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Ever Decreasing Circles (BBC-1 1984-1989, Richard Briers, Penelope Wilton)

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Starring the much loved Richard Briers Ever Decreasing Circles follows the exploits of interfering busy body Martin Bryce (Briers pulls off the fab trick of making this irritating git likeable!) who despite his ‘important’ job at Mole Valley Valves likes to devote his time to organising the lives of everyone around him – with almost military precision in fact much to the dismay of his long suffering wife Ann (Penelope Wilton) and his easy going friends Howard and Hilda Hughes (‘I’m not the real Howard Hughes’). All is right in Martin’s world until the arrival next door of ultra smoothie Paul (Peter Egan), who is everything that Martin isn’t and everything Martin hates. Paul also gets on a little too well with Ann!

Ever Decreasing Circles is an excellent and extremely funny sitcom, great scripts from Larbey and Esmonde (who also wrote The Good Life for Briers) and superb playing from all the cast.

production details
UK | BBC One | 26×30 minutes 1×80 minutes | Broadcast 29 January 1984 – 1989

Writers: John Esmonde, Bob Larbey
Producers: Sydney Lotterby, Harold Snoad

cast
Richard Briers as Martin Brice
Penelope Wilton as Ann Brice
Peter Egan as Paul Ryman
Geraldine Newman as Hilda Hughes
Stanley Lebor as Howard Hughes