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Mating Machine, The

Norman Rossington and Sheila Hancock in 'Sealed with a Loving Kiss'

1 9 7 0 (UK)
7 x 30 minute episodes

This seven-part comedy series from LWT aired on Friday nights and featured a fresh cast and storyline each week. The only constant was the mechanical data-date matchmaker of the title.

The show paired some of Britain’s leading scriptwriters – Galton and Simpson, Graeme Garden and Bill Oddie, Ken Hoare and Mike Sharland – with top comedy stars such as Sheila Hancock, Pauline Collins (pictured below left with Martin Shaw), Miriam Karlin, Sam Kydd, Norman Rossington and Eleanor Summerfield.

The opening episode (Who Sleeps on the Right? on 9 October) was about a couple who meet and marry after a whirlwind romance at sea sponsored by the ship’s latest cruise gimmick (the match-making computer). But the computer fails to realise it is playing Cupid to a die-hard Tory and a staunch Socialist. The fun began when the couple’s political differences hardened into an almighty marital hangup.

Other stories included a ten-year-old star of numerous television commercials enrolling her lonely father in the bureau, a frustrated wife applying for a lover and being pursued through fields, playgrounds and bedrooms by dozens of mackintoshed men in cloth caps in speeded-up sequences a la The Benny Hill Show,  and a bachelor Bishop with a weakness for women who is enrolled by his chaplain with a view to making the philanderer finally choose a life partner,


Who Sleeps on the Right? | Flo and Monty and Henry . . . and Henry | Only Three Can Play | All About Little Eve | Sealed with a Loving Kiss | As the Bishop Said to the Actress | Ada’s Last Chance