1 9 8 7 – 1 9 9 3 (UK)
56 x 60 minute episodes
Set in Merseyside, Watching took its name from the bird-watching hobby enjoyed by its dithering lead couple, men’s outfitter Malcolm Stoneway (Paul Bown) and his sarcastic girlfriend, Brenda Wilson (Emma Wray).
Brenda lived in Liverpool with her sister, Pamela (Liza Tarbuck) and frequented the local boozer, The Grapes, where they “watched” the male talent and pondered their single lifestyle.
Malcolm – proud owner of a 1939 Norton 500 motorcycle and 1936 sidecar – lived across the Mersey, in the affluent district of Meols on the Wirral, with his mother (Patsy Byrne).
As the series progressed, Malcolm opened his own motorcycle repair shop, Brenda went to work as a barmaid at The Grapes for dopey landlord, Harold (Al T. Kossy) and Pamela married social climber David Lynch (John Bowler) and gave birth to two daughters, Sarah and Zelda.
Also introduced were Brenda’s potty mum (Noreen Kershaw) and her naval-minded child-genius brother who lived, regrettably for Malcolm’s snooty mum, in deprived Toxteth.
Unfortunately, Malcolm and Brenda’s relationship was seldom stable and there was much to-ing and fro-ing across the Mersey to their respective mothers’ homes as one tiff led to another. When this happened, they spent more time watching each other than watching birds.
During one period of ‘divorce’, Malcolm married Lucinda (Elizabeth Morton), a nurse from the Royal Hospital, but the marriage broke down (she became pregnant by Doctor Jonathan Macmillan) and he and Brenda were soon watching each other again.
The Mersey-crossed lovers eventually married in the final episode.
Al T. Kossy