1 9 8 0 (UK)
6 x 25 minute episodes
ITV scored a hit with this very funny series from Granada Television which unfortunately ran for only six episodes.
Similar in tone and subject matter to the American series Night Court, the series was set in the lower law courts and concerned itself with small civil claims and misdemeanours, rather than major crimes.
Tramps, drunks, ladies of the night, erring husbands, irate wives, and disgruntled neighbours all contributed to the steady flow of offenders who appeared before the magistrates.
Clerk to the Justices, Mr Pettigrew (Hugh Paddick) tried to run an efficient court but he was at odds with the Chairman of the Bench, Mr Butterfield (Robert Dorning) and justices Mrs Myrtle Prior (South African actress Sheila Steafel) and Mr Skinner (Michael Barrington).
Miss Teasdale (Valerie Phillips), the assistant clerk, was too inexperienced to help and Mr Bailey (Charles Lamb), the usher, was too old to care.
Writer Dennis Woolf came up with the idea for the show while he was producing (and occasionally scripting) Crown Court.
Myrtle Prior JP
Arnold Butterfield JP
Benjamin Skinner JP