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Comedy Playhouse: The Family Of Fred (BBC-1 1968, Freddie Frinton, Jean Kent)



In Comedy Playhouse entry The Family of Fred, widower Fred of the title tries hard to escape the attentions of his next door neighbour whilst also trying to avoid being bossed around by his three daughters.

Like all of the Comedy Playhouse stories this was a tryout for a potential series and with a bit of recasting and a few surname changes this became the one season series Thicker Than Water which aired on BBC-1 the following year. Jimmy Jewel took the lead as Jim Eccles. Jean Kent remained as Aggie Plunkett and Carolyn Moody also remained as daughter Janet as did Roberta Rex as Vicki.

Star Frinton was a popular in his day comedian and music hall artiste and had been appearing in popular sitcom Meet The Wife (so popular that it even gained a mention in Beatles song Good Morning Good Morning.

He has been largely forgotten these days in his home country but is a household name in much of Europe thanks to a 1963 production called Dinner For One that Frinton made for German TV. Since the early seventies this has made an annual appearance on TV not just in Germany but also through most of Scandinavia and Belgium. Frinton had been performing the sketch since the 1940’s and in the 1950’s bought the rights to it. Funnily enough the sketch has never been seen in full on UK TV.

production details
UK / BBC One / 1×30 minute episode / Broadcast Friday 10 May 1968 at 8.20pm

Series: Comedy Playhouse Season 7 Episode 3

Writer: Peter Robinson / Music: Judd Proctor / Production Design: Evan Hercules / Producer and Director: Douglas Argent

JEAN KENT as Aggie Plunkett
JUDI BLOOM as Carol Holmes
CAROLYN MOODY as Janet Holmes
ROBERTA REX as Vicki Holmes
MIKE LUCAS as Albert Pike
GERALD MOON as Robert Bean