1 9 7 3 (UK)
13 x 30 min episodes
Written subsequently but as a ‘prequel’ to The Fenn Street Gang (itself spun-off from Please, Sir!), this sitcom harked back to the earlier life of Pete Craven’s dodgy boss, Stanley Bowler (George Baker) – the wealthy wide-boy villain who has a finger in every profitable pie, and whose money can buy everything except the thing he wants most – class.
His unstoppable ambition to move in higher social circles sees him embarking on a series of ill-fated schemes – including opening his very own gentlemen’s club, conspicuously embracing high culture, and even trying to set himself up as a laird.
Sadly, while Bowler stumbles from one faux pas to another, the doors of society remain very firmly closed.
Renny Lister appeared as his estranged wife Doreen, Gretchen Franklin as his cockney mum and Fred Beauman as his valet, Reg.