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Dick and the Duchess

1 9 5 7 – 1 9 5 8 (USA/UK)
25 x 30 minute episodes

American Dick Starrett (Patrick O’Neal) is an insurance claims detective based in London. He is married to Jane (Hazel Court), an upper-class British lady – who Dick lovingly calls “Duchess” – who has a keen interest in solving crimes.

Jane is descended from royalty but likes to mix with the common folk and feels Dick’s job gives her that opportunity, so she appoints herself his unofficial assistant.

Stories follow Jane as she uses her feminine intuition to help Dick investigate and solve insurance fraud claims. Peter Jamison (Richard Wattis) is Dick’s fussy British business associate, and they collaborate with Inspector Stark (Michael Shepley) of Scotland Yard on his cases.

Mathilda (Beatrice Valley) is Jane’s maid.

Rather unusually for the time, this American sitcom was filmed at Elstree Studios in England (with a primarily English cast and some interesting locations).

Guests included Margaret Rutherford, Alfie Bass, Irene Handl, Lionel Jeffries and Kenneth Williams.

The 26 episodes aired in the USA on CBS from 28 September 1957 to 16 May 1958 and then aired on ITV in the UK from September 1958 to April 1959.

Dick Starrett
Patrick O’Neal
Jane Starrett
Hazel Court
Peter Jamison
Richard Wattis
Beatrice Valley
Inspector Stark
Michael Shepley