Home Television Comedy You Must Be The Husband

You Must Be The Husband

1 9 8 7 – 1 9 8 8
13 x 30 minute episodes

A BBC sitcom with an intriguing premise, looking at the pressures put upon one spouse by the sudden financial success of the other.

Former Goodies star Tim Brooke-Taylor was cast as Tom Hammond, who has motored along nicely for 20 years with his wife Alice (Diane Keen). They have twin 18-year-old children and a moderate but comfortable lifestyle.

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A budding writer, Alice suddenly achieves success when her sexy blockbuster novel becomes a best-seller.

In a moment, it seems, the Hammonds are very wealthy, but this financial influx has a pronounced downside – While Tom is thrilled for and proud of his wife and her new-found success, his role in the marriage changes; he is suddenly a bit-part player in her success story, a spectator on the sidelines as she rides the roller coaster to fame and fortune.

To exacerbate matters, Alice’s literary agent, Miranda (Sheila Steafel) is a hard-bitten husband-hater who regards Tom as a millstone around her protégé’s neck. She urges Alice to move on to ‘better things’.

Alice’s meteoric rise also pulls Tom’s career in bathroom fittings sharply into focus – it seemed fine beforehand, but now he realises that it is going nowhere and he is filled with a sense of hopelessness, unassuaged by his boss Gerald (Garfield Morgan) – a man obsessed with cisterns and s-bends.

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All these factors sit alongside an even greater concern that dogs Tim’s consciousness: where did his wife get the inspiration for her steamy sex scenes? Did she do research? And if so, with whom?

You Must Be The Husband was a good idea that didn’t quite gel, despite the reliable casting.

The basic theme, although sharp, never quite developed over the episodes, with Tom caught in a trap of perpetually fearing that his wife was conducting an affair, despite evidence to the contrary and Alice’s attempts to convince him that she still loved him.

Tom Hammond
Tim Brooke-Taylor
Alice Hammond

Diane Keen
Miranda Shaw

Sheila Steafel
Gerald

Garfield Morgan
Pat
Brian Hall
Don
Michael Stainton