Keep It In The Family, 1980
Monday nights at 7pm in January 1980, you would have been tuning into this little gem. Made by Thames Television for ITV, Keep It In The Family ran for five series totalling 31 episodes between 1980 and 1983. It was about a likeable and irrepressably fun-loving and mischievous British cartoonist, Dudley Rush. Also featured were Dudley’s wife, Muriel and their two daughters, Jacqui and Susan. Dudley’s literary agent, Duncan Thomas, was also featured.
Dudley and Muriel Rush have two daughters Jacqui (in her early twenties) and Susan (in her late teens) and own and live in a multi-storey house, where the ground floor has been converted into a flat, which has been rented. When the tenant dies, the family arrive to carry off all his possessions.
Dudley wants to rent out to the flat to somebody else, but his two daughters have other ideas. They want to have the vacant downstairs flat for themselves, so they can escape from the parental home and from Dudley’s obsessive gaze. His daughters’ pleas win the day and the two girls move into the flat. However Dudley’s obsessive and possessive gaze is still on them and he objects to the young men who, he notices, visit his daughters.
Dudley earns his living from drawing his cartoon strip “Barney – the Bionic Bulldog” which he does while holding a pencil in the paw of his ventriloquist lion glove puppet. He draws the cartoon strip under protest for his literary agent Duncan Thomas, who sells Dudley’s cartoon to newspapers. Any distraction will do him other than draw the cartoon strip and he procrastinates to such an extent that he is forever missing the deadline for his illustrations, much to the frustration of the long-suffering Duncan.
This series was compulsive viewing with it’s mischievous comedy and the two girls were gorgeous. A great sitcom well worth a second watch on DVD as it does not get many repeat outings.
Jenny Quayle (series 1&2)
Sabrina Franklin (series 3-5)
Created By: Brian Cooke
Original Run: 7th January 1980 – 19th October 1983