Love Thy Neighbour

Love Thy Neighbour. Image shows from L to R: Eddie Booth (Jack Smethurst), Joan Booth (Kate Williams), Barbie Reynolds (Nina Baden-Semper), Bill Reynolds (Rudolph Walker). Copyright: Thames Television.

Love Thy Neighbour

Pro-white socialist Eddie Booth is disgusted when a black couple move in next door - but far worse than his skin colour, Bill Reynolds is Conservative

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Danny

  • Wednesday 14th March 2007, 1:32pm [Edited]
  • Edinburgh, Scotland
  • 169 posts

Who remembers it?

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Lee

  • Wednesday 14th March 2007, 5:05pm
  • Lincolnshire, United Kingdom
  • 36,346 posts

Even though I'm too young, I want to forget it.

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Baumski

  • Wednesday 14th March 2007, 6:11pm
  • England
  • 1,583 posts
Quote: Leevil @ March 14, 2007, 1:05 PM

Even though I'm too young, I want to forget it.


Why? Is it because it was full of racist white stuff or because it was full of racist black stuff?

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Lee

  • Wednesday 14th March 2007, 6:44pm
  • Lincolnshire, United Kingdom
  • 36,346 posts

Jack Smethurst character being the racist white stuff and his ignorant spouting being the racist black stuff. I understand Rudolph Walker's character gave as good as he got, but surely he shouldn't have "got" in the first place.

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Aaron

  • Wednesday 14th March 2007, 7:37pm
  • Royal Berkshire, England
  • 68,512 posts

No, maybe he shouldn't have, but it was a reflection of the times. If something's happening, it should be embraced. You can't just ignore things because they're bad, even if for no other reason than lessons can not be learned from supressed social situations!

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Baumski

  • Wednesday 14th March 2007, 7:49pm [Edited]
  • England
  • 1,583 posts
Quote: Leevil @ March 14, 2007, 2:44 PM

I understand Rudolph Walker's character gave as good as he got, but surely he shouldn't have "got" in the first place.


It's a shame that this programme isn't and never will be repeated because that way it would, perhaps, educate all those people who never actually watched it because they weren't born at the time of transmition.

'Love Thy Neighbour' was a very balanced piece of writing because for every “Sambo” from Eddie there was a “Honky” or “Snowflake” retort from Bill, and so on and so forth. A classic line from the black character to his wife was "How can I be a racist, I'm black". But of course if you've never watched the programme then you wouldn't know.

It was the women who were the wise and sensible characters. Neither were racist or, more to the point, ignorant and they were a classic example of ebony and ivory sitting together on top of Paul McCartney’s piano keyboard. Every time the men folk would overreact, which was always, Nina Baden-Semper (Barbie) - who I got to know quite well - and Kate Williams (Joan) were always there putting both men in their place. Funny how their placid and harmonious temperament has been consistently overlooked.

'Love Thy Neighbour' was a perfect example of a top television programme of its day and shouldn't be judged by today’s 'high' standards, which is no great shakes if 'Benidorm' and 'Jam and Jerusalem' are anything to go by.

If anybody wants to stop jumping on the bandwagon and instead wants a master class in writing comedy then may I suggest that they look beneath the colour of 'Love Thy Neighbour' and admire and learn from Vince Powell and Harry Driver. These guys deserve full respect instead of colour-blind criticism from anyone who can’t be bothered to buy the DVD to form a balanced opinion to know what they’re talking about.

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Jack Massey

  • Wednesday 14th March 2007, 9:14pm
  • England
  • 2,965 posts

I've seen a few episodes and there were bits in it that made me cringe, there were racist jokes that weren't funny or acceptable. When Eddie Booth made a racist black joke, it made me feel uncomfortable, but when Bill Reynolds made a racist white joke, it made me laugh load. It needs to be viewed in the time period. There were plenty of jokes in it that had nothing to do with race, that were funny. A bit crude really and not a patch on Till Death us do Part. Vince Powell and Harry Driver did much better work elsewhere, such as Two in Clover or Never mind the Quality Feel the Width or Bless this House.

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Lee

  • Wednesday 14th March 2007, 9:29pm
  • Lincolnshire, United Kingdom
  • 36,346 posts

You're right, myself, being someone who hasn't watched it enough to make a full judgment, surely can't.

But I can make the judgment that the issue of race has to be handled with respect. And a lot of people at the time were offended by it.

I think suggesting programs like this are a good thing for raising racial issues, could be insulting to the people that fight real civil rights and try an make a true difference.

Do you really think the average Alf Garnett would have been sat at home thinking, "This is very well written and the subtle racial issues being raised bring an interesting cultural debate into the mix as well."

I hate it when the word bandwagon is used to make a point, it's very insulting. I know you didn't use it directly, but still I could easily make the point that, a lot of people jump on the bandwagon of, "All new stuff is rubbish, it's not like the good ole days."

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Aaron

  • Wednesday 14th March 2007, 9:51pm
  • Royal Berkshire, England
  • 68,512 posts
Quote: Leevil @ March 14, 2007, 5:29 PM

I think suggesting programs like this are a good thing for raising racial issues, could be insulting to the people that fight real civil rights and try an make a true difference.

Do you really think the average Alf Garnett would have been sat at home thinking, "This is very well written and the subtle racial issues being raised bring an interesting cultural debate into the mix as well."


They may try, but do they ACTUALLY make a difference? The audience may not sit and go through that conscious thought process, but I daresay some campaigner would have had even less of an effect on them, if any at all! I made a point in the John Inman thread that his character being portrayed in such a way in such a mainstream media can have done nothing but good in encouraging people to accept homosexuals, and I think that a similar principle applies here.

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Lee

  • Wednesday 14th March 2007, 11:51pm
  • Lincolnshire, United Kingdom
  • 36,346 posts

There has to be some irony in my avatar.

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Aaron

  • Monday 30th June 2008, 7:27pm
  • Royal Berkshire, England
  • 68,512 posts

I've just been watching Love Thy Neighbour for the first time today. Hilarious. Really enjoying it. Particularly Bill - an absolutely brilliant character. It's quite rare now that I properly laugh at a programme, but I'm constantly chuckling away to this one.

Oh, and a great theme tune too! :)

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sootyj

  • Monday 30th June 2008, 7:41pm
  • England
  • 51,287 posts

It's a difficul one. I suspect it reflected the reality of the time, and there is nothing more drearily PC than employing todays standards, to yesterdays work.

It was funny well acted, and definitely seemed a plea for understanding. Most of my 40+ black colleagues loved it.

The problem is it isn't an equal community. And for rascist bigots, its very easy to extract the hateful remarks/ jokes and identify with them.

But on the same basis Team America World Police should be equivalently despised.

n.b. Aaron has a black cat?

I'm now super confused.

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oldcowgrazing

  • Monday 30th June 2008, 7:45pm
  • England
  • 824 posts
Quote: Aaron @ June 30 2008, 3:27 PM BST

I've just been watching Love Thy Neighbour for the first time today. Hilarious. Really enjoying it. Particularly Bill - an absolutely brilliant character. It's quite rare now that I properly laugh at a programme, but I'm constantly chuckling away to this one.

In what way is he a brilliant character?

As far as rarity goes you shouldn't sell yourself short. After all, you do roll around on the floor chuckling your arse off at Two Pints, MF, Everybody Hates Raymond.....You've got form. :)

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Bad dog

  • Monday 30th June 2008, 7:53pm
  • England
  • 1,235 posts

I watched it when I was a child, and enjoyed it, in fact I remember my Mum taking me to see the movie. I always felt that the two men were childish, and the wives were the sensible adults. I'd seen other TV series, usually American ones (Star Trek, Daktari, Land of the Giants etc), with black characters who were no different to the white characters, and so I knew not to judge people on their colour. As such, it was just a comedy programme to me. I don't know what I would have thought of it if I was black, though.

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Baumski

  • Monday 30th June 2008, 8:00pm [Edited]
  • England
  • 1,583 posts
Quote: oldcowgrazing @ June 30 2008, 3:45 PM BST

After all, you do roll around on the floor chuckling your arse off at Two Pints, MF, Everybody Hates Raymond.....You've got form. :)


Well, and in consideration of Aaron having a cat for sexual gritiforaction, there goes your proof. But as for the point of view that dictates that 'Love Thy Neighbour' is one of the most racist programmes ever aired (and I suppose 'The Black and White Minstrel Show' would also be included), then 'The Goon Show' or 'Monty Python' would also have to be included on account of the ethnic mix of stereotypical characters. But at least when racism is being tossed around it's good to know that accuser can pick and choose what makes a good racist and what makes a really bad one.

Note to Aaron:
When you've finished pleasuring the cat perhaps you can allow for a Nazi smiley icon for everyone who feel strongly about these matters.