1 9 7 3 – 1 9 7 6 (UK)
39 x 30 minute episodes
Chrissy (the dark-haired one) and Jo (the blonde one, prone to rambling illogicalities) find a man in the bath after their party and invite him to share their flat with them when they find out he can cook – besides, they need the extra rent.
Thus Robin Tripp moves into the flat at 6 Myddleton Terrace, Earl’s Court, and becomes the ‘Man About The House’ and thinks he’s in with the chance for non-stop sex on tap (but never ever gets anywhere at all).
Meanwhile, landlord George Roper, who lives downstairs, is on hand to keep everyone on the straight and narrow, although his acid-tongued wife Mildred thinks the climb to the upstairs flat may well be the “stairway to heaven”.
Despite the ménage-a-trois premise, there was very little overt naughtiness in Man About The House.
Rather, in the ribald manner of British humour, most of the jokes centred on ill-timed interruptions, wrong bedrooms, parents’ misunderstandings, girlfriends’ misunderstandings, boyfriends’ misunderstandings, smalls hanging on the line and many other embarrassing situations.
This was 70s humour at its best – poof jokes, bristols jokes and tasty birds in miniskirts. Ideologically sound? No. Politically correct? Get out of it . . . but funny? I never thought my socks would dry.
And the supporting characters . . . Larry, with his harem of “tarts”, Mildred with her suggestive innuendo, 20 cork-tipped fags and smouldering looks, and George with his defeatist approach to life and pathological fear of any kind of sex (other than girly magazines).
Who can truly honestly stick their hand up (oo-er) and say with hand on heart that they did not want to get into Chrissy’s knickers themselves?
Who did not laugh at Jo because she was so thick, bubbly, and blonde?
Hands up who didn’t want one of those aprons with tits on the front? Hands up who wished they were Larry? Hands up who thought Robin was “one of them”? Hands up who wanted to give Mildred one . . . er I’ll get me coat.
Three episodes from the end of the series, viewers were suddenly introduced to Robin’s brother, Norman.
Having unsuccessfully chased Chrissy’s affections for three years and had all his advances spurned coyly or firmly, Robin was upset to see Norman join the pursuit.
Norman won, with rapid results: in the final programme he and Chrissy were married.
A Man About The House motion picture was made for cinematic release by Hammer in 1974, with the usual cast supported by a wealth of familiar faces, including Spike Milligan and Arthur Lowe.