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British Sitcom: 60 Years of Laughing at Ourselves (2016)

The story of the British sitcom from HANCOCK'S HALF HOUR to GAVIN AND STACEY and beyond.


Breid McLoone




Credited cast:
Dick Clement Dick Clement ... Himself
Steve Coogan ... Himself / Alan Partridge
James Corden ... Himself / Smithy
Richard Curtis ... Himself
Jack Dee ... Himself
Hugh Dennis ... Himself
Rebecca Front ... Herself - Narrator (voice)
Michael Grade Michael Grade ... Himself
Jonathan Harvey Jonathan Harvey ... Himself
Nerys Hughes ... Herself
Ian La Frenais Ian La Frenais ... Himself
Graham Linehan ... Himself
Lee Mack ... Himself
Jon Plowman Jon Plowman ... Himself
Anna Raeburn Anna Raeburn ... Herself


The story of the British sitcom from HANCOCK'S HALF HOUR to GAVIN AND STACEY and beyond.

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Release Date:

12 September 2016 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

BBC Scotland See more »
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Features Fawlty Towers (1975) See more »

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User Reviews

Make em laugh
18 September 2016 | by Prismark10See all my reviews

If the BBC were going to make a program of 60 years of sitcoms then I expected a wide variety of the genre being reflected. There was a glimpse of an obscure Spike Milligan series called Curry & Chips but in the main this broke down reflecting the social history of the genre especially class, racism, sexism and homosexuality.

Therefore the program trotted out the usual suspects when it came to race such as Alf Garnett and Love thy Neighbour.

We get absolutely nothing about the origins of the situation comedy and how they initially were regarded as middle class based but not always. The ones that endured are ones like The Likely Lads, Steptoe & Son, Till Death Do Us Part.

Sometimes you had comedy shows that mixed people of different class such as Dad's Army and Last of the Summer Wine. It is well known that Dad's Army pulled a trick of having the more posher Sgt Wilson being a subordinate of Captain Mainwaring at the bank and at the Home Guards.

Very few people from the early days of sitcoms are featured. I understand that not all of them were alive but where are some of the actors who featured in Till Death or The Likely Lads or The Rag Trade. Producer Beryl Virtue is on hand to talk about the early days but that was about it.

Some shows were ignored completely such as Blackadder and Porridge. Nothing on shows like The Fosters starring Lenny Henry or No Problem that concentrated more on black characters, instead there was a focus on Desmonds which came years later.

I was also not convinced that Del Boy was a product of Thatcher's Britain. Apart from the show started well before the rise of the Yuppies I regard him as a descendant of the spiv characters from the World War 2 era.

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