1 9 8 2 (UK)
7 x 30 minute episodes
This Granada production introduced Stratford Johns (in his first comedy series) as Lord Mountainash, a Welsh trade union leader elevated to the peerage.
He buys the Duke of Runnymeade’s castle and adjoining 4,000-acre estate as an investment for the pension fund of the Confederation of Shop Stewards and Allied Workers (COSSAW).
He moves to live in the castle with his daughter Annie (Lyndon Hughes) and discovers to his horror, that he has also acquired the Duke’s butler, Wordsworth (Moray Watson), along with the property.
If having a butler is distasteful to Mountainash, having a trade union as a landlord is even more distasteful to Ursula, Lady Thaxted (Wanda Ventham), who lives in a cottage on the estate and takes a dim view of unions and their members.
Carol Macready costarred as the union’s militant General Secretary, Elizabeth Steel – known as “Red Betty”.
The series was written by Eric Paice, himself a trade union leader as President of the TUC-affiliated Writers Guild.
Ursula, Lady Thaxted
Elizabeth Steel (“Red Betty”)