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No Place Like Home (BBC-1 1983-1987, William Gaunt, Patricia Garwood)



No Place Like Home is one of those archetypal family sitcoms that the BBC love to do. It’s high quality cast going a long way to lift the somewhat ordinary situation. William Gaunt and Patricia Garwood star as middle aged Arthur and Beryl Crabtree a couple who are at last looking forward to the day when the last of their grown up kids is about to leave home.

A very young Martin Clunes plays Nigel Crabtree who is the last one to flee the coop, Arthur and Beryl have some great ideas to claim their home back and are even talking second honeymoon however before you can say “fancy an early night luv” the kids are back. Nigel doesn’t fancy starting Uni yet, eldest daughter Lorraine is having marriage trouble and returns home quickly followed by Tracy whose own love life has hit a rocky patch, lastly there’s eldest son Paul who seems to come and go as he pleases.

Arthur is in a state of perpetual harassment whilst Beryl is like Mother Hen, really quite happy to have her brood about her. Added to this are the interruptions from kooky next door neighbour Vera Botting who is nuttier than a fruit cake, Vera’s husband Trevor though is Arthur’s best friend and when things get too much the pair retreat to the garden shed for a glass of home made sherry.

There were a few cast changes over the course of the series run. Martin Clunes bowed out after three seasons and was replaced by Andrew Charles whilst Marcia Warren played Vera in the first three seasons with Ann Penfold replacing her in the fifth and final season.

Daniel Hill’s Raymond Codd was daughter Lorraine’s estranged husband for the first four seasons but he was gone for the fifith season with a new love interest for Lorraine in the shape of Roger Martin.

production details
UK / BBC One / 43×30 minute episodes / Broadcast 13 December 1983 – 22 December 1987

Writer: Jon Watkins / Producer: Robin Nash

William Gaunt as Arthur Crabtree
Patricia Garwood as Beryl Crabtree
Martin Clunes as Nigel Crabtree (seasons 1-3)
Andrew Charleson as Nigel Crabtree (seasons 4-5)
Dee Sadler as Tracey Crabtree
Stephen Watson as Paul Crabtree (seasons 1-3)
Beverly Adams as Lorraine Codd
Marcia Warren as Vera Botting (seasons 1-3)
Ann Penfold as Vera Botting (season 5)
Michael Sharvell-Martin as Trevor Botting
Daniel Hill as Raymond Codd (seasons 1-4)
Roger Duff as Roger Martin (season 5)