Seven of One

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Seven of One
Created by Ronnie Barker
Starring Ronnie Barker
Composer(s) Max Harris
Country of origin United Kingdom
No. of episodes 7
Running time 30 minutes
Production company(s) BBC
Distributor BBC Worldwide
ABC (Australia, home video)
Original network BBC2
Original release 25 March – 6 May 1973

Seven of One is a British comedy series that aired on BBC2 in 1973. Starring Ronnie Barker, 7 of One is a series of seven separate comedies that would serve as possible pilots for sitcoms. Originally it was to be called Six of One, which Barker planned to follow up with another series called Half Dozen of the Other. This was a BBC version of a similar showcase for LWT called Six Dates with Barker created in 1971.

In addition to Barker, 7 of One also featured Roy Castle, Bill Maynard, Talfryn Thomas, Prunella Scales, Glynn Edwards, Joan Sims, Keith Chegwin, Leslie Dwyer, Robin Parkinson, Sam Kelly, Christopher Biggins, Richard O'Callaghan, Yootha Joyce, David Jason, and Avis Bunnage in supporting roles. The series was released on BBC DVD in 2005.


No. Title Written by Original air date
1 "Open All Hours" Roy Clarke 25 March 1973 (1973-03-25)
Arkwright has only one true love – money. He is also pursuing Nurse Gladys Emmanuel and continues to instruct Granville (David Jason) in the art of getting money out of customers. Granville, however, wants a girlfriend.
2 "Prisoner and Escort" Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais 1 April 1973 (1973-04-01)
Career criminal Norman Stanley Fletcher is on a train with prison officers Mr Mackay (Fulton Mackay), a martinet, and the kindly Mr Barraclough (Brian Wilde), on his way to serve a five year sentence at Slade Prison.
3 "My Old Man" Gerald Frow 8 April 1973 (1973-04-08)
Sam Cobbett is a cantankerous, retired railwayman whose house is demolished by the council, forcing him to live in a tower block with his daughter Doris (Ann Beach) and her husband, whom he sees as posh and with whom there is mutual antagonism.
4 "Spanner's Eleven" Roy Clarke 15 April 1973 (1973-04-15)
Albert Spanners' life is tied to Ashfield Football Club – bottom of the league.
5 "Another Fine Mess" Hugh Leonard 22 April 1973 (1973-04-22)
When Harry and Sydney (Roy Castle) plan to impersonate Laurel and Hardy, it all gets a bit close to the real thing.
6 "One Man's Meat" Jack Goetz 29 April 1973 (1973-04-29)
Alan Joyce is a fat, greedy man whose wife (Prunella Scales) devises a plan to keep him off food for a day. She goes out and takes not only all the food from the house but Alan's clothes...
7 "I'll Fly You for a Quid" Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais 6 May 1973 (1973-05-06)
Grandpa Owen dies concealing a winning betting slip. His gambling-mad family is desperate to prove "you can't take it with you".

Successful pilots[edit]

Whilst most of the pilots were not developed any further, Open All Hours and Prisoner and Escort were successfully developed into full series. Open All Hours was developed into a sitcom of the same name and a later sequel named Still Open All Hours, while Prisoner and Escort became Porridge, which led to a spinoff series called Going Straight in 1978 and a feature film adaptation in 1979. Additionally, My Old Man led to a short-lived series for Yorkshire Television including ITV but with an entirely new cast led by Clive Dunn.

External links[edit]