin…………………………………….. RONNIE STEVENS
Beryl…………………………………………… JEANNE WATTS

Marriage Lines

The Marriage Lines

THE MARRIAGE LINES

BBC1 / 43×30 minute episodes / 1963-66 Five seasons black and white
Writer: Richard Waring / Producers: Graeme Muir (Seasons 1-2), Robin Nash (Seasons 3-5)
Sitcom. The ups and downs of newly married couple the Starlings.
George Starling……………………………… RICHARD BRIERS
Kate Starling………………………………… PRUNELLA SCALES
Peter………………………………………….. RONALD HINES
Norah…………………………………………. CHRISTINE FINN

 

MARRIED FOR LIFE

Carlton / 7×30 minute episodes / 1996
Creators: Michael G. Moye, Ron Levitt / Producer: Paula Burton / Executive Producer: Richard Boden / Director: Terry Kinane
Sitcom. An adaption of the US hit Married With Children telling stories of harassed Ted Butler coping with the rigours of married life.
Ted Butler………………………………….. RUSS ABBOT
Pam Butler…………………………………. SUSAN KYD
Nikki Butler………………………………… LUCY BLAKELY
Lee Butler………………………………….. PETER ENGLAND
Steve Hollingsworth……………………… HUGH BONNEVILLE
Judy Hollingsworth………………………. JULIE DAWN COLE

 

MAX AND PADDY’S ROAD TO NOWHERE

C4 / 6x30m / started 12 November 2004
Writers: Peter Kay, Patrick McGuiness / Director: Peter Kay / Producer: Lesley McNeil

Max and Paddy are ex-nightclub bouncers on a road trip to nowhere-in-particular in their mobile home. Max and Paddy were characters from Peter Kay’s Phoenix Nights. Brian Potter from Phoenix Nights (also played by Kay) made a few cameo appearances.

With:- PETER KAY as Max / PATRICK McGUINNESS as Paddy

 

MAY TO DECEMBER

BBC1/Cinema Verity / 38×30 minute episodes 1×55 minute episodes / 1989-94 6 seasons + 1 special
Creator: Paul A. Mendelson / Executive Producer: Verity Lambert / Producers: Sydney Lotterby (Seasons 1-2), Sharon Bloom (Seasons 3-6) / Music: Mark Warman
Sitcom. Middle aged lawyer Alec Callender falls in love with schoolteacher Zoe Angell who is half his age. Later the pair married and had a daughter.
Alec Callender…………………………… ANTON RODGERS
Zoe Angell(Seasons 1-2)………………. EVE MATHESON
Zoe Angell(Seasons 3-6)………………. LESLEY DUNLOP
Jamie Callender…………………………. PAUL VENABLES
Miles Henty(Season 1)………………… CLIVE FRANCIS
Vera Flood……………………………….. FRANCES WHITE
Hilary(Seasons 1-5)……………………. REBECCA LACEY
Simone…………………………………… CAROLYN PICKLES
Dot………………………………………… KATE WILLIAMS
Debbie……………………………………. CHRISSIE COTTERILL
Roy……………………………………….. PAUL RAYNOR
Rosie MacConnachy(Season 6)……. ASHLEY JENSON

 

ME AND MY GIRL

LWT / 52×30 minute episodes / 1984-88 Six seasons
Creators: John Kane, Keith Leonard / Music: Peter Skellern / Script Editor: Bernard McKenna / Executive Producer: Humphrey Barclay
Sitcom. Widower businessman Simon Harrap tries to bring up his teenage daughter Sam the best he can, struggling when Samantha shows an interest in all the usual teenage girl things, such as boys, make up etc.
Simon Harrap…………………………….. RICHARD O’SULLIVAN
Sam Harrap……………………………….. JOANNE RIDLEY
Derek Yates………………………………. TIM BROOKE-TAYLOR
Nell…………………………………………. JOAN SANDERSON
Liz………………………………………….. JOANNE CAMPBELL

 

MEET THE CHAMP

BBC / 6×30 minute episodes / 1960 22 September – 27 October Thursdays 8.00pm
Writer: Sid Colin / Producer: Barry Lupino
Sitcom. Bernie is a promising young boxer, but his girlfriend wants him to give up the ring.
Bernie…………………………………………. BERNARD BRESSLAW
J.J……………………………………………… JIMMY JAMES
Essie………………………………………….. VILMA ANN LESLIE
Sammy……………………………………….. PETER BUTTERWORTH

 

MEET THE MAGOONS

C4 / 6x30m / started 19 August 2005
Writer/Director: Hardeep Singh Kohli / Producer: Sally Martin

Sitcom about a family of Indian cousins who run a curry house in Glasgow.

With:- NITIN GANATRA as Nitin / PAUL SHARMA as Paul / SANJEEV KOHLI as Surjit / HARDEEP SINGH KOHLI as Hamish

 

MEET THE WIFE

BBC1 / 39×30 minute episodes / 1964-66 Five seasons black and white
Writers: Ronald Wolfe and Ronald Chesney / Producers: John Paddy Carstairs, Robin Nash
Sitcom. The ups and downs of northern married couple the Blacklock’s. Based on a 1963 Comedy Playhouse entry called The Bed.
Thora Blacklock……………………….. THORA HIRD
Freddie Blacklock…………………….. FREDDIE FRINTON

 

ME MAMMY

BBC1 / 21×30 minute episodes / 1969-71 1 Pilot + 3 seasons
Writer: Hugh Leonard / Producer: James Gilbert (Seasons 1-2), Sydney Lotterby (Season 3)
Sitcom. Sucessful Irish businessman Bunjy Kennefick still lives with his widowed mother.
Bunjy Kennefick……………………………. MILO O’SHEA
Mrs Kennefick……………………………… ANNA MANAHAN
Miss Argyll…………………………………. YOOTHA JOYCE
Cousin Enda……………………………….. DAVID KELLY
Father Patrick……………………………… RAY McNALLY

 

MEN BEHAVING BADLY

ITV(Thames)/Hartswood/ BBC1 / 41×30 minute episodes 1×45 minute episodes / 1992-98 Seven seasons.
Writer: Simon Nye / Music: Alan Lisk / Producer: Beryl Vertue
Sitcom. Two unreconstructed men share a flat in South London. Gary is in a relationship (of sorts) with nurse Dorothy whilst first Dermot (Season 1) and then Tony lust after Deborah who lives in the flat upstairs. The show has had a chequered history, seasons one and two were on ITV in an 8.30pm slot, after ITV failed to take up the show for a third season, it switched sides to BBC1 and a post watershed slot where it went from strength to strength.
Gary……………………………………………. MARTIN CLUNES
Dermot (Season 1)………………………….. HARRY ENFIELD
Tony……………………………………………. NEIL MORRISSEY
Deborah……………………………………….. LESLIE ASH
Dorothy………………………………………… CAROLINE QUENTIN
Les……………………………………………… DAVE ATKINS
George…………………………………………. IAN LINDSAY
Anthea…………………………………………. VALERIE MINIFIE

 

MEN OF AFFAIRS

HTV / 13×30 minute episodes / 1973-74 3 Oct 73 – 23 Jan 74
Writer: Michael Pertwee / Producer: Wallace Douglas / Executive Producer: Patrick Dromgoole
Sitcom. Misadventures of a government minister and his parliamentary private secretary.
Sir William…………………………………… WARREN MITCHELL
Barry Ovis MP………………………………. BRIAN RIX
Lady Mainwaring-Brown………………….. JOAN SIMS

 

MEN OF THE WORLD

BBC1/Alamo / 12×30 minute episodes / 1994-95
Writer: Daniel Peacock / Titles: Bob Cosford / Theme Sung by David Threllfall / Producers: Laurence Marks, Maurice Gran, Claire Hinson / Director: Terry Kinane
Sitcom. Lenny, a thirty something travel agent, tries to keep his young workmate and lodger, Kendle Baines, in check.
Lenny Smart……………………………….. DAVID THRELLFALL
Kendle Baines…………………………….. JOHN SIMM
Gilby………………………………………… DANIEL PEACOCK

 

MESS MATES

Granada / 40×30 minute episodes / 1960-62 Two seasons black and white
Writers: Talbot Rothwell, Lew Schwarz / Producer: Eric Fawcett
Sitcom. The exploits of the crew of the SS Guernsey (season one) and in season two the The Jersey Lily.
Captain Biskett………………………….. ARCHIE DUNCAN
Tug Nelson……………………………….. VICTOR MADDERN
Croaker Jones…………………………… SAM KYDD
Willie McGuiness………………………. FULTON MACKAY
Blarney Finnigan……………………….. DERMOT KELLY
Twinkle Martin(Season 2)…………….. MICHAEL BALFOUR
Dapper Drake(Season 2)……………… RONALD HINES
Fry Up Dodds(62)………………………. FRANK ATKINSON

 

ME YOU AND HIM

Thames / 6×30 minute episodes / 1992 30 July – 3 September Thursday 8.30pm
Writers: Steve Punt, Hugh Dennis, Nick Hancock / Producer/Director: John Stroud
Sitcom. The exploits of three former school friends who all share a flat.
John…………………………………………….. NICK HANCOCK
Mark……………………………………………. STEVE PUNT
Harry……………………………………………. HUGH DENNIS
Helen…………………………………………… HARRIET THORPE
Todd……………………………………………. RON DONACHIE

 

THE MIGHTY BOOSH

BBC-3 / 20x30m / started 18 May 2004 – 20 December 2007 (previously shown on BBC3)
Writers: Julian Barratt, Noel Fleming / Director: Paul King / Producer: Alison MacPhail

Sitcom. Incredibly bizarre tales of Howard and Vince and the “Mighty Boosh” world they live in, across three series of non-sequiters, musical interludes and weird skits the duo (who also played many of the other roles on the show) were zoo-keepers (series 1), flat mates (series 2) and owner of the Nabootique shop (series 3). There is no real format though and very little attempt at continuity. Stars Barratt and Fielding are genuine talent though and the people who like the show like it a lot.

With:- JULIAN BARRATT as Howard Moon / NOEL FIELDING as Vince Noir

 

MIKE AND BERNIE

Thames / 6×30 minute episodes / 1971-72 14 Dec 71 – 18 Jan 72 Tues 6.55pm
Writers: Vince Powell, Harry Driver / Producer/Director: Stuart Allen
Sitcom. Two unemployed comedians set about trying to find work.
Mike…………………………………………… MIKE WINTERS
Bernie…………………………………………. BERNIE WINTERS

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