The Mrs Merton Show

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The Mrs Merton Show
Starring Caroline Aherne
Country of origin United Kingdom
No. of series 4
No. of episodes 29
Running time 30 minutes
Original network BBC
Original release 5 December 1993[1] – 2 April 1998

The Mrs Merton Show was a mock talk show starring Caroline Aherne as the elderly host Mrs Merton. After a pilot in 1993, the series ran from 10 February 1995 to 2 April 1998 and was produced by Granada Television and aired on the BBC. The writers included Aherne, Craig Cash, Dave Gorman and Henry Normal.

Prior to TV success, Aherne's Mrs Merton character appeared on Frank Sidebottom's album "5/9/88", then made her TV debut on the 1991 Channel 4 gameshow Remote Control, hosted by Anthony H Wilson. The talk show was followed up by a sitcom, Mrs Merton and Malcolm, based on Mrs Merton and her son Malcolm, who was played by Craig Cash.


For the first two series, the house band was Hooky and the Boys, fronted by Aherne's then husband Peter Hook. Following their marital break up the band was replaced by The Patrick Trio from the 1996 Christmas special until the end of the show's run in 1998.

In 1997 the production moved to Las Vegas for a series of specials with Hollywood stars. The series was not well received and was slated by critic Garry Bushell amongst others. For the following (and final) series back in the UK, Bushell was a guest and got appropriately roasted by Mrs Merton and her studio audience.

In an interview in November 2001 Aherne revealed that she did not want to carry on with the show and wanted to write a sitcom with Craig Cash and only agreed to a final series if she could do it. This became the BAFTA Award winning The Royle Family.

In August 2006 a poll of 4,000 people was commissioned by UKTV Gold for the best comic one-liner. In second place was a line from The Mrs Merton Show when she famously asked Debbie McGee, "So, what first attracted you to the millionaire Paul Daniels?"[2]


A pilot episode aired on 5 December 1993 and the guests were Carol Thatcher, Mark Porter and Terry Christian.

Series Episode Airdate Guests
1 1 February 10 1995 Jilly Goolden, Cynthia Payne, Arthur Tomlinson (UFO expert) and Dave Lee Travis.
2 February 17 1995 Kriss Akabusi, Debbie McGee, Chris Greener and Steve Coogan.
3 February 24 1995 Dale Winton, Mary Whitehouse (not in the studio), Royal butler Peter Russell and Derek Jameson.
4 March 3 1995 Drusilla Beyfus (journalist), Kevin Kennedy, Ken Livingstone and Mandy Smith.
5 March 10 1995 Russell Grant, Countess Bienvenida Sokolow (former wife of Antony Buck) and Fred Talbot.
6 March 24 1995 Ned Sherrin, Mr Motivator, Terry Major-Ball and Nick Owen.
2 1 November 12 1995 Jo Brand, Lorraine Kelly and Chris Eubank.
2 November 19 1995 Matthew Kelly, Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer and George Best.
3 November 26 1995 Germaine Greer, PJ and Duncan and Michael Parkinson.
4 December 3 1995 Jimmy Hill, Andrew Neil and Paul Daniels.
5 December 10 1995 Peter Stringfellow, Des Lynam and Rolf Harris.
6 December 17 1995 Patrick Lichfield, Carol Vorderman and Barbara Windsor.
7 December 24 1995 Johnn Briggs and Amanda Barrie, Glenys Kinnock and Gary Rhodes.
3 1 December 24 1996 Noddy Holder, Clive James and Daniel O'Donnell.
2 February 14 1997 Jeff Banks and Jonathan Ross.
3 February 21 1997 Michael Winner and Teresa Gorman.
4 February 28 1997 Sacha Distel and Jeremy Clarkson.
5 March 7 1997 Boy George and Vinnie Jones.
6 March 21 1997 Keith Chegwin and Ian Botham.
7 March 28 1997 Joanna Lumley and Martin Clunes.
8 April 10 1997 Tony Curtis and Patrick Duffy.
9 April 17 1997 Englebert Humperdinck and Bo Derek.
10 April 24 1997 None
4 1 December 27 1997 Edwina Currie and Max Bygraves.
2 February 26 1998 Keith Floyd and Melinda Messenger.
3 March 5 1998 Shane Richie and Wayne Sleep.
4 March 12 1998 Garry Bushell and Lisa Stansfield.
5 March 19 1998 Richard Wilson and Bernard Manning.
6 March 26 1998 Barry McGuigan and Nigel Kennedy.
7 April 2 1998[3] Richard Whiteley and Jimmy Tarbuck.
     Christmas Special
     Was called "Mrs Merton in Las Vegas"

Media releases[edit]

  • The Best of The Mrs Merton Show: Series One (VHS) - Released: 7 October 1996
  • The Best of The Mrs Merton Show: Series Two (VHS) - Released: 4 November 1996
  • The Complete Series (DVD) - Released: 25 February 2008


  1. ^ The Complete Series (DVD) - Released: 25 February 2008
  2. ^ "Kay dishes up best TV one-liner". BBC News. 13 August 2006. Retrieved 3 June 2009. 
  3. ^ Mrs Merton Show on

External links[edit]