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Last of the Baskets, The (ITV 1971-1972, Arthur Lowe, Ken Jones)

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Last of the Baskets ITV 1971-1972 Arthur Lowe Ken Jones

In Sitcom Last of the Baskets when the 12 Earl of Clogborough dies at the ripe old age of 93 a new heir needs to be found to take over the running of the somewhat dilapidated Clogborough Hall. That turns out to be the working class Clifford Basket. The last remaining heir and son of black sheep cousin Clarence.

The unmarried boiler tender movies into Clogborough Hall with his “mam” thinking that he is about to enjoy the high life. Ever loyal butler Redvers Bodkin quickly dissuades him of that idea. The mansion is on the verge of collapse and the bills are mounting.

Arthur Lowe, on secondment from Dad’s Army, is very much the star here but the brilliant Ken Jones provides plenty of amusement, as does Patrica Hayes as his “mam”.

There was a two page interview with the famously prickly Lowe in the weeks TV Times for the show’s premiere, in it he gives absolutely nothing away about either himself or the show saying “I don’t want any relationship with the public. I think this hands-across-the-footlights thing is a load of rubbish.” On what the show was about he said “wait and see”! Although he did reveal that he recently bought an 104ft 85 year old yacht that he had spent £20,000 on restoring.

Clogborough Hall was in reality a disused hunting lodge in a remote part of the Western Pennines. It had been deserted since 1918 (it had been used as a convalescent home for wounded world war one soldiers).

production details
UK / ITV – Granada / 13×25 minute episodes / Broadcast 10 May 1971 – 14 February 1972

Creator: John Stevenson / Music: Derek Hilton / Production Design: Eric Deakins / Producer and Director: Bill Podmore

cast
Arthur Lowe as Redvers Bodkin
Ken Jones as Clifford Basket
Patricia Hayes as Mrs Basket

THE EPISODES
SEASON ONE 10 May – 21 June 1971
1. END OF THE PEER (10 May 1971)
2. WELL DONE, GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANT (17 May 1971)
3. I GOTTA HORSE (24 May 1971)
4. FOR I’M TO BE THE QUEEN OF MAY (7 Jun 1971)
5. FOR RICHER FOR POORER (14 Jun 1971)
6. DO UNTO OTHERS (21 Jun 1971)

SEASON TWO 3 January – 14 February 1972
1. IT’S A LIVING (3 Jan 1972)
2. SINCE THEN I HAVE USED NO OTHER (10 Jan 1972)
3. GOOD QUEEN BESS SLEPT HERE (17 Jan 1972)
4. A CHIP OFF THE OLD BLOCK (24 Jan 1972)
5. THE HOUND OF THE BASKETS (31 Jan 1972)
6. NICE WORK IF YOU CAN GET IT (7 Feb 1972)
7. A TISKET, A TASKET (14 Feb 1972)