Duty Free, 1984
Based on a one-off play by writer Eric Chappell entitled: “We’re Strangers Here”, that was first performed on TV and starred Geraldine McEwan and Ian Hendry. The TV play had just the two cast members. Subsequently the play transferred to stage of the Theatre Royal, Windsor. Here the cast expanded to four.
“We’re Strangers Here” became Duty Free the hugely popular ITV sitcom about two couples who take a holiday to Spain. It ran for three series between 1984 and 1986 clocking up twenty two episodes, ending with a Christmas episode.
Although the series was set in Spain it was actually filmed entirely in a Leeds TV studio. It was only for the concluding Christmas special was the budget found to film some scenes in Spain at the Don Carlos Hotel & Spa.
Today the series is one of a number of ITV sitcoms to be repeated on ITV3.
David and Amy Pearce are a working-class Northern couple who decide to take a holiday to Spain with David’s redundancy money. Whilst staying in Marbella they meet a middle-class Conservative couple Robert and Linda Cochran.
Comedy ensues when David falls for Linda and begins a secret affair. This leads to hilarious consequences as David launches himself from one disaster to another as he tries to conceal his affair.
Much to the annoyance of his wife Amy an affair isn’t the only effect meeting the Cochrans has on David. He starts to become uncomfortable with his own status and politics and tries to change his outlook, to impress Linda. This leads to some classic put down moments from his wife Amy.
Keith Barron – David Pearce
Gwen Taylor – Amy Pearce
Joanna Van Gyseghem – Linda Cochran
Neil Stacy – Robert Cochran
Carlos Douglas – Carlos the Waiter
Bunny May – Hotel manager (series 1)
George Camiller – Hotel manager (series 2 and 3)
Ray Mort – George (series 1 and 2)
Hugo Bower – Zimmerman (series 1)
Joseph Fazal – Spanish Policeman (series 2)
Written By: Eric Chappell and Jean Warr
Produced By: Yorkshire Television for ITV
Original Transmission Dates: 13th February 1984 – 25th December 1986