A surprisingly gentle sitcom from Vince Powell and Harry Driver (of Mind Your Language and Love Thy Neighbour infamy) For The Love of Ada focused on Ada and Walter, a pair of pensioners, who suprise their families by falling in love.
When the series begins Ada Creswell (Irene Handl) is a widow and Walter Bingley (Wifred Pickles) is the gravedigger who buried her husband. The couple end up becoming friendly and gradually fall in love. Ada’s daughter, Ruth Polliter lives next door to her with her husband, Leslie.
Ruth and Leslie don’t really approve of Ada’s involvement with Walter, but they have to accept that they can’t do anything to prevent them from seeing one another.
The first season dealt with the developing relationship between Ada and Walter. In the second series, they are busy making wedding plans and finally tie the knot at the end of the second season. By the time of the fourth season the pair had become proud grandparents after Ruth and Leslie had a baby boy.
There was a short special broadcast as part of ITV’s All Star Comedy Carnival on 25 Dec 1970 and there was a 45 minute Christmas special to bring the series to a close on 26 December 1971. The following year there was a big screen outing (also called For The Love of Ada) which ran over much of the same ground. This was part of the massive trend in early seventies British cinema to make film versions of popular sitcoms. They were all pretty big money spinners despite none of them being that good.
There was also an American version called A Touch of Grace which ran on ABC for one season of 22 episodes in 1973.
UK / ITV – Thames / 26×25 minute episodes 1×45 minute episode and one short special / Broadcast 20 April 1970 – 26 December 1971
Writers: Vince Powell, Harry Driver / Producer: Ronnie Baxter
Irene Handl as Ada Cresswell/Bingley
Wilfred Pickles as Walter Bingley
Barbara Mitchell as Ruth Pollitt
Jack Smethurst as Leslie Pollitt
Ape And Essence (The Wednesday Play BBC-1 1966, Alec McCowen)
In Scifi drama Ape and Essence, based on the novel by Aldous Huxley, a group of New Zealand scientists conduct a survey on a Britain ravaged by atomic war 80 years previously.
Series: The Wednesday Play Season 2 Episode 29
Alec McCowen as Alfred Poole
Robert Eddison as Arch Vicar
Derek Sydney as Chief
Jenny Lee as Flossie
Yvonne Antrobus as Young Girl
Sydney Bromley as Craigie
Martin Carroll as Director of Food
Hazel Douglas as Mies Hook
John Falconer as Patriarch
Petra Markham as Loola
Ken Parry as Science Praet
Amanda Reiss as Polly
Jonathan Scott as Int. Priest
Fiona Fraser as Part of Crowd
Ann Mitchell as Shaven-Head
Jacki Salt as Mulatto Girl
Carol Blake as Shaven-Head
Gordon Craig as Part of Crowd
Robert Cude as First Man
Writer: John Finch
Book: Aldous Huxley
Music: BBC Radiophonic Workshop
Producer: Peter Luke
Director: David Benedictus.
Network and Production Companies: BBC One
Duration: 1×75 minute episode
Aired From: 18 May 1966
Plane Makers, The (ITV 1963-1965, Patrick Wymark, Barbara Murray)
Drama series The Plane Makers took us behind the scenes in the boardroom and shop floor of the Scott Furlong Aircraft Factory. After two seasons the lead character John Wilder took a place on the board of a merchant bank and the series was then renamed The Power Game.
Patrick Wymark as John Wilder
Jack Watling as Don Henderson
Barbara Murray as Pamela Wilder (Seasons 1-2)
Ann Firbank as Pamela Wilder (Season 3)
Reginald Marsh as Arthur Sugden
Alan Dobie as David Corbett
Creator: Wilfred Greatorex
Producers: Rex Firkin (seasons 1-2), David Reid (season 3)
Network: ITV – ATV
Duration: 57×50 minute episodes
Aired From: 4 February 1963 – 12 January 1965 black and white
Running Wild (ITV 1987, Ray Brooks, Janet Key)
Sitcom Running Wild was about the ups and downs of separated couple, Max and Babs, trying to get on with their lives. In season two Max wants to return to his wife but Babs is not so keen.
Ray Brooks as Max Wild
Janet Key as Babs Wild
Sharon Duce as Wanda
Michelle Collins as Stephanie Wild
Peter Amory as Rob
Berwick Kaler as Tom Coleman (Season 1)
Brigit Forsyth as Jenny (Season 2)
Writer: Philip Trewinnard
Producers: Marcus Plantin (Season 1), Derrick Goodwin (Season 2)
Directors: Vic Finch (Season 1), Derrick Goodwin (Season 2)
Network and Production Companies: ITV – London Weekend Television
Duration: 13×25 minute episodes
Aired From: 6 March 1987 – 4 June 1989
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