Bless This House (British TV series)

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Bless This House
Bless This House Titles (Series 1-3).jpg
Bless this House titles as used in the first three series.
GenreSitcom
Created byVince Powell
Harry Driver
StarringSid James
Diana Coupland
Robin Stewart
Sally Geeson
Anthony Jackson
Patsy Rowlands
Country of originUnited Kingdom
No. of series6
No. of episodes65
Production
ProducerWilliam G. Stewart
Running time30 minutes
(including commercials)
Production companyThames Television
DistributorFremantle
Release
Original networkITV
Picture format4:3
Original release2 February 1971 (1971-02-02) –
22 April 1976 (1976-04-22)

Bless This House is a British sitcom that aired on ITV from 2 February 1971 to 22 April 1976. Starring Sid James and Diana Coupland, it was created by Vince Powell and Harry Driver, but mainly written by other hands including Dave Freeman and Carla Lane. It was made for the ITV network by Thames Television. In 2004, Bless This House was ranked by a BBC poll as the 67th Best British Sitcom.

Synopsis[edit]

Bless This House centres on life in Howard Road, New Malden, where travelling stationery salesman Sid Abbott (note: the spelling of their surname varies; the opening credits of early series one episodes spell it "Abbot" while in the closing credits it is spelt "Abbott") and his wife Jean live with their teenagers: Mike is fresh from art college and more pre-occupied with protests than finding a job; and trendy schoolgirl Sally. Sally is 16 at the series' start, and Mike is 18. Sid and Jean constantly battle to comprehend the new generation's permissive ways and are usually out-of-touch. Their neighbours and best friends are Trevor and his wife Betty.

A total of 66 episodes of Bless This House were produced between 1971 and 1976.

Cast[edit]

  • Sidney James as Sid Abbott. Jean Abbott's husband and an Arsenal F.C. fan.[1] He likes to believe he is in control of his household, but finds he has to sneak out to go to the football or the pub. He often tries to avoid occasions he doesn't want to attend, but this often backfires on him.
  • Diana Coupland as Jean Abbott. Sid's wife, who believes she can talk him into or out of anything. She always knows what he's up to and sees through his schemes.
  • Robin Stewart as Mike Abbott. Jean and Sid's son, their firstborn. He is an artist but he always avoids employment because "it's a drag."
  • Sally Geeson as Sally Abbott. Jean and Sid's daughter, Mike's little sister. Sid and Jean constantly worry about her relationships with "boys." She calls Sid "Daddy" and Jean "Mummy." Sally married Bless This House producer William G. Stewart in 1976 and had three children during their 10 years of marriage.
  • Anthony Jackson as Trevor Lewis. The Abbotts' next-door neighbour and Sid's best friend.
  • Patsy Rowlands as Betty Lewis. Trevor's wife and Jean's best friend. Jean and Betty usually gang up on their husbands if they don't do the right things.

Production[edit]

The show was produced and directed by William G. Stewart, later the host of the 15 to 1 gameshow, and had theme music written by Geoff Love. A comic strip version was also produced, written by Angus Allan and printed in TV comic Look-in. The first seven episodes were made in black-and-white due to the ITV colour strike. Every episode was recorded in Studio 1 at the Thames Television studios based in Teddington.[2][3]

The series ended abruptly in 1976, when just four days after broadcast of the final episode of the sixth series, Sid James collapsed on stage at the Sunderland Empire during a performance of The Mating Season after failing to respond to a cue. James had suffered a heart attack and later died on the way to the hospital.

Plans were put in place for a seventh and eighth series of the show and a second feature film at the time of James's death. Ironically, James had told his co-star Diana Coupland, "We'll keep making this until one of us kicks the bucket."[citation needed]

Film[edit]

A film version of the TV series was made in 1972. While it still starred Diana Coupland and Sid James as the Abbotts, Robin Askwith, who had previously appeared in the TV series, played Mike instead of TV series regular Robin Stewart due to the latter being unable to find time to appear in the film, having already been booked for the summer season on Bournemouth Pier. In addition, it featured "new" neighbours played by Terry Scott and June Whitfield. The part of Trevor was also recast with Peter Butterworth replacing Jackson. All the original actors returned for series three. Additionally, Mike gets married at the end of the film; this had no effect on the storylines in the television series.

Home media[edit]

Cover of complete third series DVD

All six series of Bless This House have been released on DVD in the UK including a Box Set containing all six series plus the feature film through Network DVD.

In Australia, Series 1[4] was released on 2 April 2009, Series 2[5] on 3 October 2012 and Series 3[6] on 6 March 2013, no further individual seasons have been released. A Complete Series 1-6 Box Set[7] was released on 6 November 2013. Via Vision Entertainment obtained the rights to the series and will release 'The Complete Series' on 9 December 2020.[8]

DVD Release date
The complete series 1
24 October 2005
The complete series 2
30 January 2006
The complete series 3
17 April 2006
The complete series 4
10 July 2006
The complete series 5
22 January 2007
The complete series 6
30 April 2007
The complete series 1 to 6 box set
2 February 2009

ITV3 started repeating the series on 17 June 2020, with minor edits.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ bless this house Get me to the match on time YouTube
  2. ^ "Teddington Studios celebrated". MOLA. Retrieved 23 November 2020.
  3. ^ "| Teddington Studios | Recent Productions |". www.teddington.tv. Retrieved 23 November 2020.
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 14 September 2013. Retrieved 29 August 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ "Buy Bless This House: Series 2 on DVD-Video from". EzyDVD.com.au. 22 April 2013. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 12 March 2014.
  6. ^ "Buy Bless This House: Series 3 on DVD-Video from". EzyDVD.com.au. 22 April 2013. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 12 March 2014.
  7. ^ "Buy Bless This House: Series 1-6 on DVD-Video from". EzyDVD.com.au. 22 April 2013. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 12 March 2014.
  8. ^ "Bless This House - The Complete Series - DVD". Madman Entertainment. Retrieved 2 October 2020.

External links[edit]