The Grove Family
The Grove Family was a British television series soap opera, generally regarded as the first of its kind broadcast in the UK, made and broadcast by the BBC Television Service from 1954 to 1957. The series concerned the life of the family of the title, who were named after the BBC's Lime Grove Studios where the programme was made.
|The Grove Family|
|Created by||Roland & Michael Pertwee|
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of series||1|
|No. of episodes||147|
|Running time||30 minutes|
|Original release||9 April 1954 –|
28 June 1957
The programme was written by Roland and Michael Pertwee, the father and elder brother respectively of actor Jon Pertwee. As was common for British television at the time, the series was broadcast live and very few episodes survive in the archives: only three of the original 148 episodes. One of the few surviving shows was transmitted on BBC Four during 2004. A movie version produced during 1955 by the Butchers company, written by the Pertwees and featuring the television cast, exists as an example of the series. The movie was titled It's a Great Day, and shown on the Talking Pictures TV channel in July 2017. During 1954, The Grove Family was viewed by almost a quarter of British people with a television.
The show was reportedly brought to an end when, after three years' writing, the Pertwees request for a break was refused by the BBC, with the Corporation preferring to cancel the popular series altogether.
Peter Bryant, who featured as Jack Grove, later became a script editor and producer of the BBC science fiction series Doctor Who. Christopher Beeny, who plays a teenager in this show, later featured in the series Upstairs, Downstairs (1971–75), and actress Ruth Dunning (Gladys Grove) later won a BAFTA award for her work on Armchair Theatre.
During 1991, during a special day of programming on BBC2 to commemorate the closing of Lime Grove, a new edition of the programme was shown: a modern production of one of the original scripts with the roles filled by popular television soap opera actors of the time including Leslie Grantham, Anna Wing, Sue Johnston, Nick Berry, Sally Ann Matthews as well as Paul Parris and Kellie Bright.