1 9 9 7 (UK)
6 x 30 minute episodes
Set in the late 1940s, the central character is 20-year-old Roy Osborne (Matthew Cottle), a young man struck with tuberculosis who is forced to endure a long stay in a sanatorium.
His new roommate is the brash, streetwise but selfish mummy’s boy Brian Clapton (Eddie Marsan), who uses visits from his long-suffering mother (Patsy Rowlands) to receive food parcels.
Roy’s brassy, chain-smoking mother, Ivy (Anita Dobson) occasionally visits, only due to the fact that she receives free lifts from the smooth-talking Bernard Walpole (Neil Stacy), whose wife is also in the sanatorium and who is besotted with Ivy.
Other regular characters included Mrs Howell (Samantha Beckinsale), who develops a crush on Roy after her husband dies (and Roy inherits his bed!); the well-intentioned hospital chaplain (Michael Troughton) who encourages the patients to punch atheists and socialists on the nose; the snidey Norman Tucker (Hugh Bonneville), and the deranged former flying ace Squadron Leader Fielding (Robert Bathurst).
Writer Ray Galton based the characters of Osborne and Clapton loosely on himself and his professional partner Alan Simpson (the two comedy writers first met in 1948 at the Milford Sanatorium, near Godalming in Surrey).
Squadron Leader Fielding
Mrs Ivy Osborne
Mr Bernard Walpole
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