1 9 6 4 – 1 9 6 5 (UK)
20 x 30 minute episodes
19 x 25 minute episodes
Classic BBC1 comedy which was immortalised by The Beatles in their song Good Morning Good Morning (“it’s time for tea and Meet the Wife“).
The 30-minute show featured Freddie Frinton and Thora Hird as the Blacklocks, a married couple from up t’North who were constantly bickering (over the most trivial of matters) but loved each other dearly underneath it all.
Freddie Blacklock was a plumber by profession who enjoyed the simple pleasures and would do anything for a quiet life. Unfortunately, a quiet life was not always possible, thanks to his domineering and snobbish wife who had ideas above her station.
In scenes that would be echoed many years later in Keeping Up Appearances, Thora and Fred would speak using their natural north-country accents when they were alone, but in mixed company – and especially when answering the telephone – Thora would adopt an obviously false refinement (referring to her husband as “Frayd”).
The series, written by Ronald Wolfe and Ronald Chesney and produced by Robin Nash, was one of the BBC’s top-rated comedies of the 1960s.
It began life as a 1963 Comedy Playhouse presentation entitled The Bed, in which the Blacklocks – having just celebrated their silver wedding anniversary – argued over whether to buy twin beds to replace their lumpy and uncomfortable matrimonial double.
Freddie Frinton died in 1968 at the age of 53. Dame Thora Hird went on to become one of Britain’s best-loved actresses, appearing in numerous comedy series’, including In Loving Memory, Ours Is A Nice House and Last of The Summer Wine.