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Man About The House (ITV 1973-1976, Richard O’Sullivan, Paula Wilcox)

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Man About The House

Sitcom Man About the House told comedic tales of flat sharing in the 1970’s when it was considered very permissive for a guy (Robin Tripp played by Richard O’Sullivan) to share with two girls (Chrissie played by Paula Wilcox and Jo played by Sally Thomsett), downstairs was crotchety landlord George Roper (Brian Murphy) and his sex starved wife Mildred (Yootha Joyce) and living in the attic flat at the top of the house was larrikin Larry (Doug Fisher – who didn’t become a regular until the second season but was always good value with his talk of birds, booze and football.)

The heart of the show was Robin doing his best to persuade either of the girls to sleep with him, this being prime time ITV he always failed of course, his favourite was clearly Chrissy and as the series entered it’s final season there was some real depth and a genuine sense of melancholy as Chrissy actually falls in love with Robin’s brother Norman (Norman Eshley, who had been in the series before as a different character romancing Chrissy) and in the final episode marries him. A great way to wrap up the series, showing the characters growing up, at last, and moving on. It  also paved the way for spin-offs Robin’s Nest and George and Mildred.

The series never ventured far outside the confines of the studio but always attracted quality guest stars including the likes of Peter Jones in A Little Knowledge which sees Robin working as an encyclopedia salesmen to try and earn some cash.

Man About The House

Paula Wilcox, Richard O’Sullivan and Sally Thomsett.

Other guest stars included the gorgeous Jenny Hanley and Ian Lavender in While The Cat’s Away, Dennis Waterman as a German doctor in Did You Ever Meet Rommel?, Brush Strokes’ Karl Howman in the babysitting episode Two Foot Two, Eyes of Blue (Jo Kendall who had just been killed off in Emmerdale Farm also appears in this episode) and the already mentioned Norman Eshley (who of course would also go on to play Geoffrey Fourmile in George and Mildred) who in season two was a married man hoping to have an affair with Chrissy. The great Leslie Sands pops up too as Robin’s father.

The series gained a pretty good big screen outing in 1974 (made by horror specialists Hammer films of all companies) and also two spin-offs in the shape of George and Mildred and Robin’s Nest. The series was also the inspiration for popular US sitcom Three’s Company.

The series was created and written by Johnnie Mortimer and Brian Cooke and ran on ITV for 39 half hour episodes form 15 August 1973 to 7 April 1976.

production details
UK / ITV – Thames / 39×30 minute episodes / Broadcast 15 August 1973 – 7 April 1976 / 6 Seasons

Writers: Johnnie Mortimer, Brian Cooke / Producer and Director: Peter Frazer-Jones

cast
RICHARD O’SULLIVAN as Robin Tripp
PAULA WILCOX as Chrissy Plummer
SALLY THOMSETT as Jo
DOUG FISHER as Larry Simms
BRIAN MURPHY as George Roper
YOOTHA JOYCE as Mildred Roper

EPISODE GUIDE
SEASON ONE
1. THREE’S A CROWD
2. AND MOTHER MAKES FOUR
3. SOME ENCHANTED EVENING
4. AND THEN THERE WERE TWO
5. IT’S ONLY MONEY
6. MATCH OF THE DAY
7. NO CHILDREN, NO DOGS
8. ALL STAR COMEDY CARNIVAL

SEASON TWO
1. WHILE THE CAT’S AWAY
2. COLOUR ME YELLOW
3. IN PRAISE OF OLDER MEN
4. DID YOU EVER MEET ROMMEL?
5. TWO FOOT BLUE, EYES OF BLUE
6. CARRY ME BACK TO OLD SOUTHAMPTON

SEASON THREE
1. CUCKOO IN THE NEST
2. COME INTO MY PARLOUR
3. I WON’T DANCE, DON’T ASK ME
4. OF MICE AND WOMEN
5. SOMEBODY OUT THERE LIKES ME
6. WE SHALL NOT BE MOVED
7. THREE OF A KIND

SEASON FOUR
1. HOME AND AWAY
2. ONE FOR THE ROAD
3. ALL IN THE GAME
4. NEVER GIVE YOUR REAL NAME
5. THE TENDER TRAP
6. MY SON, MY SON

SEASON FIVE
1. THE LAST PICTURE SHOW
2. RIGHT SAID GEORGE
3. A LITTLE KNOWLEDGE
4. LOVE AND LET LOVE
5. HOW DOES YOUR GARDEN GROW?
6. COME FLY WITH ME

SEASON SIX
1. THE PARTY’S OVER
2. ONE MORE FOR THE POT
3. THE GENERATION GAME
4. THE SUNSHINE BOYS
5. MUM ALWAYS LIKED YOU BEST
6. FIRE DOWN BELOW
7. ANOTHER BRIDE ANOTHER GROOM