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Till Death Us Do Part/In Sickness and in Health

"And...cue the unbearable tumult of shouting!"EAR-SPLITTING BIGOTCOM which set out to ridicule the views of the central, West Ham supporting little Enoch, Alf Garnett (WARREN MITCHELL), and succeeded – just about, if you could actually hear what was being said amidst all the bawling and gurning. Most episodes were mainly just front-room debates/slanging matches between Garnett and his left-leaning son in law and “randy scouse git” (ANTHONY “Prime Minister’s father-in-law” BOOTH), and his wife UNA STUBBS. DANDY NICHOLLS, as the far-gone Mrs. Garnett, completed the squalid foursome. When they did venture outside, it was only to go to the pub, or for Garnett to fall out of a window (he spent one entire episode stuck there) or plummet downhill in a wheelchair. Top mouthing off choreographed by writer JOHNNY SPEIGHT. Michael Grade brought the whole melee back in the mid-80s for IN SICKNESS…, to deteriorating effect (literally in Nicholls’ case).



  1. Matty

    April 28, 2011 at 5:04 pm

    During the ’80s/90s series (or possibly after it) I seem to recall one story set in Austrialia that featured a re-sung theme-tune with Alf Garnett singing about how he was off to “Aussie” where they’ve “got a bob or two”.

  2. Mick

    September 21, 2012 at 1:07 am

    It may have been to deteriorating effect by In Sickness…, though the humour was at its sharpest by the end. Matters still weren’t helped by the public possibly tiring after 25 years of on-and-off Garnett and a jittery PC Beeb scared stiff of being called racist over the show’s language before cancelling it. (Irony indeed as writer Johnny Speight made his name as an anti-racist writer.)

    Subsequent one-man stand up shows with Mitchell still did well however.

  3. Glenn Aylett

    November 2, 2018 at 3:06 pm

    Unlikely to ever be shown again, but one of the greatest sitcoms of the last century. The whole thing about it was Garnett was being shown up as a racist buffoon whose outlandish ideas like Chinese takeaways being a communist plot were hilarious, and his rows with his ultra left wing son in law were often hilarious to watch as both were as bad as each other. Yet while Auntie will never show Till Death again on PC grounds, most episodes are available on Youtube.

    • THX 1139

      November 3, 2018 at 12:15 am

      BBC Four repeated an episode a year or so ago.

  4. richardpd

    November 2, 2018 at 10:52 pm

    It’s slightly ironic that In Sickness and in Health was made in the era Alf didn’t have quite so much to moan about, being the height of Thatcher & Labour seemed to be stuck in opposition.

    Certainly the storylines tended to drift into Alf being more of a buffoon or cheapskate than the political slanging matches in Till Death Us Do Part.

    One episode that stands out is when Alf is visited by some female relatives of questionable mental ability.

    They do things like thinking Alf’s portrait of the Queen is Great Auntie Dolly (he didn’t like that!) & mistaking Arthur for someone else & tipping a pint of beer over his head!

  5. Glenn Aylett

    November 3, 2018 at 11:30 am

    @ richardpd, the best series was probably the one made in 1972, with the miners strike, power cuts and an IRA bombing campaign, where Alf was at his best with his answers to these problems. Also this series has the hilarious and very un PC scene on a train with Spike Milligan in blackface, giving as good as he gets. However, In Sickness was OK, but without Tony Booth and Dandy Nichols, it lost most of its bite.

  6. Tom Ronson

    March 31, 2022 at 4:42 pm

    In Sickness and in Health was fine, up to and including the series set in Australia (with the great John Bluthal as Mrs Hollingbery’s well-to-do relative), but the BBC kept it going for far too long. The final batch of episodes, where Alf finds a fortune in old bank notes stashed in a wardrobe, absolutely reeked of desperation – one scene involved a group of skinheads (in the early nineties), which showed how lazy Johnny Speight had become.

    • THX 1139

      March 31, 2022 at 4:49 pm

      The Thoughts of Chairman Alf made In Sickness and in Health look like Edge of Darkness.

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