Home Television Comedy Lovers, The

Lovers, The

1 9 7 0 – 1 9 7 2 (UK)
13 x 30 minute episodes

Richard Beckinsale and Paula Wilcox starred in this comedy success, created and written by Jack Rosenthal, as Mancunian boyfriend and girlfriend of two years (on and off), Geoffrey “Bubbles Bon Bon” and Beryl.

Geoffrey desperately tried to get his evil way with his virginal (but slightly teasing) girlfriend Beryl while she, in turn, repelled his every stratagem and attack, determined to stay chaste until her wedding night.

Geoffrey was constantly egged on by his Westland Bank workmate Roland (played by Robin Nedwell of the Doctor In The House series), but Beryl would entertain no thoughts of what she termed “Percy Filth”.

lovers28

Played with a delightfully observed air of charm and innocence by the central duo, The Lovers was a warm and witty spin on the traditional “Boy meets Girl” storyline given an added layer of humour by its deftly subtle swipes at the myth of “permissive society” and the “free love” generation.

Sadly, only two series were made – a total of 13 shows in 1970 and 1971 – but for the young stars (Wilcox was 20, Beckinsale was 23) it was the start of highly successful television careers.

She went on to star alongside in the long-running sitcom Man About The House, and he starred in Rising Damp with Leonard Rossiter and Porridge with Ronnie Barker.

Tragically, Richard Beckinsale’s career was cut short by a fatal heart attack at the appallingly young age of 31.

lovers2

As he had done with The Dustbinmen before it, Jack Rosenthal withdrew from his creation once it was established.

In the second series, scripted by Geoffrey Lancashire, the lovers decide to take the plunge and become engaged, although it remains an on-off relationship at best.

A feature film version was released in 1972. This was better than most of the small-to-big-screen transfers, with both the stars reprising their TV roles and Jack Rosenthal returning as writer. Herbert Wise directed.

Beryl Battersby
Paula Wilcox
Geoffrey Scrimshaw

Richard Beckinsale
Mrs Battersby

Joan Scott
Roland Lomax

Robin Nedwell
Sandra
Maureen Lipman
Neville

John Flanagan
Samantha

Gillian Rhind
Uncle Arthur

Bert Palmer

Episodes

Sardine Sandwiches | The Date | The Other Raver | Brainwashed | The Pipe and the Moustache | The Truth Game | Becoming Engaged | The Engagement Party | The Broken Engagement | Economy in a Joint Bank Account | The Better Homes Exhibition | The Trial Marriage | The Best Laid Plans