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Father, Dear Father. Image credit: Thames Television.

Father, Dear Father

Crime novelist Patrick Glover struggles to juggle an ex-wife, a Nanny, his ageing mother, two young daughters - and the occasional romantic interlude

AKA:
Father, Dear, Father
Genre:
Sitcom
Broadcast:
1968 - 1973  (ITV)
Episodes:
49 (7 series)
Starring:
Patrick Cargill, Natasha Pyne, Ann Holloway, Noel Dyson, Ursula Howells, Joyce Carey, Sally Bazely, Dawn Addams, Tony Britton, Jeremy Child
Writers:
Johnnie Mortimer, Brian Cooke
Production:
Thames Television

Popular fiction writer, Patrick Glover, is renowned for his womanising. But with two daughters, a nanny, ex-wife, and on-off relationship with his publisher Georgie to look after - not to mention new novels to pen - he rarely gets the time any more.

Ever eager to maintain a principled figure in his daughters' eyes and to save Nanny from embarrassment, Patrick finds himself more often than not at the receiving end of a terribly awkward series of misunderstandings.

Controlling two teenage daughters really is more than he can handle, and when he puts his foot down there is usually something beneath it - faithful dog H.G. Wells if he's unlucky!

Our Review: Father, Dear Father was extremely popular in its day, although perhaps owing more to the charisma of the star than to the somewhat predictable scripts. The domestic trivia of the Glover house was magnified by the over-the-top reactions of the head of the household, who invariably misunderstood the situation and created even more chaos. The 'jolly hockey sticks' performances of the two daughters could be irritating at times, but Noel Dyson's Nanny offered a calming influence in a traditional British style.

There were some regular appearances by established character actors to enhance the Whitehall Farce proceedings, but for the most part the series was forgettable entertainment. Not unamusing, but forgettable all the same.

If Father, Dear Father was unique for anything then it would be the opening sequences for every episode. Each one was individual, dialogue-free and usually lasting just over a minute, and had a slapstick finish. However, these were rarely connected to the content of the episode and were criticised as 'padding'.

After six years Thames tired of the series; however, still proving popular in Australia some five years later, 14 further episodes were filmed for the Seven Network with Patrick Cargill and Noel Dyson reprising their roles alongside an Australian cast: Father, Dear Father In Australia.