sells Jam & Jerusalem DVD boxsets.

Jam & Jerusalem. Image shows from L to R: Kate Bales (Rosie Cavaliero), Caroline Martin (Jennifer Saunders), Queenie (Doreen Mantle), Susie (Suzy Aitchison), Eileen Pike (Maggie Steed), Tip Haddam (Pauline McLynn), Rosie Bales (Dawn French), Sal Vine (Sue Johnston). Image credit: British Broadcasting Corporation.

Jam & Jerusalem

A comedy drama about the members of a Women's Guild in a small West Country village called Clatterford

Clatterford (International Title)
Comedy Drama
2006 - 2009  (BBC One)
19 (3 series)
Sue Johnston, Pauline McLynn, Maggie Steed, Sally Phillips, David Mitchell, Salima Saxton, Dawn French, Jennifer Saunders, Patrick Barlow, Doreen Mantle, Rosie Cavaliero & more
Jennifer Saunders, Abigail Wilson
British Broadcasting Corporation

Set in a small West Country village, Jam & Jerusalem follows the lives of the members of the local Women's Guild.

When her husband dies suddenly of a heart attack, Sal finds herself surrounded by the community - all offering tea and sympathy. But when her son James announces at the funeral that, as he is taking over the practice, his wife will be the village nurse, Sal finds herself not only widowed but out of a job.

As the community sympathy falls off, Sal feels neglected and alone and in a bid to stop rattling around her empty house and avoid the local Grieving Group counsellor, she decides it's time to take her own advice - stop sleeping in the dog basket, get a hair cut and a new top, take stock of her new life - and the Women's Guild is a good place to start.

Our Review: A slow moving comedy drama with a deliberately relaxed pace. Whilst it is mildly amusing, in all honesty this show massively wasted the considerable talents of the cast. You'd expect more mirth from such a stella A-list line-up.

When a comedy has to resort to a vicar falling in a lake, or use a crude depiction of a person with mental health issues (Dawn French's character) in an attempt to get laughs, you know there are problems. We're pretty sure if it was anyone other than BBC-favourite Jennifer Saunders' name on the front of the scripts this show would have struggled to make it past a pilot.

That said, the third series (six episodes bizarrely grouped together to form three hour-long episodes) was generally better received. We're not sure if this was a due to any particular difference in tone or quality from Series 1 and 2, or if people had just grown more used to the show; it was still not an overly funny programme, but passable.

However, that clumping-together of episodes was telling of the BBC's view of the show in its latter-life, and so the news (in November 2009) that it had been cancelled did not come as a surprise.