Home Television Comedy Fresh Fields/French Fields

Fresh Fields/French Fields

1 9 8 4 – 1 9 8 6 (UK)
26 x 25 minute episodes
1 x Christmas special

1 9 8 9 – 1 9 9 1 (UK)
18 x 25 minute episodes
1 x Christmas special

Married for 20 years, having bred two children (Tom and Emma) who have flown the coop and made her a grandmother, Hester Fields is looking for a new start, a life of adventure in her middle years.

She wants spice, she wants action, she wants to be endlessly interesting, but her husband William is an accountant in the City whose idea of excitement is to read the Financial Times over breakfast.

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Undaunted, Hester looks for activities to take her out of herself, and, living in Barnes (an upwardly mobile district in south-west London), the opportunities are endless – dieting, exercise, cycling, pottery classes, exercise classes, even fencing classes, and part-time jobs in catering, being an OAP meals-on-wheels deliverer, even at one point being William’s office secretary.

Life is complicated, however, by the Fields’ daughter Emma, their noisy neighbour Sonia (who liked to turn up at meal times), and the lurking presence of Hester’s mother (cue cupboard-full of mother-in-law jokes) who lives in a building at the end of the Fields’ garden.

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The author of Fresh Fields was John Chapman, and if one was looking for a comparison one might say that this was ITV’s Happy Ever After – the BBC’s suburban sitcom, also penned by Chapman, in which June Whitfield and Terry Scott had their domestic ups and downs in the trying presence of dear old Aunt Lucy.

Both series were very successful, running and running, without losing much puff, for years and years.

Fresh Fields, indeed, was held in such high regard that it won an International Emmy, and prompted a sequel French Fields.

Hester Fields 
Julia McKenzie 
William Fields 

Anton Rodgers
Sonia Barratt 

Ann Beach
Nancy Penrose 

Fanny Rowe 
Guy Penrose

Ballard Berkeley 
Emma Richardson

Debbie Cumming (1)
Sally Baxter (2)
Karen Ascoe (3)
Peter Richardson
Philip Bird
Miss Denham 
Daphne Oxenford

Jill Trendle 
Liz Crowther
Giles Trendle 

Robin Kermode
Monsieur Dax 

Olivier Pierre
Marie -Christine
Victoria Baker
Chantal Moriac

Pamela Salem