TV Cream

TV: F is for...

Fresh Fields

NONE-MORE-80S SUBURBACOM, the gold standard of wedding-ring-in-the-washing-up-bowl, contact-lens-down-the-back-of-the-sofa, iron-shaped-hole-burnt-through-best-posh-frock studio-bound audience-hooting 8.30pm weeknight whimsy. Title sequence laid out both “sit” and “com”: to bawdy instrumental version of “Pick yourself up, dust yourself down, start all over again!”, amusing silhouette shapes are struck by two protagonists, depicting his (reading paper, slumped in armchair) and hers (tossing pancake, riding exercise bike, playing drums) contrasting worlds. She (JULIA MACKENSIE) forever pines for new challenge evoked by show’s title. He (ANTON RODGERS) perfectly happy with status quo earning tons in the city. She signs up for pottery classes, bicycling classes, exercise classes, fencing classes, catering classes and the Meals On Wheels. He remains oblivious. She gives up new life 28 minutes later, just in time for closing credits. Show gains points by seamlessly melding everyday euphemism of title with names of principal characters (Hester and William Fields); gains more by having Hester’s mum live in a shed at the bottom of the garden; gains even more by writing in sassy neighbour always poking her nose in (Sonia, played by ANN BEACH); then gains still more by spinning-off into FRENCH FIELDS, wherein our heroes relocate to northern France for no reason other than to live next door to Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge Stewart and loads of people who go around with onions round their necks. “Excusez-moi, ou est le bicycle repair shop?” Hooray!



  1. Rob Free

    March 20, 2010 at 2:50 pm

    One of my favourite ever Reeves & Mortimer moments came when Mr Dennis told the audience they would be better off watching something like Fresh Fields. Genius!

  2. Glenn Aylett

    October 21, 2022 at 1:16 pm

    Terminally dull sitcom that seemed to go on forever and became French Fields when it decamped to France. All I remember are the titles with Julia Mc Kenzie on an exercise bike, as after a couple of episodes, it was see what was on the other side as like most ITV sitcoms of the eighties, it was very short on laughs, but surprisingly ran into the nineties.

  3. Richardpd

    October 21, 2022 at 10:50 pm

    I don’t remember this being on, but then again my parents only usually switched to ITV if something decent was on.

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