Friday 8 December 2017

Joan joins Ronnie for an Odd Job

Joan Sims wrote very fondly of the great Ronnie Barker in her autobiography, High Spirits. The pair worked together several times during the 1970s, with Joan even guesting in the infamous Two Ronnies sketch, The Phantom Raspberry Blower of Old London Town! It's clear Joan admired Ronnie's gift for comedy acting and writing and they shared a terrific sense of humour, as can be found in Joan's legendary Tit Boxes, a rather unusual present from Mr B!

Anyway, in early 1971 Joan co-starred with Ronnie in an episode of his television comedy series, Six Dates with Barker. Each episode was its own individual comedy playlet, as it were. The LWT series, rarely heard of today, also featured Ronnie's close friend and regular co-star David Jason. Joan's episode, broadcast in January '71 is called The Odd Job.

Ronnie plays Arthur Harriman, a rather boring suburban middle aged man lacking in imagination. Joan is his wife, Kitty, who having had more than enough of Arthur, packs her suitcase and leaves him telling him in no uncertain terms to drop dead! In comes David Jason as odd job man Clive. Arthur decides to end it all, but when faced with the grim task, he can't go through with it. So he asks Jason's Clive to do it for him. Of course, being a comedy show from the 1970s all does not go to plan, particularly when Arthur and Kitty are reunited and Clive really doesn't take the hint.

Despite Ronnie's star status, this half hour is really a showcase for the blossoming young talent of David Jason. Joan, although smashing as always, is given another nagging middle aged wife to play and while she does it admirably, I wish she'd been given something a little more challenging to do.

Anyway, it's a rarely seen blast from the past and you can view it here:

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