Some Mothers Do ‘Ad ‘Em

Surprisingly few adverts featuring the main cast of of the 70s sitcom Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em, but this one for Texaco is a doozy.

It also features Patricia Hayes, and Barry Sheen.

Then there’s this absolutely terrifying Public Information film about Motorway Hard Shoulders, featuring Michele Dotrice.

Ads Of A Feather

Let’s continue our journey into the curious parallel world of sitcom based adverts. Today, we’ll look at a long running campaign featuring Pauline Quirke and Linda Robson, which began at the peak of Birds Of Feather‘s first run on the BBC. It was for Surf.

Then it just got dirty.

Meanwhile, Lesley Joseph was channelling Dorien for the now defunct supermarket chain Somerfield.

This supermarket makes your willy bigger.

She’s right. They should have gone with BBC Quirke.

This 70s one, featuring Linda Robson, for Sony, has a really nice conceit.

The Young Ovens

I’ve become a bit obsessed with ovens in sitcoms this past week. It all started when I noticed how many ovens Arkwright got through in Open All Hours, before I began to wonder if any of those same ovens were used in other BBC shows. Logic would suggest they would have to have been.

I got it into my head that I recognised one as an oven that also appeared in The Young Ones. (No, YOU’VE watched the show too much).

This is the oven from the Bachelor Boys’ first house, in Demolition.

I got quite excited, because it does indeed bear a striking resemblance to one of Arkwright’s, but alas, it’s not the same. It’s most like this one.

But as you can see, the knobs have a different configuration, and it’s a side opening door, not a drop down one.

Once they move house, The Young Ones’ oven then looks like this.

Which is also pretty close to that one above of Arkwright’s. It doesn’t last very long though.

Weirdly, although maybe not considering the world of the show, the replacement oven is exactly the same (although missing one fewer knobs).

It’s a cartoon world, so maybe it’s the same oven. And to save you the bother, I checked every episode of the first series onwards, and it’s the same oven in every one. I’m not sure of the shooting order of the episodes, so it’s possible Oil was shot last, but I doubt it.

By the time series two comes along, Mr Balowski has replaced the oven with one that fits my memory of eighties ovens much better.

So that was that. I was wrong. The Young Ones don’t share an oven with Open All Hours.

But take a look at this one.

That’s from the pilot episode.

I was watching the Christmas Special of Get Some In, which aired in December of 1975, when I saw this.

It’s not the same one either.

Sorry for wasting your time.

Oven All Hours

I know the internet is full of articles about the ovens in Open All Hours, and that adding anything to the discourse is almost, if not completely impossible. Nonetheless, let’s have a look at the ovens in the backroom of Arkwright’s.

We first get a glimpse into the inner workings of the shop in the pilot episode from 1973. This is our first chance to examine Arkwright’s oven.

It’s an unassuming affair, with that nice rack at the top for warming plates, and some lovely chunky knobs, and a rather slim looking grill. And there’s a knob lower down for the oven itself.

When we next visit the shop, in the first full series, it’s 1976.

Look at that. A big cast iron behemoth. That’s a bit of a step backwards for the kitchen. Maybe the first one broke down, and penny-pinching Arkwright went and bought one from the scrap dealer, making Granville bring it home on his bike.

Come series two, and it’s 1981.

It looks a lot like the one from 1976, I’ll grant you, but it’s not the same one. There’s no row of knobs across the top, even if it does still have that useless looking slimline grill. Arkwright’s not having much luck with his ovens if he’s got through three in six years. That’s an oven every two years.

Just one year later now.

What’s this? Another one entirely. The grill is on the top now, and the chunky knobs are in a completely different alignment again. Just what is Arkwright doing to his ovens?

Come 1985 …

Gone are the lovely chunky knobs, in favour of a top oven grill combination, and what looks like a pull down main oven door.

I’m willing to bet that all of these ovens have appeared in other BBC shows. Let me know if you spot one.