1 9 6 5 – 1 9 6 6 (UK)
37 x 25 minute episodes
This sitcom from Granada was a spin-off of sorts from the king of all soap operas, Coronation Street. Arthur Lowe starred as Leonard Swindley, the teetotal, lay-preaching assistant manager of a branch of a national chain department store called Dobson and Hawks.
Swindley had previously been the proprietor of Weatherfield’s Gamma Garments boutique.
Mr Swindley seized upon every opportunity to scale the social heights – arranging everything from intimate dinner parties to glittering charity galas and swinging teenage boutiques.
Miss Sinclair (Joy Stewart) was the staff manageress and Ernest Parbold (Paul Dawkins) was Leonard’s buck-passing boss. When Mr Parbold left after the first series, Walter Hunt (Robert Dorning) took his place.
Mrs Edgeley – played by Betty Driver (Coronation Street‘s future Betty Turpin) – was in charge of the canteen.
Constant displays of bumbling ineptitude in the retail trade were rewarded when everyone received their dismissal from the store at the end of the series.
Dad’s Army favourites John Le Mesurier and John Laurie, and Corrie stars Julie Goodyear and Amanda Barrie guested. Scriptwriters included Jack Rosenthal and Vince Powell.
Pardon The Expression gave birth to a spin-off series of its own, Turn Out The Lights (1967), in which Swindley and Hunt teamed up as a duo of amateur ghost-hunters.
The First Day | The Headmistress | The Trouble with Ada | Mannequin Parade | The Dance | The Wedding | The Pensioner | The Visitor | Birthday Present | The Little Boy Lost | The Old One Two | The Brain Drain | The Economy Drive | January Sale | The Resignation | Self Defence | The Stocktaking | The Home Help | Big Hotel | The Jailbirds | Night to Remember | Whose Baby Are You? | The Take-Over Bid | Between the Cover | Heads Down | A Sheik in the Night | Rustle of Spring | The Ghost of Batsworth Castle | Sailor Home from the Sea | The Dinner Party | Man’s Best Friend | Thunderfinger: Part 1 | Thunderfinger: Part 2 | The Switched-On Scene | The Cup That Cheers | Down on the Health Farm Something Stirred | Christmas Special