Another forgotten gem from Ronnie Barker.
By the time Clarence arrived on our screens, Ronnie Barker the man who had given us so many comic gems had decided to retire and run an antiques shop. However, before he did he wrote and starred in one last sitcom – Clarence.
Running for only one series totalling six episodes Clarence is not widely remembered among comedy fans as it has not enjoyed the benefit of repeats that many other comedies (including Open All Hours) have enjoyed on the many Digital channels available. Another point that is unusual, for someone of Barker’s calibre, the series was broadcast on BBC 2.
In fairness this writer felt that the first episode was funny, much as you’d expect from a Ronnie Barker sitcom, but the rest of the series failed to live up to the standard of it’s first episode.
The series itself was inspired by The Removals Person by Hugh Leonard, an earlier programme in the 1971 LWT comedy series, Six Dates With Barker.
It’s 1937, on the day of King George VI’s coronation and Clarence Sale, a short-sighted removal man is clearing the house of a snooty upper-class lady who is moving abroad. It is here, he meets Jane Travers, her maid.
The pair find themselves mutually attracted and it’s not long before Clarence proposes to her. Jane decides that they should have a trial period of living together in a small cottage she has been given in an inheritance to see if they are compatible, with a bolster in the bed to preserve her chasteness.
The series followed this unconventional relationship, as well as Clarence’s attempts at his furniture-moving profession.
Written By: Bob Ferris (Ronnie Barker)
Original Transmission Dates: 4th January 1988 – 8th February 1988