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Porridge: Hard labour for Ronnie

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The BBC is putting Ronnie Barker behind bars tonight—and he couldn’t be more pleased. For Ronnie is starring in a new comedy series set inside a prison.

It’s called PORRIDGE (BBC-1, 8.30). In it he plays an old lag named Stanley Fletcher who is serving five years for lorry stealing.

The programme is certain to be a winner. Apart from Ronnie’s undoubted talent, the scripts have been written by Dick Clement and lan La Frenais, co-authors of such hits as ” The Likely Lads ” and “Thick as Thieves.

Last year the BBC screened a series of playlets called “Seven of One” all starring Ronnie. One of the plays, “Prisoner and Escort.” developed into this series. “Porridge,” by the way, is jail slang for a prison sentence. It’s certainly hard labour for Ronnie at the moment. After this series he and Ronnie Corbett get together on a new production of ” The Two Ronnies,” to be screened next year. – Daily Mirror Thurs 5 September 1975.