Love Thy Neighbour Page 10

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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Paul Wimsett

  • Tuesday 14th July 2015, 6:52am
  • Folkestone, United Kingdom
  • 3,379 posts

I didn't say it wasn't cleverly written.

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wigwam willy

  • Tuesday 14th July 2015, 7:10am
  • 304 posts

No you didn't and I didn't say you did. :(

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Paul Wimsett

  • Tuesday 14th July 2015, 8:16am
  • Folkestone, United Kingdom
  • 3,379 posts

Cheer up, wigwam. :)

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Will Cam

  • Tuesday 14th July 2015, 8:37am
  • England
  • 7,974 posts
Quote: Knotty @ 16th February 2015, 3:11 PM GMT

Amongst those who have never seen it, especially the self-righteous PC brigade, Love Thy Neighbour has become the Anti-Christ of 70s sitcoms. The politically correct thought police have declared it to be racist and must NEVER be repeated - and that's the end of the matter. Well for those of us old enough to have watched it the first time round, and have the kind of common sense which disqualifies us from being PC, it clearly is nothing of the kind.

Watch the episode Voodoo. Eddie puts a voodoo curse on Bill to prove that black people are primitive enough to believe in it. But Bill knows what Eddie is up to and pretends the curse has worked and he is dying. He tricks Eddie into running naked round a tree reciting a chant which includes the words "me white honky", the only way a now terrified Eddie thinks he can lift the curse. At the end of the episode, realising he's been tricked, he says to his wife Joan "He made me look a bloody fool, love." She looks at him and says "Eddie, you ARE a bloody fool!" Of course he's a bloody fool - he's a racist.

Sadly on Planet PC, it's received wisdom that Love Thy Neighbour is a vicious, racist series, and people who have never seen an episode in their life just believe what they're told. Thank God I grew up in the 70s when our heads were screwed on properly.

I am not one the self-righteous PC brigade, far from it, but I just couldn't watch this now. Showed my 15 year old a clip on YouTube a short time ago and just couldn't watch it.

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Chappers

  • Tuesday 14th July 2015, 11:03am
  • Surreyish., England
  • 30,933 posts

Always worth watching for Nina Baden-Semper.

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Stephen Goodlad

  • Tuesday 14th July 2015, 11:32am
  • Mirfield, England
  • 3,492 posts

I come from a time when there was no such word as racism.

Never heard it as a kid... then the word came into being and it was a dirty word. Everyone is frightened of being called a racist.

The nearest we got to the word was probably 'taking the piss'

And taking the piss was endemic regardless of colour creed or race.
The black lads I knew took it and gave as good as they got.

It would definitely be called racist behavior now - but not at all then. I have spoken with these lads (now old men like me) and they enjoyed the 'banter' like everyone else.

This was about the same time that 'Love Thy Neighbour' came out and black and white people enjoyed the show enormously.

The furor and racism accusations only came many years after the show was made

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maidenpriest

  • Sunday 19th January 2020, 7:58am [Edited]
  • Wales
  • 115 posts

Just watching all the series box set now and I am loving it...

Wouldn't it be great if they made a final series (or even one off special) just with the same core cast living in the same place but the men as now grouchy old people? You wouldn't need to have any so-called race issues or language and it would show how to the world they have mellowed with the language and that was just 'the 1970s' etc thinking, having them both still arguing about everyday stuff or even the younger generation and politics of today (Brexit for example) that two bickering but older life long neighbours would do, the women still as close as they were before etc, and I think it would bring LTN back in a more positive light. I wonder if this has ever been considered and whether the actors would do it?

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Alfred J Kipper

  • Sunday 19th January 2020, 9:52pm [Edited]
  • Aldershot, England
  • 6,089 posts
Quote: Stephen Ryder @ 20th December 2014, 9:32 AM

Can anyone explain why Gwendolyn Watts who played Joan in the pilot episode, was replaced by Kate Williams? I just watched the pilot on YouTube, & thought she was well suited for the part.

I've heard very believably the reason was that the original actress was thought not working class enough, when it was clear in the pilot Eddie was being played as a less articulate northern version of Alf Garnet by Smethurst. And TV was seen as aspirational then because far more people watched the same shows. She either thought playing his wife wasn't good for her image and declined the series contract or far more likely tbh it was decided for her. Don't forget ITV was influenced by its funders the big commercial companies and its agents who were very picky about what products went with what shows.

The replacement for the whole series was much more working class and believable apart from the strong cockney accent which clashed with his northern accent. I remember this looking very odd at the time as it was rare then for northerners and southerners to mix and live together like they do now but she's clearly much more his own class than the pilot's actress, which was the idea.

Having just watched the unaired pilot there's a big clue in the house setting as well because they were quite nice semi detached houses, but the ones they used in the series were much more down at heel mid terraced houses - Adding to the theory the broadcaster thought it needed to look more working or lower class. You don't want young Tarquin aspiring to be like Eddie Booth, here's where working class bigots live, no Birdseye fishfingers to be advertised here, they're for Mother Makes Three.

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john tregorran

  • Monday 20th January 2020, 12:16am
  • mornington,victoria, Australia
  • 995 posts

I think I'd enjoy it more if there were a better actor doing Eddie.
He's no Warren Mitchell.

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maidenpriest

  • Monday 20th January 2020, 8:51am [Edited]
  • Wales
  • 115 posts

I think Jack Smethurst was a great comedy actor and since the do-gooder Mary Whitehouse loving racist PC Brigade suddenly appeared in the late 1990s it totally ruined his career and livelihood such a shame. I would love to have seen more from him :(

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Aaron

  • Monday 20th January 2020, 6:03pm
  • Royal Berkshire, England
  • 68,512 posts
Quote: maidenpriest @ 19th January 2020, 7:58 AM

Wouldn't it be great if they made a final series (or even one off special) just with the same core cast living in the same place but the men as now grouchy old people? You wouldn't need to have any so-called race issues or language and it would show how to the world they have mellowed with the language and that was just 'the 1970s' etc thinking, having them both still arguing about everyday stuff or even the younger generation and politics of today (Brexit for example) that two bickering but older life long neighbours would do, the women still as close as they were before etc, and I think it would bring LTN back in a more positive light. I wonder if this has ever been considered and whether the actors would do it?

I've suggested this in the past. I think it would be wonderful - although I picture the four being now in a sheltered accommodation setting, and both men objecting to the Eastern Europeans who're the nurses and carers of today. But mostly, still just moaning about their wives.

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john tregorran

  • Monday 20th January 2020, 7:41pm
  • mornington,victoria, Australia
  • 995 posts
Quote: maidenpriest @ 20th January 2020, 8:51 AM

I think Jack Smethurst was a great comedy actor and since the do-gooder Mary Whitehouse loving racist PC Brigade suddenly appeared in the late 1990s it totally ruined his career and livelihood such a shame. I would love to have seen more from him :(

If he was that good he could have done something else.
No one could fume with righteous indignation like Warren.

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maidenpriest

  • Tuesday 21st January 2020, 8:30am
  • Wales
  • 115 posts
Quote: john tregorran @ 20th January 2020, 7:41 PM

If he was that good he could have done something else.
No one could fume with righteous indignation like Warren.

I agree Warren is much better, but Smethurst played a more simplified 'Carry On' version of the bigit IMO, also just watched the whole of the 'Till Death Us Do Part' box set, 'Till Death...' and I have the whole of 'Sickness And In Health' after LTN (last series now and then the film :)) its my Winter Blues medicine:)

Quote: Aaron @ 20th January 2020, 6:03 PM

I've suggested this in the past. I think it would be wonderful - although I picture the four being now in a sheltered accommodation setting, and both men objecting to the Eastern Europeans who're the nurses and carers of today. But mostly, still just moaning about their wives.

That would be brilliant !! :)

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Chris Hallam

  • Tuesday 21st January 2020, 9:23am
  • Exeter, United Kingdom
  • 286 posts
Quote: maidenpriest @ 20th January 2020, 8:51 AM

I think Jack Smethurst was a great comedy actor and since the do-gooder Mary Whitehouse loving racist PC Brigade suddenly appeared in the late 1990s it totally ruined his career and livelihood such a shame. I would love to have seen more from him :(

Mary Whitehouse a) certainly wasn't PC. Very much the opposite, in fact! b) she wasn't very active by the late 1990s either. Jack Smethurst's career had also fizzled out long before then.
Love thy Neighbour's problem was that it was not very good. Alf Garnett was at least created with good intentions (which ultimately fell flat despite Warren Mitchell's obvious decency and talent).. Love Thy Neighbour claimed to be mocking bigotry too. In practice, the audience were encouraged to hoot with laughter as Smethurst's character hurling dog poo over his neighbour's fence. Not good!
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