1 9 9 4 (UK)
7 x 30 minute episodes
Upon the death of American corporate crook Harry Belasco, his widow Nancy (Felicity Kendal) and their thick 20-year-old son, Jake (Patrick McCollough) are left insolvent.
Much of Harry’s money was tied up in a trust fund in the UK supporting a Cambridge college, St Maud’s (pronounced “Mud’s”), because Harry was crazy about Cambridge.
Sensing an opportunity to play on the gratitude of the college, Nancy travels with Jake to England to inveigle themselves into St Maud’s.
Soon she has landed a job as assistant bursar, displaying a winning way with investments, and manages to get Jake enrolled in the college by exaggerating his rowing prowess.
Her guide down the unfamiliar byways of English academic life is the English professor Simon Latimer (Nigel Le Vaillant), while the master of the college is the batty Sir Dickie Hobhouse (Leslie Phillips).
Honey For Tea was a curiously old-fashioned sitcom that displayed a distinct 1920s feel with its stereotypical Americans (loud, forthright and money-obsessed) and English (uptight and introverted but well-mannered).
Despite the credentials of its cast and crew, the result was soulless and suffered badly from the miscasting of English rose Felicity Kendal in the central role. Fine actress though she is, she failed to convince as the tough American Nancy Belasco, a part that seemed designed for a harsher style, perhaps someone like Elaine Stritch – or, indeed, anyone American.
Professor Simon Latimer
Nigel Le Vaillant
Sir Dickie Hobhouse
Dr Basil Quinn
Cambridge | Strategy | Blackmail | Rent Strike | Crusade | Cleaning Lady | Surprise