1 9 8 4 (UK)
6 x 55 minute episodes
Seaside shenanigans set in the fictional coastal resort of Cocklesea, a faded holiday destination of yesteryear.
As a child, Arthur Dumpton (James Grout) spent many happy school holidays there. Now, years later, he returns, fat with redundancy money, to restore the resort to what he remembers as its former glory.
Arthur seeks out his old boyhood friend Jacques du Bois (Norman Rodway), now an unsuccessful landscape painter married to Gloria (Joan Sims), Arthur’s boyhood sweetheart and the landlady of the Sunnysides Guest House.
He tries to enlist their support for his grandiose schemes but, although fond of him, they – in common with most of the residents of Cocklesea – are greedy and duplicitous. The result is that amiable but gullible Arthur finds himself fleeced by friends and strangers alike.
Cockles was a neat idea graced with strong acting talent, especially the underrated James Grout, who seems incapable of a poor performance.
Writer Douglas Livingstone developed the characters of Arthur and Gloria from Born And Bred which had featured Grout as a similarly good-natured salesman and Sims as a similarly strident pub owner.
Jacques du Bois
Gloria du Bois