Home Television Comedy Brittas Empire, The

Brittas Empire, The

1 9 9 1 – 1 9 9 7 (UK)
53 x 30 minute episodes

Chris Barrie starred as the annoying, pedantic, anally-retentive, incompetent and accident-prone leisure centre manager Gordon Brittas in this 1990s classic.

The ineffectual staff of the duller-than-dull Whitbury Leisure Centre were plunged weekly into bizarre and outrageous plots.

Possessed by the jinx-touch, every improvement the pompous, over-zealous Brittas planned for his personal fiefdom ended in comic disaster, usually of epic proportions.


In one episode – ‘The Assassin’ – his misguided endeavours filled an entire hospital Intensive Care Unit, which – as his neurotic, pill-popping wife Helen (Pippa Haywood) was obliged to point out – was “a good score, even for Gordon!”

Those working under Brittas included sensible assistant Laura (Julia St John); tearful and permanently apologetic receptionist Carole (Harriet Thorpe) – who kept her children in a cupboard behind her desk because she couldn’t get childcare; incompetent (and pustulous) Geordie maintenance man Colin Weatherby (Michael Burns); secretary Julie (Judy Flynn); and the fitness and sports coaches, Tim (Russell Porter), Gavin (Tim Marriott) and Linda (Jill Greenacre).

Gavin and Tim were a gay couple but kept their relationship secret from Brittas.

Despite his mega-bumbling, Brittas was, at one point, appointed European Commissioner for Sport, before returning to the Leisure Centre (motto: Semper Omnibus Facultas) for more mayhem. A new arrival at the centre was Penny (Anouschka Menzies), boss of the privatised sauna/solarium.

A spin-off series, Get Fit With Brittas was released in 1997.

Gordon Brittas
Chris Barrie
Helen Brittas
Pippa Haywood
Laura Lancing
Julia St John
Carole Parkinson
Harriet Thorpe
Colin Weatherby
Michael Burns
Tim Whistler
Russell Porter
Linda Perkins
Jill Greenacre
Gavin Featherleigh
Tim Marriott
Judy Flynn
Andree Bernard
Penny Bidmead
Anouschka Menzies