TV

Packet of Three to Pinwright’s Progress

peep-show

The Ultimate Guide to British Sitcoms

All sitcoms starting with the letter P. This is part one and takes you from Packet of Three to Pinwright’s Progress.

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PACKET OF THREE

C4/Jon Blair/Fine Time / 8×45 minute episodes / 1991 2 August – 20 September Fridays 10.30pm
Producer: Jon Blair / Director: John Stroud / Script Editors: Sean Carson, David Tomlinson
Sitcom. Backstage shenanigans of the staff of the Crumpsall Palladium interspersed with three weekly stand up comedy acts. The show continued the following year under the title Packing Them In (see next entry).
With:- FRANK SKINNER as Frank / JENNY ECLAIR as Jenny / HENRY NORMAL as Henry

 

PACKING THEM IN

C4/Jon Blair/ 8×45 minute episodes / 1992 9 September – 4 November Wednesdays 10.40pm
Producer: Jo Sargent / Executive Producer: Jon Blair / Director: Juliet May
Sitcom. A continuation of Packet of Three (see above entry) featuring more stories of the Crumpsall Palladium. The title change came about because more stand up acts were featured this time around.
With:- FRANK SKINNER as Frank / JENNY ECLAIR as Jenny / ROGER MANN as Reg / KEVIN ELDON as Boyle

 

PARADISE ISLAND

Thames / 7×30 minute episodes / 1977 21 Apr – 18 Jul
Creator: Michael Haley / Producers: Stuart Allen, William G. Stewart
Sitcom. The Reverand Alexander Goodwin and ships entertainments officer Cuthbert Fullworthy are shipwrecked on a desert island.
With:- BILL MAYNARD as Rev Alexander Goodwin / WILLIAM FRANKLYN as Cuthbert Fullworthy

 

PARA HANDY – MASTER MARINER

BBC / 6×30 minute episodes / 1959-60 11 Dec 59 – 22 Jan 60 black and white
Writer: Duncan Ross / Producer: Pharic MacLaren / Director: James MacTaggart
Sitcom. The exploits of wily Captain Para Handy and his somewhat hapless crew on board their puffer The Vital Spark.
Para Handy………………………………….. DUNCAN MACRAE
Dougie………………………………………… RODDY McMILLAN
Dan MacPhail………………………………. JOHN GRIEVE
Sunny Jim…………………………………… ANGUS LENNIE

 

PARDON THE EXPRESSION

Granada / 39×30 minute episodes / 1965-66 black and white
Executive Producer: H.V. Kershaw / Producer: Harry Driver (Season 1), Derek Granger (Season 2)
Sitcom. A spin off from Coronation Street that took the character of Leonard Swindley (formerly of Gamma Garments) and placed him as assistant manager in a department store. Although 39 episodes were made only 36 were broadcast. See also the follow up series Turn Out the Lights.
Leonard Swindley………………………… ARTHUR LOWE
Walter Hunt (Season 2)………………… ROBERT DORNING
Mrs Edgeley………………………………. BETTY DRIVER
Ernest Parbold……………………………. PAUL DAWKINS
Miss Sinclair (Season 1)………………. JOY STEWART

 

PARIS

C4/Talkback / 6×30 minute episodes / 1994 14 October – 18 November Fridays 9.30pm
Writers: Graham Linehan, Arthur Matthews / Producer: Sioned William / Director: Liddy Oldroyd
Period sitcom. A struggling artist tries to make his fortune in Paris during the 1920’s.
Alain Degout……………………………….. ALEXEI SAYLE
Paul Rochet……………………………….. NEIL MORRISSEY
Minotti………………………………………. ALLAN CORDUNER
Madame Ovary……………………………. BEVERLY KLEIN
Hugo………………………………………… WALTER SPARROW
Belunaire…………………………………… JAMES DREYFUS

 

PARTNERS

BBC1 / 6×30 minute episodes / 1981 29 January – 5 March Thursdays 8.30pm
Writer: Richard Waring / Producer: Harold Snoad
Sitcom. Rupert Bannister, chairman of Bannister Bathroom Fittings tries to remain on good terms with his estranged wife because of her partnership in the firm.
Rupert Bannister………………………. DEREK WARING
Diana…………………………………….. MILLICENT MARTIN
Brenda…………………………………… JACQUELINE CLARKE
Pamela Heslop………………………… ELIZABETH COUNSELL
George Gilkes…………………………. DEREK FRANCIS

 

THE PAUL SQUIRE SHOW

ATV/Central / 11×30 minute episodes / 1981-82 Season 1 ATV/ Season 2 Central
Creator/Producer/Director: Royston Morley
Sitcom. Behind the scenes on impressionist Paul Squire’s comedy sketch show. The series mixed sitcom elements with the actual sketch elements of the Paul Squire show.
The Star……………………………………… PAUL SQUIRE
The Writer…………………………………… BOBBY KNUTT
The Producer………………………………. ANNA DAWSON
The Music Director……………………….. BERNARD SPEAR
The Temp. Secretary (Season 1)……… DEBBIE ARNOLD

 

PAY AND DISPLAY

ITV Network (Carlton-Lawless) / 6×30 minute episodes / 2000 12 July – 10 August Thursdays 8.30pm
Writer: Dominic English / Music: Mark Jeffries / Titles: Lee Donaldson / Producers: Joanna Beresford, Andy de Emmony / Executive Producer: Nick Symons / Director: Andy de Emmony
Sitcom. Episodes in the humdrum lives of a pair of attendants, (the middle aged and somewhat bitter Sydney and the sex mad younger Danny) in an underground car park. The dynamic duo spent much of the show on their own but their were occasional appearances from car park owner Miss Cummings and young traffic warden Adolf. Although called called Pay and Display the car park featured was one where you didn’t actually pay and display. Episodes 1 and 2 were shown on consecutive evenings with part one going out at Wednesday 8.00pm.
With:- JAMES BOLAM as Sydney / MATT BARDOCK as Danny / DIANA WESTON as Miss Cummings / PEARCE QUIGLEY as Adolf

 

PEEP SHOW

C4 / 54×30 minute episodes / 2003-2010 and 2015 (started 19 September 2003)
Writers: Jesse Armstrong, Sam Bain / Director: Jeremy Wooding / Producer: Phil Clarke

Comedy about two socially dysfunctional flatmates. Interestingly much of the dialogue took the form of the characters thoughts being heard as well as much of the action being seen from their perspective. On December 25 2010 there was a 50 minute special looking back at the series called Peep Show and Tell. A US version was also commissioned in 2008 by Spike TV but it never went to series.

With:- ROBERT WEBB as Jeremy / DAVID MITCHELL as Mark / OLIVIA COLEMAN as Sophie / ELIZABETH MARMUR as Toni / RACHEL BLANCHARD as Nancy (series 2)

 

PEOPLE LIKE US

BBC2 / 12×30 minute episodes / 1999-2001 / First Episode: Monday 20 September 1999
Producers: Paul Schlesinger, John Morton
Sitcom. Film maker Roy Mallard attempts to make intriguing documentaries about various aspects of modern day life. Based on a Radio 4 series, Mallard is usually only heard and not seen.
With:- CHRIS LANGHAM as Roy Mallard

 

PERFECT WORLD

BBC2 / 6×30 minute episodes / 2000 25 February – 31 March Fridays 9.30pm
Writer: Mark Grant / Producers: Lucy Robinson, Mark Chapman
Sitcom. Exploits of slick but self absorbed marketing man Bob Slay.
With:- PAUL KAYE as Bob Slay / NINA WADIA as Maggie / MICHAEL COCHRANE as Marketing Director / DERREN LITTEN as Vaughan

 

THE PETER PRINCIPLE

BBC1-Hatrick / 12×30 minute episodes / 1997 and 2000
Creators: Mark Burton, John O’Farrell, Dan Paterson / Producer: Dan Patterson
Sitcom. Recently promoted bank manager Peter Duffley is way out of his depth. There was also the pilot above of the same name that featured a largely different cast.
Peter Duffley………………………………. JIM BROADBENT
Susan Harvey…………………………….. CLAIRE SKINNER
Bradley Wilson…………………………… DAVID SCHNEIDER
David Edwards……………………………. DANIEL FLYNN
Iris (Season 1)……………………………. JANETTE LEGGE
Brenda…………………………………….. TRACY KEATING
Mrs Parkes……………………………….. HELENA McCARTHY
Kevin Mott (Season 1)…………………. CLIVE RUSSELL
Barbara……………………………………. BEVERLY CALLARD

 

THE PIGLET FILES

LWT / 21×30 minute episodes / 1990-92
Writers: Paul Minett, Brian Leveson / Caricatures: Clive Francis / Producer/Director: Robin Carr
Sitcom. Mild mannered teacher Peter Chapman finds himself recruited into the British Secret Service.
Peter Chapman…………………………. NICHOLAS LYNDHURST
Drummond………………………………. CLIVE FRANCIS
Sarah Chapman………………………… SERENA EVANS
Maxwell………………………………….. JOHN RINGHAM
Lewis…………………………………….. STEVEN LAW
Trueman…………………………………. PAUL COOPER

 

PILGRIM’S REST

BBC1-Tiger Aspect / 6×30 minute episodes / 1997 31 July – 4 September Thursdays 8.30pm
Creator: Bernard McKenna / Producer: Mark Chapman / Director: Gareth Carnvicki
Sitcom. Bob Payne, the owner of a rundown transport cafe, is horrified when his recently separated sister, Tilly, moves in with him and sets about renovating his business.
Bob Payne…………………………………. GARY OLSEN
Tilly Payne…………………………………. GWEN TAYLOR
Quentin……………………………………… JONATHAN ARIS
Drew Dunstable…………………………… JOHN ARTHUR
Pamela……………………………………… NINA YOUNG
Didier………………………………………… PIERRE FOREST
Ronnie Barrett…………………………….. JAY FOREST

 

PINWRIGHT’S PROGRESS

BBC / 10×30 minute episodes / 1946-47 29 November 46 – 16 May 47
Writer: Rodney Hobson / Script Editor: Ted Kavanagh / Producer: John Glyn Jones
Comedy (possibly TV’s first sitcom.) The adventures of J. Pinwright owner of the world’s smallest store.
J. Pinwright…………………………………. JAMES HAYTER
Aubrey………………………………………. CLARENCE WRIGHT
Miss Doolittle……………………………… SARA GREGORY
Miss Peabody…………………………….. DAPHNE MADDOX
Mrs Sigsbe………………………………… DORIS PALMER
Ralph……………………………………….. LEONARD SHARP
Salesman…………………………………. CHARLES IRWIN

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