Tuesday, 21 February 2017
Do you remember George Webley?
I came across a photo online of the late great Carry On actor Patsy Rowlands with fellow comedy legend and one-off Carry On guest star Dandy Nichols. I did some digging to find out what production the photo came from and it turns out to be a sitcom I've never heard of...until now.
Inside George Webley was a comedy series produced by ITV over two series, the first of which was broadcast in the autumn of 1968. The second followed two years later. Although only running to twelve episodes in total, the series had a strong pedigree. It was written by Keith Waterhouse (Billy Liar, That Was The Week That Was, Jeffrey Bernard is Unwell) and Willis Hall (who often worked alongside Waterhouse and was at one time married to Carry On supporting actress Valerie Shute). One of the directors on the series was Bill Hitchcock who was married to Carry On actor and comedy great Liz Fraser until his death.
The main characters of George and Rosemary were played by two of my favourite actors - Roy Kinnear and Patsy Rowlands, both sadly no longer with us. The series also featured a peppering of amazing guest stars. Over the entire run of episodes the likes of Dandy Nichols, Hattie Jacques, Frank Thornton, James Bolam, Peter Butterworth, Les Dawson, Roy Hudd, Clive Dunn and Gorden Kaye all made appearances.
The BFI website features scant information about Inside George Webley, however the British Comedy Guide provides the following summary:
George Webley, pseudo-intellectual, hypochondriac, obsessive compulsive and bank clerk - is married to Rosemary and they live 'happily' in their little council house in Leeds. He is constantly trying to better himself and his inability to see himself as others do leads him into situations where he is totally out of his depth.
So what happened to this sitcom then? Has it ever been repeated or dare I ask, has it been wiped from the archives? The quality of the writing team and cast of creative talent suggests it should be repeated or made available somewhere to download or buy. If anyone out there has more information on the show, has seen episodes or remembers it from its original broadcast, do please get in touch!
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