TV Cream

Your Friday Night In...

Your Friday Night In… January 1978

Maggie and Her
Friday, 13th January 1978


Julia Mackenzie plays it vaguely working class as unlucky in love divorcee Maggie, and Irene Handl plays it – well – like Irene Handl as Her. Or Mrs Perry, known to Maggie as Mrs P. And, inevitably, she’s a malaprop-afflicted eccentric. The sit? Simply that they’re neighbours in a London high rise, and here’s where their story begins, as the constant presence of window cleaner Bernard Holley prompts Mrs P and co – ie. Anna Wing –  to jump to the wrong conclusion. The second part of a double-bill of comedy that was kicked off by Mind Your Language. Theme by Laurie ‘Beadle’s About’ Holloway sung by Julia herself, winsomely musing, “Someday very soon…” “Oh yeah?” interjects Handl.



pinkpantherQuick question: There are lots of funny animals in all this world, but have you ever seen a panther that is pink? Think! We’ll leave that with you, while considering the antics of the gentleman, scholar and acrobat who arrived at the Chinese Cinema being cabbied by The Stig, who’d opted for a short-cut up Washed-Out Film Stock boulevard. Today’s triple-pack of funnies hail from season one – because The Pink Panther Show has an episode guide and seasons – and saw the fuchsia-feline end up in hospital, ‘The Inspector’ (as he was fastidiously billed) sit on a swivel chair and accidentally tumble out of a window (“I ‘ope none of you are laughing!”), and the panther, again, spray-paint a car. A MIRISCH GEOFFREY DePATIE-FRELENG PRODUCTION.


Majestically scored financial journalism, which always threw up an impassively panicked episode title. Tonight: ‘Can Britain Manage?’ James Bellini ventures into the field to talk to British managers – the people who take the decisions about industry (ah, remember industry?). How good are they? Are they committed to their companies, their products (remember products?) and their employees?



  1. Applemask

    January 13, 2017 at 1:14 pm

    Not much on 39 years ago, was there?

  2. Glenn A

    January 13, 2017 at 1:39 pm

    In reply to Applemask, two sitcoms in a slot filled by two soaps that never seem to be off ITV now and while Mind Your Language made Love Thy Neighbour look PC, it was massively popular and Maggie And Her was quite a sophisticated sitcom by ITV standards. I’m not quite sure how early into 1978 these started, but BBC1 had a comedy double bill of The Goodies and Going Straight( sequel to Porridge) early in the year. Think, four sitcoms on a Friday night in slots filled by four helpings of depressing soaps, I’d much rather be in January 1978.

  3. Richard16378

    January 13, 2017 at 2:42 pm

    A few years later LWT refused to show Albion Market on a Friday night because it was too out of step with the usual light entertainment dished up.

    • Glenn A

      January 15, 2017 at 10:15 pm

      It was a complete flop and about as exciting as watching paint dry, in the same way a depressing medical soap, The Practice, was quickly pulled as the Lords of Entertainment, LWT, didn’t want these shows on Friday nights and wanted game shows, imports, light drama, and comedy. With hindsight they were probably right to tell Granada to send their depressing rubbish up the M6 and bury it in Salford Docks.
      Also the Money Programme, probably little watched in 1978, but part of the wider discussion of Britain’s economic decline.

  4. George White

    January 13, 2017 at 4:21 pm

    Is James Bellini any reltion to CBS’ JASON Bellini and Animal Planet’s Jasper Laurence and Robert Picardo associate Shannon Plunkett?

  5. Glenn A

    January 22, 2017 at 5:28 pm

    Around this time and a sign of how things have changed over the years, BBC1 was showing a season of black and white Sherlock Holmes films. Even in 1978, some of these were 40 years old, but they actually rated quite well as a large part of the audience could remember seeing them in the pictures first time round and Basil Rathbone suited the role well.
    Saw a couple of Maggie and Her clips and they haven’t aged well and are short on laughs like most seventies ITV sitcoms, but the concept of a single woman living in a tower block with an elderly neighbour made a change from middle class families in Twickenham.

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