1 9 6 6 – 1 9 6 9 (UK)
26 x 30 minute episodes
In George and the Dragon, Sid James played a cunning chauffeur called George Russell, who worked for rich retired Colonel Maynard (John Le Mesurier).
George was also an incorrigible lech, his sexual advances having prompted the resignations of 16 cook/housekeepers – all beautiful young foreigners – inside three months.
Then an indomitable woman, a widow named Gabrielle Dragon (Peggy Mount), is appointed to the position.
Considering her un-beautiful looks and personality, George has no wish whatsoever to interfere with Dragon (her maiden name which she reverted to upon the death of her husband) but right away, in the opening episode, he perpetrates a mock-amorous advance in the hope that it will drive her away.
Her retort – she threatens to punch his “crinkly nose in” – sets the tone for the rest of the series: George has met his match and life at chez Maynard is never going to be the same.
When not at odds with each other, George and Gabrielle joined forces to foil the Colonel’s plans to bring order to the place, sometimes helped by the compost-smelling gardener, Ralph (Keith Marsh).
This was a fine sitcom that succeeded through good scripts and excellent casting. Like so much classic British comedy, George And The Dragon was written by Vince Powell and Harry Driver.
The first episode aired on 19 November 1966 with the final episode screening on 31 October 1968.
Sid James complained of chest pains while working on the series in May 1967 but refused to go to the hospital until he’d finished recording the show. It turned out he was having a massive heart attack and he spent the next three weeks in an oxygen tent.
He eventually returned to work on George And The Dragon in October 1967.