We’re looking at what an ITV Landmark Sitcom Season might look like , picking six of our favourite ITV sitcoms. We’ve reached number five.
A genuine side splitter and one of my favourite TV sitcoms. Made by Thames Television for ITV, Never The Twain ran up 67 episodes over 11 series. It was the only sitcom ever created by Johnnie Mortimer without his usual writing partner Brian Cooke.
Meet Oliver Smallbridge and Simon Peel, antiques dealers who are also bitter enemies (after a falling-out having been business partners). Unfortunately, despite being bitter enemies they are next-door neighbours, both in their homes and shops.
They are engaged in a continuous game of one-upmanship, so imagine the shock when they find out that their respective children Smallbridge’s daughter Lyn and Peel’s son David are in love and want to marry as soon as possible. The fathers are forced to reluctantly accept the relationship and marriage, which takes place at the end of the first series.
It is the continuous rivalry that provides the backdrop to all eleven series. Notable additional characters were Peel’s Butler, Banks, Smallbridge’s hilarious and clumsy shop assistant Ringo and just as clumsy housekeeper Mrs Sadler.
The series has enjoyed repeats on UK Gold and ITV3, but anybody who has never seen it really should check it out.
Windsor Davies – Oliver Smallbridge
Donald Sindon – Simon Peel
Teddy Turner – Banks
Derek Deadman – Ringo
Maria Charles – Mrs Sadler
Produced By: Thames Television for ITV
Created By: Johnnie Mortimer
Written By: Various
Original Transmission: 7 September 1981 – 9 October 1991