Robin's Nest

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Robin's Nest
Robin's Nest title card.jpg
Series 1 opening title
GenreSitcom
Created by
Based onMan About the House
by Johnnie Mortimer and Brian Cooke
Starring
Country of originUnited Kingdom
No. of series6
No. of episodes48 (list of episodes)
Production
Producer(s)Peter Frazer-Jones
Running time30 minutes
(including commercials)
DistributorFremantle
Release
Original networkITV
Original release11 January 1977 (1977-01-11) –
31 March 1981 (1981-03-31)
Chronology
Preceded byMan About the House
Related shows

Robin's Nest is a British sitcom made by Thames Television, which aired on the ITV network for six series from 11 January 1977 to 31 March 1981. It saw Richard O'Sullivan reprise the role of Robin Tripp, one of the lead characters in the sitcom Man About the House, which had ended on 7 April 1976, and co-starred Tessa Wyatt as Robin's girlfriend – and later wife – Vicky, and Tony Britton as her father. As well as playing a couple in Robin's Nest, Richard O'Sullivan and Tessa Wyatt were a couple in real life at the time having one son, Jamie O'Sullivan.

In the Series 5 episode "Never Look A Gift Horse", in the final scene Robin climbs onto the rocking horse and says "Well Bess, which way now?" This is a reference to the TV series Dick Turpin in which Richard O'Sullivan was also starring as the title character at the time.

Format[edit]

In the first episode Robin and Vicky, who share a flat over a Chinese take-away, discover that the tenants have disappeared owing rent to the landlord, Vicky's father James Nichols. It is the practical Vicky who comes up with the perfect solution: Robin should take over the take-away and convert it into a bistro (The "Robin's Nest" of the title). Robin cannot afford to go it alone so he has to go cap-in-hand to Vicky's father (Tony Britton), to ask him to be his business partner. Although James disapproves of Robin (believing him to be beneath his daughter), he knows a sensible business deal when it is offered to him – despite his failings, Robin is a brilliant chef – and he agrees. Tension and misunderstandings arise due to their mismatched relationship.

Creators and writers Brian Cooke and Johnnie Mortimer had to gain special permission from the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA), then the regulatory body for commercial television in Britain, to be able to portray an unmarried couple living together; special concern arose at scenes in which Robin and Vicky were seen in an obvious state of undress in bed. In 1978, Robin and Vicky married and two years later had a set of twins, who they eventually name Lucy and James Alexander Tripp. At the end of the last episode, Vicky tells Robin that she's pregnant again.

Other characters[edit]

Other characters included:

  • The one-armed Irish kitchen hand Albert Riddle (David Kelly), who always broke more crockery than he cleaned, and who once asked Robin's culinary advice; unable to cook egg on toast, he asked Robin "How do you stop the egg dribbling into the bottom of the toaster, Mr Tripp?".
  • Vicky's mother Marion (divorced from her father) would occasionally appear, played first by Honor Blackman, later by Barbara Murray.
  • Gertrude, Albert's girlfriend, played by ex-Crossroads actress Peggy Aitchison.

Robin's Nest screenwriter George Layton appeared as Vernon Potter, a former student who was at college with Robin Tripp, in a few episodes.

Theme music score[edit]

Star of the show Richard O'Sullivan wrote the theme music for the programme, which was arranged and performed by The Shadows's Brian Bennett.

Foreign adaptations[edit]

The show was remade in the United States as Three's a Crowd, a sequel to Three's Company – originally based on Man About the House – but was unsuccessful.

In 2004, a Polish version was screened, named Dziupla Cezara.

Episodes[edit]

Season 1[edit]

Episode Synopsis Original ITV Transmission
Sleeping Partners Robin Tripp, now a fully-qualified, unemployed chef, harbours ambitions of opening his own bistro...for people who appreciate high prices. He is helped by his girlfriend Vicky - but hindered by her father. 11 January 1977
The Bistro Kids It's coming up to opening day at the bistro and Robin has problems with a stuffed bear, half a pig and a Public Health Inspector. When their first customer wants a dry sherry, Vicky has to get wet, while her father can't wait to try his hand as a waiter. 18 January 1977
A Little Competition While Robin knew he was going to have competition from the restaurant next door, it turns out to be more than he bargained for. Vicky renews an old acquaintance and her father tries his hand at a little match-making. 25 January 1977
The Maternal Triangle Robin is not keen to meet Vicky's mother, since he's heard she has a nasty habit of hitting people on the nose. The new dishwasher thinks he can cope single-handed, but Vicky is not so sure. 1 February 1977
Piggy in the Middle Vicky's father decides that the restaurant needs some splashes of colour on the walls. Fortunately, he's romantically involved with a young female artist who he believes can provide exactly what is needed. Robin and Vicky are not so sure. 8 February 1977
A Matter of Note When a counterfeit ten pound note finds its way into the restaurant till, Robin must attend a police I.D. parade. Unfortunately he picks the wrong man and worries about sparking off an underworld vendetta. 15 February 1977
Oh, Happy Day Vicky wonders whether it's time that she and Robin got married. A quiet wedding for two is planned...no cluttering up the Registry Office with relatives. Nicholls disagrees, however. This is a father's big day and he intends to make the most of it! 22 February 1977

Season 2[edit]

Episode Synopsis Original ITV Transmission
As Long As He Needs Me James Nicholls is unwell and Vicky feels she should look after him. She leaves Robin to cope with the restaurant and moves back to her old bedroom in Nicholls' flat. For Nicholls it's just like old times, but Robin fears it's a plan to force them apart. Albert is delighted because it means he is promoted to waiter. 23 February 1978
The Seven Pound Fiddle Money is missing from the till. Nicholls blames Albert and sacks him. It becomes apparent that Albert is not guilty, but since he is of no fixed abode they have a problem trying to find him to apologise - especially when the police get involved. 2 March 1978
Ups & Downs The discovery of a cellar underneath the restaurant causes some disagreement between Nicholls and Robin. Robin wants to turn it into a wine cellar - whereas Nicholls thinks they should place more tables down there. 9 March 1978
Three Times Table Robin decides to 'go continental' and put tables outside the restaurant. This annoys the owner of the steakhouse next door and he makes a take-over bid for 'Robin's Nest'. Nicholls is keen to sell up and tries to persuade Robin to move to smaller premises. But Robin wants to stay where he is. 16 March 1978
Great Expectations Victoria thinks she is pregnant - something that delights Robin and upsets Nicholls. He soon has plans for his grandchild though: university, Sandhurst and politics. Robin, naturally, resents this new intrusion. Albert, meanwhile, is preoccupied with the restaurant's new acquisition: a fruit machine. 23 March 1978
Love & Marriage The big day has arrived and Robin and Victoria are actually getting married. They want to make it as quiet and intimate as possible, but Nicholls has other plans. This is his only daughter and he wants to enjoy her wedding. His gift to them is a two-week honeymoon in Paris, but the newlyweds have rather more practical plans for the money. 30 March 1978

Season 3[edit]

Episode Synopsis Original ITV Transmission
You Need Hands Nicholls decides he needs a cabaret and who better to provide it than Sidney Bacharach, one of the finest pianists of 1927? However, it looks like the restaurant may close anyway: Robin has damaged his cooking arm, and Albert refuses to lend a hand. 25 September 1978
The Candidate Nicholls decides to run as a candidate in the local elections, using the restaurant as his campaign headquarters. But canvassing and coq au vin is a recipe for disaster. 2 October 1978
Just Deserts Nicholls gets his fingers burned when an old flame of Robin's turns up at the restaurant. Robin deserts the nest and moves in with his father-in-law. 9 October 1978
Away From All What? It has been ages since Vicky and Robin had a holiday. But Nicholls refuses to pay for a stand-in chef - until Robin gets the mumps. 16 October 1978
England Expects Nicholls' regimental reunion is due, and where better for him to hold it than Robin's Nest? Unfortunately, along with the Regiment and the Regimental silver goes the Regimental menu: Trenchmouth soup, boiled mutton and Lady Daphne's Delight - spotted dick! 23 October 1978
Once Two Is Three Robin has the chance to open a new restaurant in Brighton, 60 miles from his father-in-law. But Nicholls uses his mind-reading ability on Albert to forestall the deal. 30 October 1978
Dinner Date An old girlfriend returns to England and recaptures Nicholls' fancy. Marriage is a possibility and Robin is keen on the idea. 6 November 1978
Everything You Wish Yourself A mix-up in dates brings Albert an unexpected Bonus. 13 November 1978
Be It Ever Be So Humble There's a crisis in the bistro when Albert resigns as a washer-upper. Vicky and Robin discover they've been breaking the law. 20 November 1978
Day Trippers Robin and Vicky decide there's nothing like a nice peaceful picnic on their day off. And that's exactly what they get...nothing like a nice peaceful picnic. 27 November 1978
The Long Distance Runner Robin decides to take up jogging, so it seems, but does he have another reason for going out early in the morning? Nicholls is shocked when he finds out the truth. 4 December 1978
At Harm's Length Vicky thinks her Uncle Sam is playing around with another woman. Despite Robin's protests she decides to do something about it. 11 December 1978
The Happy Hen Nicholls' ambition to own all the eating outlets in Fuham takes a step forward. He buys the building next door to Robin's Nest to pursue his plans of opening up an omelette house. However, he ends up with egg on his face. 18 December 1978

Season 4[edit]

Episode Synopsis Original ITV Transmission
Should Auld Acquaintance The bistro, newly decorated and open for business, is threatened with sudden closure after Robin encounters an old friend in dire need. Nicholls pulls a few strings in Fleet Street. Albert is confronted by a lady in her underwear, and Vicky contemplates leaving home. 22 February 1979
Person Friday Required A chance meeting with an old colleague starts Vicky wondering if it's wise for husbands and wives to work together. A return to her airline job could put the mystery back into her marriage. 1 March 1979
Lost Weekend Lucky Albnert wins a weekend away from it all. But a little conniving turns it into a busman's holiday for Robin and Vicky - and a not-so-lucky reunion for Nicholls. 8 March 1979
Too Many Waiters Spoil The Bistro Nicholls has an idea: he can increase the profits in the restaurant by increasing the number of tables. This leads to an increase in staff, which causes an increase in problems. 15 March 1979
September Song Robin's relationship with Nicholls is bad at the best of times but, when Vicky comes home to find them brawling in the street, she suspects that her father is not well. When Nicholls apologises to Robin, she's certain of it. 22 March 1979
Sorry Partner Robin and Vicky are kept busy when Nicholls tries to recapture lost glory on the badminton court. 29 March 1979
Albert's Ball Albert's anniversary party looks like being his farewell party when a customer gets more than he ordered - and Robin's Nest acquires a pest. 5 April 1979

Special[edit]

Episode Synopsis Original ITV Transmission
Christmas at Robin's Nest Christmas in the Robin's Nest household is just like everywhere else - bad tempers and frayed nerves, with a touch of seasonal goodwill thrown in. Of course, Christmas is also a time for surprises, and the biggest surprise for Robin is one that he can well do without! 27 December 1979

Season 5[edit]

Episode Synopsis Original ITV Transmission
Pastures New Robin is fed up with slaving over a hot stove and decides to fly the nest in favour of warmer climes. He's unaware, however, that other plans have already been hatched. 8 January 1980
A Man of Property With the forthcoming arrival of Robin and Vicky's baby, they realise that they will need more room in the Nest - the question is: where will they find it? 15 January 1980
If You Pass 'Go' Collect £200 With the new responsibility of fatherhood, Robin wants to buy out his father-in-law's share of the bistro. The bid looks doomed until Nicholls gets an alternative proposition - from Albert. 22 January 1980
Never Look A Gift Horse... Prospective grandparents can often get more excited over forthcoming offspring than the parents-to-be, and Robin's mother-in-law, Marion, is no exception. It must be nothing but the best for her grandchild. 29 January 1980
Just An Old-fashioned Girl Robin and Vicky find that they are becoming "go-betweens", what with James Nicholls finding himself a new romantic interest and Gertrude getting herself in a tizzy's over Albert. 5 February 1980
Great Expectations The signs are all there that the baby is imminent: Nicholls is tense, Robin is having nightmares and Vicky is bored. 12 February 1980

Christmas Special[edit]

Episode Synopsis Original ITV Transmission
No Room at the Inn Christmas dinner at the bistro isn't the same without Vicky and the twins. With three men and a turkey, the family get-together lacks a woman's touch. But when Marion turns up to provide it, peace on earth flies out of the window. 24 December 1980

Season 6[edit]

Episode Synopsis Original ITV Transmission
Move Over Darling Running a bistro and trying to visit Vicky and the newborn babies is not easy until, to Nicholls' and Vicky's surprise, Robin decides to delegate. But their surprise turns to horror when they hear whom he has chosen. 17 February 1981
The Homecoming It's time for Vicky and the twins to come home, and the rivalry between Robin and Nicholls over whose car she should travel in from the hospital causes more than a little friction. 24 February 1981
No Smoke Without Fire There's consternation in the Tripp household when Albert suspects that "something" is going on between Gertrude and...another man! 3 March 1981
When Irish Eyes Are Smiling A change is as good as a rest, and it's a rest that Vicky and Robin need. So they go to stay with Grandad and things don't work out too well - just for a change. 10 March 1981
Anniversary Waltz When all the food is pre-cooked and ready for a private party it seems the ideal night for Vicky and Robin to go out. After all - what can go wrong? 17 March 1981
Wish You Weren't Here When Nicholls feels that his daughter needs a bit of a break, his generosity knows no bounds. He even suggests bringing in a temporary chef...so that they can go away without any worries! 24 March 1981
The Headhunters of SW6 When Robin is offered a lucrative and exciting post with an international company, Nicholls has no option but to put the restaurant up for sale. 31 March 1981

DVD releases[edit]

All six series of Robin's Nest have been released on DVD in the UK (Region 2).

All six series have also been released on DVD in Australia (Region 4). Series One and Two on 2 April 2009. After a lengthy delay Series Three was released on 3 October 2012, Series Four on 6 March 2013 and Series Five and Six on 4 September 2013. For the first time in Australia, Region 4, The Complete Series Boxset will be released on September 16, 2020.[1]

In 2019 a 19-disc box set was released by Network/Fremantle containing every episode of Robin's Nest, George & Mildred and Man About The House.

DVD UK Release date
The Complete Series 1 24 September 2007
The Complete Series 2 19 November 2007
The Complete Series 3 26 May 2008
The Complete Series 4 21 July 2008
The Complete Series 5 1 September 2008
The Complete Series 6 3 November 2008
The Complete Series 1–6 boxset 3 November 2008

References[edit]

External links[edit]