TV

Odd Man Out to Over The Rainbow

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The Ultimate Guide to British Sitcoms

All sitcoms starting with the letter O. This takes you from Odd Man Out to Over The Rainbow.

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ODD MAN OUT

Thames / 7×30 minute episodes / 1977 27 October – 8 December Thursdays 9.00pm
Writer: Vince Powell / Producer: Gerald Thomas / Director: Anthony Parker
Sitcom. Down at heel fish and chip shop owner Neville Sutcliffe inherits a stick of rock factory.
With:- JOHN INMAN as Neville Sutcliffe / JOSEPHINE TEWSON as Dorothy / AVRIL ANGERS as Ma / PETER BUTTERWORTH as Wilf

 

THE OFFICE

BBC2 / 12x30m / 2001,2002 / BBC1 / 1x45m, 1x55m / 2003 (total 14 episodes)
Writers/Directors: Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant; Producer: Ash Atalla

A comedy made in the style of a docusoap where the staff of a paper merchants in Slough called Wernham Hogg are filmed and interviewed doing their jobs. The principal character was their boss, David Brent, who believed his sole purpose there was to entertain the staff and boost morale. At the end of the second series Brent was made redundant. In 2003 there were two Christmas specials with the “docusoap” revisiting the staff after a three year interval. Brent was shown trying to launch himself as minor celebrity following the transmission of the documentary. The series won many awards. The two series were shown on BBC2 with the concluding specials shown on BBC1.

With:- RICKY GERVAIS as David Brent / MACKENZIE CROOK as Gareth / MARTIN FREEMAN as Tim / LUCY DAVIS as Dawn / PATRICK BALADI as Neil (series 2) / EWAN Mackintosh as Keith

 

OFFICE GOSSIP

BBC1 / 6×30 minute episodes / 2001 (First Episode: Friday 2 February 9.00pm)
Writer: Paul Mayhew-Archer / Producer: Matthew Francis / Director: Christine Gernon
Sitcom about single mum Jo working as a PA at a toy firm.
With:- PAULINE QUIRKE as Jo / ROBERT DAWS as Rod / NEIL STUKE as Simon / PIPPA HAYWOOD as Maxine / DANIELA DENBY-ASHE as Cheryl / CHARLOTTE FRANCIS as Sam / RYAN SMITH as Mike / IAN BARRITT as David Wells / WOLF CHRISTIAN as Terry Hill

 

O HAPPY BAND

BBC / 6×30 minute episodes / 1980
Writers: Jeremy Lloyd, David Croft / Producer: David Croft
Sitcom. Exploits of a small village’s brass band.
With:- HARRY WORTH as Harry / JOHN HORSLEY as Mr Braithwaite / JONATHAN CECIL as Mr Herbert / TONY SYMPSON as Mr Giles / JAN HOLDEN as Mrs Draper / BILLY BURDEN as Mr Sowerby / HAROLD BENNETT as Vicar / PEGGYANN CLIFFORD as Mrs Tickford

 

OH BROTHER!

BBC1 / 19×30 minute episodes / 1968-70 Three seasons
Writers: David Climie, Austin Steele / Director: Harold Snoad
Sitcom. Misadventures of bumbling novice monk Brother Dominic. After a gap of three years the series returned as Oh Father! (see below) with our brother now ‘qualified’ as it were.
With:- DEREK NIMMO as Dominic / FELIX AYLMER as Father Anselm / COLIN GORDON as Master of the Novices (Season 1) / DEREK FRANCIS as Sub-Prior Father Matthew(Seasons 2-3)

 

OH FATHER!

BBC1 / 7×30 minute episodes / 1973 12 September – 24 October Wednesday 6.50pm
Writers: David Climie, Austin Steele / Producer: Graeme Muir
Sitcom. Sequel to Oh Brother! (see above). The character of Brother Dominic is promoted to Father Dominic and becomes curate to Father Harris.
With:- DEREK NIMMO as Father Dominic / LAURENCE NAISMITH as Father Harris / PEARL HACKNEY as Mrs Carr / DAVID KELLY as Walter

 

OH DR BEECHING

BBC1 / 19×30 minute episodes / 1995-97
Writers: David Croft, Richard Spendlove / Producer: David Croft
Period sitcom. In 1963 a small branch railway line is on the verge of closure thanks to the efforts of railway boss Dr Beeching. There was a Pilot broadcast 14 Aug 1995, which, when the first season started was reshown but with newly filmed inserts.
Jack Skinner……………………………… PAUL SHANE
May Skinner……………………………… JULIA DEAKIN
Ethel Schumann………………………… SU POLLARD
Cecil Parkin……………………………… JEFFREY HOLLAND
Harry Lambert…………………………… STEPHEN LEWIS
Vera Plumtree…………………………… BARBARA NEW
Ralph……………………………………… PERRY BENSON
Percy……………………………………… TERRY JOHN
Gloria Skinner…………………………… LINDSAY GRIMSHAW
Wilfred Schumann……………………… PAUL ASPEN

 

THE OLD BOY NETWORK

Central/SelecTV / 7×30 minute episodes / 1992 16 Feb – 12 Apr Sun 10.05pm
Creators: Dick Clement, Ian La Frenais / Executive Producers: Allan McKeown, Tony Charles / Producer/Director: Sydney Lotterby
Sitcom. Exploits of two middle aged ex espionage agents who set up in the private spy business together.
Lucas Fry…………………………………. TOM CONTI
Peter Duckham………………………….. JOHN STANDING
Sir Roland White………………………… ROBERT LANG
Tamsin…………………………………….. GEORGIA ALLEN

 

THE OLD CAMPAIGNER

BBC1 / 7×30 minute episodes / 1968-69 Pilot: 30 Jun 67 Season: 6 Dec 68 – 10 Jun 69
Writer: Michael Pertwee / Producer: James Gilbert
Sitcom. Exploits of super salesman James Franklin-Jones or FJ as he is known as he travels the globe for Balsom Plastics and seeking out ‘crumpet’ at every opportunity. Grew out of a comedy playhouse entry of the same name. Derek Fowlds played Clancy in the pilot and Norman Claridge played ‘LB’.
James ‘FJ’ Franklin-Jones………………… TERRY-THOMAS
Peter Clancy………………………………… JONATHAN CECIL
Miss Pinto…………………………………… LOIS PENSON
‘LB’ …………………………………………… REGINALD MARSH

 

ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE NORTH

BBC1/Partridge / 6×30 minute episodes / 1994 3 May – 7 June Tuesdays 8.30pm
Writer: Tim Firth / Producer: Philip Partridge / Directors: Philip Partridge, John Clive
Sitcom. Len Tollit is determined to provide for his family even though failure manages to dog him at every turn. Len uses his redundancy money to set up his own less than successful cell phone company.
Len Tollit…………………………………….. BERNARD HILL
Pat Tollit…………………………………….. CHRISTINE MOORE
Mr Bebbington……………………………… BRYAN PRINGLE
Siobhan……………………………………… SUSAN McARDLE
Sean…………………………………………. ANDREW WHYMENT
Morris……………………………………….. BOB MASON

 

ONE FOR THE ROAD

C4/CX/Altman / 6×30 minute episodes / 1995 4 Sep – 9 Oct Mon 8.00pm
Writer: Gary Sinyor with additional material by Iain Coyle, Alan Davies / Executive Producer: Robert Altman / Producer/Director: Steven Bawol
Sitcom. A timeshare salesman sends back regular videos of his overseas adventures.
With:- ALAN DAVIES as Simon Trent

 

ON THE HOUSE

Yorkshire / 12×30 minute episodes / 1970-71
Writer: Sid Colin / Producer: David Mallett / Executive Producer: John Duncan
Sitcom. Misadventures of Thomas Clackwood and sons, a firm of builders, especially the exploits of bolshy foreman Charlie Cattermole.
Charlie Cattermole…………………….. JOHN JUNKIN
Gussie……………………………………. KENNETH CONNOR
Stanley (Season 1)…………………….. PETER ATARD
Derek (Season 2)………………………. DEREK GRIFFITHS
Harvey (Season 2)……………………… ROBIN ASKWITH

 

ON THE UP

BBC1 / 19×30 minute episodes / 1990-92
Writer: Bob Larbey / Theme Sung by Dennis Waterman / Producer/Director: Gareth Gwenlan
Sitcom. The domestic problems of self made millionaire Tony Carpenter.
Tony Carpenter…………………………… DENNIS WATERMAN
Mrs Wembley…………………………….. JOAN SIMS
Sam………………………………………… SAM KELLY
Ruth Carpenter…………………………… JUDY BUXTON
Maggie…………………………………….. JENNA RUSSELL
Dawn……………………………………….. MICHELLE HATCH
Mum (Season 1)…………………………. DORA BRYAN
Mum (Season 2)…………………………. PAULINE LETTS

 

OPEN ALL HOURS

BBC / 25×30 minute episodes / 1976/81-82/85 Four seasons.
Writer: Roy Clarke / Producer: Sydney Lotterby
Sitcom. Penny pinching corner shop owner Arkwright is determined to take his customers money at every opportunity. Arkwright spent much of his time lusting after district nurse Gladys Emmanuel, and helped and hindered in equal measure by his nephew Granville he opened his shop at dawn and shut it late at night. The show began life as one episode in Ronnie Barker’s anthology series Seven of One. Surprisingly revived in 2015 as Still Open All Hours with Granville having now taken over the running of the shop following the death of Arkwright and in the process becoming an almost carbon copy of his Uncle.
Albert Arkwright…………………………… RONNIE BARKER
Granville…………………………………….. DAVID JASON
Nurse Gladys Emmanuel……………….. LYNDA BARON
Milkgirl………………………………………. BARBARA FLYNN

 

OPERATION GOOD GUYS

BBC2-Fuschine / 19×30 minute episodes / 1997-2000
Writers/Producers/Directors: Hugo Blick, Ray Burdis, Dominic Anciano / Executive Producers: Jim Beach, Geoffrey Perkins
Comedy series. Spoof documentary series focusing on an elite undercover police unit. Season two saw the team having to undergo specialist training.
Det Insp Beach………………………………. DAVID GILLESPIE
Det Sgt………………………………………… RAY BURDIS
‘Smiler’ McCarthy……………………………. HUGO BLICK
‘Strings’……………………………………….. JOHN BECKETT
Mark Kemp………………………………….. MARK BURDIS
‘Bones’……………………………………….. PERRY BENSON

 

‘ORRIBLE

BBC-2 / 8×30 minute episodes / 10 September – 29 October 2001

Writers: Ed Allen, Johnny Vaughan / Executive Producers: Sophie Clarke-Jervoise, Geoffrey Perkins / Producers: Bradley Adams, Micheal Jacob / Director: Dominic Brigstocke

Comedy about a taxi driver. It was co-written by ex-Big Breakfast presenter Johnny Vaughan Unfortunately it wasn’t very good.

cast: JOHNNY VAUGHAN as Paul Clark

 

THE OTHER ‘ARF

ATV/Central / 26×30 minute episodes / 1980-84 Four seasons
Creator: Terence Howard / Script Editors: Dick Clement, Ian La Frenais / Producer: Tony Charles, Allan McKeown
Sitcom. Cockney model Lorraine Watts is the mistress to Tory MP Charles Lattimer. Seasons three made by Central following the franchise swaps of the previous year.
Lorraine Watts…………………………… LORRAINE CHASE
Charles Lattimer………………………… JOHN STANDING
Brian Sweeney (Seasons 1-2)………. STEVE ADLER
Sybilla Howarth (Season 1-2)……….. PATRICIA HODGE
Mrs Lilley (Season 4)…………………. SHEILA KEITH
Bassett (Season 4)……………………. RICHARD CALDICOTT

 

THE OTHER ONE

BBC1 / 13×30 minute episodes / 1977/79 Fridays 8.30pm
Writer: John Esmonde, Bob Larbey / Producers: John Howard Davies (Season 1),Roger Race (Season 2)
Sitcom. Somewhat shy Brian Bryant comes under the influence of fast talking confident Ralph Tanner whilst holidaying abroad and later in season two back home in England.
Ralph Tanner………………………………. RICHARD BRIERS
Brian Bryant……………………………….. MICHAEL GAMBON
Manuelo (Season 1)……………………… MICHAEL CHESDEN

 

OUR DORA

Granada / 4×30 minute episodes / 1956 18 September – 9 August Tuesdays 9.00pm
Writer: Reuben Ship / Producer: Eddie Pola
Sitcom. A GI Bride returns home to England when her husband dies. Dora Bryan abandoned the series after 4 weeks when her first child tragically died, however the series continued the following week under the title My Wife’s Sister with Eleanor Summerfield taking over the lead.
Dora……………………………………………. DORA BRYAN
Clara Hackett ………………………………. HELEN CHRISTIE
Charlie Hackett…………………………….. MARTIN WYLDECK

 

OUR HOUSE

ABC / 26×45 minute episodes 13×55 minute episodes / 1960-62 black and white Two seasons
Writer: Norman Hudis, Brad Ashton, Bob Block / Producer: Ernest Maxim
Sitcom. Episodes in the lives of nine people sharing a large house.
Georgina Ruddy…………………………… HATTIE JACQUES
Simon Willow……………………………… CHARLES HAWTREY
Daisy Burke (Season 1)………………… JOAN SIMS
Capt Illiffe (Season 1)……………………. FRANK PETTINGELL
Gordon Brent (Season 1)………………. NORMAN ROSSINGTON
Henrietta (Season 2)……………………. HYLDA BAKER
William Singer (Season 2)…………….. BERNARD BRESSLAW
Herbert Keene……………………………. FREDERICK PEISLEY
Marcia Hatton…………………………….. LEIGH MADISON
Stephen Hathen (Season 1)…………… TRADER FAULKNER
Mrs Illiffe (Season 2)…………………….. INA DE LA HAYE
Marina (Season 2)……………………….. EUGENIE CAVANAGH

 

OUR KID

Yorkshire / 6×30 minute episodes / 1973 8 April – 20 May Sunday 9.30pm
Creators: Keith Waterhouse, Willis Hall / Producer/Director: Ian Davidson
Sitcom. Two middle aged Yorkshire brothers live together, Bob goes out to work while Ben takes care of the house.
Bob Buslingthorpe…………………….. BARRIE RUTTER
Ben Buslingthorpe…………………….. KEN PLATT
Lynda ……………………………………. SYLVIA BRAYSHAY

 

OUR MAN AT ST MARKS

Associated-Rediffusion / 46×30 minute episodes / 1963-66 Four seasons + 1 special black and white
Writers: James Kelly, Peter Miller / Producer: Eric Maschwitz
Sitcom. The misadventures of a country vicar. For season four the title changed to Our Man From St Marks when Stephen Young was promoted to Archdeacon and moved to Lynchester.
Rev Andrew Parker (Season 1)…………… LESLIE PHILLIPS
Rev Stephen Young (Season 2-4)……….. DONALD SINDEN
Mrs Peace……………………………………. JOAN HICKSON
Anne Gibson (Season 1)………………….. ANN LAWSON
Harry the Yo Yo (Seasons 3-4)………….. HARRY FOWLER

 

OURS IS A NICE HOUSE

LWT / 13×30 minute episodes / 1969-70
Writer: Harry Littlewood / Producer: Stuart Allen
Sitcom. Thora Parker is the landlady of a north country boarding house.
Thora Parker……………………………… THORA HIRD
Elsie Crabtree……………………………. RUTH HOLDEN
Vera Parker………………………………. CAROLINE DOWDESWELL
Alf Whittle………………………………… HARRY LITTLEWOOD
Gran……………………………………….. MAY WARDEN

 

OUTSIDE EDGE

Central / 21×30 minute episodes 1×60 minute episodes / 1994-96 3 seasons + 1 special
Writer: Richard Harris / Producer: Paula Burdon
Sitcom. Miriam and Roger Dervish have an uneasy relationship with Kevin and Maggie Costello , a couple they meet at a number of cricketing social events. The show started life as a one off play of the same name in 1982.
Miriam Dervish………………………….. BRENDA BLETHYN
Roger Dervish…………………………… ROBERT DAWS
Kevin Costello………………………….. TIMOTHY SPALL
Maggie Costello……………………….. JOSIE LAWRENCE
Denis…………………………………….. DENIS LILL
Bob Willis (Season 1)………………… JERMEMY NICHOLAS
Bob Willis (Season 2-3)……………… MICHAEL JAYSTON
Nigel……………………………………… NIGEL PEGRAM

 

OVER THE RAINBOW

Meridian-SelecTV- Clement and La Frenais / 8×30 minute episodes / 1993 11 July – 29 August Sunday 10.20pm
Creators: Dick Clement, Ian La Frenais / Executive Producers: Allan McKeown, Tony Charles / Producer: Bernard McKenna / Director: Declan Lowney
Sitcom. When her husband is jailed for armed robbery singer Finn moves to Brighton and strikes up a ‘relationship’ with her husband’s best friend. On her husband’s release from prison the trio strike up a somewhat wary ‘ménage a trios’ as Finn tries to make it in the music business.
cast: ANGELINE BALL as Finn / BRONAGH GALLAGHER as Michelle / PETER SULLIVAN as Neil / IAN TARGETT as Spence / EAMON MORRISSEY as Uncle Roddy

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