Man About the House
|Man about the house|
Man About The House,
screen shot from series 1
|Created by||Brian Cooke
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of series||6|
|No. of episodes||39 + 1 short (List of episodes)|
|Running time||30 minutes
|Production company(s)||Thames Television|
|Original run||15 August 1973– 7 April 1976|
|Followed by||George and Mildred
|Related shows||Three's company (US)
Sam sam (NL)
En fyra för tre (SWE)
Tre på toppen (NOR)
Troe sverhy (RUS)
El hombre de la casa (ECU)
Tres son multitud (CHI)
Man About the House is a British sitcom starring Richard O'Sullivan, Sally Thomsett, and Paula Wilcox with Yootha Joyce and Brian Murphy, that was broadcast for six series on ITV from 15 August 1973 to 7 April 1976. It was created and written by Brian Cooke and Johnnie Mortimer. The series was considered daring at the time due to its subject matter of a man sharing a flat with two single women. It was made by Thames Television and recorded at their Teddington studios.
Two spin-off series were later made: George and Mildred and Robin's Nest. In 2004, it came 69th in a poll to find Britain's Best Sitcom. The series was remade in the United States as Three's Company in 1977. A film version was released in 1974.
- Richard O'Sullivan as Robin Oswald Tripp
- Paula Wilcox as Chrissy Tripp (née Plummer)
- Sally Thomsett as Jo
- John Carlin as Percival Strapp/Mr. Gideon (series 2 to 6)
- Norman Eshley as Norman Tripp (the last 3 episodes of series 6)
- Roy Kinnear as Jerry (series 3 to 5)
- Daphne Oxenford as Chrissy's mother (series 1, 4 and 6)
Young flatmates Chrissy and Jo find a stranger, student chef Robin Tripp, asleep in their bath the morning after the farewell party for their departed flatmate Eleanor. They are taken with Robin when they realise his culinary skills are far superior to their own. Apparently, "Eleanor didn't leave the recipe for toast.".
Chrissy and Jo are both from regional England and moved out on their own to live in London. They both work for the same firm. When he meets the two women, Robin has been in London two days, having moved from Southampton to attend college. The women are unimpressed with Gabrielle (Helen Fraser), a pushy young woman who arrives hoping to move in to Eleanor's room. Learning that Robin has been staying at the YMCA they easily convince him to move in.
Robin moves in on a platonic basis, and Chrissy tells the landlord George Roper that Robin is gay to pre-empt objections to the mixed-sex living arrangement. In the second episode, Robin's true sexuality becomes known to Mildred Roper. Mildred openly flirts with Robin at every opportunity. Robin frequently acts in a flirtatious manner toward Chrissy and Jo. The women have no romantic interest and spurn his mild advances, and adapt to his presence in the flat.
Landlord George Roper, in truth a sub-letting landlord placed by the council, is a bumbling, accident-prone and gullible man under the thumb of his domineering and sexually-frustrated wife Mildred. Mildred takes out her frustrations with George's lack of class and sexual inadequacy by making suggestive remarks to Robin and frequently siding with the tenants against George.
Robin's friend Larry, a lovable rogue, appears in two first season episodes. In the second season, he moves into the loft apartment and is a frequent source of trouble. Another occasional cast member is George's friend, dim schemer Jerry.
Robin's brother Norman Tripp (Norman Eshley) appears through the final season, and starts a romance with Chrissy. Norman Eshley had a previous guest role in the series two years earlier playing a different character, and was also a member of the main cast of the spin-off series George and Mildred in which, he played the Ropers' snobbish neighbour Jeffrey Fourmile.
First airing on 15 August 1973, Man About the House ran until 7 April 1976, after 39 episodes in six series. In addition, on Christmas Day, 25 December 1973, a short special aired as part of All-star Comedy Carnival.
Written by Johnny Hawksworth and entitled "Up to date", it was not specially commissioned for the show, rather provided via the Production music company De Wolfe Music and most recently, made available in 1996 by independent record company Studio2Stereo on their CD "The sound gallery – Volume two". (Matrix number 7243 8 52990 2 5).
|Man about the house|
|Directed by||John Robins|
|Produced by||Roy Skeggs|
|Written by||Johnnie Mortimer
|Distributed by||EMI Films|
|Release dates||22 December 1974|
|Running time||90 mins|
|Box office||£90,000 (London area)|
The Ropers learn that Mr Pluthero, a real estate developer, wants to buy their building. The roommates circulate a petition to stop the development which attracts the interest of MP Sir Edmund, who keeps a mistress in the building.
The film started shooting in March 1974 at Elstree Studios in London, finishing on April 12. 
The film was a hit, taking £90,000 in London alone.
Spin-offs and remakes
After the series ended in 1976, two successful spin-off series followed:
- George and Mildred where the Ropers move to the suburbs.
The format of Man About the House was sold internationally, and it was remade in the United States as Three's Company in 1976; in the Netherlands as Sam Sam in 1994; in Sweden as En fyra för tre in 1996; in Norway as Tre på toppen in 1997; in Poland as Lokatorzy in 2000; in Portugal as Camilo, o penduramin 2002; in Russia as Troe sverhy in 2006; in Ecuador as El hombre de la casa and in Chile as Tres son multitud, both in 2007.
All six series have been released on DVD in the UK by Network DVD, as have George and Mildred and Robin's nest.
Series 1 and 2 have had a US release as part of a 2-disc set by Fremantle Media.
Series 1 and 2 were released in Australia in 2004, but then suffered a delay in releasing further series due to contract re-negotiations (the same problem affected releases of George and Mildred and Bless This House). Series 3 was finally released on 16 July 2008, and Series 4 on 5 November 2008; however, it is no longer available. Series 5 and 6 are yet to be released. Series 1 was re-released on 2 April 2009, now with the same cover art as the UK edition. Fremantle Media re-released series 1 on 3 March 2011 with new cover art. Re-releases have continued with Series 2 on 3 October 2012, Series 3 on 1 May 2013, and Series 4 on 1 May 2013. Series 5 and Series 6 finally receive a release on 7 August 2013.
- Tom Johnson and Deborah Del Vecchio, Hammer films: An exhaustive filmography, McFarland, 1996. p375.
- Alan Barnes & Marcus Hearn, The hammer story: The authorised history of Hammer films, Titan books, 2007. p 151.
- Man about the house – series 1
- Man about the house at the British Comedy Guide.
- Man about the house at the Internet Movie Database.
- Man about the house – George and Mildred book at Publisher's website.