TV

The Abbey to Autumn Tints – The Ultimate Guide to British Sitcoms

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The situation comedy, or sitcom to give it it’s more well known nom de plume, has always been one of the most popular of TV show genres. It’s a genre that television is particularly well suited for too, the small scale box in the corner (at least until our recent conversion to giant wall dominating LCD screens anyway) perfectly suited to the often domestic tribulations of shows like Meet The Wife, Terry and June, The Good Life and Rising Damp. Not to say that there isn’t room for the way out, almost every concept has found it’s way into sitcomland – from high concept Red Dwarf to the historical antics of Blackadder.

This mammoth A-Z encyclopedia guide pulls together details about every UK sitcom you’ve ever heard of as well as lots you haven’t. From the true icons to the obscure how did that get made, they are all here.

This page covers all shows starting with the letter A and you can use the previous/next and pagination buttons to traverse your way through the shows.

THE ABBEY

ITV 1 – Baby Cow / 1×25 m-e / Broadcast 14 February 2007

Writer: Morwenna Banks / Executive Producer: Henry Normal / Producer; Alison MacPhail / Director: Jonny Campbell

One off comedy with a top flight cast. A series was commissioned by ITV for broadcast on ITV-2 but it was cancelled and never made.

cast
Morwenna Banks as Marianne Hope / Omid Djalili as Tony / Russell Brand as Terry / Reece Shearsmith as Doctor Darren / Miranda Hart as Helen / Liz Smith as Elsie / Tamsin Egerton as Tiffany / Marti Pellow as Eddie Coogan / Rasmus Hardiker as Dean

ABIGAIL AND ROGER

ABOUT FACE

ABOVE THEIR STATION

BBC-3 – Granada / 1×30 m-e / Broadcast 22 February 2010

Writer: Rhys Thomas / Script Supervisor: Suzanne Baron / Production Design: Neil Griffiths, Sam Harley and James Dillon / Executive Producers: Simon Lupton and Saurabh Kakkar / Producer: Jon Rolph / Director Tony Dow

Comedy pilot for a series that never emerged.

cast
Luke Gell as Len / Ashley Madekwe as Kelly / Rhys Thomas as Perry / Sonny Rooney as Danny / Andy Linden as Dino / Andrew Brooke as Police Constable Preston / Dudley Sutton as Chester Thompson / Denis Lawson as Keith Boone / Ruth Connell as Olga / Tony Way as Techno Benson / Simon Day as Doctor Barry Clack

ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS

BBC – Saunders and French prods. /32×30 minute episodes 2×45 minute episodes 1×40 minute episode and 1×55 minute episode / Broadcast 12 November 1992 – 1996 and 2001 – 25 December 2004 / season one BBC2 rest BBC1

Writer:Jennifer Saunders / Script EditorRuby Wax / Producer and Director:Bob Spiers

Sitcom. Magazine editor Edina Monsoon and her best friend, champagne swilling Patsy, try to keep one step ahead of coming trends.

The series returned in 2001 after a five year lay off for a new series of 6 episodes. In the new series Saffy was on the verge of entering politics whilst Mother had become hooked on the Internet. Patsy and Edina meanwhile were still hooked on every trend going. There was Christmas special (1×55 minute episodes) on 27 December 2002 guest starring Whoopi Goldberg.

Meanwhile another series of 8 emerged in 2003 with a final 40 minute special on Christmas Day 2004. The series had it’s roots in a sketch called Modern Mother and Daughter that appeared on the French and Saunders show with French in the daughter role and Saunders as mother.

cast
JENNIFER SAUNDERS as Edina Monsoon / JOANNA LUMLEY as Patsy / JULIA SAWALHA as Saffron / JUNE WHITFIELD as Mum / JANE HORROCKS as Bubble / HELEN LEDERER as Catriona (seasons 2-3)

ABSOLUTE POWER

BBC-2 / 12×30 m-e / Broadcast 10 November 2003 – 25 August 2005

Creator: Mark Tavener / Producer: Paul Schlesinger

cast
Stephen Fry as Charles / John Bird as Martin / James Lance as Jamie / Zoe Telford as Alison / Sally Bretton as Cat

ACCORDING TO BEX

BBC-1 / 8×30 m-e / Broadcast 7 January – 25 February 2005

Creator: Fred Barron / Theme Music: Morgan Pochin / Executive Producers: Fred Barron, Sophie Clarke-Jervoise, Kenton Allen / Producer: Alex Walsh-Taylor / Director: Dewi Humphreys

Comic exploits of Bex Atwell at home and at work.

cast
JESSICA STEVENSON as Bex / GREG WISE as Charles / RAQUEL CASSIDY as Chris / CLIVE RUSSELL as Jack / ZITA SATTAR as Jan / OLIVER CHRIS as Ryan

AN ACTOR’S LIFE FOR ME

BBC-1 / 6×30 minute episodes / Broadcast 14 November – 19 December 1991 Thursdays at 8.30pm

Writer:Paul Mayhew-Archer / Producer and Director:Bryan Izzard

Sitcom. Struggling actor Robert Neilson is determined to make the big time.
cast
JOHN GORDON SINCLAIR as Robert Neilson / GINA McKEE as Sue Bishop / VICTOR SPINETTI as Desmond Shaw / BENEDICT TAYLOR as Sebastian Groom

ADMIN

BBC-3 – Channel X / 1×30 m-e / Broadcast 12 May 2008

Writer: David Isaac / Script Supervisor: Jane Houston / Theme Music: Little Man Tate / Production Design: Gavin Lewis / Executive Producers: Jon Mountague, Alan Marke / Producer: Matt Tiller / Director: Michael Buffong

One off pilot for a series that never emerged.

cast
Neil Fitzmaurice as Mike / Peter Slater as Mr Jordan / Chris Hannon as Darrel / Christian Foster as Kenny / Abdullah Afzal as Asif / Rachel Rae as Shelley / Jessica Hall as Tania / Sian Reeves as Gloria / Kulvinder Ghir as Mohammed / Samira Chahhary as Receptionist / Chereen Buckley as Lee Ann / Jarrod Cooke as Danny / Mohammed Rafique as Mr Ahmed

 

ADRIAN MOLE: THE CAPPUCCINO YEARS

BBC-1 – Little Dancer / 6×30 minute episodes / Broadcast 2 February – 9 March 2001 Fridays at 9.30pm

Writer and Executive Producer: Sue Townsend / Producer: Sarah Smith / Director: Sandy Johns

Sitcom. Sequel to The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole. 1997: Angst ridden Adrian Mole is now 31 and a celebrity chef, he is also a single dad and determined to become a novelist. Love of his life Pandora is about to become a ‘Blair’ babe MP. See also The Growing Pains of Adrian Mole.

cast
STEPHEN MANGAN as Adrian Mole / ALISON STEADMAN as Pauline Mole / HELEN BAXENDALE as Pandora Braithwaite / ALUN ARMSTRONG as George Mole / ZOE WANAMAKER as Tania Braithwaite / JAMES HAZLEDINE as Ivan Braithwaite / KEITH ALLEN as Peter Savage / HARRY TOMES as William Mole / RODERIC CULVER as Nigel Hetherington / MELISSA BATCHELOR as Rosie Mole / JOSEPH LONG as Luigi / BARRY FARRIMOND as Malcolm / LYNNE LOWTON as Justine

 

THE ADVENTURES OF BRIGADIER WELLINGTON-BULL

BBC / 5×30 minute episodes / 1959 12 June-17 July Fri 7.30pm

Writer:Austin Melford / Producer:Ronald Marsh

Sitcom. A newly retired Brigadier has trouble adjusting to civilian life.

With:- ALEXANDER GAUGE as Brig Garnett Wellington-Bull / VALERIE SINGLETON as Jane Wellington-Bull / DONALD HEWLETT as Capt ‘Snooty’ Pilkington

THE ADVENTURES OF CHARLIE QUICK

BBC / 6×10 minute episodes / Broadcast 11 November – 16 December 1957 Mondays at 5.15pm

Writer: Peter Newington / Producer and Director: John Hunter Blair

Children’s sitcom. The misadventures of the title character.

cast
Clive Dunn as Charlie Quick

 

THE ADVENTURES OF DANIEL

BBC-3 – BBC Scotland / 1×30 m-e / Broadcast 23 August 2010

Writers: Stewart Williams, Tim Allsop / Additional Material: Daniel Sloss / Executive Producer: Jemma Rodgers / Director: Ben Gosling Fuller

One off comedy pilot

cast
Daniel Sloss as Daniel / Jenny Hulse as Emma / Jordan McCurrach as Matt / Kevin Guthrie as James / Laura Aikman as Suzie / Finlay Johnston as Daniel’s brother / Bailey Edmondson as Daniel’s brother / Jonathan Slinger as Mr Wallace / Imogen Stubbs as Mrs Wallace / Susan Vidler as Daniel’s mum / Ed Byrne as Xantar / Robert McDevitt as Warrior

THE ADVENTURES OF FRANCIE AND JOSIE

Scottish TV / 16×25 m-e / Broadcast 16 November 1961 – 15 August 1965

Misadventures of the duo of the title.

cast
Rikki Fulton as Josie / Jack Milroy as Francie

 

AFFAIRS OF THE HEART

ITV – Granada / 7×30 minute episodes / Broadcast dates Pilot: 23 Aug 1983 Season: 22 July-26 August 1985

Writer: Paul Daneman / Music: Bill Connor / Producer: Brian Armstrong / Director: Charles Kitchen

Sitcom. A middle aged family man suffers a heart attack which causes him to re-evaluate his life.

cast
DEREK FOWLDS as Peter Bonamy / SARAH BADEL as Jane Bonamy / HOLLY AIRD as Rosemarie Bonamy / The role of Rosemarie was played in the pilot by Elizabeth Anson.

 

After Henry

After Henry

AFTER HENRY

ITV – Thames / 38×30 minute episodes / Broadcast 4 January 1988 – 24 August 1992

Writer: Simon Brett / Producers: Peter Frazer-Jones(1-3), Bill Shepherd(4)

Sitcom. Three female generations of the same family live together in a large Edwardian detached house. The title came from the fact that Henry was Sarah’s husband and died in a car crash before the series began and all three, wife, mother-in-law and daughter were getting along without him.

The series had first appeared on radio (34 episodes between 17 April 1985 and 6 March 1988), the main cast was the same with the exception of Gerry Cowper playing the role of Clare.

cast
PRUNELLA SCALES as Sarah France / JOAN SANDERSON as Eleanor Prescott / JANINE WOOD as Clare France / JOHNATHON NEWTH as Russell Bryant / PEGGY ANN WOOD as Vera Poling / ANNE PRIESTLEY as Mary(season 2) / EDWARD DE SOUZA as Sam Greenland (seasons 2-3)

 

AFTER YOU’VE GONE

BBC-1 / 24×30 m-e / Broadcast 12 January 2007 – 21 December 2008

Creator: Fred Barron / Music: Jamie Cullum / Producer: Rosemary McGowan

cast
Nicholas Lyndhurst as Jimmy Venables / Celia Imrie as Diana Neal / Dani Harmer as Molly Venables / Vincent Ebrahim as Bobby / Ryan Sampson as Alex Venables / Amanda Abbington as Siobhan