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In Sickness and in Health
Format Sitcom
Created by Johnny Speight
Starring Warren Mitchell
Dandy Nichols
Carmel McSharry
Eamonn Walker
Arthur English
Una Stubbs
Ken Campbell
Eileen Kennally
Tricia Kelly
Country of origin United Kingdom
No. of episodes 47
Production
Running time 30 minutes
Broadcast
Original channel BBC1
Original run 1985 – 1992
Chronology
Preceded by Til Death Us Do Part

In Sickness and in Health was a BBC television sitcom which ran between 1985 and 1992. It was also a sequel to both the highly successful Til Death Us Do Part which ran between 1966 and 1975 and Till Death... which ran for one series (six episodes) in 1981.

Contents

The first series

This comedy series debuted in 1985 and took the former Till Death Us Do Part characters Alf Garnett, played by Warren Mitchell and Else Garnett (Dandy Nichols) from their Wapping house to a lower class one level apartment in the East End of London. Else now uses a wheelchair and Alf grumbles about having to push her around everywhere.

The council sends a black, gay man named Winston, played by Eamonn Walker, to do housework and help care for Else. Despite Alf's dual prejudices against Winston, eventually the two became used to one another, and Winston takes Alf to watch his beloved West Ham United. Alf nevertheless gave Winston the nickname Marigold.

Alf and Else's daughter Rita (played by Una Stubbs) occasionally appeared, and often Alf was seen drinking with his friend Arthur (played by Arthur English) in the local pub. Across the road lived Fred Johnson (played by Ken Campbell), a man stubborn like Alf with whom he rarely got along. When angry, Fred bumped his head on the wall. Mrs.Johnson (Fred's wife, first played by Eileen Kennally from Series 1 to 3 and then from Series 4 to 6 by Tricia Kelly) was an odd woman who suffered from nervousness. One source of the comical element was that Mrs.Johnson was forever symapthetic towards Alf and his predicament (when his wife was poorly, and later when he became a widower) in contrast to Fred who enjoyed seeing Alf struggle.

Series two-six

The first series ended on October 13, 1985 and was very popular in the ratings. On Boxing Day a Christmas special was aired with huge success. But just as plans for a second series began tragedy struck. Dandy Nichols died on February 13, 1986.

When Dandy died, the decision was taken to continue the series, as the ratings and audience appreciation had been excellent. An episode was written in which her character died of natural causes. Left alone after all the other mourners have gone home, Alf, the belligerent old curmudgeon who had always treated his wife appallingly, gently touched the handle of her (now empty) wheelchair and sobbed "Silly old moo!".

In series two, Carmel McSharry joined the cast playing Mrs. Hollingbery, who lived upstairs. The two were not friends at first but later became close. The roles of the Johnsons increased, and several recurring characters were added including Rabbi Rabinsky, a Muslim shopkeeper, Winston's cousin, and the milkman.

During the fourth series, Eamonn Walker left the show; Alf got a new lodger, Pele; and Mrs. Hollingberry started to get closer to Alf. Eventually, Alf began courting her, and in the fourth series, they travelled to the Outback to meet Mrs. Hollingbery's long-lost brother and to get married; however, Alf got jilted and moved back to London.

In 1992 after two years off the air the sitcom returned for the sixth and last series of seven episodes in which Alf discovers a ton of banknotes and becomes very rich. During this series, Arthur did not appear due to the actor suffering bad health and Tricia Kelly departed and thus Mrs. Johnson ran off with another woman. The last episode aired on April 3, 1992.

After the cancellation

The series had 47 episodes, and unlike its predecessor, all the episodes are known to have survived. The show pops up from time to time on satellite and cable stations in the UK.

Although the final show was originally broadcast on April 3, 1992, Warren Mitchell would continue to perform as Alf Garnett on special sets; this meant on stage in front of a live audience, and similarly to an invited audience consisting largely of celebrities and public figures. In 1997, a number of shows were arranged for ITV (Granada). Mitchell also returned to the studio set to act in a number of mini-shows consisting of one scene per presentation; these would either be in his front room in the company of Mrs. Hollingberry or in the pub with a drinking partner. The material was written by Johnny Speight after the end of In Sickness and in Health as is clear from many of Alf's dialogues, these include a reference to the Labour Party returning to power in 1997 with Tony Blair. Following the death of Speight in 1998, Mitchell announced that he would retire from performing as Alf Garnett.

Episodes

Series 1

  1. Episode 1 (1 September 1985)
  2. Episode 2 (8 September 1985)
  3. Episode 3 (15 September 1985)
  4. Episode 4 (29 September 1985)
  5. Episode 5 (6 October 1985)
  6. Episode 6 (13 October 1985)

Christmas Special

  • Untitled (26 December 1985)

Series 2

  1. Episode 1 (4 September 1986)
  2. Episode 2 (11 September 1986)
  3. Episode 3 (18 September 1986)
  4. Episode 4 (25 September 1986)
  5. Episode 5 (2 October 1986)
  6. Episode 6 (9 October 1986)

Christmas Special

  • Untitled (23 December 1986)

Series 3

  1. Episode 1 (22 October 1987)
  2. Episode 2 (29 October 1987)
  3. Episode 3 (5 November 1987)
  4. Episode 4 (12 November 1987)
  5. Episode 5 (19 November 1987)
  6. Episode 6 (26 November 1987)

Christmas Special

  • Untitled (25 December 1987)

Series 4

  1. Episode 1 (7 September 1989)
  2. Episode 2 (14 September 1989)
  3. Episode 3 (21 September 1989)
  4. Episode 4 (28 September 1989)
  5. Episode 5 (5 October 1989)
  6. Episode 6 (12 October 1989)
  7. Episode 7 (19 October 1989)

Christmas Special

  • Untitled (25 December 1989)

Series 5

  1. Episode 1 (1 September 1990)
  2. Episode 2 (8 September 1990)
  3. Episode 3 (15 September 1990)
  4. Episode 4 (22 September 1990)
  5. Episode 5 (29 September 1990)
  6. Episode 6 (6 October 1990)
  7. Episode 7 (13 October 1990)
  8. Episode 8 (20 October 1990)
  9. Episode 9 (27 October 1990)
  10. Episode 10 (3 November 1990)

Christmas Special

  • Untitled (30 December 1990)

Series 6

  1. Episode 1 (21 February 1992)
  2. Episode 2 (28 February 1992)
  3. Episode 3 (6 March 1992)
  4. Episode 4 (13 March 1992)
  5. Episode 5 (20 March 1992)
  6. Episode 6 (27 March 1992)
  7. Episode 7 (3 April 1992)

Theme tune

The theme tune to the programme was written and performed by Chas & Dave, although they changed the lyrics when the character of Else died and Alf was left alone. The lyrics were changed again for the episodes set in Australia during the Fourth series.

International versions

In 1991 a Dutch version of the series, In voor en tegenspoed ("In good times and in bad"), debuted on Dutch TV. According to the end credits only the first 12 episodes were based on Speight's original scripts. Two more series of episodes were written by Paul-Jan Nelissen and Marc Nelissen. The Dutch Alf Garnett is called Fred Schuit (played by Rijk de Gooyer).[1] He lives in Amsterdam, supports AFC Ajax, drinks jenever for medicinal reasons, and doesn't trust a TV-set unless it's made in Eindhoven. The series was awarded two Awards of the Dutch Academy.[2]

DVD releases

  • Series 1: 9 June, 2008
  • Series 2: 22 September, 2008
  • Christmas Specials: 3 November, 2008
  • Series 3: 23 March, 2009
  • Series 4: 13 July, 2009
  • Series 5: TBA, 2010
  • Series 6: TBA, 2010


The remaining 2 series are scheduled to be released in 2010, along with a box set of all the series.

References

  1. ^ Dutch version IMBD.com
  2. ^ Awards IMBD.com

External links


In Sickness and in Health
Format Sitcom
Created by Johnny Speight
Starring Warren Mitchell
Dandy Nichols
Carmel McSharry
Eamonn Walker
Arthur English
Una Stubbs
Ken Campbell
Eileen Kennally
Tricia Kelly
James Ellis
Country of origin United Kingdom
No. of episodes 47
Production
Running time 30 minutes
Broadcast
Original channel BBC1
Original run 1985 – 1992
Chronology
Preceded by Til Death Us Do Part

In Sickness and in Health was a BBC television sitcom which ran between 1985 and 1992. It was also a sequel to both the highly successful Til Death Us Do Part which ran between 1966 and 1975 and Till Death... which ran for one series (six episodes) in 1981.

Contents

The first series

This comedy series debuted in 1985 and took the former Till Death Us Do Part characters Alf Garnett (Warren Mitchell) and his wife Else (Dandy Nichols) from their Wapping house to a lower class one-level flat in West Ham. Else now uses a wheelchair due to Nichols' real-life ill health.

The council sends a black, gay man named Winston (Eamonn Walker), to do the housework and help care for Else. Despite Alf's dual prejudices against Winston, eventually the two become used to one another, and Winston takes Alf to watch his beloved West Ham United. Nevertheless, Alf gives Winston the nickname "Marigold".

Alf and Else's daughter Rita (Una Stubbs) now lives with her husband Mike in his hometown of Liverpool and often visits her parents, although Mike does not appear (as Antony Booth had no interest in reprising the role). Usually, Alf is seen drinking with his friend Arthur (Arthur English) in the local pub.

Although his beloved Conservative Party has returned to power, Alf is not happy with Margaret Thatcher being Prime Minister because, according to him, "a woman's place is in the home". He's also unhappy about Else needing to use a wheelchair and the fact he has to push her around everywhere and that, after a lifetime of hard work and paying contributions to the Welfare State, he has to fight the social security system for a decent living allowance.

Across the road lives Fred Johnson (Ken Campbell), a man stubborn like Alf, whom he rarely gets along with. When angry, Johnson bumps his head on the wall. His wife (first played by Eileen Kennally from Series 1 to 3 and then by Tricia Kelly from Series 4 to 6) is an odd woman who suffers from nerves. Much of the comedy surrounding the Johnsons is based on Mrs.Johnson's sympathy towards Alf, often letting him walk all over them and much to the anger of Mr.Johnson.

Series two

The first series ended on 13 October 1985 and was very popular in the ratings. On Boxing Day a Christmas special was aired, which was also successful. But just as plans for a second series began tragedy struck. Dandy Nichols died on 6 February 1986, aged 78.

When Dandy Nichols died, the decision was taken to continue the series, as the ratings and audience appreciation had been excellent. By the first episode of series two, her character has died of natural causes. Left alone after all the other mourners have gone home, Alf, the belligerent old curmudgeon who always treated his wife appallingly, gently touches the handle of her (now empty) wheelchair and sobs "Silly old moo!".

In series two, Carmel McSharry became a permanent member of the cast playing Mrs Hollingbery, a gossipy, Catholic pensioner who lives in the flat upstairs. She did make an appearance in the first series but this was very low-key, and she had not been named as Mrs.Hollingbery either yet. Alf and Mrs Hollingbery don't get on at first but later become close. The roles of the Johnsons increased, and several recurring characters were added including Mr Rabinsky (a tightfisted Jew), Mr Kittel (Renu Setna) a Muslim shopkeeper, Winston's cousin, and the milkman.

Series three-six

During the third series, Rita divorces Mike and moves back to London to marry a doctor (although Una Stubbs did not appear in the show after series two). Eamonn Walker also left the series, Alf got a new lodger, Pele, and Mrs Hollingbery starts to get closer to Alf. Eventually, Alf begins courting her, and in the fourth series, they travel to the Outback to meet her long-lost brother and to get married; however, Alf gets jilted and moves back to London.

Series five was broadcast in 1990, these episodes focused on the build-up to Alf and Mrs.Hollingbery's big day which would end in disaster when the pair fall out at the altar over the revised terms and conditions of the cermon; Alf objecting to the removal of the "I obey" clause by the wife. Just as she rejects and abandoms him in the church, Alf is reminded by Fed that he has had a "lucky escape", to which Alf angrilly replies, "what do you mean? I could have watched the bloody football!!".

In 1992, after two years off the air, the sitcom returned for the sixth and final series of seven episodes in which Alf discovers a ton of banknotes and becomes very rich. During the final series, Arthur did not appear due to Arthur English suffering from ill health and Tricia Kelly departed, so Mrs Johnson runs off with another woman (their final appearances were the 1990 Christmas special focusing on the aftermath of the failed wedding). Mrs.Johnson did appear in this series but was portrayed by Yvonne D'Alpra (the third person to play the role). The last episode aired on 3 April 1992.

After the cancellation

The series had 47 episodes, and unlike its predecessor, all the episodes are known to have survived. The show is rarely repeated on television due to political incorrectness however, all of the episodes are now available on DVD.

Although the final show was broadcast in 1992, Warren Mitchell would continue to perform as Alf Garnett on special occasions; this meant on stage in front of a live audience, and similarly to an invited audience consisting largely of celebrities and public figures.

In 1997, a number of special shows were arranged for Granada Television, in which Alf would be in his front room in the company of Mrs Hollingbery or in the pub with a drinking partner. The material was written by Johnny Speight and Alf now grumbles about the Labour Party being returned to power under Tony Blair.

After Johnny Speight's death in 1998, Warren Mitchell decided that he no longer wanted to play Alf.

Episodes

Series 1

  1. Episode 1 (1 September 1985)
  2. Episode 2 (8 September 1985)
  3. Episode 3 (15 September 1985)
  4. Episode 4 (29 September 1985)
  5. Episode 5 (6 October 1985)
  6. Episode 6 (13 October 1985)

Christmas Special

  • Untitled (26 December 1985)

Series 2

  1. Episode 1 (4 September 1986)
  2. Episode 2 (11 September 1986)
  3. Episode 3 (18 September 1986)
  4. Episode 4 (25 September 1986)
  5. Episode 5 (2 October 1986)
  6. Episode 6 (9 October 1986)

Christmas Special

  • Untitled (23 December 1986)

Series 3

  1. Episode 1 (22 October 1987)
  2. Episode 2 (29 October 1987)
  3. Episode 3 (5 November 1987)
  4. Episode 4 (12 November 1987)
  5. Episode 5 (19 November 1987)
  6. Episode 6 (26 November 1987)

Christmas Special

  • Untitled (25 December 1987)

Series 4

  1. Episode 1 (7 September 1989)
  2. Episode 2 (14 September 1989)
  3. Episode 3 (21 September 1989)
  4. Episode 4 (28 September 1989)
  5. Episode 5 (5 October 1989)
  6. Episode 6 (12 October 1989)
  7. Episode 7 (19 October 1989)

Christmas Special

  • Untitled (25 December 1989)

Series 5

  1. Episode 1 (1 September 1990)
  2. Episode 2 (8 September 1990)
  3. Episode 3 (15 September 1990)
  4. Episode 4 (22 September 1990)
  5. Episode 5 (29 September 1990)
  6. Episode 6 (6 October 1990)
  7. Episode 7 (13 October 1990)
  8. Episode 8 (20 October 1990)
  9. Episode 9 (27 October 1990)
  10. Episode 10 (3 November 1990)

Christmas Special

  • Untitled (30 December 1990)

Series 6

  1. Episode 1 (21 February 1992)
  2. Episode 2 (28 February 1992)
  3. Episode 3 (6 March 1992)
  4. Episode 4 (13 March 1992)
  5. Episode 5 (20 March 1992)
  6. Episode 6 (27 March 1992)
  7. Episode 7 (3 April 1992)

Theme tune

The theme tune to the programme was written and performed by Chas & Dave, although they changed the lyrics when the character of Else died and Alf was left alone. The lyrics were changed again for the episodes set in Australia during the Fourth series.

International versions

In 1991 a Dutch version of the series, In voor en tegenspoed ("In good times and in bad"), debuted on Dutch TV. According to the end credits only the first 12 episodes were based on Speight's original scripts. Two more series of episodes were written by Paul-Jan Nelissen and Marc Nelissen. The Dutch Alf Garnett is called Fred Schuit (played by Rijk de Gooyer).[1] He lives in Amsterdam, supports AFC Ajax, drinks jenever for medicinal reasons, and doesn't trust a TV-set unless it's made in Eindhoven. The series was awarded two Awards of the Dutch Academy.[2]

DVD releases

  • Series 1: 9 June, 2008
  • Series 2: 22 September, 2008
  • Christmas Specials: 3 November, 2008
  • Series 3: 23 March, 2009
  • Series 4: 13 July, 2009
  • Series 5: 12 July, 2010
  • Series 6: 13 September, 2010
  • The Complete Collection: 13 September, 2010

References

  1. ^ Dutch version IMDB.com
  2. ^ Awards IMDB.com

External links








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