1 9 7 7 (UK)
8 x 30 minute episodes
Husband James (Brian Rix) and wife Sheila (Lynda Baron) have been living in a flat all their married life, only to become more and more conscious of its many inconveniences.
Downstairs is the interfering Mrs Bagworth (Sheila Keith with a voice akin to an exploding land mine) and upstairs is a friendly but constantly rehearsing Australian pop group who have taken their teenage daughter, Maureen (Louisa Rix) under their wing. Maureen enjoys the nightly racket and views the inconvenience with more humour than necessary.
So James and Sheila decide to buy their own house – a joyous whim which meets with many pitfalls. Their mutual friend Jack Askew (Francis Matthews) is more hindrance than help and dampens their spirits because he has an unattractive explanation for all the estate agent jargon which describes every house for sale as a palace.
Askew’s business proteges are also experts in one respect at least – money grabbing. And he has plenty of wild and wonderful ideas when it comes to transforming what appears at first, second and third sight, a dilapidated piece of Victoriana.
James and Sheila set out to view the houses for sale. They find gates that collapse off the hinges, others which don’t open, bannisters that tremble at a touch, a Chinese tenant who cannot speak English – and a loud-mouthed saucepan-throwing housewife whose husband has just been carted off to jail.
In desperation, they select their home – a rambling, ramshackle eyesore which, although roomy, is definitely the best of a bad lot. And just as expected, James falls through the upstairs floorboards.
“The house belonged to an old man who died,” they are told. “It smells as if he is still here,” replies James.
Scriptwriter Barry Took based A Roof Over My Head from Michael Green’s story, The Art of Coarse Moving.
Sir Philip Comer