The early reporting about dinnerladies focused on two things. First, that this was going to be Victoria Wood’s first sitcom, and second that it marked a new role for Corrie’s Thelma Barlow. Here’s the first mention I can find, in the Dublin Evening Herald from 24 October 1998.
On the 3rd November, this interview with Wood appeared in the Liverpool Echo.
A variation on this appeared a week later in Sunday Life on 8th November.
I remember reading a couple of articles at the time about the manner in which the show was filmed in the studio. It was one of those periods when UK sitcoms were being maligned in comparison to US ones, and the big point of these articles was that dinnerladies was being done a little more like the Americans, with two recording nights and re-writes as they went along. Not that I can find any of those articles now, mind.
So here’s one from the Sunday World instead, also from the 8th November.
I wonder if Paddy Sheenan stands by this review, in the Liverpool Echo on 14th November, complete with dull and needless food service puns.
Ned Thomas shared his better-written and more favourable thoughts in the Reading Evening Post on the 16th November.