Happy Families

There’s a glaring gap in the 80s comedy DVD releases, and it’s Happy Families, by Ben Elton, starring Adrian Edmondson and Jennifer Saunders.

I was lucky enough to catch it on one of its rare repeat runs (sometime in the 90s I think), and haven’t seen it since. There was never a second series (by intent), and the budget that had been allocated for that second series was used for the first series of Red Dwarf instead.

Five years later, in 1990, Channel Four sort of emulated the format, with Set Of Six, this time with Roland Rivron (co-written by Ian Brown), playing different members of the same family. A few episodes were even directed by Gerald Scarfe.

Here’s a quick scene from Happy Families.

Saunders role was initially going to be taken by Emma Thompson, who ended up doing Me & My Girl instead. That is also something I would have liked to have seen.

Buy My Books
  • Proctology: A Bottom Examination
    Proctology: A Bottom Examination

    For a long time now I’ve been wanting to write an old-fashioned programme guide. One you can hold in your hand and thumb through, make notes on, spill coffee on. So I did. Proctology: A Bottom Examination is my deep dive into Bottom, the hit BBC Two sitcom starring Rik Mayall and Adrian Edmondson. That’s…

Most Read
  • Re-Casting Keanu
    Re-Casting Keanu

    Keanu Reeves is 56. That makes him eight years older than Clive Dunn was when he was first cast in Dad’s Army. But don’t panic, Clive Dunn was always playing much older characters than his own age. Keanu Reeves is 56. That makes him seven years older than Stephanie Cole was when she was first…

From The Archive

Sign up for my FREE newsletter