The phrase, repeated across the country throughout the 1970s by just about everybody from impressionists dressed in dark beret and raincoat to the school playground. Enter Frank Spencer the well-meaning, ineffectual and utterly accident-prone character that would capture the imagination of a generation.
The BBC had originally wanted Norman Wisdom or Ronnie Barker for the role, both declined, Crawford was the perfect choice, combining an air of innocence with the youth and athleticism necessary to perform some of the biggest and most dangerous stunts British comedy would ever see.
Voted number 22 in a BBC poll to find Britain’s Best Sitcom, Some Mothers Do Ave ‘Em ran for only twenty two episodes and three specials.
The first two series were broadcast in 1973 and the final series in 1978. Bridging the five year gap were two Christmas Specials screened in 1974 and 1975. Frank bowed out with a Christmas Special in 1978.
The story lines were little more than set-ups for a series of increasingly spectacular stunts. Many episodes begin with Frank at home with long-suffering wife, Betty. The comedy came from a mix of spectacular stunts coupled with Michael Crawford’s brilliant delivery of Frank, who however well meaning, just seemed to get on the wrong side of people.
For the final series, in 1978, changes were made to Frank’s character. Becoming more self-aware, and keen to make himself seem better educated and well-spoken. He developed an air of pomposity which was always most evident when someone enquired ‘Mr Spencer?’ to which he would reply ‘I am he’. He also became more self assured and whereas in the past when shouted at for doing something wrong he would have gone to pieces he would now argue back, more often than not winning the argument. Though this was usually because he would leave his opponents dumbfounded by the bizareness of what he had to say. It is thought that the reason for the change was the arrival of Daughter Jessica, as a Father he had to give some sort of aura of sense.
Frank Spencer – Michael Crawford
Betty Spencer – Michelle Dotrice
Raymond Allen (20 episodes, 1973–78)
Michael Crawford (7 episodes, 1978)
(13 episodes, 1973)
(7 episodes, 1978)
Directed By: Sydney Lotterby