1 9 7 7 – 1 9 8 1 (UK)
48 x 25 minute episodes (including Christmas specials)
With George And Mildred successfully spun-off from Man About The House, writers Johnnie Mortimer and Brian Cooke turned their attention to Richard O’Sullivan, the principal figure in that original series.
There he had been Robin Tripp, a catering student, living – without sin, to his chagrin – with two girls. In Robin’s Nest, he was a newly qualified chef, living very much in sin with his air hostess girlfriend Vicky (Tessa Wyatt, ex-wife of radio DJ Tony Blackburn).
Keen to open up their own bistro, Robin and Vicky enter into a business partnership with her irascible father James.
Being the co-owner, and a very protective parent who – initially, at least – disapproves of his daughter’s choice of boyfriend, James is on the scene all the time as a not-so-silent Silent Partner.
Occasional episodes also featured Vicky’s mother, divorced from James, played first by Honor Blackman and then by Barbara Murray.
Bestowing the series its title, the bistro – situated in the Fulham area of London – is called ‘Robin’s Nest’. Robin and Vicky work there full-time, as does Albert Riddle, a one-armed Irishman with a criminal record, who does the washing-up more with blarney than bubble.
Robin and Vicky were almost married at the end of the first series, and they finally tied the knot at the conclusion of the second.
Vicky then gave birth to twins in the fifth, by which time Mortimer and Cooke had long abdicated the writing role – in the series’ final three years the pair scripted just one episode.
All the same, by making it clear that Robin and Vicky were unwed yet living and indeed sleeping together, they had scored a first, the ‘common-law marriage’ situation having never been depicted before in a British sitcom.
Special permission had to be sought from the Independent Broadcasting Authority before the writers were given the go-ahead.
Honor Blackman (1)
Barbara Murray (2)