TV

The Labours of Erica to L For Lester

last-of-the-summer-wine

The Ultimate Guide to British Sitcoms

All sitcoms starting with the letter L. This is part one and takes you from The Labours of Erica to L For Lester.

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THE LABOURS OF ERICA

Thames / 12×30 minute episodes / 1989-90
Writers: Richard Fegen, Andrew Norriss / Producers: James Gilbert, John Howard Davies
Sitcom. When going nowhere forty year old Erica Parsons discovers a diary written when she was 14 with all the things she wanted to do in life – she decides to fulfil her list.
With:- BRENDA BLETHYN as Eric Parsons / CLIVE MERRISON as Clive Bannister / GEOFFREY DAVIES as Dexter Rook / PAUL SPURRIER as Jeremy Parsons / SIMEON PEARL as Robert Beresford / RONA ANDERSON as Myrna Burton

 

THE LADY IS A TRAMP

C4/Regent / 13×30 minute episodes / 1983-84
Writer: Johnny Speight / Producer: William G. Stewart
Sitcom. The misadventures of a pair of elderly female tramps.
Old Pat………………………………………… PATRICIA HAYES
Lanky Pat…………………………………….. PAT COOMBS

 

LAME DUCKS

BBC2 / 12×30 minute episodes / 1984-85
Writer: P.J. Hammond / Producer: John B. Hobbs
Sitcom. Brian Drake, on the brink of divorce, sells up and decides to move to the country where he is soon joined by a motley collection of oddballs, all of whom are seeking sanctuary of some kind.
Brian Drake……………………………….. JOHN DUTTINE
Tommy…………………………………….. PATRIC TURNER
Angie……………………………………….. LORRAINE CHASE
Maurice……………………………………. TONY MILLAN
Ansell………………………………………. BRIAN MURPHY
Mrs Drake…………………………………. PRIMI TOWNSEND
Mrs Kelly………………………………….. CYD HAYMAN

 

LANCE AT LARGE

BBC1 / 6×25 minute episodes / 1964 13 August – 17 September Thursdays 8.50pm black and white
Writers: David Nobbs, Peter Tinniswood / Producer: Dennis Main Wilson
Sitcom. The misadventures of Alan Day who each week find himself in a new situation.
Alan Day…………………………………….. LANCE PERCIVAL

 

LAND OF HOPE AND GLORIA

Thames / 6×30 minute episodes / 1992 24 June – 29 July Wednesday 8.30pm
Writer: Simon Brett / Producer/Director: Peter Frazer-Jones
Sitcom. American publicist Gloria Hepburn takes over the running of an English stately home.
Gloria Hepburn…………………………… SHEILA FERGUSON
Nanny Princeton………………………… JOAN SANDERSON
Gerald Hope-Beaumont……………….. ANDREW BICKNELL
Evelyn Spurling………………………….. DAPHNE OXENFORD
Crompton…………………………………. JOHN RAPLEY

 

LANGLEY BOTTOM

Yorkshire / 6×30 minute episodes / 1986 14 July – 18 August Mondays 8.00pm
Writers: Barry Cryer, Joh Junkin / Producer/Director: Alan Tarrant
Sitcom. Misadventures of Seth Raven, odd job man down in the village of Langley bottom.
Seth Raven……………………………….. BERNARD CRIBBENS
Rev Dennis Claybourne………………… TIM BARRETT
Vernon Dobbs……………………………. DON CRANN
Mrs Patel…………………………………. JAMILA MASSEY
Mrs Wentworth………………………….. ELVI HALE
Mr Patel…………………………………… KALEEM JANJUA
Miss Madge Howarth…………………… BARBARA HICKS
Miss Hilda Howarth…………………….. RHODA LEWIS

 

THE LARKINS

ATV / 38×30 minute episodes 2×45 minute episodes / 1958-60/63-64 Six seasons + 1 special black and white
Writer: Fred Robinson / Producers: Bill Ward, Alan Tarrant
Sitcom. The exploits of archetypal surburban London family the Larkins.
Alf Larkin…………………………………….. DAVID KOSSOFF
Ada Larkin…………………………………… PEGGY MOUNT
Eddie Larkin(Seasons 1-4)………………. SHAUN O’RIORDAN
Joyce Rogers(Seasons 1-4)…………….. RUTH TROUNCER
Sam Prout(Seasons 1-3)………………… GEORGE RODERICK
Jeff Rogers(Seasons 1-4)………………… ROMAN O’CASEY
Hetby Prout…………………………………. BARBARA MITCHELL

 

THE LAST OF THE BASKETS

Granada / 13×30 minute episodes / 1971-72 Mondays 8.30pm
Writers: John Stevenson and one episode by Andy Maher / Producer: Bill Podmore
Sitcom. The twelfth Earl of Clayborough retires and his replacement is northern factory worker Clifford Basket.
Redvers Bodkin…………………………… ARTHUR LOWE
Clifford Basket……………………………. KEN JONES
Mrs Basket……………………………….. PATRICIA HAYES

 

LAST OF THE SUMMER WINE

BBC1 / 194episodes mostly 30 minute episodes some feature length specials / 1973-continuing
Writer: Roy Clarke / Theme Music: Ronnie Hazlehurst
Sitcom. The exploits of a trio of eccentric O.A.P.’s in rural Yorkshire. Started out as a comedy playhouse entry and the show is Britain’s longest running situation comedy. The trio has changed over the years but Peter Sallis as Clegg as been a constant as was Bill Owen as Compo for 26 years until his death. Clegg seemed permanently worried and Compo spent most of his time lusting after the wrinkled stockinged Goddess (at least in Compo’s eyes) Nora Batty .The third of the trio changed occasionally but was always a bumptious military type (most notably Foggy Dewhurst). There was a prequel called First of the Summer Wine.
With:- BILL OWEN as Compo(-99) / PETER SALLIS as Norman Clegg / MICHAEL BATES as Blamire (Seasons 1-2) / BRIAN WILDE as Foggy / Dewhurst(Seasons 3-8/12-) / MICHAEL ALDRIDGE as Seymour Utterthwaite(Seasons 9-11) / KATHY STAFF as Nora Batty / JOE GLADWIN as Wally Batty / JOHN COMER as Sid / JANE FREEMAN as Ivy / THORA HIRD as Edie Pegden / GORDON WHARMBY as Wesley Pegden / STEPHEN LEWIS as Smiler / JEAN ALEXANDER as Auntie Wainwright / TOM OWEN as Tom

 

THE LAST SALUTE

BBC1 / 12×30 minute episodes / 1998-99
Writer: Tim Binding, Simon Nye / Music: Ray Russell / Executive Producer: Mike Stephens
Period sitcom. The adventures of a group of A.A. Patrolmen in the early nineteen sixties.
Harry Thorpe……………………………. PAUL BOWN
Leonard Spanwick…………………….. PHILIP JACKSON
Joyce Thorpe…………………………… JO UNWIN
Roy Munce…………………………….. DAVID SHANE
Mr Bannerman………………………… PAUL YOUNG
Johnny Lupus…………………………. BRETT FANCY
Robin Pettifer…………………………. BENJAMIN PULLEN

 

THE LAST SONG

BBC2 / 13×30 minute episodes / 1981/83
Writer: Carla Lane / Producer: Sydney Lotterby
Sitcom. Leo, who is 50 and separated from his wife falls for 24 year old Liz. In season two Leo was once more sort of getting on with his wife.
Leo Bannister…………………………….. GEOFFREY PALMER
Liz(Season 1)…………………………….. NINA THOMAS
Alice Bannister…………………………… CAROLINE BLAKISTON
Jane ……………………………………….. HETTY BAYNES
Alison………………………………………. GAY WILDE
Shirley(Season 1)……………………….. BARBARA FLYNN

 

LATE EXPECTATIONS

BBC1 / 6×30 minute episodes / 1987 7 April – 12 May Tuesdays 8.30pm
Writer: John Gleason / Producer: John B. Hobbs
Sitcom. Middle aged couple Ted and Liz Jackson are shocked when they return from holiday and discover that Liz is pregnant.
Ted Jackson……………………………… KEITH BARRON
Liz Jackson………………………………. NANETTE NEWMAN
Suzie Jackson…………………………… CAROLINE MANDER
Polly Jackson……………………………. SARA GRIFFITHS
George Jackson…………………………. PAUL McCARTHY
Harry………………………………………. NORMAN ASHLEY
Joyce……………………………………… SALLY HUGHES

 

LAURA AND DISORDER

BBC1 / 6×30 minute episodes / 1989 19 February – 26 March Sundays 7.15pm
Writers: Jonathan Marr, Ross Bentley, (Marr is a pseudonym for Wendy Craig) / Producer/Director: John B. Hobbs
Sitcom. Disaster area Laura Kingsley, newly divorced, returns to England after 10 years in America.
Laura Kingsley…………………………… WENDY CRAIG
Oberon…………………………………….. STEPHEN PERSAUD
Howard Kingsley………………………… GRAHAM SINCLAIR
Helen Kingsley………………………….. SALLY HUGHES

 

LAW AND DISORDER

Central/Thames / 6×30 minute episodes / 1994 17 Jan – 21 Feb Mon 8.00pm
Writer: Alex Shearer / Producer/Director: John Howard Davies
Sitcom. Cases of widowed female barrister Phillipa Troy.
Phillipa Troy……………………………… PENELOPE KEITH
Gerald Trigg……………………………… SIMON WILLIAMS
Judge Wallace………………………….. CHARLES KAY
Arthur Bryant……………………………. EAMONN BOLAND
Steven……………………………………. JOHN JUNKIN
Susan……………………………………. EMMA DAVIES

 

LAZARUS AND DINGWALL

BBC2 / 6×30 minute episodes / 1991 1 Feb – 8 Mar Fri 9.00pm
Writers: Kim Fuller, Vicky Pile / Producer: Geoff Posner / Directors: Bob Spiers, Geoff Posner
Sitcom. The exploits of two extremely useless detectives, Lazarus and Dingwall.
Lazarus………………………………………. STEPHEN FROST
Dingwall……………………………………… MARK EDEN
Chief………………………………………….. PETER BLAND
Armitage…………………………………….. RACE DAVIES

 

THE LEAGUE OF GENTLEMEN

BBC2 / 18×30 minute episodes 1×60 minute episodes / 1999-2002
Writers: Jeremy Dyson, Mark Gatiss, Steve Pemberton, Reece Shearsmith / Producer: Sarah Smith / Director: Steve Bendelack
Comedy. Stories of the extremely bizarre inhabitants of the village of Roston Vasey (which just happens to be the real name of comic Roy ‘Chubby’ Brown). Definitely one of the strangest (but very funny anyway) shows to be seen on television in a long long while. The writers also acted most of the parts ‘ala’ Monty Python. Season three followed a serial format focusing on one particular character for each episode with them all coming together in a climactic finale. Special: – BBC2 / 1×60 minute episodes / 2000 (Wednesday 27 December 9.40pm), this Christmas Special saw Royston Vasey Vicar Bernice Woodall listening to three gruesome stories. With:- FREDDIE JONES as Dr Magnus Purblind / LIZA TARBUCK as Donna / FRANCES COX as Mrs Trevithian / BAY WHITE as MrsHuxtable / ANDREW MELVILLE as Old Matthew

 

LEAVE IT TO CHARLIE

Granada / 26×30 minute episodes / 1978-80 Four seasons
Creator: H.V. Kershaw / Music: Derek Hilton / Producer: Eric Prytherch
Sitcom. Stories of Lancastrian insurance agent Charlie Fisher, who though keen was not quite cut out for the insurance world. Charlie regularly had dealings with the slightly mad Harry.
Charlie Fisher………………………………. DAVID ROPER
Arthur Simister……………………………. PETER SALLIS
Alice Simister……………………………… GWEN CHERRELL
Florence McGee………………………….. JEAN HEYWOOD
Jennifer……………………………………… SALLY KINGHORN
Harry………………………………………… DAVID ROSS

 

LEAVE IT TO PASTRY

BBC / 4×25 minute episodes / 1960 14 May – 4 June Saturdays 5.25pm black and white
Writers: Hugh Woodhouse, Ken Hoare / Producer: Johnny Downes
Sitcom. Slapstick style adventures with Mr Pastry (played by the youngish Richard Hearne who made ample use of make up and wig to transform himself into Pastry).
Mr Pastry…………………………………… RICHARD HEARNE
Jill Connors………………………………… DOROTHY WHITE
Buster………………………………………. RONNIE RAYMOND
Mrs Trench………………………………… MARGOT BOYD

 

LEAVING

BBC / 12×30 minute episodes / 1984-85
Writer: Carla Lane / Producer/Director: John B. Hobbs
Sitcom. Newly divorced couple, Daniel and Martha Ford, find it hard to break away completely from each other.
Daniel Ford………………………………… KEITH BARRON
Martha Ford……………………………….. SUSAN HAMPSHIRE
Mr Chessington………………………….. RICHARD VERNON
Gina Ford………………………………….. LUCY ASTON
Matthew Ford…………………………….. GARY CADY

 

LEE EVANS – SO WHAT NOW?

UK / BBC1 / 8×30 minute episodes / 2001 (First Episode: Monday 26 March / 8.30pm)
Creator: Lee Evans / Producers: Charlie Hanson, Tony Dow / Director: Tony Dow
Sitcom. Highly calamitous Lee (who seems to have modeled himself on Frank Spencer) has been thrown out by his wife and finds himself creating mayhem wherever he goes.
With:- LEE EVANS as Lee / STEVEN O’DONNELL as Stuart / SOPHIE THOMPSON as Heather

 

THE LEGACY OF REGINALD PERRIN

BBC1 / 7×30 minute episodes / 1996
Writer: David Nobbs / Producer/Director: Gareth Gwenlan
Sitcom. Belated sequel to The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin. After the death of eccentric Reggie, his family and friends have to perform various acts in order to inherit under the terms of his will.
Jimmy………………………………………… GEOFFREY PALMER
Geraldine Hackstraw………………………. PATRICIA HODGE
Elizabeth…………………………………….. PAULINE YATES
C.J……………………………………………. JOHN BARRON
Doc Morrissey……………………………… JOHN HORSLEY
David…………………………………………. BRUCE BOULD
Prue………………………………………….. THERESA WATSON
Tom………………………………………….. TIM PREECE
Linda………………………………………… SALLY JANE SPENCER

 

THE LENNY HENRY SHOW

BBC1 / 12×30 minute episodes / 1987-88
Writers: Stan Hey, Andrew Nickolds / Producer/Director: Geoff Posner
Sitcom. Wide boy pirate DJ Delbert Wilkins looks for his break into the big time.
Delbert Wilkins……………………………… LENNY HENRY
Winston………………………………………. VAS BLACKWOOD
Rose………………………………………….. ELLEN THOMAS
Alex…………………………………………… MICHAEL MEARS
Julie…………………………………………… GINA McKEE
Wazim……………………………………….. NAIM KAHN
Sgt Lillie……………………………………… MALCOLM RENNIE
PC Monkhouse…………………………….. PIP TORRENS
Jake (Season 1)……………………………. LOUIS MAHONEY
Claudette (Season 2)…………………….. NIMMY MARCH
Trevor (Season 2)…………………………. TREVOR LAIRD

 

LES GIRLS

Central / 7×30 minute episodes / 1988
Script Editor: Diana Culverhouse / Executive Producer: William Smethurst / Producer: Patrick Harbinson
Comedy drama series. Stories of a group of girls working for a model agency.
Jo-Ann……………………………………….. DEBBY BISHOP
Veronica…………………………………….. RACHEL FIELDING
Susan……………………………………….. JANET McTEER
Amanda…………………………………….. SADIE FROST
Maggie……………………………………… ANNIE LAMBERT
Polly………………………………………… ARABELLA WEIR
Reg………………………………………….. THOMAS WHEATLEY
Conrad……………………………………… TOM GEORGESON
Mervyn……………………………………… GERARD HORAN

 

LET THERE BE LOVE

Thames / 12×30 minute episodes / 1982-83
Creators: Johnnie Mortimer, Brian Cooke / Producer/Director: Peter Frazer-Jones
Sitcom. Confirmed bachelor Timothy Love falls for widow Judy who also has three children.
Timothy Love……………………………….. PAUL EDDINGTON
Judy………………………………………….. NANETTE NEWMAN
Dennis……………………………………….. HENRY McGEE
Charles………………………………………. STEPHEN NOLAN
Edward………………………………………. IAN MORRISON

 

L FOR LESTER

BBC2 / 6×30 minute episodes / 1982 8 Oct – 12 Nov Fri 9.00pm
Writer: Dudley Long / Producer: Dennis Main Wilson / Director: John B. Hobbs
Sitcom. Exploits of Lester Small, a motoring school owner in the West Country.
Lester Small……………………………….. BRIAN MURPHY
Mrs Davies…………………………………. HILDA BRIAD
Ch Insp Rodgers………………………….. JAMES COSSINS
Sally Small………………………………… AMANDA BARRIE
Bert…………………………………………. COLIN SPAULL
PC Bright………………………………….. DUDLEY LONG
Jenny……………………………………….. LINDA ROBSON

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