TV Cream

TV: M is for...

Man About the House

Richard dreams of yet another power cutNEITHER AGE nor any number of middling Martin Clunes-based rehashes shall wither the legend of Robin Tripp (RICHARD O’SULLIVAN) who used his roguish charm and cookery skills to bag a flat with incomparable pairing of Chrissy (PAULA WILCOX) and Jo (SALLY THOMSETT). This was sitcom at its very very best, with easy gags, easy plots, fanciable leads and fanciful supports, namely incompetent balding landlord George (BRIAN MURPHY) and his loopy mantrap wife Mildred (YOOTHA JOYCE). You know what went on. Climbing up drainpipes. Never quite shagging anyone. Dead budgie Christmas episode. Film spinoff with “a galaxy of stars” (“Yes, Thames Television, Euston Road please). The “Beans! Beans! Chunky chicken!” driving test. And that superlative parpy theme tune. Even more to its credit, both spin-offs – [cref 5923 ROBIN’S NEST] and [cref 3179 GEORGE AND MILDRED] – were equally outstanding.



  1. Mr Grimsdale

    July 7, 2009 at 9:38 am

    I wasn’t a big fan but it’s very evocative of a period in time. But the saddest thing about it all can be seen here:-–I-love-Man-About-The-House.html

    • Joanne Gray

      February 19, 2017 at 6:09 pm

      Well, he’s still with us in 2017 – but that picture shocked me. It was only the shape of his mouth that made him recognisable.

  2. Joe

    July 7, 2009 at 10:22 pm

    I have actually voluntarily sat through the film version, mainly because a lot of the exteriors were shot at the end of my street…

  3. Glenn A

    July 9, 2009 at 6:55 pm

    The film version was OK but made far more bearable for me by the presence of the now gone Thames Studios, Bill Grundy, Spike Milligan and Rudolph Walker and Bill Smethurst from Love Thy Neighbour, where a typically thick George starts referring to Rudolph Walker by his racist screen name and can’t work out why the two actors are friends off set. Steak Diane and laxatives also come to mind and a theme tune that sounds very much like something Lynsey de Paul would write. Otherwise not that funny except for these legendary moments.

  4. Lee James Turnock

    May 1, 2010 at 12:25 pm

    Why no mention of the marvellous Larry Simmons, the laddish tenant in the Ropers’ attic played by Doug Fisher? I always wanted a friend like him. (Feels sad and twatty all of a sudden…)

  5. The Haj

    July 15, 2010 at 11:49 am

    Didn’t Robin’s brother, Norman, look awfully like Geoffery Fourmile? (Or am I sad for thinking that, too?). Has anyone else had the debate with your brother, who would like to go out with – Jo or Chrissy?

  6. Applemask

    May 25, 2013 at 3:14 pm

    “What’s on the box? Man About the House with Paula Wilcox”.

  7. borgduck

    November 8, 2013 at 5:45 pm

    The first episode is on ITV3 as I post. Mr George Roper, the groper.

  8. IanW1968

    March 7, 2014 at 2:09 pm

    I just watched all of the 4th, 5th and 6th series on youtube, it’s still brilliant. Robin’s buying a piano off Roper. Robin: ‘do you play the piano Mr Roper?’ Roper: ‘I can pick something out with one finger’, Mildred ‘we’ve seen you George, it’s a filthy habit’.

  9. Gavin

    May 14, 2014 at 7:07 pm

    Norman Tripp was played by Norman Eshley. Who went on to play Jeffrey Fourmile in George & Mildred.

  10. Neville Jackson

    July 17, 2018 at 10:04 pm

    Here’s the premise…

    There’s a “bloke” (our beloved Robin)…

    He shares a flat with two “birds”….he’s not “shagging” either of them…so his landlord (our beloved George) thinks he’s a “poofta”….repeat ad nauseam for what…5? FIVE? series? ITV light entertainment for you…

    Name a decent ITV sitcom NOT starring our beloved Robin…you can’t can you?

  11. Glenn Aylett

    November 27, 2021 at 7:59 pm

    Just a thought, George Roper is either unemployed or in dead end jobs like a night watchman, so how can he afford a three storey house, or be able to live in middle class suburbia in George and Mildred? It’s never quite explained in either series, but my hunch is Mildred came from a wealthier background than George and seems more aspirational than her husband and has a well off sister.

    • Richardpd

      November 27, 2021 at 10:21 pm

      Quite often characters in TV & Films have people living in property they wouldn’t be able to afford. Friends managed to joke about this, mentioning the building was rent controlled & the main apartment sub-let from someone on a long lease.

      Maybe George & Mildred bought their house as a wreck & fixed it up, or inherited enough money to buy it.

      • Glenn Aylett

        November 28, 2021 at 1:46 pm

        @ Richardpd, I can only assume Mildred inherited some money, or borrowed it from her well off sister, and had enough to put down a deposit on a house. Remember then, London had plenty of cheapish property in parts of the West End that were yet to be gentrified. Also in the film and the series, there’s always the threat that the Ropers home will be compulsorily purchased, something which eventually happens, and they likely get enough to move to the suburbs in George and Mildred.

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