Bless This House (UK TV series)

UK sitcom
Bless This House
Bless This House Titles (Series 1-3).jpg
Bless this House titles as used in the first three series.
Genre Sitcom
Created by Vince Powell
Harry Driver
Starring Sidney James
Diana Coupland
Robin Stewart
Sally Geeson
Anthony Jackson
Patsy Rowlands
Country of origin United Kingdom
No. of series 6
No. of episodes 65
Production
Producer(s) William G. Stewart
Running time 30 minutes
(including commercials)
Production company(s) Thames Television
Distributor Fremantle Media
Release
Original network ITV
Picture format 4:3
Original release 2 February 1971 (1971-02-02) – 22 April 1976 (1976-04-22)

Bless This House is a British sitcom that aired on ITV from 2 February 1971 to 22 April 1976. Starring Sid James and Diana Coupland, it was created by Vince Powell and Harry Driver, but mainly written by other hands including Dave Freeman and Carla Lane. It was made for the ITV network by Thames Television. In 2004, Bless This House came 67th in Britain's best sitcom.

Contents

ProductionEdit

The show was produced & directed by William G. Stewart, later the host of the 15 to 1 gameshow, and had theme music written by Geoff Love. A comic strip version was also produced, written by Angus Allan and printed in TV comic Look-in. The first seven episodes were made in black-and-white due to industrial action.

The series came to an abrupt end in 1976, when just four days after broadcast of the final episode of the sixth series, Sid James collapsed on stage at the Sunderland Empire during a performance of The Mating Season after failing to respond to a cue. James had suffered a heart attack and died later on the way to the hospital.

Plans were in place for a 7th and an 8th series and a second feature film at time of James' death. In an ironic twist of fate, James had told his co-star Diana Coupland, "We'll keep making this until one of us kicks the bucket."

CastEdit

Sid Abbott is Jean Abbott's husband and a Chelsea F.C. fan. He likes to believe he is in control of his household, but finds he has to sneak out to go to the Football or the pub. He often tries to avoid occasions he doesn't want to attend, but this often backfires on him.

Sid's wife, who believes she can talk him into or out of anything. She always knows what he's up to and sees through his schemes.

Jean and Sid's son, their firstborn. He is an artist but he always avoids employment because "it's a drag."

Jean and Sid's daughter, Mike's little sister. Sid and Jean constantly worry about her relationships with "boys." She calls Sid "Daddy" and Jean "Mummy."

The Abbotts' next-door neighbour; Sid's best friend.

Trevor's wife and Jean's best friend. Jean and Betty usually gang up on their husbands if they don't do the right things.

PlotEdit

Bless This House centres on life in Howard Road, Putney, where travelling stationery salesman Sid Abbott (note: the spelling of their surname varies; the opening credits of early series one episodes spell it "Abbot" while in the closing credits it is spelt "Abbott") and his wife Jean live with their teenagers: Mike is fresh from art college and more pre-occupied with protests than finding a job; and trendy schoolgirl Sally. Sally is 16 at the series' start, and Mike is 18. Sid and Jean constantly battle to comprehend the new generation's permissive ways and are usually out-of-touch. Their neighbours and best friends are Trevor and his wife Betty.

EpisodesEdit

Series one (1971)Edit

No.
overall
No. in
series
Title Written by Original air date
1 1 "The Generation Gap" Harry Driver and Vince Powell 2 February 1971 (1971-02-02)
Sid Abbott is a family man whose two teenage children are growing up in a world whose values and attitudes he doesn't understand.
2 2 "Mum's the Word" Carla Lane and Myra Taylor 9 February 1971 (1971-02-09)
It wasn't that Sid was eavesdropping—the trouble was, he only heard half the conversation and put two and two together to make five...
3 3 "Father's Day" Harry Driver and Vince Powell 16 February 1971 (1971-02-16)
The best-laid plans of mice and men (and women) sometimes go astray, which Jean should have known when she planned a surprise for Sid!
4 4 "Be It Ever So Humble" Carla Lane and Myra Taylor 23 February 1971 (1971-02-23)
Sid gets more than he bargained for when he tells Mike to 'get a job' and 'spread his wings'.
5 5 "Another Fine Mess" not credited 2 March 1971 (1971-03-02)
Sally and Mike try to persuade Sid to be honest to Jean, but Sid decides there's a time and a place to be honest—and now's not the time or the place!
6 6 "For Whom the Bells Toll" Harry Driver and Vince Powell 9 March 1971 (1971-03-09)
When a young couple marry, the groom's family have a 'do' on the house. But if the youngsters go off, Sid misses out—something he's not happy about!
7 7 "A Woman's Place" Carla Lane and Myra Taylor 16 March 1971 (1971-03-16)
Sid is convinced that a woman's place is in the home—or more precisely, "in the kitchen, facing the sink". Jean feels otherwise.
8 8 "The Day of Rest" Dave Freeman 23 March 1971 (1971-03-23)
Young Mike Abbott's latest piece of modern sculpture causes trouble when new neighbours move in next door...
9 9 "Make Love, Not War" Carla Lane and Myra Taylor 30 March 1971 (1971-03-30)
It all started with Sid trying to listen to Tchaikovsky. That is soon interrupted by a visitor from next door...
10 10 "Charity Begins at Home" Derek Collyer and David Commimg 6 April 1971 (1971-04-06)
Sid's Saturday lie-in, and lazy weekend "with a big Sunday lunch and lots of telly" is doomed from the start with a myriad of interruptions.
11 11 "If the Dog Collar Fits, Wear It" Carla Lane and Myra Taylor 13 April 1971 (1971-04-13)
When Sally, in do-gooder mode, provides Fred with shelter, Sid thinks it is time to ignore big pleading eyes - Sally's and Fred's - and be master in his own home.
12 12 "The Morning After the Night Before" Carla Lane and Myra Taylor 20 April 1971 (1971-04-20)
It may well have been 30 years since Sid left the boy scouts but the annual get-together is always a night to remember!

Series two (1972)Edit

No.
overall
No. in
series
Title Written by Original air date
13 1 "Two Heads Are Better than One" Carla Lane and Myra Taylor 21 February 1972 (1972-02-21)
Something is missing from Sid’s garden, and he'll have suspicions as to who is responsible...
14 2 "Love Me, Love My Tree" Carla Lane and Myra Taylor 28 February 1972 (1972-02-28)
Sid’s problems start when the family returns from holiday. Apart from having nothing to wear, everything seems as it was before they left - or is it?
15 3 "It's All in the Mind" Harry Driver and Vince Powell 6 March 1972 (1972-03-06)
It doesn’t often happen that Sid is able to get home from work early, but when he can, he does - and this time, if doesn’t do him much good!
16 4 "Another Lost Weekend" Carla Lane and Myra Taylor 13 March 1972 (1972-03-13)
Of course, Sid doesn’t have to ask Jean if he can go fishing for the weekend. But Jean expects Sid to be home - after all, Sid never plans anything without consulting her.
17 5 "Parents Should Be Seen and Not Heard" Carla Lane and Myra Taylor 20 March 1972 (1972-03-20)
When Sid gets home after a hard day’s work, he’s perfectly right in expecting his dinner to be waiting for him - but circumstances dictate otherwise...
18 6 "Strangers in the Night" Harry Driver and Vince Powell 27 March 1972 (1972-03-27)
Sid and Jean’s reminiscences of what happened fast after the war make "The naked flesh" seem like the epilogue...
19 7 "Get Me to the Match on Time" Carla Lane and Myra Taylor 10 April 1972 (1972-04-10)
Sid’s plans for Saturday afternoon do not include Jean’s sister; and if she can’t make arrangements to fit in then, the only course for Sid is to take to his bed - dangerously ill.
20 8 "Wives and Lovers" Carla Lane and Myra Taylor 17 April 1972 (1972-04-17)
If Jean hadn’t started checking up on Sid, because he was late home for supper, then, she wouldn’t have discovered that he had a date the following evening...
21 9 "Never Again on Sunday" Harry Driver and Vince Powell 24 April 1972 (1972-04-24)
It’s not often that Sid agrees with Jean about anything, and when he does, it'll usually take her by surprise and ends in disaster...
22 10 "People in Glass Houses" Carla Lane 1 May 1972 (1972-05-01)
It'll come as quite a surprise to Sid to discover that Mike would rather not have a gold watch for his birthday - but what he wants instead comes as an even bigger surprise!
23 11 "A Rolls by Any Other Name" Harry Driver and Vince Powell 8 May 1972 (1972-05-08)
Sid waits in trepidation when he finds out that Mr. Marshall, his boss, is coming round as Saturday morning. Of course, nothing goes to plan...
24 12 "A Touch of the Unknown" Dave Freeman 15 May 1972 (1972-05-15)
Sid’s problems start when Betty brings something into the house. Mike also brings something into the house and things get worse!

Series three (1973)Edit

No.
overall
No. in
series
Title Written by Original air date
25 1 "It comes to us all in the end!" Harry Driver and Vince Powell 22 January 1973 (1973-01-22)
The Abbotts have to cope with a death in the family...
26 2 "Tea for two and four for tea" Carla Lane and Myra Taylor 5 February 1973 (1973-02-05)
Mike goes off his food, takes to wearing a collar and tie, and is reluctant to say where he disappears to every evening...
27 3 "To tell or not to tell?" Carla Lane 12 February 1973 (1973-02-12)
It is not that Sid and Jean are actually spying, but when they do happen to notice something going on next door, they can’t ignore it, can they?
28 4 "Blood is thicker than water!" Dave Freeman 19 February 1973 (1973-02-19)
Most families have a skeleton in the cupboard, sad Sid’s skeleton has been hidden away for forty years...
29 5 "One good turn deserves a bother!" Carla Lane and Myra Taylor 26 February 1973 (1973-02-26)
When Sid’s boss goes on holiday. Sid takes it upon himself to guard the ‘goodies’, and the family are not too happy to stand guard on rota!
30 6 "The loneliness of the short distance walker" Carla Lane 5 March 1973 (1973-03-05)
It’s not that Sid is out of condition, it’s just that fridges are getting heavier these days...
31 7 "Watch the birdie!" Dave Freeman 12 March 1973 (1973-03-12)
When Mike has a brilliant idea it usually costs Sid money. But when it only involves the grotty old garage, then, Sid can be persuaded.
32 8 "Atishoo! atishoo! we all fall down!" Carla Lane 30 April 1973 (1973-04-30)
Jean going down with flu one thing, Sally is another, and Mike is another - but Sid can still cope. Then, Betty gets pregnant twinges...
33 9 "Entente not so cordiale?" Harry Driver and Vince Powell 7 May 1973 (1973-05-07)
Most soldiers left their hearts in Parts, but not Sid. But when Sid and Jean spend a weekend in Paris, they'll discover that the entente is not so cordiale!
34 10 "Will the real Sid Abbott please stand up?" Harry Driver and Vince Powell 14 May 1973 (1973-05-14)
Jean finds out that Sexy Sandra is what makes a shriveled-up old prune with a wire brush on top turn into Putney’s oldest teeny bopper!
35 11 "I'm not jealous, I'll kill him!" Carla Lane and Myra Taylor 21 May 1973 (1973-05-21)
When an old flame rekindles warmth in Jean’s heart, Sid begins to burn. It really is not as though he in jealous. Then, Betty opens her mouth...
36 12 "A girl's worst friend is her father" Harry Driver and Vince Powell 28 May 1973 (1973-05-28)
If Sid had not interfered in the first place, then, Sally would not believe that there are times when a girl’s worst friend is her father.

Series four (1974)Edit

No.
overall
No. in
series
Title Written by Original air date
37 1 "Money is the root of..." Carla Lane 20 February 1974 (1974-02-20)
Someone is trying to track down Sid from an incident in 1942. Whatever he did, someone obviously enjoyed it enough to remember him in her will...
38 2 "And they will come home!" Carla Lane 27 February 1974 (1974-02-27)
The trouble starts when Sally sad Mike go into business buying and selling old junk. Sid puts up with it until one big thing arrives in his garden...
39 3 "Who's minding the baby?" Carla Lane 20 March 1974 (1974-03-20)
When Betty from next door pops in to ask a little favour, Sid is not at all keen - but Jean insists that they are friends and encourages her.
40 4 "A beef in his bonnet" Dave Freeman 27 March 1974 (1974-03-27)
When Mike and Sally bring home something that has ‘fallen off the back of a lorry’, Sid warns them about mixing with villains like ‘Fingers’ Toplock.
41 5 "The bells are ringing!" Harry Driver and Vince Powell 3 April 1974 (1974-04-03)
Sid’s overjoyed at Mike marrying into a wealthy family but when another close tie between the two families is announced, Sid takes a different view...
42 6 "The first 25 years are the worst" Dave Freeman 10 April 1974 (1974-04-10)
Sid discovers the phone is ‘missing’, but in the Abbott home, there is a simple explanation - Sally and Mike have ‘borrowed it’!

Series five (1974)Edit

No.
overall
No. in
series
Title Written by Original air date
43 1 "They don't write songs like that anymore!" Bernie Sharp 14 October 1974 (1974-10-14)
Sid finds that the generation gap gets wider and his attempts to get into the pop scene lead hint to all sorts of problems...
44 2 "The gipsy's warning" Jon Watkins 21 October 1974 (1974-10-21)
The trouble studs with Sid’s morning paper - Jean wants to read her horoscope. Not that she really believes it - unless it turns out right...
45 3 "The biggest woodworm in the world" Dave Freeman 28 October 1974 (1974-10-28)
Sid doesn’t really mind Mike’s dancer girlfriend staying for a few days. The trouble is that Mike doesn’t explain what sort of a dancer she is...
46 4 "Home tweet home" Brian Platt 4 November 1974 (1974-11-04)
Mike and Sally have a scheme for raising holiday money. Things might have gone smoothly hadn't Trevor seen the chance of earning same too!
47 5 "You're never too old to be young" Carla Lane 11 November 1974 (1974-11-11)
Most marriages have their tricky period but Sid is shocked when Jean announces that she wants a lover!
48 6 "The policeman, the paint and the pirates" Carla Lane 18 November 1974 (1974-11-18)
Sid’s efforts to avoid ‘The pirates of Penzance’ lead him into trouble with a pot of paint and a policeman. Then, Trevor brings in the Japanese...
49 7 "Happy birthday, Sid!" George Evans and Lawrie Wyman 25 November 1974 (1974-11-25)
What should a husband do if his family give him a birthday present that he can’t use..?
50 8 "Freedom is..." Carla Lane 2 December 1974 (1974-12-02)
Sid doesn’t like the idea of Sally and Mike befriending a tramp. He likes it even less when Sally brings him home and everyone takes the tramp’s side.
51 9 "Mr. Chairman..." Adele Rose 9 December 1974 (1974-12-09)
Disenchanted with the local residents association, Sid leads a revolt against the Chairman. Then, Trevor takes things one step too far...
52 10 "And afterwards at..." B. C. Cummins and Mike Sharland 16 December 1974 (1974-12-16)
Like most men who can’t stand family weddings, Sid puts up with them us long us there’s a booze-up. Surely, nothing can go wrong..?

Series six (1976)Edit

No.
overall
No. in
series
Title Written by Original air date
53 1 "The frozen limit" Dave Freeman 29 January 1976 (1976-01-29)
Sid gets into situations with a second-hand deep freeze and Betty’s fox fur.
54 2 "Beautiful dreamer" Jon Watkins 5 February 1976 (1976-02-05)
Sid’s dreams come back to haunt him when he has a vision of a "frozen lady shivering in the snow".
55 3 "Fish with everything" Jon Watkins 12 February 1976 (1976-02-12)
Sid has been feeling a bit off colour and the doctor suggests that he needs.
56 4 "The naked paperhanger" Dave Freeman 19 February 1976 (1976-02-19)
When Mike moves into a flat of his own, Jean decides that his room needs decorating.
57 5 "Remember me?" Jon Watkins 26 February 1976 (1976-02-26)
Sid’s sponging family are anxious to share in his bonus and commission.
58 6 "Something of value" Bernie Sharp 4 March 1976 (1976-03-04)
When Sid’s Uncle Percy dies, he leaves Sid two large packing cases and a small brown parcel...
59 7 "Men of consequence" Carla Lane 11 March 1976 (1976-03-11)
Sid’s beauty sleep is interrupted by a midnight intruder!
60 8 "Skin deep" Jon Watkins 18 March 1976 (1976-03-18)
Sid’s temporary promotion involves him going to Birmingham for a few days. Jean begins to have doubts.
61 9 "Friends and neighbours" Jon Watkins 25 March 1976 (1976-03-25)
Sid arrives home to find Jean worried about noises from next door. Jean sends him to investigate.
62 10 "Well, well, well..." Bernie Sharp 1 April 1976 (1976-04-01)
A damp patch on the living-room carpet doesn’t bother Sid - until he takes the skirting board off.
63 11 "The phantom pools winner" Dave Freeman 8 April 1976 (1976-04-08)
Sid wins a large export order, but Jean’s plan for Mike to take a photograph of him for the local paper goes wrong.
64 12 "A matter of principle" Jon Watkins 15 April 1976 (1976-04-15)
Sid discovers where the money for his birthday party has come from, and he won’t like it!
65 13 "Some enchanted evening!" Jon Watkins 22 April 1976 (1976-04-22)
When Sid discovers why Jean is sulking and Sally and Mike won’t talk to him, he goes to the pub.

FilmEdit

A film version of the TV series was made in 1972. While it still starred Diana Coupland and Sid James as the Abbotts, Robin Askwith, who had previously appeared in the TV series, played Mike instead of TV series regular Robin Stewart due to the latter being unable to find time to appear in the film, having already been booked for the summer season on Bournemouth Pier. In addition, it featured "new" neighbours played by Terry Scott and June Whitfield. The part of Trevor was also recast with Peter Butterworth replacing Jackson. All the original actors returned for series three. Additionally, Mike gets married at the end of the film; this had no effect on the storylines in the television series.

Home mediaEdit

 
Cover of complete third series DVD

All six series of Bless This House have been released on DVD in the UK including a Box Set containing all six series plus the feature film through Network. In Australia, Series 1[1] was released on 2 April 2009, Series 2[2] on 3 October 2012 and Series 3[3] on 6 March 2013. A Complete Series 1-6 Box Set[4] is due for release 6 November 2013.

DVD Release date
The complete series 1
24 October 2005
The complete series 2
30 January 2006
The complete series 3
17 April 2006
The complete series 4
10 July 2006
The complete series 5
22 January 2007
The complete series 6
30 April 2007
The complete series 1 to 6 box set
2 February 2009

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ [1][dead link]
  2. ^ "Buy Bless This House: Series 2 on DVD-Video from". EzyDVD.com.au. 2013-04-22. Retrieved 2014-03-12. 
  3. ^ "Buy Bless This House: Series 3 on DVD-Video from". EzyDVD.com.au. 2013-04-22. Retrieved 2014-03-12. 
  4. ^ "Buy Bless This House: Series 1-6 on DVD-Video from". EzyDVD.com.au. 2013-04-22. Retrieved 2014-03-12. 

External linksEdit