The Gaffer (TV series)

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The Gaffer
Created byGraham White
Directed byAlan Tarrant
StarringBill Maynard
Russell Hunter
Country of originUnited Kingdom
No. of series3
No. of episodes20
Running time30 mins
Original networkITV
Original release9 January 1981 (1981-01-09) –
5 July 1983 (1983-07-05)

The Gaffer is an ITV situation comedy series of the early 1980s, that starred Bill Maynard and was written by businessman Graham White. It was made for the ITV network by Yorkshire Television



Following the end of the situation comedy (Oh No, It's Selwyn Froggitt!), Maynard's next character couldn't have been more different from the bumbling Selwyn Froggitt. Fred Moffatt is a survivor – just. Bearded, wearing a battered hat and a crumpled suit, his Rover P6 a rusting wreck, he runs a struggling engineering firm and is constantly trying to avoid his creditors, the tax man, the bank manager, and indeed anyone who might want him to pay for something.

The series' background accurately reflected the precarious condition of many small businesses of the era and added a dark undercurrent to the situation comedy. Unlike the physical comedy of Selwyn Froggitt, the scripts for The Gaffer were wordy and sardonic and the plots relatively complex, with Fred Moffatt usually managing to outwit at least some of the people who were chasing him for money.

The cast included Russell Hunter as the radical union shop steward whose interest was in parting Moffatt from as much money as possible to better pay his members, and Pat Ashton as his ineffectual secretary Betty.

Abrupt End[edit]

The third and final series (broadcast 1983) saw Moffatt elected to the local council, extending his struggles to local politics. But, disgruntled with the losing battle he was fighting, in the final episode ("Goodbye"), Moffatt upped sticks, sold off the business to his employees and emigrated to Australia to make a new start, only to return and take back the business after having attended his son Spencer's wedding. However the series thus ended abruptly, despite its success, after a two-year run.

In later years, it was suggested that during the production of series 3, White (the creator of the show) protested that Maynard kept changing his scripts too much, thus embittering the relationship between the two and so a planned fourth series was cancelled. White revealed details of the dispute which ended the series in a 2014 newspaper interview [1]. Graham White published a sequel novel entitled "The Gaffer's Guerillas" which takes the story into the present day [2].

DVD release[edit]

All three series of The Gaffer have been released on DVD by Network, A 3-disc set of the complete series has also been released.

DVD Year(s) Release date
The Complete Series 1 1981 17 August 2009
The Complete Series 2 1982 5 July 2010
The Complete Series 3 1983 13 September 2010
The Complete Series 1 to 3 Box Set 1981–
11 October 2010

See also[edit]

External links[edit]