Early Doors

Sitcom set in a small Manchester pub created by Craig Cash and Phil Mealey. Joe and Duffy pass the time with landlord Ken and the other pub regulars

2003 - 2004  (BBC Two)
12 (2 series)
John Henshaw, Craig Cash, Phil Mealey, Rita May, Christine Bottomley, Rodney Litchfield, Mark Benton, Lorraine Cheshire, James Quinn, Peter Wight, Susan Cookson & more
Craig Cash, Phil Mealey
Phil McIntyre Entertainment

Gentle paced comedy series set in a small Manchester public house. Landlord Ken has been left by his wife (for his best friend), but lives with his adopted daughter Melanie and mother Jean. He is assisted at the bar by reliable Tanya.

The regulars in the pub include lazy skiving husbands Joe and Duffy; dense but friendly couple Eddie and Joan; old git Tommy; and useless coppers Phil and Nige.

Our Review: Early Doors is somewhat similar to The Royle Family (in fact it was thought up by the same people). It has a deliberate slow pace and subtle, gentle humour.

There are quite a few moments that make you smile (such as the way one pub regular, Eddie, always ends up talking about temporary traffic lights, pickles the dog or some other such non-event; or the time grumpy Tommy's job is revealed), but some critics say it plods along just a bit too slowly.

It's definitely one of those sitcoms which many at first don't take to but, if they give it enough time, grow to love it. So, if you're currently of the opinion things are moving too slowly, we do urge you to stick with it. The strong plotlines and characters that develop as the series progresses has actually made this comedy one of this website editor's favourite sitcoms of the decade.

There has been many rumours of a third series but it's now half a decade since last orders, and there still no sign of any more. We probably have to accept another series is unlikely. However, that said, with the success of Cash and Mealey's comedy drama Sunshine in 2008, and the 2009 BBC4 repeats of the show, perhaps there is still a small chance Early Doors may open up once again...