1 9 7 2 – 1 9 7 3 (UK)
8 x 30 minute episodes
Popular radio comedian Al Read took a tongue-in-cheek look at the British way of life with witty monologues in this series from ATV, having already appeared in similar shows for ITV (Life and Al Read – 1963 and 1964) and the BBC (Al Read Says What a Life – 1966).
Among the topics he covered over eight episodes were the British bobby, drinking and pubs, hobbies, holidays (especially trips abroad), football, visiting the doctor, teaching the wife to drive, catching buses, gardening, the way we run our hospitals, marriage, and the permissive society.
The series was placed in the early evening slot of 6:30 pm on Fridays. It featured decent material but left Read to hold viewers’ attention by standing in front of the camera and doing nothing more visual than sometimes removing his cardigan.
Reviewers tended to be polite but reserved and – while the audience figures were solid enough for the time slot – the star himself soon tired of other people meddling with the production (“Damn me if they didn’t set up all kinds of props and backgrounds and even a pop group,” he later complained. “I was not happy”).
The “pop group” was a six-piece vocal group called Design (pictured below) – comprising Kathy Manuell (vocals), Gabrielle Field (vocals and tenor recorder), Geoff Ramseyer (vocals and guitar), Barry Alexander (vocals and guitar), Jeff Matthews (vocals and guitar) and John Mulcahy (vocals and drums) – provided a musical break in each show.
When It’s All In Life ended, Read turned down all other offers to continue on TV. He passed away on 9 September 1987, aged 78.