The Mistress (TV series)

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The Mistress
The Mistress (TV series).jpg
Created byCarla Lane
Directed byGareth Gwenlan
StarringFelicity Kendal
Jack Galloway
Peter McEnery
Jane Asher
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original languageEnglish
No. of series2
No. of episodes12
ProducerGareth Gwenlan
Running time30 minutes
Original networkBBC2
Original release17 January 1985 (1985-01-17) –
26 February 1987 (1987-02-26)

The Mistress is a British sitcom that first aired on BBC2 from 1985 to 1987. Starring Felicity Kendal and Jane Asher, it was written by Carla Lane.[1]

The Mistress features Kendal playing Maxine, a young florist, who is having an affair with a married man. It was disliked by some viewers, who were unhappy at seeing Felicity Kendal (best known as Barbara Good in The Good Life) playing a woman having an affair with someone else's husband.[2][dead link]


Maxine is the owner of a florist shop and is having an affair with married man Luke.[2] His wife Helen is unaware of the affair.[3] While Maxine occasionally feels guilty and insecure about the affair, she is a generally optimistic and happy person.[1]


  • Felicity Kendal – Maxine Mansel (Maxine – series 2)
  • Jack Galloway – Luke Carpenter (series 1) (called Luke Mansel in Series 2)
  • Peter McEnery – Luke (series 2) (Luke Mansel in Series 2)
  • Jane Asher – Helen Carpenter (called Helen Mansel in Series 2)
  • Tony Aitken – Simon
  • Jenny McCracken – Jenny (series 1)
  • Paul Copley – Jamie (series 2)
  • Peggy Sirr – Jo


Similar to Carla Lane's other sitcoms, including Butterflies and Solo (which also starred Felicity Kendal), The Mistress has a serious theme – here, that of an affair.[1] The series was produced and directed by Gareth Gwenlan.[3] The Mistress was filmed in Bath, Somerset,[4] the florist shop being in Abbey Green, Bath and Maxine's house location at 26 St Mark's Road, Bath. After the lukewarm response to Series 1 over the subject matter,[2] Series 2 was attempted to be rounded out slightly, still retaining the thread of having an affair, but serving as a more general comedy. These attempted improvements proved to be in vain, however, and the series was axed after Series 2. The series, which had never been reshown previously, was aired on BBC Four in January/February 2023.


The Mistress aired for two series, each of six 30 minute episodes, from 17 January 1985 to 26 February 1987.[1] The episodes were originally shown at 9.00pm on Thursdays on BBC2.[1]

Series One (1985)[edit]

# Title Original airdate[5]
1"Episode One"17 January 1985 (1985-01-17)
2"Episode Two"24 January 1985 (1985-01-24)
3"Episode Three"31 January 1985 (1985-01-31)
4"Episode Four"7 February 1985 (1985-02-07)
5"Episode Five"14 February 1985 (1985-02-14)
6"Episode Six"21 February 1985 (1985-02-21)

Series Two (1987)[edit]

# Title Original airdate[5]
1"Episode One"22 January 1987 (1987-01-22)
2"Episode Two"29 January 1987 (1987-01-29)
3"Episode Three"5 February 1987 (1987-02-05)
4"Episode Four"12 February 1987 (1987-02-12)
5"Episode Five"19 February 1987 (1987-02-19)
6"Episode Six"26 February 1987 (1987-02-26)

DVD releases[edit]

The two series of The Mistress were released in a boxset in Region 2 (UK) on 10 March 2014.


  1. ^ a b c d e Lewishohn, Mark (2003). Radio Times Guide to TV Comedy. London: BBC Worldwide. ISBN 978-0-563-48755-5.
  2. ^ a b c "Felicity Kendal". Memorable TV. July 2002. Retrieved 12 January 2008.
  3. ^ a b "The Mistress – Summary". British TV Comedy. 2006. Retrieved 12 January 2008.
  4. ^ "Enthralling drama centres on love and loss". Variety Club. 28 September 2006.
  5. ^ a b "The Mistress – Episode List". British TV Comedy. 2006. Retrieved 12 January 2008.

External links[edit]