Even in the days of Granada Plus I don’t remember seeing this one get a repeat. A Thora Hird classic. This sitcom set in an undertakers was ten years before it saw the light of day, having originally been aired as a pilot for a potential series (it’s those Pilot Episodes again) in 1969 by Thames, who decided not to take it any further.
Come forward to 1979 and Yorkshire Television commission the series. It ran for 5 series totaling 37 episodes between 1979 and 1986.
The setting for the show was the fictional Yorkshire town of Oldshaw during the 1930s. It’s believed The writer Dick Sharples chose this period as this was the time when undertakers were switching from horse drawn hearses to mechanical ones.
The year is 1929 and in episode one Jeremiah Unsworth (Freddie Jones), the proprietor of the undertakers, dies. Thus leaving his widow Ivy (Thora Hird) and gormless nephew Billy (Christopher Beeny) to take over the business.
The comedy comes from the accident-prone Ivy and Billy, who have numerous mishaps. There’s hardly a funeral goes by without something untoward occurring.
Written By: Dick Sharples
Produced By: Thames Television (TV pilot), Yorkshire Television (TV series)
Original Transmission Dates: 4 November 1969 (Pilot), 21st May 1979 – 3rd April 1986 (TV Series)