Up the Garden Path

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Up the Garden Path
Written bySue Limb
Directed byDavid Askey
StarringImelda Staunton
Mike Grady
Tessa Peake-Jones
Tom Mannion
Nicholas Le Prevost
Susan Kyd
René Zagger
David Robb
Neil McCaul
Adrienne O'Sullivan
Siobhan Hayes
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original language(s)English
No. of series3
No. of episodes18
Producer(s)Humphrey Barclay
Running time25 mins
Production company(s)Humphrey Barclay Productions
Granada Television
Original networkITV
Original release2 May 1990 (1990-05-02) – 1 July 1993 (1993-07-01)

Up the Garden Path is a 1984 novel by Sue Limb, which was adapted into a radio series by BBC Radio 4, and later into a television sitcom by Granada TV for ITV. Both the radio and television series comprised three seasons, with the radio series originally broadcast in 1987, 1988, and 1993, and the television seasons broadcast in 1990, 1991, and 1993.

The television series has been repeated on the United Kingdom digital channel ITV3. The radio series is regularly repeated on BBC Radio 4 Extra.


  • Isabelle 'Izzy' Comyn (Imelda Staunton)
  • Dick Barnes (Mike Grady)
  • Maria Shadwell (Tessa Peake-Jones, television; Marty Cruickshank, radio)
  • Gwyn Jenkins (Tom Mannion, television; Sion Probert and Dafydd Hywel, radio)
  • Michael Tristram (Nicholas Le Prevost)
  • Louise Tristram (Susan Kyd, television; Phyllida Nash, radio)
  • Roger 'Razors' Razebrook (René Zagger)
  • Charles Armstrong (David Robb) appeared in Series 2
  • Bill Bailey (Neil McCaul) appeared in Series 2, 3
  • Linda (Adrienne O'Sullivan) appeared in Series 3
  • 5C pupil (Siobhan Hayes) appeared in Series 2, 3
  • 'Vincent''Kevin Treasure appeared in Series 2, 3


Critical reception was mixed. Writing in The Daily Mirror, television editor Tony Pratt called the first series 'one of the best [sitcoms] ITV has produced for ages. It's lively, adult and funny'.[1]

However, The Guardian felt 'sorry for Imelda Staunton...who deserves a better script'[2] with Hugh Hebert labelling the series 'dire' and referring to the character of Izzy as a 'caricature witless teacher who was God's promo for Baker MacGregor Re-Education Inc.'[3]


  1. ^ "Mirror TV". ukpressonline.co.uk. 1990-05-16. Retrieved 2013-08-10.
  2. ^ 'A Case of Dad Housekeeping', The Guardian, 10 May 1990, p26
  3. ^ Hebert, Hugh, 'The Loyal and the Unloved', The Guardian, 2 August 1990, p28

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