Ever Decreasing Circles (1984) - News Poster

(1984–1989)

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When good TV goes bad: the moment Don’t Tell The Bride got over its Honeymoon phase

When the show left BBC Three, the car crash weddings - once enjoyably uncomfortable - turned into predicament bondage

In the first flush of love you believe it will last for ever. It was 2007 when we first laid eyes on Don’t Tell the Bride and it felt like the real thing. The BBC Three reality show dragged a salt-of-the-earth couple out of obscurity and gave them a tidy sum to get married, on the (legally binding) understanding that the groom would organise the event in three weeks. He then scurried around, barking into his phone like some doomed Apprentice contestant while the woman contemplated the ruination of her big day. It was low-stakes, high-reward paydirt.

Anyone expecting the brawling, dress tearing and cake smashing of Bridezillas was to be disappointed. There were no slanging matches descending into wild west free-for-alls. This was definitively British drama where the angst came
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Q&A: Penelope Wilton

‘The worst job I’ve done? Played somebody’s legs in a BBC show’

Born in Scarborough, Wilton, 68, has appeared in the films The French Lieutenant’s Woman, Calendar Girls and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. She starred in the TV sitcom Ever Decreasing Circles and is in Downton Abbey. From 15 January, she appears in Taken At Midnight at the Theatre Royal Haymarket. She is twice divorced and lives in London.

What is your earliest memory?

Being taken to see my mother and new baby sister, Linda. I was rather annoyed.

Continue reading...
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Bob Larbey obituary

Television sitcom and screenplay writer behind popular hits such as Please Sir!, The Good Life and Ever Decreasing Circles

Bob Larbey, who has died aged 79, was renowned as a television sitcom and screenplay writer with his professional partner John Esmonde for 30 years: they wrote The Good Life (starring Richard Briers, Felicity Kendal, Penelope Keith and Paul Eddington as the Surbiton neighbours) and a second Briers vehicle, Ever Decreasing Circles.

They had broken through with the highly popular late-1960s sitcom Please Sir! (rejected by the BBC but taken up by ITV) in which John Alderton made his name as a newly qualified teacher grappling with a crowd of mouthy fifth-formers in a rough London area. And they signed off with a BBC 1990s series, Mulberry, in which Karl Howman as the son of Death (disguised as a manservant) parried the barbs and put-downs of his employer, a cantankerous old spinster brilliantly played by Geraldine McEwan.
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

The Good Life writer Bob Larbey dies, aged 79

Bob Larbey has passed away at the age of 79, it has been confirmed.

The British television writer was best known for his work on sitcoms The Good Life and As Time Goes By.

According to the BBC, Larbey died on Monday (March 31) from an unspecified cause.

Peter Egan, who starred in Ever Decreasing Circles, tweeted: "Very sad to hear this BBC News. He & John Esmonde were a gr8 team He was a lovely man, gentle humour, gr8 humanity. He will be missed. Sad to hear he's gone."

Born in South London in 1934, Larbey worked for most of his career with John Gilbert Esmonde, who died in August 2008.

He is survived by his son with late wife Patricia Marshall.
See full article at Digital Spy - TV news »

Looking back at The Baker Street Boys

Feature Alex Westthorp 19 Feb 2014 - 07:00

Nostalgia ahoy! With Sherlock Holmes more popular than ever, Alex looks back at eighties children's drama, The Baker Street Boys...

The BBC's contemporary take on Arthur Conan Doyle's short stories has made Sherlock the most popular television drama series in many years. Benedict Cumberbatch has made Sherlock his own, his approach to the role as radical for the current era as the late, great Jeremy Brett's was a generation ago. Martin Freeman has banished our memories of his role as Tim Canterbury in Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant's The Office, with his wonderful re-assessment of Dr John Watson. The corporation is making the most of the Conan Doyle franchise. After from two rather lacklustre yuletide cases, firstly with Richard Roxburgh in 2002 then Rupert Everett in 2004; they finally have a hit on their hands. The benchmark hitherto has always been Granada Television
See full article at Den of Geek »

Downton Abbey: Richard E Grant and Anna Chancellor join cast of ITV drama

Withnail star to play a guest of the Granthams as Harriet Walter and Peter Egan reprise their roles for fifth series

Richard E Grant is to join the cast of Downton Abbey, one of several new names including Anna Chancellor who will feature in the fifth series later this year.

Grant, the Withnail and I star who recently appeared in HBO comedy Girls, will play Simon Bricker, who visits Downton Abbey as a guest of the Granthams.

The role will reunite Grant with the drama's creator, Julian Fellowes, after he appeared in his Oscar-winning film, Gosford Park, directed by Robert Altman.

Chancellor, whose credits include Four Weddings and a Funeral and BBC2's The Hour, will play Lady Anstruther, with Russian actor Rade Sherbedgia, who appeared in Stanley Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut, playing a refugee who fled the Russian revolution after the first world war.

The period drama, which
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Penelope Wilton, actor – portrait of the artist

Penelope Wilton talks about the effect Downton Abbey's success has had on her career, the importance of actors listening to each other and why dressing up for premieres is her idea of hell

What first drew you to acting?

It's difficult to know: there was none in my childhood, but I was always fascinated by the theatre. I saw the original production of West Side Story when I was about 10, and felt like I was stepping into a whole other world.

What was your big breakthrough?

Meeting the director Stuart Burge: he gave me my first job, at Nottingham Playhouse. I'd been writing to agents and theatres for a year after drama school (1), and never had any replies. Then Stuart gave me a job on a children's theatre tour. After that, my life in the theatre built up gradually.

Stage or screen: which is more challenging?

Theatre for an actor,
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Penelope Wilton, actor – portrait of the artist

Penelope Wilton talks about the effect Downton Abbey's success has had on her career, the importance of actors listening to each other and why dressing up for premieres is her idea of hell

What first drew you to acting?

It's difficult to know: there was none in my childhood, but I was always fascinated by the theatre. I saw the original production of West Side Story when I was about 10, and felt like I was stepping into a whole other world.

What was your big breakthrough?

Meeting the director Stuart Burge: he gave me my first job, at Nottingham Playhouse. I'd been writing to agents and theatres for a year after drama school (1), and never had any replies. Then Stuart gave me a job on a children's theatre tour. After that, my life in the theatre built up gradually.

Stage or screen: which is more challenging?

Theatre for an actor,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

50 great famous last words from the movies

Odd List Ryan Lambie 4 Oct 2013 - 06:41

They're funny, they're sad, they're weird. Here are 50 famous last words from characters in the movies...

Please Note: There are potential spoilers ahead. Check the name of the film, and if you haven't seen it, don't read the entry!

As someone famous probably once said, “We’ve all gotta go sometime,” and if we’re going to die, we might as well do so with a witticism or a memorable line rather than a scream and a cry for mother. Which is the subject of this lengthy but far from definitive list: the memorable things movie characters have uttered shortly (not necessarily immediately) before they’re about to meet their maker.

Some of these last words are long, tear-jerking monologues. Others amount to little more than a word or two. But all of them, in our estimation, are worthy of mention, and one
See full article at Den of Geek »

12 British sitcom stars and their surprise movie appearances

Feature Simon Brew 28 Jun 2013 - 07:11

Ever watched a big movie, and stopped with a jolt when a star of a British sitcom pops up? Us too...

This feature is all the fault of the late Richard Marner. As the incompetent Colonel in 'Allo 'Allo, he built a performance that was indelible in our eyes. Thus, when he turned up in a big Hollywood thriller as the President of Russia, we unsuccessfully stifled a guffaw. A big guffaw.

And it got us thinking: what other times has a British sitcom star appeared out of the blue in a big movie, causing a sedentary double take from the comfort of our local Odeon? Glad you asked.

Two things. Firstly, this isn't designed to be a complete list, and also, we've covered films made after the actor or actress confirmed rose to prominence in a sitcom. Oh, and another thing: none of
See full article at Den of Geek »

Media Talk podcast: Richard Briers remembered, and Radio 5 Live changes

On this week's Media Talk, we look at the job facing new Radio 5 Live boss Jonathan Wall, and wonder what went wrong for the government's 4G auction.

Plus we talk to actor Peter Egan about his friend and Ever Decreasing Circles colleague Richard Briers, who passed away this week.

We also review the last episode of Channel 4 conspiracy thriller Utopia, and look forward to the new sitcom from Sue Perkins, Heading Out, and the latest series of Robert Winston's Child of Our Time.

Joining John Plunkett this week are Helen Zaltzman, one half of Sony-winning podcast Answer Me This!, broadcasting consultant Paul Robinson, and The Guardian's Rebecca Nicholson.

John PlunkettHelen ZaltzmanPaul RobinsonRebecca Nicholson
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Ricky Gervais asks BBC to repeat Richard Briers sitcom, tribute planned

Ricky Gervais has called for the BBC to repeat one of Richard Briers's most classic sitcoms.

The TV icon died aged 79 on Sunday (February 17) at his London home, after years of battling emphysema.

Gervais said that he would be happy to wave his rerun fee for his show The Office if the BBC repeated Ever Decreasing Circles.

Dear BBC, I'll let you repeat The Office for free if you repeat Ever Decreasing Circles this year.

Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) February 19, 2013

Richard Briers starred as the obsessive Martin Bryce from 1984 to 1989 in the BBC sitcom opposite Penelope Wilton and Peter Egan.

Insiders have claimed that BBC bosses had hoped to repeat one of Briers's shows on Monday, but it could not be sorted out in time, according to The Sun.

However, the BBC has reportedly outlined plans for several tribute specials for Richard Briers in the near future.

A spokesman said:
See full article at Digital Spy - TV news »

Rip Richard Briers, Hynes's new sitcom and Gervais and Cleese – oops

Also this week, Ronnie Corbett couldn't make it in comedy now, Billy Connolly smoked the Bible and Marmite man Judd Apatow

In the week we lost Richard Briers, one of the all-time TV comedy greats, confirmation of a new – and intriguing – addition to the UK's sitcom pantheon. Jessica Hynes, star of Spaced and Twenty Twelve, has written and will star in a new BBC4 comedy series about the suffragette movement. "It's a kind of a character study," Hynes recently told an interviewer, "and hopefully, on a good day, it will be a kind of female Dad's Army." The sitcom is set in 1910, and traces the unlikely politicisation of the Banbury Intricate Craft Circle. "Margaret has been to London and discovered Women's Suffrage," runs the BBC's blurb, "so she decides [the Craft Circle] need to set up their own movement." Rebecca Front and Getting On's Vicki Pepperdine will also star.

From Dad's Army
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Rip Richard Briers, Hynes's new sitcom and Gervais and Cleese – oops

Also this week, Ronnie Corbett couldn't make it in comedy now, Billy Connolly smoked the Bible and Marmite man Judd Apatow

In the week we lost Richard Briers, one of the all-time TV comedy greats, confirmation of a new – and intriguing – addition to the UK's sitcom pantheon. Jessica Hynes, star of Spaced and Twenty Twelve, has written and will star in a new BBC4 comedy series about the suffragette movement. "It's a kind of a character study," Hynes recently told an interviewer, "and hopefully, on a good day, it will be a kind of female Dad's Army." The sitcom is set in 1910, and traces the unlikely politicisation of the Banbury Intricate Craft Circle. "Margaret has been to London and discovered Women's Suffrage," runs the BBC's blurb, "so she decides [the Craft Circle] need to set up their own movement." Rebecca Front and Getting On's Vicki Pepperdine will also star.

From Dad's Army
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Richard Briers: the sweetest of men

Genial star of the sitcom The Good Life who impressed in a range of roles on stage

When he played Hamlet as a young man, Richard Briers, who has died aged 79 after suffering from a lung condition, said he was the first Prince of Denmark to give the audience half an hour in the pub afterwards. He was nothing if not quick. In fact, wrote the veteran critic Wa Darlington, he played Hamlet "like a demented typewriter". Briers, always the most modest and self-deprecating of actors, and the sweetest of men, relished the review, happy to claim a place in the light comedians' gallery of his knighted idols Charles Hawtrey, Gerald du Maurier and Noël Coward.

"People don't realise how good an actor Dickie Briers really is," said John Gielgud. This was probably because of his sunny, cheerful disposition and the rat-a-tat articulacy of his delivery. "You're a great farceur,
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

British TV Favorite Richard Briers Has Died

  • bestbritishtv
The Good Life

Veteran British TV actor Richard Briers has passed away aged 79 after a long battle with lung disease. Briers had recently spoken publicly about his struggles with emphysema. Briers ranks as one of the most respected comedy actors of his generation. Fans on both sides of the Atlantic grew to love him when he starred alongside Felicity Kendall in The Good Life (Aka Good Neighbors). His other work included Monarch of the Glen, and Ever Decreasing Circles as well as number of Shakespearean roles.

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See full article at bestbritishtv »

R.I.P Richard Briers (1934-2013)

R.I.P Richard Briers

The actor Richard Briers, best known for his role as Tom Good on the hit 70s BBC comedy The Good Life, has passed away at the age of 79.

According to his agent the star died "peacefully" at his home in London on Sunday.

In a fairly recent interview, Briers said that years of smoking was to blame for his emphysema which was a cause of his passing.

In The Good Life, he starred alongside Felicity Kendal as a couple of who live a self-sufficient lifestyle next door to their conservative neighbours. The show ran for four series between 1975 and 1978. He also starred in Ever Decreasing Circles, Monarch of the Glen and Doctor Who.

He also appeared in several movies including Spice World and more recently Cockneys vs. Zombies.

The younger generation will also know him as the narrator of Roobarb (and Custard) which only ran
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Richard Briers: a life in clips

We may all remember him for sitcoms such as The Good Life – but his career encompassed everything from Doctor Who to Shakespeare. And who can forget the classic Roobarb?

With more than 50 years of work to his name, Richard Briers was one of the most instantly recognisable – and most beloved – actors in Britain. Much of this is down to his sitcom work, primarily The Good Life. Although it only ran for three years, The Good Life managed to latch onto a prevailing public mood – that of suburban alienation and a desire to connect with the earth – which is why it has been so endlessly repeated (and used as the basis for more than one reality show) over the years. Despite being the work he'll be most remembered for, Briers never got on with his character, often calling him stubborn and unlikable in the press.

There was much more to Briers's
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Richard Briers: a life in clips

We may all remember him for sitcoms such as The Good Life – but his career encompassed everything from Doctor Who to Shakespeare. And who can forget the classic Roobarb?

With more than 50 years of work to his name, Richard Briers was one of the most instantly recognisable – and most beloved – actors in Britain. Much of this is down to his sitcom work, primarily The Good Life. Although it only ran for three years, The Good Life managed to latch onto a prevailing public mood – that of suburban alienation and a desire to connect with the earth – which is why it has been so endlessly repeated (and used as the basis for more than one reality show) over the years. Despite being the work he'll be most remembered for, Briers never got on with his character, often calling him stubborn and unlikable in the press.

There was much more to Briers's
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

R.I.P. Richard Briers

  • Deadline TV
Veteran stage and screen actor Richard Briers passed away at his London home on Sunday. He was 79. Briers is best known to UK audiences for his work in such BBC series as The Good Life, Ever Decreasing Circles and Monarch Of The Glen. His TV breakout was the 1960s sitcom Marriage Lines in which he starred opposite Prunella Scales, but it was The Good Life (1975-1978) that made him a household name as the obstinate Tom Good. Briers began acting in the theater in the late 1950s and went on to become a member of Kenneth Branagh’s Renaissance Theatre Company, taking on parts in classic Shakespeare works. He also had roles in several of Branagh’s movies including Peter’s Friends, Much Ado About Nothing, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Henry V and Hamlet. Branagh said today, “He was a national treasure, a great actor and a wonderful man. He
See full article at Deadline TV »
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