Jam & Jerusalem. Image shows from L to R: Rosie Bales (Dawn French), Sal Vine (Sue Johnston). Copyright: BBC.

Jam & Jerusalem

BBC One comedy drama / sitcom about a Women's Guild branch. 16 episodes (3 series), 2006 - 2009. Stars Sue Johnston, Pauline McLynn, Maggie Steed, Sally Phillips and others.

Press Clippings

Binge watching: Jam & Jerusalem

Jam & Jerusalem was axed after a pitifully few three series (yet the Beeb cranks The [bloody] Archers ON and ON). Why everyone isn't completely in love with it is utterly beyond me.

Hazel Davis, Standard Issue, 23rd June 2015

Dawn French raps BBC for axing Jam and Jerusalem

Dawn French has hit out at the BBC for axing pal Jennifer Saunders' ratings winner Jam and Jerusalem.

The Sun, 6th November 2010

Your next box set: Jam and Jerusalem

Fetes, fury and neighbourly meddling form the backdrop to Jennifer Saunders' winning sitcom drawn from her experiences of smalltown life on Dartmoor.

Tim Lusher, The Guardian, 27th August 2010

BBC Complaints: Jam & Jerusalem Response

"Not bringing Jam & Jerusalem back was a hard decision to make, especially as there was a lot of support for the show. There's never an easy way to relay this kind of news to viewers but rest assured the decision wasn't taken lightly."

BBC, 11th January 2010

End of an era for comedy duo

Britain's most successful female comedy duo, French and Saunders, are splitting after 30 years in the business. The pair's final project together, BBC's Jam and Jerusalem, has been axed by the corporation after three series.

Richard Simpson, Daily Mail, 1st January 2010

BBC axes Jam & Jerusalem despite rising ratings

The BBC has axed the comedy drama Jam & Jerusalem by Jennifer Saunders.

Stephen Adams, The Telegraph, 1st January 2010

Anyway, "I blame Princess Diana" said Jam & Jerusalem's quintessentially stiff-lipped Caroline (Jennifer Saunders) while talking about the prevailing mood of dreadful wetness and soppiness during last Sunday's excruciating dinner party, which was also attended by Dawn French's lady-who-doesn't, Rosie, and kindly Sal (Sue Johnston), thus turning it into a kind of oestrogen-drenched comedy masterclass, albeit writ rather small and bittersweet, rather as if Jennifer (with co-writer Abigail Wilson) has finally got all that relentless comedy shouting out of her system, and grown up.

Anyway, Caroline was so constipated by her class that she referred to her son, fighting in "the Helmand", as if he was killing time by doing something slightly irksome like pulling up weeds on the drive or putting the rubbish out. Caroline's lip was, obviously, only allowed to tremble when she assumed no one else could see it.

I don't know - perhaps this scene was all the more touching for being aired the day after the announcement of the 200th military death in Afghanistan, but actually I disagree with Caroline; let's not blame Princess Diana for becoming a nation of soppy emotional incontinents; instead let's blame her former sister-in-law, Sarah, Duchess of York instead.

Kathryn Flett, The Observer, 23rd August 2009

In Trevor Griffiths's masterpiece The Comedians an elderly comedian teaches an evening class for aspiring stand-up comics. He makes them close their eyes and think of any personal experience that has affected them deeply. Right, he says. Open your eyes. Tell us what you were thinking - only be funny about it. Contained in that one exercise is the acid test of comedy, and it explains why Jam & Jerusalem has improved out of all recognition. Rather than going for easy laughs, it focuses in large part on the relationships between Sue Johnston's character, the new friend in her life and her two semi-grown-up children. In a gentle Sunday-night way, it is truthful and funny.

David Chater, The Times, 22nd August 2009

It's the final episode of this oddly brief third series and the ladies of Clatterford are agog - it seems that pensioners' pin-up Charles Dance is definitely going to make an appearance at the Guild. Meanwhile any hopes Sal (Sue Johnston) had for peace and quiet are dashed when Tash's (Sally Phillips) plans to move out hit an obstacle.

The Telegraph, 22nd August 2009

Society worth preserving

Sometimes the best moments on television are the ones that blindside you, coming from an angle you don't expect.

There was a nice example in Jam & Jerusalem last night, a little moment of extraordinarily intense feeling staging an ambush on an audience that was probably meandering along perfectly happily, expecting to be called on for nothing more than a gentle chuckle or a half smile of recognition. It brought tears to my eyes, in fact, which was partly just sympathetic vibration, since everybody on screen was dabbing at theirs, but was also something to do with how true the scene was to the little society that Jennifer Saunders has created in Clatterford. Maybe the scheduling helped too - this series of the rural sitcom having been written in 30-minute segments but transmitted in three hour-long episodes, a slot that makes it easier to think of it as a wry kind of drama rather than a sitcom.

Tom Sutcliffe, The Independent, 17th August 2009