1 9 8 9 – 1 9 9 4 (UK)
1 9 9 7 – 1 9 9 8 (UK)
102 x 30 minute episodes
Birds of a Feather began on 16 October 1989 and featured adopted sisters Sharon (Pauline Quirke) and Tracey (Linda Robson). Tracey had clearly done better for herself than Sharon and had a £750,000 neo-Georgian home called ‘Dalentrace’ in Bryan Close, in the upmarket Essex suburb of Chigwell.
What Tracey didn’t realise was that her childhood sweetheart, Darryl, was paying for all this with the proceeds of crime. All was revealed when he and Sharon’s dim Greek husband Chris were arrested for armed robbery and sentenced to 12 years in Maidstone prison.
After the arrest of their husbands, Sharon left her Edmonton tower block and moved in with Tracey.
The sisters’ lives were regularly spiced up by Dorien Green, the snooty, Jewish man-eating next-door neighbour, who enjoyed a succession of toyboys in the absence of her accountant husband, Marcus who, she bemoaned, had been impotent since the 1987 stock market crash.
Dorien’s great rival on the local social scene was Melanie Fishman.
After a two-and-a-half-year hiatus, Birds Of A Feather returned to the screen in 1997, picking up the story at the point where the two husbands were (temporarily) released from prison.
David Cardy returned to play the part of Chris, while Doug McFerran succeeded Alun Lewis as Darryl. The house in Chigwell had to go to make ends meet and the girls were forced to move to more humble accommodation in Hainault.
Dorien also faced a new future. Marcus it seemed, had been sharing his life with another wife and a son, and Dorien, too, had to move down-market to Hainault.
In even later episodes the girls founded their own cleaning company, Maids of Ongar.
An American version of the series – called Stand By Your Man and starring Rosie O’Donnell – was made in 1992. It featured characters named Rochelle Dunphy, Lorraine Popowski and Adrienne Stone, and was not a great success.
Birds of a Feather ran until 1998, attracting audiences as high as 20 million. After a successful run on the stage, the show returned to the small screen on ITV in 2014.
David Cardy (1)
Peter Polycarpou (2)
Alun Lewis (1)
Doug McFerran (2)
Simon Nash (1)
Matthew Savage (2)
Nickolas Grace (1)
Stephen Greif (2)