Agony

Agony. Image shows from L to R: Jane Lucas (Maureen Lipman), Val (Diana Weston). Copyright: London Weekend Television.

Agony

Jane Lucas is a radio and magazine agony aunt whose problems seem to eclipse those of her 'patients'

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Chappers

  • Saturday 21st November 2020, 11:11am
  • Surreyish., England
  • 31,490 posts

I searched and I'm really surprised that there is no thread on this already.

I used to love this, not least because I loved Maureen Lipman, the main character and Anna Raeburn on who the series was based and who co-wrote it.

I was consequently looking on Ebay to see about buying the whole set. I understand that there were 3 series.

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Alfred J Kipper

  • Sunday 22nd November 2020, 5:16am
  • Aldershot, England
  • 6,361 posts

Yes, surprisingly so for such a good sitcom, although it only went for three series, unusual for an ITV sitcom which tended to be long runners if popular, which it was. I'm thinking maybe if it had more established sitcom writers it would have run for longer, I'm sure Anna Raeburn was very busy with her day job. I believe she plotted in some true cases as the writers of Yes Minister did, some were very funny.

What's more surprising is its lack of showing since, I haven't noticed a single repeat of it, I can only imagine because of some political correct nonsense, although I can't recall who it may have offended. Very sharp dialogue made for its star and it's since been compared to Frasier and Ab Fab. I remember I did find the style of having a central wise cracking character a bit American at the time, but no more than Porridge, which was and is untouchable. Odd that something as loud and overplayed as Ab Fab gets such a following and something actually funnier with a similar woman centric setting gets forgotten. Eh?

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Chappers

  • Sunday 22nd November 2020, 6:55pm
  • Surreyish., England
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Maybe Adrian Love (Andy Evol) took exception.

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A Horseradish

  • Sunday 22nd November 2020, 10:27pm [Edited]
  • United Kingdom
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Quite an interesting thread. I have several observations in the vein of what Martin Kelner might call "for the teenagers" as in being remote from their lives and not actually of much interest. With humour. Still, here we go. One, Maureen Lipman is a great comedian - what we would once have called comedienne. Next, this from memory was ITV so at least here ITV breaks its own stereotype of not being ground breaking. Third, there was an Agony Again. Aaron might correct me on this one but I have a feeling that was on BBC.

Fourth, Anna Raeburn was for me as a teenager from a virtually Victorian upbringing with hindsight the stuff of illicit listening under the bedclothes. I don't think I picked up on sexual problems as much as the openness on sex which seemed problem less. That was Capital Radio in the 1970s at around - what? 7pm ish - before the watershed - and she had an almost unnerving robust manner which later went into that script. Fifth, what you get there and this is where ITV shows its radicalism are gay characters who are not camp which was probably a first and later came After Henry. I think from a social evolution perspective that was important but it always looked a bit forced to me. Maybe it would have to be to get beyond where things had been hitherto and if it was important to many, great. I am not especially interested in people's sexual orientation myself as I don't engage with others in that way. I am purely for common interests/fun.

But I used to be a massive radio fan. I have very strong opinions on what was great about radio in years gone by or simply good. And what especially brings me to this thread is the mentioning of Adrian Love who was of course the son of TV band leader Geoff Love. Adrian hosted that show rather bravely but very calmly in demeanour with the feisty Anna. I have to say Ade was one of the most natural broadcasting voices of all time, one of the most soft and calm and reassuring, albeit not soppy but with a subtle bite and some humour, and in my view he was mong the best of his era. It was such a shock to hear that he had drifted into alcoholism and then he was yet another who died so young. Agony - yes - but I loved Adrian.

He was a smashing guy - for what it matters - and it may do today - and good - his Dad Geoff was black:

I do hope this is seen as a nice - and historically evocative - post.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ksQpLpJxEck

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Aaron

  • Monday 23rd November 2020, 8:28am
  • Royal Berkshire, England
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Quote: A Horseradish @ 22nd November 2020, 10:27 PM

Third, there was an Agony Again. Aaron might correct me on this one but I have a feeling that was on BBC.

It was! See: Agony Again.

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Chappers

  • Monday 23rd November 2020, 8:29pm
  • Surreyish., England
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Anyway I've just ordered the whole series of Agony. Good to see Maureen as a younger woman although I still find her attractive.

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Alfred J Kipper

  • Wednesday 25th November 2020, 8:32am
  • Aldershot, England
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A bold decision seeing as it's not been shown for 40 years, (unless someone knows different) I'm still holding back on the Upchat Line because I never saw a bit of it. (Seeing the patchiness of sitcoms like Get Some In from that period have made me a bit hesitant now) I only sporadically saw Agony, and probably had it on as background mainly but you were probably a more avid watcher of it if and you like the star then this should be a good buy, as from memory it virtually relaunched Lipman as a witty raconteur and very popular guest on chat shows.

Please report back on it and with intelligence as to why you think it hasn't been re-aired, the unPC quotient and how edited it looks. Thank you.

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Aaron

  • Wednesday 25th November 2020, 4:34pm
  • Royal Berkshire, England
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Quote: Alfred J Kipper @ 25th November 2020, 8:32 AM

I'm still holding back on the Upchat Line because I never saw a bit of it. (Seeing the patchiness of sitcoms like Get Some In from that period have made me a bit hesitant now)

If you think Get Some In! is patchy (it isn't) then you're right to be wary of The Upchat Line/The Upchat Connection. But it can be bought for just a couple of pounds. I think I saw it for about £3 a few weeks ago - worth anyone's time for that, surely?

Quote: Alfred J Kipper @ 25th November 2020, 8:32 AM

Please report back on it and with intelligence as to why you think it hasn't been re-aired, the unPC quotient and how edited it looks. Thank you.

It hasn't been repeated because it's an ITV show and not as prominent as the few (Man About The House, On The Buses, etc) that do get shown.

It's not particularly un-PC at all (don't forget the co-creator/writer), and isn't edited in the slightest.

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Chappers

  • Wednesday 25th November 2020, 8:24pm
  • Surreyish., England
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As I mentioned I'm currently reading Anna Raeburn's autobiography and she did have some experiences at a very young age. (16-19).

I can't think that there was anything Un-PC as she was an Agony aunt.

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Alfred J Kipper

  • Thursday 26th November 2020, 8:10am [Edited]
  • Aldershot, England
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Well I was thinking more from the very Jewish mother angle, I can't see such a bold stereotype being shown now without mass offence being caused and social media going into meltdown. One of the funniest aspects of the show then, but I can't imagine after the near Nuremburg style Corbyn show trial hysteria that this would be allowed on TV now.

And there are loads of old ITV shows on the other channels now, the six ep Tripper's Day is on a permanent loop at the mo. Morning.

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Chappers

  • Thursday 26th November 2020, 7:20pm
  • Surreyish., England
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Well Anna Raeburn isn't Jewish and didn't have a Jewish mother.

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Alfred J Kipper

  • Monday 30th November 2020, 4:44am
  • Aldershot, England
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Quote: Aaron @ 25th November 2020, 4:34 PM

If you think Get Some In! is patchy (it isn't)

Well if not patchy, then weaker than I remember it to be, the couple I've seen, with a lot less of Robert Lindsay's character than I remember, a big star at the time through Citizen Smith.

Quote: Chappers @ 26th November 2020, 7:20 PM

Well Anna Raeburn isn't Jewish and didn't have a Jewish mother.

Well someone wrote a very Jewish mother character for the show, I remember her vividly. I'm guessing the co-writer wrote her in for the comedy and Raeburn added the agony aunt specific stuff.

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Chappers

  • Monday 30th November 2020, 8:36pm
  • Surreyish., England
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Quote: Alfred J Kipper @ 30th November 2020, 4:44 AM

Well someone wrote a very Jewish mother character for the show, I remember her vividly. I'm guessing the co-writer wrote her in for the comedy and Raeburn added the agony aunt specific stuff.

She had Jewish family connections and Maureen Lipman of course is.

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Alfred J Kipper

  • Saturday 5th December 2020, 9:39am [Edited]
  • Aldershot, England
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Precisely. The mother character was written for Lipman to make use of her ethnic heritage - Good bold character comedy of the sort they get into trouble for making now, despite the fact they were willingly poking fun at themselves or own ethnic culture. Look at the fuss that was made of Citizen Khan. Desmonds wouldn't be made now. That's the reason I believe Agony hasn't been repeated - everyone's too scared of being labelled a racist in this hysterically over sensitive age we live in.