TV UK TV

Pardon The Expression (ITV 1965-1966, Arthur Lowe)

Pardon The Expression

One of soaps first spin offs, Pardon the Expression is a mid sixties sitcom taking the memorable character of Leonard Swindley from Coronation Street’s Gamma Garments to a new position as assistant manager of department store Dobson and Hawks. Played by the superb Arthur Lowe, Swindley had been something of a comical character in the street and when he finally left the show (after being jilted at the altar by Emily Bishop of all people) Granada (who made Corrie) could clearly still see the potential left in the character.

Taking the title of the new series from one of Swindley’s sayings, (he would often start a sentence with “If you’ll pardon the expression”) the show is played strictly for laughs as Swindley struggles to keep his mostly female staff in order and tries in vain to climb the social ladder of northen society.

One of the key supporting cast members is Betty Driver (aka long suffering Corrie barmaid and legendary hotpot maker Betty Turpin) who plays canteen manager Mrs Edgeley whilst other Coronation Street links include appearances from Amanda Barrie and Julie Goodyear. It’s a high quality series all round really with scripts from the renowned Jack Rosenthal (also writing regularly for Corrie at this time), Geoffrey Lancashire and Vince Powell & Harry Driver.

There were two unbroadcast pilots made and a Christmas special was made and due to air as a lead in to the second season on 3 January 1966 but it wasn’t broadcast.

production details
UK / ITV – Granada / 36×30 minute episodes / Broadcast 2 June 1965 – 27 June 1966 black and white

Executive Producer: H.V. Kershaw / Producers: Harry Driver (Season 1), Derek Granger (Season 2)

cast
ARTHUR LOWE as Leonard Swindley
ROBERT DORNING as Walter Hunt (Season 2)
BETTY DRIVER as Mrs Edgeley
PAUL DAWKINS as Ernest Parbold
JOY STEWART as Miss Sinclair (Season 1)

THE EPISODES
SEASON ONE 2 June – 18 August 1965
1. THE FIRST DAY (2 Jun 65)
2. THE HEADMISTRESS (9 Jun 65)
3. THE TROUBLE WITH ADA (16 Jun 65)
4. MANNEQUIN PARADE (23 Jun 65)
5. THE DANCE (30 Jun 65)
6. THE WEDDING (7 Jul 65)
7. THE PENSIONER (14 Jul 65)
8. THE VISITOR (21 Jul 65)
9. BIRTHDAY PRESENT (28 Jul 65)
10. LITTLE BOY LOST (4 Aug 65)
11. THE OLD ONE TWO (11 Aug 65)
12. THE BRAIN DRAIN (18 Aug 65)

SEASON TWO 10 January – 27 June 1966
1. THE ECONOMY DRIVE (10 Jan 66)
2. THE JANUARY SALE (17 Jan 66)
3. THE RESIGNATION (24 Jan 66)
4. SELF DEFENCE (31 Jan 66)
5. THE ANNUAL STOCKTAKING (7 Feb 66)
6. THE HOME HELP (14 Feb 66)
7. THE BIG HOTEL (21 Feb 66)
8. THE GOALBIRDS (28 Feb 66)
9. THE HOST WITH THE MOST (7 Mar 66)
10. WHOSE BABY ARE YOU? (21 Mar 66)
11. THE TAKE-OVER BID (28 Mar 66)
12. BETWEEN THE COVERS (4 Apr 66)
13. WHO’S BEEN SLEEPING IN OUR BEDS (11 Apr 66)
14. A SHEIKH IN THE NIGHT (18 Apr 66)
15. RUSTLE OF SPRING (25 Apr 66)
16. THE GHOST OF BATSWORTH CASTLE WALKS AGAIN (2 May 66)
17. THE SAILOR HOME FROM THE SEA (9 May 66)
18. HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY FRYING (16 May 66)
19. MAN’S BEST FRIEND (23 May 66)
20. THUNDERFINGER PART ONE (30 May 66)
21. THUNDERFINGER PART TWO SWINDLEY STRIKES BACK (6 Jun 66)
22. THE SWITCHED-ON SCENE ( 13 June 66)
23. UP FOR THE CUP (20 Jun 66)
24. DOWN ON THE HEALTH FARM SOMETHING STIRRED (27 Jun 66)