Till Death Us Do Part was one of the most controversial sitcoms of its time. The reason due in no small part to its larger-than-life lead character, Alf Garnett. Alf was a foul tempered, highly opinionated, right-wing bigot who, when not getting drunk, was getting into arguments about politics and everything else with his liberal lay-about of a son-in-law Mike. Alf’s daughter Rita and the layabout Mike lived with the Garnetts.
His long-suffering wife Else turned a deaf ear to most of Alf’s rantings, except for the odd riposte of “rotten pig” when he got too personal.
ATV brought out a short lived revival in 1981 called Till Death… and the BBC also revived the show as In Sickness and In Health. The character also appearing in the monologue style A Word With Alf.
The series grew out of a 1965 Comedy Playhouse (broadcast 22 July 1965) in which Alf was called Alf Ramsey (when the series began the following year Alf was renamed Alf Garnett to avoid confusion with the then manager of the England national soccer team). The series ended 16 February 1968 after three seasons, but there were two feature films (Til Death Us Do Part in 1969 and The Alf Garnett Saga in 1972) as well as an election night special broadcast 18 June 1970 and A Christmas Night With The Stars 25 December 1971) before the series was revived with season four beginning 13 September 1972.
On 1 September 2016 the BBC revived the series for a one off episode with Simon Day as Alf. This was part of a season celebrating sixty years of classic BBC sitcoms.
Warren Mitchell’s brilliance as Alf was matched by that of Carroll O’Connor when this show transferred to America as All in the Family.
UK / BBC One / 56 episodes 50×30 minute episodes + 6 specials of varying length. / Broadcast 22 July 1965 17 December 1975
Writer: Johnny Speight / Producer: Dennis Main Wilson,
Warren Mitchell as Alf Garnett
Dandy Nicholls as Else Garnett
Una Stubbs as Rita
Anthony Booth as Mike