Perhaps Sid James’ finest moment… Bless This House, 1971
Produced for ITV by Thames Television, Bless this House ran for sixty five episodes over six series between 1971 and 1976. The show rated number 67 in a poll to find Britain’s best sitcom.
Bless This House centres around life in Birch Avenue, Putney, where travelling stationery salesman Sid Abbott and his wife Jean live with their teenage children, Mike, who is fresh from art college and more preoccupied with protests than finding a job, and Sally, a trendy schoolgirl. The children are 18 and 16 years old at the start of the series. Sid and Jean constantly battle to comprehend the permissive ways of the new generation and are usually out of touch. Their neighbours and best friends are Trevor and his wife Betty.
Sid James – Sid Abbott
Diana Coupland – Jean Abbott
Robin Stewart – Mike Abbott
Sally Gleeson – Sally Abbott
Original Transmission Dates: 2nd February 1971 – 22nd April 1976
Like many TV sitcoms of the time there was a movie version in 1972
Bless This House came to an abrupt end in 1976, when, just four days after broadcast of the final episode of the sixth series, Sid James died. He collapsed on stage at the Sunderland Empire, during a performance of The Mating Season after failing to respond to a cue. James had suffered a heart attack. He later died on the way to the hospital.
Bless This House is among the many classic shows repeated on Forces TV, check your TV guide for channel numbers.