Till Death Us Do Part started life as a Comedy Playhouse pilot, before running for seven series between 1965 and 1975, it became one of the most controversial programs of it’s time and possibly still is today. It almost certainly would not be commissioned today.
The show focuses on the day to day lives and opposing opinions of the Garnett family, led by, reactionary white working–class Alf Garnett who holds racist and anti-socialist views. His gentle and long-suffering wife Else (who is often referred to as the silly moo) and his dizzie daughter Rita. Rita’s bright, but layabout husband Mike Rawlins (often referred to as a Scouse Git) is a socialist. The character Alf Garnett became a well known character in British Culture.
Alf Garnett – Warren Mitchell
Else Garnett – Dandy Nichols
Rita Rawlins – Una Stubbs
Mike Rawlins – Antony Booth
Written By: Johnny Speight
Spin Offs: A feature length movie was released in 1969
Original Transmission Dates:
Pilot 22nd July 1965
First Run: 6th June 1966 – 16th February 1968
Second Run: 13th September 1972 – 16th December 1975
Three episodes from the 1970’s were released on BBC Video (now deleted), DVD releases of the series from 1970’s were released by Network DVD (now deleted. N.B. we enquired with Network about future plans and they advised their license had expired. We enquired with 2Entertain the BBC DVD arm they advised us that there were no plans to re -release)
Most of the show’s 26 episodes from series 1-3 broadcast in black and white and broadcast between 1965-68 no longer exist; they were wiped by the BBC during the mid 1970s.
Currently, most material from twelve episodes still survive, with one episode on the original tape and the rest on film or domestic formats. In 1997 the long-lost episode, “Alf’s Dilemma”, was found in a private collection on a 21-minute 16mm telerecording (some sources state that the episode is an edited version, others that it was just a short episode). The episode was re-broadcast in 1998 on satellite channel UK Gold.
The other surviving 1960s B&W episodes that still exist are: Arguments, Arguments; A House With No Love In It; Peace & Goodwill; In Sickness and In Health; State Visit; Alf’s Dilemma; Till Closing Time Do Us Part; The Phone; The Blood Donor. Sequences exist from: the pilot episode; Intolerance; Sex Before Marriage; The Bulldog Breed; A Wapping Mythology (The Workers’ King); The Puppy; Aunt Maud.