When The Dog Dies. Sandy Hopper (Ronnie Corbett). Copyright: CPL Productions.

When The Dog Dies

BBC Radio 4 and BBC Radio 4 Extra sitcom. 24 episodes (4 series), 2010 - 2014. Stars Ronnie Corbett, Liza Tarbuck, Sally Grace, Tilly Vosburgh, Jonathan Aris, Daniel Bridle, Philip Bird and others.

Press Clippings

Radio Times review

There's nothing wrong with a sitcom being gentle, especially if it is as well written and acted as this one. Ronnie Corbett returns as the OAP who is determined not to take his children's advice and downsize, at least not while his beloved dog Henry is still alive.

I am sorry to report that this is the final series, which I hope does not mean a sad ending for either man or dog. Make the most of this, while we still have the time.

Jane Anderson, Radio Times, 14th May 2014

A new year brings new resolutions, new plans and, thankfully, a new series of Sorry! writers Ian Davidson and Peter Vincent's charming Radio 4 sitcom. Ronnie Corbett reprises his role as ageing pensioner Sandy Hopper who, despite his children's best attempts, refuses to move out of the family home until his similarly ancient dog Henry has kicked the bucket.

Expertly weaving its way through themes of middle-class pretension and thinly veiled snobbery, this subtle comedy is a masterclass in the family sitcom viewed from a different perspective. It is also apparent that the gravelly yet mild-mannered Sandy was written with none other than Corbett in mind, and the veteran comic clearly relishes the performance.

Tom Goulding, Radio Times, 11th January 2013

Hats off to Ronnie Corbett and a cosy canine sitcom

Gillian Reynolds reviews the week in radio, including the second series of Ronnie Corbett's sitcom When the Dog Dies on Radio 4 Extra.

Gillian Reynolds, The Telegraph, 26th July 2011

Ronnie Corbett is back! Not in the outsized armchair, telling shaggy dog stories about his producer, but in series two of the cockle-warming sitcom by Sorry! scribes Ian Davidson and Peter Vincent. The deep-voiced micro-comic plays Sandy Hopper, still hunkering down in the family home until his ancient dog Henry expires. Daughter Ellie wants to get her reluctant son Tyson into an academy school, but Sandy doesn't know who to side with. A blizzard of comic detail peppers the tale of middle-class pretension, and it's a charming vehicle for Corbett. Liza Tarbuck channels the spirit of Pat Coombs as Sandy's lodger Dolores.

Mark Braxton, Radio Times, 25th July 2011

While Stephen Fry discourses on persuasive language (in advertising and so on) on Radio 4 here's an agreeable alternative, a brand new series of the sitcom where Ronnie Corbett plays a widower with a dog, a rather tarty lodger (Liza Tarbuck), a comfortable lifestyle - and a daughterwho wishes he'd hurry up and sell his house. Written by Ian Davidson and Peter Vincent who perfectly understand the way Corbett gently inflects a line into a joke. Produced by Liz Anstee for CPL Independent Productions Ltd. Don't worry. It'll be on Radio 4 before long.

Gillian Reynolds, The Telegraph, 22nd July 2011

When the Dog Dies, Radio 4 Extra, preview

Gillian Reynolds looks ahead to a new series of the gentle comedy starring Ronnie Corbett.

Gillian Reynolds, The Telegraph, 21st July 2011

Ian Davidson and Peter Vincent's delightful When the Dog Dies cast Ronnie Corbett as Sandy Hopper, a widower whose daughter and son-in-law are impatient for him to move out of his house - a move he has agreed to make "when the dog dies". The need, therefore, is to keep Henry - 116 in dog years - alive. This is a gentle, credit-crunch comedy for our times and Corbett is beautifully cast as the beleaguered oldie whose ungrateful offspring watch his every move like vultures. When he gets a sat-nav his daughter is horrified. "You shouldn't be spending money on that, there's already inheritance tax without you spending!" He is banned from burying the dog in the garden because, as his monstrous son-in-law tells him, "People won't buy the house with dead dogs everywhere". And when he graciously suggests, "we should all be singing from the same hymn sheet," the son-in-law ominously riposts, "We will soon Sandy."

Jane Thynne, The Independent, 6th May 2010

When the Dog Dies (Radio 4, Friday) is a situation comedy by Ian Davidson and Peter Vincent with Ronnie Corbett for whom, long ago, they wrote the TV sitcom Sorry! This is an old fashioned series, with characters like cartoons and situations like comic postcards. It is also funny because, as with the best cartoons and postcards, it is recognisably lifelike and (again with Liz Anstee directing) very neatly set out. It's good to have heard the ring of confident production so often this week.

Gillian Reynolds, The Telegraph, 5th May 2010

Radio Review: When The Dog Dies

Ronnie Corbett plays Sandy, who thwarts his children by refusing to sell the family home until his dog dies.

Elisabeth Mahoney, The Guardian, 3rd May 2010

Reletive values: Ronnie Corbett and his daughter Sophie

The comedian and actor, 79, and his daughter, 42, a voiceover artist, on loving showbiz, mega-success and why he will always be the family's Peter Pan.

Rose Brown, The Sunday Times, 2nd May 2010