The Good Life, 1975
Perhaps one of the most endearing sitcoms ever written, The Good Life was the original environment friendly comedy. It covered so many issues so well. From Margo’s social climbing, to Jerry’s appeasement of his boss, the age old life begins at forty subject this BBC sitcom is as relevant to today’s audiences as it was when it first aired back in 1975.
The Good Life (so called after the surname of the two leading characters) ran for 30 episodes and two specials over four series between 1975 and 1978. The final episode, “When I’m Sixty-Five”, was a Royal Command Performance in front of the Queen, Duke Of Edinburgh and Senior BBC Management.
The show was originally written specifically as a vehicle for Richard Briers the only cast member who was well known before the show. However the popularity of the show made household names of the rest of the cast.
The writers were inspired by Larbey’s 40th birthday, which they thought of as a milestone in most people’s lives. In 2004, it came 9th in a poll commissioned by the BBC to find Britain’s Best Sitcom.
On his 40th birthday, Tom Good gives up his job as a draughtsman in a company that makes plastic toys for breakfast cereal packets as he is no longer able to take his job seriously. Their house is fully paid for, so he and his wife Barbara make a decision to live a, simple and self-sufficient lifestyle while staying in their beloved home in The Avenue,Subiton. In pursuit of this “good life”, they dig up their front and back gardens and convert them into allotments, growing fruit and veg, much to the horror of their social climbing next-door neighbours.
Watch to the end of this clip, Penelope Keith’s Finest Moment ?
Tom Good – Richard Briers
Barbara Good – Felicity Kendal
Jerry (Jeremy) Leadbetter – Paul Eddington
Margo Leadbetter – Penelope Keith
Channel: BBC 1
Written By: John Esmunde and Bob Larbey
Produced By: John Howard Davies
Original Transmission Dates: 4th April 1975 to 10th June 1978.