Home to Roost

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This article is about the British TV sitcom. For the 1952 Nero Wolfe novella, see Home to Roost (short story). For the album by Atomic Rooster, see Home to Roost (album).
Home to Roost
Genre Sitcom
Created by Eric Chappell
Starring John Thaw
Reece Dinsdale
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 4
No. of episodes 29
Executive producer(s) Vernon Lawrence
Running time 30 minutes
(including adverts)
Production company(s) Yorkshire Television
Distributor ITV Studios
Original network ITV
Picture format 4:3
Audio format Mono
Original release 19 April 1985 (1985-04-19) – 19 January 1990 (1990-01-19)

Home to Roost is a British sitcom produced by Yorkshire Television from 19 April 1985 to 19 January 1990. Written by Eric Chappell, it stars John Thaw as Henry Willows and Reece Dinsdale as his 18-year-old son Matthew.

The premise is that Henry Willows is forty-something, has been divorced from his wife for seven years, and is perfectly happy living alone in London. That is, until his oldest child, Matthew arrives to live with him, after being thrown out by his mother. The plots generally revolved around Henry's annoyance at having his solitude disturbed, and the age gap clash. Henry employed two cleaners throughout the show's life; first Enid Thompson, and, in the third season, Fiona Fennell.

The show's theme tune was Lionel Bart's "Consider Yourself" ("at home, consider yourself one of the family...") from Oliver!. It was arranged in a jazz style by Peter Knight.

The series was later repeated on Channel 4, and ITV3. All 29 episodes have now been released on DVD by Network DVD.

Main cast[edit]

  • Henry Willows – (John Thaw) Henry is a middle aged divorced man who lives by himself, however when his son, Matthew, turns up on his door step, expecting to be waited on hand and foot, his life is turned around for ever.
  • Matthew Willows – (Reece Dinsdale) Matthew is an eighteen-year-old who always gets himself into trouble, he is obsessed with girls and money.
  • Enid Thompson – (Elizabeth Bennett) Enid is Henry's first cleaner. She is nosey and appears to be attracted to Henry.
  • Fiona Fennell – (Joan Blackham) Fiona is Henry's second cleaner.
  • Julie Willows – (Rebecca Lacey) Julie is Henry's daughter and Matthew's sister. Despite living with her mother after her parent's divorce she appears to be a daddy's girl.

Episode list[edit]

Series 1[edit]

Episode Episode Title Transmission Précis
1 (1-1) A new life 19 April 1985 Henry's bachelor lifestyle is turned upside down when his son Matthew asks to stay.
2 (1-2) Bad apples 26 April 1985 Henry must find a new school for Matthew.
3 (1-3) All you need is love 3 May 1985 Matthew's first girlfriend leaves a trail of suspicions in her wake.
4 (1-4) Suspect 10 May 1985 Henry is far from happy when the return of his next door neighbour turns into a competition to win Matthew's affection.
5 (1-5) Dating Henry? 17 May 1985 Henry is acting very strange and Matthew sets out to find out why.
6 (1-6) Small change 24 May 1985 Matthew is desperate for money but Henry won't give him any so he is forced to get a job.
7 (1-7) The way we were 31 May 1985 It is Henry's wedding anniversary so he goes to the club to drown his sorrows; while he is out, an old face from the past arrives at the Willows'.

Series 2[edit]

Episode Episode Title Transmission Précis
08 (2-1) Protest 5 Sep 1986 Henry and Matthew's relationship is strained when Matthew becomes an animal rights activist and a vegetarian.
09 (2-2) Open house 12 Sep 1986 Matthew throws a party whilst Henry is away, but when Henry suddenly returns, he joins in the festivities rather than putting a stop to them.
10 (2-3) Plastic dreamworld 19 Sep 1986 Matthew inherits a large sum of money but struggles to keep it.
11 (2-4) Acting out 26 Sep 1986 Matthew becomes an actor much to the anger of Henry.
12 (2-5) The test 3 Oct 1986 Henry reluctantly teaches Matthew how to drive.
13 (2-6) Any questions? 10 Oct 1986 Henry is standing for councillor as an Independent, but can he convince first time voter Matthew and Conservative Enid to vote for him?
14 (2-7) Julie 17 Oct 1986 Henry's daughter (and Matthew's sister) Julie comes to stay, but Henry and Matthew
discover that three is a crowd.

Series 3[edit]

Episode Episode Title Transmission Précis
15 (3-1) Human interest 24 Oct 1987 Henry and Matthew search for a new cleaning lady.
16 (3-2) Success story 31 Oct 1987 Henry's brother comes to stay and Henry finds himself no longer wanted.
17 (3-3) High spirits 7 Nov 1987 Matthew becomes obsessed with ghosts.
18 (3-4) The real thing 14 Nov 1987 Henry and Matthew go on the pull together with disastrous results.
19 (3-5) Crimewatch 21 Nov 1987 Henry becomes paranoid about security and joins the neighbourhood watch.
20 (3-6) Getting on?! 28 Nov 1987 A visit to the hospital urges Matthew to adopt a homeless old man.
21 (3-7) Paper chase 5 Dec 1987 Matthew sits his exams, but can he resist his friend's offer of cheating.


Episode Episode Title Transmission Précis
22 Family ties 27 Dec 1987 Henry's hopes of a quiet Christmas are dashed when his kids turn up.

Series 4[edit]

Episode Episode Title Transmission Précis
23 (4-1) Bridge of sighs 1 Dec 1989 A blast from the past sets Henry thinking of romance.
24 (4-2) Front runner 8 Dec 1989 Henry suggests Matthew gets a job in order to pay for his college fees.
25 (4-3) The boyfriend 15 Dec 1989 Henry quickly takes a dislike to Julie's new boyfriend.
26 (4-4) Thought for the day 22 Dec 1989 Henry takes in a lodger which turns into a disaster for Matthew.
27 (4-5) Return to Clagthorpe 5 Jan 1990 Henry and Matthew go to Clagthorpe for a holiday.
28 (4-6) High noon 12 Jan 1990 Matthew finds himself in a boxing championship.
29 (4-7) Leaving 19 Jan 1990 Matthew is leaving for college. Will Henry's life ever be the same again?

Foreign versions[edit]

  • The US version, You Again?, was less successful and lasted two seasons, albeit running to some 26 episodes. Elizabeth Bennett reprised the role of Enid in the show.
  • The Dutch version, Ha die Pa, ran from 1990 to 1993 and was broadcast by NCRV. The main characters, Norbert and Matthijs Hogendijk, were played by Luc and Joris Lutz. Keeping it in the family, Pieter Lutz (in 2009, the last of the three acting Lutz brothers) guested as the homeless old man in the adaptation of the 'Getting on' episode. Matthijs' sister Freddie was played by Bettina Berger.

External links[edit]