Babes In The Wood, 1998
No, it’s not the old pantomime. Babes In The Wood was the ITV sitcom that ran for fourteen episodes (including a Christmas special) over two series. Never the most acclaimed sitcom it’s another forgotten comedy that’s worth watching for it’s female stars alone.
Taking five years in production with an unbroadcast pilot episode and a long casting process along the way, it took some time to get this sitcom to the screen. It was felt at the time that there was a lack of good quality mainstream British comedy on TV and ITV had a desire for a big hit sitcom.
Babes In The Wood was intended to rival US hit sitcom of the time “Friends” Regretably ITV’s high hopes were dashed when the show was savaged by critics.
The series has yet to be released to DVD.
Babes In The Wood referred to three women in their twenties, sharing a flat in St John’s Wood in London. Leigh is streetwise and tough, while Ruth is bossy and Caralyn is ditzy.
In the flat next door lives Charlie Lovall, the former owner of a video shop whose divorce has cost him dear, although he still has his Porsche. Leigh works as a waitress for public school-educated Benito at the nearby Bar Coda. Ruth marries an old millionaire and leaves after the first series and is replaced by would be model Frankie.
Denise van Outen – Leigh Jackson
Natalie Walter – Caralyn Monroe/Munroe
Karl Howman – Charlie Lovall
Mark Hayford – Benito
Samantha Janus – Ruth Ford/Frause (series 1 and 1998 special)
Madeleine Curtis – Francesca “Frankie” Fraiser-Jones (series 2)
James Buller – Nick (series 2)
Geoff Deane, Paul Alexander, Simon Braithwaite, Ian Searle and Fleur Costello.
Original Transmission Dates: 23rd July 1998 – 3rd September 1999