Butterflies. Image shows from L to R: Ben Parkinson (Geoffrey Palmer), Ria Parkinson (Wendy Craig).


BBC Two and BBC One sitcom about bored housewife Ria Parkinson. 28 episodes (4 series), 1978 - 2000. Stars Wendy Craig, Geoffrey Palmer, Bruce Montague, Nicholas Lyndhurst and others.

Butterflies. Image shows from L to R: Russell Parkinson (Andrew Hall), Ben Parkinson (Geoffrey Palmer), Ria Parkinson (Wendy Craig), Adam Parkinson (Nicholas Lyndhurst).


Sitcom following dissatisfied housewife Ria Parkinson as she considers embarking on an exciting romantic affair with successful businessman Leonard

1978 - 2000
BBC Two, BBC One
28   (4 series), plus 2 short specials
Wendy Craig, Geoffrey Palmer, Bruce Montague, Nicholas Lyndhurst, Andrew Hall, Joyce Windsor, Michael Ripper and Sarah James
Carla Lane
John B Hobbs and Sydney Lotterby
Gareth Gwenlan and Sydney Lotterby

Ria Parkinson is married to Ben, a butterfly-collecting dentist who seems to take her for granted. The pair have two grown-up sons, Adam and Russell, who also take her for granted. Feeling dissatisfied with her life Ria meets Leonard and spends the next few years almost having an affair with the dashing businessman.

Whilst the other Parkinson family members don't recognise anything wrong with Ria or her life, she falls deeper into a world of depressive confusion and indecision with Leonard apparently the sole light at the end of the tunnel. Leonard or Ben? Who knows...

Production Details

Production company
Laugh track
Live audience

Broadcast details

First broadcast
Friday 10th November 1978 on BBC Two at 9pm
Last new broadcast
Friday 17th November 2000 on BBC One at 9:15pm
Last repeat
Friday 15th March 2019 at 7:30am on Gold

Website links