1 9 6 9 (UK)
7 x 30 minute episodes
The fate of this comedy series hung in the balance after the death of its star, Freddie Frinton, in 1968 following a one-off story called ‘Family of Fred’ as part of Comedy Playhouse.
But the seven-part series finally made it to BBC1 on Monday 17 February 1969 with Jimmy Jewel as the new star, playing Jim Eccles, a widower with three marriageable daughters (a sort of working-class Father Dear Father) who was himself being chased by the man-hungry widow next door, Aggie (Jean Kent).
The story was set in a fictitious Lancashire town called Millport where Jim ran a fish shop with his stupid assistant Albert Pike (Mike Lucas).
Jimmy’s three daughters were played by Carolyn Moody, Jill Kerman and Roberta Rex, and Jill’s fiance, Robert, by Gerald Moon.
Michael Mills, head of Light Entertainment, said: “Freddie Frinton’s death was a great shock. We were faced with the question do we drop the idea for the series or not and we decided to go on. We had to find a man with all Freddie’s remarkable and great comic talent and we think Jimmy Jewel fits the bill.”
The writer of the series was Peter Robinson, and the producer was Douglas Argent.