Home Television Comedy As Time Goes By

As Time Goes By

1 9 9 2 – 1 9 9 7 (UK)
65 x 30 minute episodes

Geoffrey Palmer and Judi Dench starred as the romantic leads in this tale of rekindled love between middle-aged, middle-class Londoners.


Jean Pargetter (Dench) and Lionel Hardcastle (Palmer) had been two young lovers who had gone their separate ways – each mistakenly believing the other had broken off their youthful romance – and each married other people, only to rediscover each other nearly four decades later.

Jean, a nurse, and Lionel, a second lieutenant in the Middlesex Regiment, had met in Hyde Park, but when Lionel was posted to Korea a vital letter from Jean never reached him.

After 38 years, fate brought them together again when Lionel, now divorced, employed Jean’s secretarial agency (Type For You) to type up his book, My Life In Kenya, which described his career as a coffee planter in East Africa.

Jean’s husband, David, had died and she lived with her daughter, Judith, who one evening brought Lionel home after dinner, with obvious consequences. Also seen were Jean’s efficient secretary, Sandy, and Lionel’s pushy publisher, Alistair (who was also Judith’s boyfriend).

Jean and Lionel were married in the 1995 series. As Time Goes By was reworked into a comedy series for BBC Radio 2 in 1997.

A two-part reunion television special in 2005 wrapped up the story.

Jean Pargetter
Judi Dench
Lionel Hardcastle
Geoffrey Palmer
Judith Pargetter
Moira Brooker
Alistair Deacon
Philip Bretherton
Jenny Funnell
Rocky Hardcastle
Frank Middlemass
Madge Hardcastle
Joan Sims
Mrs Bale
Janet Henfrey