In Loving Memory (TV series)
|In Loving Memory|
Thora Hird and Christopher Beeny
|Created by||Dick Sharples|
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of series||5|
|No. of episodes||37|
|Producer(s)||Thames Television (TV pilot), Yorkshire Television (TV series)|
|Running time||25 minutes|
|Original run||4 November 1969
21 May 1979 – 3 April 1986
In Loving Memory is a British period sitcom set in an undertakers business that starred Thora Hird and Christopher Beeny. A pilot was transmitted in 1969 by Thames Television who rejected the idea before it was finally accepted by Yorkshire Television in 1979 where it further ran for five series between until 1986.
The year is 1929 and in the opening episode Jeremiah Unsworth (Freddie Jones), the proprietor of the undertakers, dies. This leaves his widow Ivy (Thora Hird) and gormless nephew Billy (Christopher Beeny) to take over the business.
As might be expected, the accident-prone Ivy and Billy have numerous mishaps, and hardly a funeral goes by without something untoward occurring.
The setting for the show is the fictional Yorkshire town of Oldshaw during the 1930s. The writer Dick Sharples chose this period as this was the time when undertakers were switching from horse drawn hearses to mechanical ones.
- The pilot for the show aired on 4 November 1969 as part of a series of six one-off situation-comedies. The producers, Thames Television elected not to take the series any further. It was almost ten years later when fellow ITV company Yorkshire Television commissioned a series.
- Both Bramham and Luddenden, West Yorkshire was where the location shooting took place.
- The theme music, entitled 'Comedy Close Up No.2' by Herbert Chappell, was supplied by De Wolfe Music film and television music library.
- Syd Little, in one episode, played a doubting neighbour character who once heard a sheep say, "hello".
- That's Your Funeral was a BBC Television sitcom based on a similar premise, but it only lasted for one series.
- Dame Thora Hird and Dick Sharples worked together on another ITV comedy series, Hallelujah!, which was also produced by Yorkshire Television and ran from 1981 to 1984 concurrently with In Loving Memory.
- RIP, a 1992 TV show produced by the Belgian BRT, borrowed many of its early screenplays directly from In Loving Memory.
- Dick Sharples followed In Loving Memory with another sitcom (also produced by Yorkshire Television): Farrington of the F.O.. It starred Angela Thorne and Joan Sims (the latter of whom had appeared in several episodes of In Loving Memory in various roles, including that of a rival undertaker.
- Richard Wilson, famous for his role as Victor Meldrew in the sitcom One Foot in the Grave, appeared in two episodes of the programme as the rival undertaker, Percy Openshaw. This was the same year he began his role as Dr Thorpe in Only When I Laugh.
The theme tune is 'Comedy Close-Up No.2' by Herbert Chappell.
(1 x 25 min) 4 November 1969 · Tues 8.30pm
(7 x 25 min) 21 May - 2 July 1979 · Mon mostly 8pm
(7 x 25 min) 3 November - 15 December 1980 · Mon 8pm
(7 x 25 min) 12 October - 23 November 1982 · Tue 8.30pm
(1 x 25 Min) 24 December 1982 · Fri 8pm
(7 x 25 min) 16 January - 27 February 1984 · Mon 8pm
(7 x 25 min) 20 February - 3 April 1986 · Thu 9pm
All five series (including the 1982 Christmas special) of In Loving Memory have now been released on DVD by Network. A 5-disc set of the complete series has also been released.
|The Complete Series 1||1979||18 February 2009|
|The Complete Series 2||1980||6 July 2009|
|The Complete Series 3 Plus Special||1982||5 October 2009|
|The Complete Series 4||1984||19 April 2010|
|The Complete Series 5||1986||23 August 2010|
|The Complete Series 1 to 5 Box Set||1979-
|18 October 2010|