Inspired by the writer’s wife’s difficult experience juggling a career in Public Relations after having had two children. Executive stress was an ITV sitcom that had all the golden ingredients, Penelope Keith starring, written by George Layton (of Doctor at large etc fame) and produced by John Howard Davies (Steptoe, The Good Life, Mr Bean to name but a few). It ran for three series between 1986 and 1988. In series two Peter Bowles replaces Geoffrey Palmer as Donald Fairchild.
The theme music “Why We Fell In Love” was performed by Julie Covington. The lyrics were written by Tim Rice with the instrumentals composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber.
After 25 years of marriage, Mother-of-five Caroline Fairchild decides to go back to work. Her husband Donald would like her to work part-time in their home town of Amersham in Buckinghamshire. Instead she gets a job in London as an Editorial Director for an American company called “Oasis Publishing”. At the company she is reunited with her former secretary, Anthea Duxbury, who is a sales export director.
However all is not straight forward as “Oasis Publishing” now owned by the “Frankland Corporation”, which is run by Edgar Frankland, Jr., the son of the corporation’s boss. On Caroline’s first day at work, Frankland takes over “Ginsberg”, the company that Donald works for and they find themselves working together. There’s only one problem: an unwritten rule at Frankland states that married couples cannot work together, so they have to pretend not to know each other, and Caroline uses her maiden name of Fielding.
In the second series the secret is out and Edgar finds out they are married. However things turn out to be not so bad, or are they, as instead of sacking them, Edgar makes them joint managing directors of “Oasis Publishing”
Penelope Keith — Caroline Fairchild (née Fielding)
Geoffrey Palmer — Donald Fairchild (series 1)
Peter Bowles — Donald Fairchild (from series 2)
Harry Ditson — Edgar Frankland Jr
Elizabeth Counsell — Anthea Duxbury
Mark Caven — Anthony
Hilary Gish – Nicky
Timothy Carlton – Peter Stuart (series 1)
David Neville – Peter Stuart (series 2)
Lorraine Doyle – Jackie (series 1 and 2)
Ben Robertson (actor) – Stephen Cass (series 1 and 2)
Wanda Ventham – Sylvia (series 2)
Donald Pickering – Gordon (series 2)
Vincent Brimble – Tim Jackson (series 3)
Geoffrey Whitehead – Peter Davenport (series 3)
Written By: George Layton
Produced By: John Howard Davies
Original transmission Dates: 20th October 1986 – 27th December 1988