This sitcom started life on BBC Radio 4, in 1997. Here it was broadcast in 15-minute episodes as part of BBC Radio 4’s long running magazine program Woman’s Hour. On radio it starred Patricia Routledge and Prunella Scales. The series itself was based on a series of books of the same name written by Carole Hayman and Lou Wakefield.
The premise of the show had Routledge starring as Vera Small and Scales as Irene Spencer, two elderly ladies who share a sometimes rocky relationship conducted by correspondence. The success of that first radio series lead to adaptations of several sequels that continued right through to the television version.
In 2009 a television version was broadcast, although not as long running as it’s radio counterpart, it managed two series, the the second series was broadcast in two parts the first airing in April 2010 and the second aired in October 2010.
Series one went back to the Ladies’ beginnings, we see how they met, and how they both ended up in prison together! Series Two was based on the second book and sees Vera living on a trailer park in Vicker-upon-St Agnes, and Irene goes Down Under to visit her daughter and ends up in a drying out clinic.
Maureen Lipman as Irene
Anne Reid as Vera.
Written By: Carole Hayman and Lou Wakefield.
Produced for ITV By: Tiger Aspect
Original Transmission Dates: 3rd February 2009 – 16th November 2010