The Sound Of Laughter

There have been lots of strands that broadcasters have put together to showcase sitcom pilots. Maybe the most famous are the Comedy Playhouse ones, or the various Ronnie Barker vehicles. ATV had their own, called The Sound Of Laughter, that ran in 1977 – not be confused with ABC’s 1967 series with the same format.

The series kicked of with the only show that went on to a full series, the David Jason sitcom A Sharp Intake Of Breath. Written by Ronnie Taylor, it lasted for four series, and was remade for the US market on ABC as Harry’s Battles.

Ronnie Taylor also wrote the second episode of the anthology, Young At Heart, which starred Stratford Johns and Richard Pearson, as two older men with a rivalry over their mutual grandson. Not to be confused with the show of the same name, also from ATV, which had three series from 1980 onwards.

The third ‘pilot’ was Bricks Without Straw. This was a Michael Elphick and Amanda Reiss show, written by Andrew McCuloch and John Flanagan. Elphick played a builder trying to quickly build his family home.

What A Performance was written by Randall And Hopkirk star Kenneth Cope, and feautred Andrew Sachs and Anna Quayle.

The next one feels contemporary. After The Boom Was Over is about a young couple trying to get their foot on the property ladder. It starred Tim Wylton, Gabrielle Lloyd and Jonathan Price. It was written by Connor Fraser.

And finally The Best Of Friends, which was written by Linette Purbi Perry, which had a convoluted plot I don’t understand enough to relay. This one is also not to be confused with another show of the same name, the Charles Hawtrey vehicle from 1963.

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