As Time Goes By, 1992
A strong cast, good script writer, all the ingredients for a successful sitcom. As time goes by was a BBC sitcom that ran for a mammoth sixty seven episodes over nine series.
Created by Colin Bostock-Smith (Basil Brush, Not The Nine O’Clock News, The Two Ronnies), the show had originally been entitled Winter with Flowers, but changed to As Time Goes By for it’s TV debut. Although created by Colin Bostock-Smith, it was actually written by Bob Larbey (co-writer of of The Good Life).
The part of Jean played by Judi Dench had originally been offered to Jean Simmons, but she declined to give up her life in California. Judi Dench was offered the role after auditioning for it. Of course Judi had previously starred in the Channel 4 sitcom “A Fine Romance” and has had a hugely succesful career in film. Of course this included a stint playing M in the James Bond films. Another James Bond Connection was Geoffrey Palmer (the Admiral in Tomorrow Never Dies) who played the part of Lional.
The series came to an end in 2005, but still enjoys regular repeats on freeview channel UKTV Drama. Three series were adapted for radio in 1997, broadcast on BBC Radio 2 between 1997 and 1999.
Lionel Hardcastle and Jean Pargetter were lovers many years ago at the time of the Korean War. Separated by a misunderstanding they meet again by chance when Lionel hires a secretary from Jean’s firm “Type For You”. He takes her daughter, Judy, out on a date and discovers she is Jean’s daughter. The two reunite and fall back in love.
The rekindled relationship is slow to blossom but soon gathers pace, by series three the two are living together and in series four they marry.
Created By: Colin Bostock-Smith
Written By: Bob Larbey
Theatre of Comedy Entertainment, in association with DLT Entertainment Ltd. for the BBC.
Directed By: Sidney Lotterby
Original Transmission Dates: 2nd January 1992 – 14th December 2005