1 9 7 2 – 1 9 7 3 (UK)
6 x 30 minute episodes
Premiering at 9 pm on Sunday 3 December 1972, this BBC2 comedy chat show starred Sheila Hancock – star of The Rag Trade, Mr Digby Darling and Now, Take My Wife – who also wrote much of the series herself, with contributions from Harold Pinter, Peter Cook, Peter Jones, John Bird and other comedy writers.
The show presented a mix of comedy sketches, poetry, songs, conversation and jokes. Hancock regularly appeared in a segment as “reactionary old tart” Dame Hettie Kemble-Spooner.
Sheila’s guests included Germaine Greer, Dudley Moore, Antony Hopkins, Peter Jones, Peter Hall, Alfie Bass, Michael Hordern, Ronnie Stevens, Paul McDowell, Patricia Hayes, John Mortimer, and John Bird.
Despite being one of the first British comedy series led by a woman, But Seriously was sadly short-lived.
After a disagreement between Hancock and her bosses over a sketch about a mad landlady – they objected to it on the basis that it would make her look “unattractive” – the series was canned.