Home to Roost

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Home to Roost
Genre Sitcom
Created by Eric Chappell
Starring John Thaw
Reece Dinsdale
Country of origin United Kingdom
No. of series 4
No. of episodes 29
Executive producer(s) Vernon Lawrence
Running time 30 minutes
(including adverts)
Production company(s) Yorkshire Television
Distributor ITV Studios
Original channel ITV
Picture format 4:3
Original run 19 April 1985 (1985-04-19) – 19 January 1990 (1990-01-19)

Home to Roost is a British television sitcom produced by Yorkshire Television from 19 April 1985 to 19 January 1990. Written by Eric Chappell, it stars John Thaw as Henry Willows and Reece Dinsdale as his 18-year-old son Matthew.

The premise is that Henry Willows is forty-something, has been divorced from his wife for seven years, and is perfectly happy living alone in London. That is, until his youngest child, Matthew arrives to live with him, after being thrown out by his mother. The plots generally revolved around Henry's annoyance at having his solitude disturbed, and the age gap clash. Henry employed two cleaners throughout the show's life; first Enid Thompson, and, in the third season, Fiona Fennell.

The show's theme tune was Lionel Bart's "Consider Yourself" ("at home, consider yourself one of the family...") from Oliver!. It was arranged in a jazz style by Peter Knight.

The series was later repeated on Channel 4, and ITV3. All 29 episodes have now been released on DVD by Network DVD.

Main cast[edit]

  • Henry Willows – (John Thaw) Henry is a middle aged divorced man who lives by himself, however when his son, Matthew, turns up on his door step, expecting to be waited on hand and foot, his life is turned around for ever.
  • Matthew Willows – (Reece Dinsdale) Matthew is an eighteen-year-old who always gets himself into trouble, he is obsessed with girls and money.
  • Enid Thompson – (Elizabeth Bennett) Enid is Henry's first cleaner. She is nosey and appears to be attracted to Henry.
  • Fiona Fennell – (Joan Blackham) Fiona is Henry's second cleaner.
  • Julie Willows – (Rebecca Lacey) Julie is Henry's daughter and Matthew's sister. Despite living with her mother after her parent's divorce she appears to be a daddy's girl.

Episode list[edit]

Series 1[edit]

First transmitted: 19 April – 31 May 1985

  • A new life

Henry's bachelor lifestyle is turned upside down when his son Matthew asks to stay.

  • Bad apples

Henry must find a new school for Matthew.

  • All you need is love

Matthew's first girlfriend leaves a trail of suspicions in her wake.

  • Suspect

Henry is far from happy when the return of his next door neighbour turns into a competition to win Matthew's affection.

  • Dating Henry?

Henry is acting very strange and Matthew sets out to find out why.

  • Small change

Matthew is desperate for money but Henry won't give him any so he is forced to get a job.

  • The way we were

It's Henry's wedding anniversary so he goes to the club to drown his sorrows, while he is out, an old face from the past arrives at the Willows.

Series 2[edit]

First transmitted: 5 September – 17 October 1986

  • Protest

Henry and Matthew's relationship is strained when Matthew becomes an animal rights activist and a vegetarian.

  • Open house

Matthew throws a party whilst Henry is away, but when Henry suddenly returns, he joins in the festivities rather than putting a stop to them.

  • Plastic dreamworld

Matthew inherits a large sum of money but struggles to keep it.

  • Acting out

Matthew becomes an actor much to the anger of Henry.

  • The test

Henry reluctantly teaches Matthew how to drive.

  • Any questions?

Henry is standing for councillor as an Independent, but can he convince first time voter Matthew and Conservative Enid to vote for him?

  • Julie

Henry's daughter and Matthew's sister Julie comes to stay, but Henry and Matthew discover that three is a crowd.

Series 3[edit]

First transmitted: 24 October – 5 December 1987

  • Human interest

Henry and Matthew search for a new cleaning lady.

  • Success story

Henry's brother comes to stay and Henry finds himself no longer wanted.

  • High spirits

Matthew becomes obsessed with ghosts.

  • The real thing

Henry and Matthew go on the pull together with disastrous results.

  • Crimewatch

Henry becomes paranoid about security and joins the neighbourhood watch.

  • Getting on?!

A visit to the hospital urges Matthew to adopt a homeless old man.

  • Paper chase

Matthew sits his exams, but can he resist his friend's offer of cheating.


First transmitted: 27 December 1987

  • Family ties

Henry's hopes of a quiet Christmas are dashed when his kids turn up.

Series 4[edit]

First transmitted: 1 December 1989 – 19 January 1990

  • Bridge of sighs

A blast from the past sets Henry thinking of romance.

  • Front runner

Henry suggests Matthew gets a job in order to pay for his college fees.

  • The boyfriend

Henry quickly takes a dislike to Julie's new boyfriend.

  • Thought for the day

Henry takes in a lodger which turns into a disaster for Matthew.

  • Return to Clagthorpe

Henry and Matthew go to Clagthorpe for a holiday.

  • High noon

Matthew finds himself in a boxing championship.

  • Leaving

Matthew is leaving for college. Will Henry's life ever be the same again?

Foreign versions[edit]

  • The US version, You Again?, was less successful and lasted two seasons. Elizabeth Bennett reprised the role of Enid in the show.
  • The Dutch version, Ha die Pa, ran from 1990 to 1993 and was broadcast by NCRV. The main characters, Norbert and Matthijs Hogendijk, were played by Luc and Joris Lutz. Keeping it in the family, Pieter Lutz (in 2009, the last of the three acting Lutz brothers) guested as the homeless old man in the adaptation of the 'Getting on' episode. Matthijs' sister Freddie was played by Bettina Berger.

External links[edit]