You can count the number of truly classic British sitcoms on one handówell, perhaps two. But however many hands you use, Porridge will be one of the first programs to register for inclusion. Undoubtedly one of the real gems, the prison-based show starring the late Ronnie Barker as the recalcitrant yet loveable rascal, Fletcher, transcends the generations; like any other classic, it remains as accessible and funny today as it did when first aired in the 1970s. Including the pilot, transmitted a year before the first series hit the screen, 21 installments were made, attracting audiences of up to 20 million. Written by those prolific scribes Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais, and brought to life by an estimable bunch of actors, headed by the great Ronnie B. as Fletch, a recidivist who spent most of his adult life behind bars, the sitcom quickly attracted plaudits and became a shining example of what good situation comedy is all about. This guide includes an overview of how Porridge was born and developed; a collection of classic quotes; snippets of info about the show, cast, etc.; the most memorable scenes in full; and a Porridge quiz.
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Richard Webber writes regularly about TV, contributing to newspapers and magazines including Daily Express, Sunday Express, Sunday Telegraph, and TV Quick; and is the author of more than a dozen books celebrating classic comedy, such as The A-Z of Dad's Army, The A-Z of Only Fools and Horses, Are You Being Served?: 25 Years, The Complete A-Z of Everything Carry On, The Complete One Foot in the Grave, and Rising Damp: A Celebration.
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