1 9 7 9 – 1 9 8 3 (UK)
20 x 30 minute episodes
Dad’s Army veteran Arthur Lowe returned to the BBC in Potter, a new comedy series which debuted on Thursday 1 March 1979. The series was written by Roy Clarke, author of Last of the Summer Wine and Rosie.
For many years the head of the family sweet film Pottermints (“the hotter mints”), the first episode showed Redvers Potter on his last morning at his sweet factory for a final look round at his previous life before plunging into retirement with the same brisk determination that he brought to his work.
He was a man used to being obeyed, authoritative and decisive. Trundling through life like a small but implacable tank, impervious to other people’s needs, thoughts or even words, he found satisfaction in a gratuitous interference in everything around him.
Potter was totally self-absorbed, organising everyone and everything around him, and completely ignorant of any reaction to his actions, living in a sort of self-satisfied isolation.
Potter’s wife, Aileen (Noel Dyson) – who defiantly wishes to be called Madge – conducted a kind of sotto voce rebellion antiphonally with her husband’s didactic pronouncements. Obviously appalled at the idea of having Potter at home all day (in sickness and in health but not for lunch), she took to consuming vodka (since she hated the taste of drink) from the water jug with steady determination.
Sadly, Arthur Lowe died as filming was about to start on the third series. He had completed a live televised interview on Pebble Mill at One on 14 April 1982, and just after 6.00 pm, he collapsed from the onset of a stroke while reading a book in his dressing room at the Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham. He was taken, unconscious, to Birmingham General Hospital, where he died at about 5.00 am.
Robin Bailey took over the role of Redvers Potter for the final seven episodes.
Arthur Lowe (1)
Robin Bailey (2)