I was thinking this morning about old sitcoms; ones I remember and ones which most people will have forgotten. I think there used to be a programme on TV which traced the ‘family tree’ of sitcoms, for example ‘Man About the House’ giving rise to two spin-offs, ‘Robin’s Nest’ and ‘George and Mildred’:
.What started it all off was seeing Mr Roper (Brian Murphy) on Casualty, where they make a point of giving cameos to people you haven’t seen for years. So I started to think about old, forgotten sitcoms which bit the dust early. Like ‘Constant Hot Water,’ an ill-starred series featuring Pat Phoenix (Elsie Tanner from Corrie) and ‘Don’t Drink the Water’ which was from the same stable as the much more successful ‘On The Buses.’
And I seem to remember a serial called ‘Mrs Thursday’ which starred Thora Hird. I was shocked to discover that Thora died in 2003, which must mean that all those ‘Dead Ringers’ sketches about her and Alan Bennett are more than 13 years old!!!
Paula Wilcox from ‘Man About the House’ has now turned up in ‘Boomers,’ a great BBC4 sitcom about three retired couples. And so the dance goes on…
Well, whaddaya know? Mrs Thursday starred Kathleen Harrison, with ne’er a mention of the divine Thora. But I was right about Pat Phoenix: