25 years since the wartime sitcom ended... what became of its stars?Chortle, 14th December 2017
The final chapter of this comforting hug of a programme focuses on the third and final series of Porridge - and its best, according to writers Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais. Also the spin-offs: Going Straight, in which Fletcher returns to civvy street; the 1979 movie (filmed at Chelmsford Prison during refurbishment after a fire); and the US adaptation, which featured a Puerto-Rican Fletch.
Going Straight is regularly dismissed in comedy textbooks as disappointing, but the only series made (in 1978) still attracted 15 million and won a Bafta. And marked an early appearance of Nicholas (Only Fools) Lyndhurst as Fletcher's son Raymond.
Christopher Biggins (Lukewarm), Sam Kelly ("Bunny" Warren) and Tony Osoba (McLaren) express pride at their involvement in co-starring in Porridge. And Kate Beckinsale, only five on the death of her father Richard, who played Godber, says she finds repeats "endlessly consoling and surprising". As do many.Mark Braxton, Radio Times, 4th June 2014
The 10th series of this surprisingly popular sitcom about an average middle-class family trundles on, with an episode mixing elements of psychological thriller and music-hall farce, as father Ben Harper (Robert Lindsay) discovers that his neighbour Martin (Sam Kelly) has built a creepy shrine to Ben's wife Susan (Zoë Wanamaker). Cue a bungled attempt at breaking into Martin's house, a call from the police and a crisis which only an apology and a sharp pair of scissors can untangle.The Telegraph, 23rd July 2010