The Mrs Merton Show

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The Mrs Merton Show
Starring Caroline Aherne
Country of origin United Kingdom
No. of series 4
No. of episodes 29
Running time 30 minutes
Original channel BBC
Original run 5 December 1993[1] – 2 April 1998

The Mrs Merton Show was a mock talk show starring Caroline Aherne as the elderly host Mrs Merton. After a pilot in 1993, the series ran from 10 February 1995 to 2 April 1998 and was produced by Granada Television and aired on the BBC. The writers included Aherne, Craig Cash, Dave Gorman and Henry Normal.

Prior to TV success, Aherne's Mrs Merton character appeared on Frank Sidebottom's album "5/9/88", then made her TV debut on the 1991 Channel 4 gameshow Remote Control, hosted by Anthony H Wilson. The talk show was followed up by a sitcom, Mrs Merton and Malcolm, based on Mrs Merton and her son Malcolm, who was played by Craig Cash.


For the first two series, the house band was Hooky and the Boys, fronted by Aherne's then husband Peter Hook. Following their marital break up the band was replaced by The Patrick Trio from the 1996 Christmas special until the end of the show's run in 1998.

In 1997 the production moved to Las Vegas for a series of specials with Hollywood stars. The series was not well received and was slated by critic Garry Bushell amongst others. For the following (and final) series back in the UK, Bushell was a guest and got appropriately roasted by Mrs Merton and her studio audience.

In an interview in November 2001 Aherne revealed that she did not want to carry on with the show and wanted to write a sitcom with Craig Cash and only agreed to a final series if she could do it. This became the BAFTA Award winning The Royle Family.

In August 2006 a poll of 4,000 people was commissioned by UKTV Gold for the best comic one-liner. In second place was a line from The Mrs Merton Show when she famously asked Debbie McGee, "So, what first attracted you to the millionaire Paul Daniels?"[2]


  • Pilot

Guests: Carol Thatcher, Mark Porter and Terry Christian. Aired: 5 December 1993

Series One
  • Episode One

Guests: Jilly Goolden, Cynthia Payne, Arthur Tomlinson (UFO expert) and Dave Lee Travis. Aired: 10 February 1995

  • Episode Two

Guests: Kriss Akabusi, Debbie McGee, Chris Greener and Steve Coogan. Aired: 17 February 1995

  • Episode Three

Guests: Dale Winton, Mary Whitehouse (not in studio), Royal butler Peter Russell and Derek Jameson. Aired: 24 February 1995

  • Episode Four

Guests: Drusilla Beyfus (journalist), Kevin Kennedy, Ken Livingstone and Mandy Smith. Aired: 3 March 1995

  • Episode Five

Guests: Russell Grant, Countess Bienvenida Sokolow (former wife of Antony Buck) and Fred Talbot. Aired: 10 March 1995

  • Episode Six

Guests: Ned Sherrin, Mr Motivator, Terry Major Ball and Nick Owen. Aired: 24 March 1995

Series Two
  • Episode One

Guests: Jo Brand, Lorraine Kelly and Chris Eubank. Aired: 12 November 1995

  • Episode Two

Guests: Matthew Kelly, Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer and George Best. Aired: 19 November 1995

  • Episode Three

Guests: Germaine Greer, PJ and Duncan and Michael Parkinson. Aired: 26 November 1995

  • Episode Four

Guests: Jimmy Hill, Andrew Neil and Paul Daniels. Aired: 3 December 1995

  • Episode Five

Guests: Peter Stringfellow, Des Lynam and Rolf Harris. Aired: 10 December 1995

  • Episode Six

Guests: Patrick Lichfield, Carol Vorderman and Barbara Windsor. Aired: 17 December 1995

  • Episode Seven (Christmas Special)

Guests: Johnn Briggs and Amanda Barrie, Glenys Kinnock and Gary Rhodes. Aired: 24 December 1995

Series Three
  • Episode One (Christmas Special)

Guests: Noddy Holder, Clive James and Daniel O'Donnell. Aired: 24 December 1996

  • Episode Two

Guests: Jeff Banks and Jonathan Ross. Aired: 14 February 1997

  • Episode Three

Guests: Michael Winner and Teresa Gorman. Aired: 21 February 1997

  • Episode Four

Guests: Sacha Distel and Jeremy Clarkson. Aired: 28 February 1997

  • Episode Five

Guests: Boy George and Vinnie Jones. Aired: 7 March 1997

  • Episode Six

Guests: Keith Chegwin and Ian Botham. Aired: 21 March 1997

  • Episode Seven

Guests: Joanna Lumley and Martin Clunes. Aired: 28 March 1997

  • Episode Eight ("Mrs Merton in Las Vegas" for last three episodes)

Guests: Tony Curtis and Patrick Duffy. Aired: 10 April 1997

  • Episode Nine

Guests: Englebert Humperdinck and Bo Derek. Aired: 17 April 1997

  • Episode Ten

No guests. Aired: 24 April 1997

Series Four
  • Episode One (Christmas Special)

Guests: Edwina Currie and Max Bygraves. Aired: 27 December 1997

  • Episode Two

Guests: Keith Floyd and Melinda Messenger. Aired: 26 February 1998

  • Episode Three

Guests: Shane Richie and Wayne Sleep. Aired: 5 March 1998

  • Episode Four

Guests: Garry Bushell and Lisa Stansfield. Aired: 12 March 1998

  • Episode Five

Guests: Richard Wilson and Bernard Manning. Aired: 19 March 1998

  • Episode Six

Guests: Barry McGuigan and Nigel Kennedy. Aired: 26 March 1998

  • Episode Seven

Guests: Richard Whiteley and Jimmy Tarbuck. Aired: 2 April 1998[3]

Media releases[edit]

  • The Best of The Mrs Merton Show: Series One (VHS) - Released: 7 October 1996
  • The Best of The Mrs Merton Show: Series Two (VHS) - Released: 4 November 1996
  • The Complete Series (DVD) - Released: 25 February 2008


  1. ^ The Complete Series (DVD) - Released: 25 February 2008
  2. ^ "Kay dishes up best TV one-liner". BBC News. 13 August 2006. Retrieved 3 June 2009. 
  3. ^ Mrs Merton Show on

External links[edit]