Carla Lane’s Forgotten Sitcoms

Carla Lane broke the tradition of all male sitcom writers when alongside Myra Taylor she created The Liver Birds.  Other successes followed.  We all remember her work on Bless This House, Butterflies and of course the 1980’s classic: Bread.

However there are a number of other sitcoms Carla wrote that perhaps don’t get mentioned as often or didn’t run for so long, this post aims to put that right.

These are what we call the forgotten years,  we’ve selected three of these lesser known sitcoms compiled from what little information exists.

Summary, Clips and Details

No Strings, 1974

This was a series of seven episodes (including the pilot) that ran in 1974.  The story revolved around Derek and his new, quirky flatmate Leonora, and their burgeoning relationship.  It starred Rita Tushingham and keith Barron.  Produced and directed by: John Howard Davies, the pilot was broadcast on BBC1 on the 16th April 1974 as part of the long running series Comedy Playhouse, with a full series of six episodes broadcast from 4th October – 8th November 1974.



Going, Going, Gone….Free, 1975

Another pilot for BBC Comedy Playhouse.  Unfortunately this one did not make it to a full series.  This one concerned: a divorcee who is looking forward to being single again.  Produced by: Gareth Gwenlan, who would later go on produce Only Fools And Horses,  It starred, among others: Peter Duncan (Blue Peter). Geoffrey Palmer and Pauline Yates.  It was broadcast 9th July 1975 and was Carla’s last comedy for the long running series.

Me, You and Him, 1979

Very little exists on this.  We know it was broadcast in 1979 and was a one off story (a comedy we think) about the further adventures of Lucien, the rabbit loving brother of one of the Liver Birds.

In Conclusion

It’s a shame so much of some of Britain’s most celebrated comedy writers’ work has either been wiped or just forgotten about.  Carla Lane was among Britain’s most successful sitcom writers, yet there are many shows she wrote that have been forgotten about.  We were only able to find limited details on the three we picked out and only one clip.






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