1 9 7 2 (UK)
6 x 30 minute episodes
On the crest of a wave with his Dad’s Army role, John Le Mesurier starred in this rare networked sitcom from HTV – the Wales and West of England ITV franchise.
He was cast as Lord Bleasham (pronounced ‘Blessem’), an eccentric peer living in the family seat (yes, Blessem ‘all) in Somerset, short of money but reluctant to let go of what little he has.
Seretta Wilson was his daughter and Peter Butterworth his sinister chauffeur Clutton, while the show’s author, the former Cambridge Footlighter Richard Stilgoe (very much a rising star at this time) appeared as young student Barnaby Locke, full of ideas about how Bleasham could make money.
The six episodes developed from a one-off pilot, screened in the HTV region only on 14 January 1971.
Titled The Thumb Of Barnaby Locke, it featured Stilgoe as a hitchhiker, with John Le Mesurier (here as Lord Shepton) and Peter Madden as the chauffeur.
With minor modifications, the script was re-worked as the opening episode.
John Le Mesurier