Porridge Was Originally A BBC Two Show

There’s a reason I keep trawling old newpaper articles about comedy, and that’s partly to see what contemporaneous reviews really said, partly to see how shows were being publicised, and perhaps more so to find little nuggets of lost information (or new information to me, at least) like this about Porridge.

I wonder how it would have fared on the smaller channel … well, I’m sure, but maybe not the 16 million viewers it got on One. That’s from The Stage, on 5th September 1974.

That same day, over in the Daily Mirror, they ran a short piece about the new sitcom, set to air that night.

So, what were the reviews like at the time? Well, there’s this one, from The Stage, a week later.

Or this one, by Mary Malone, again from the Mirror, on 20th September.

As the third series drew to a close, in 1977, there was this little announcement in many titles, including the Liverpool Echo.

The day before the first episode of Going Straight aired, this appeared in the Nantwich Chronicle.

Here’s a review of the first couple of episode, by Jennifer Lovelace, in The Stage, on 9th March 1978.

The first episode even warranted a special mention in the ratings round-up, watched as it was by a very respectable 14 million viewers.

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