Ladies Of Letters. Image shows from L to R: Vera Small (Anne Reid), Irene Spencer (Maureen Lipman). Copyright: Tiger Aspect Productions.

Ladies Of Letters

ITV3 comedy drama / sitcom. 20 episodes (2 series), 2009 - 2010. Stars Maureen Lipman, Anne Reid, Morag Siller, Daniel Crowder, Paul Chahidi, Natasha Redhead, Lee Boardman and others.

Ladies Of Letters

A comedy drama about two warring widows. Based on the books and BBC Radio 4 series of the same name

Comedy Drama, Sitcom
2009 - 2010
20   (2 series)
Maureen Lipman, Anne Reid, Morag Siller, Daniel Crowder, Paul Chahidi, Natasha Redhead, Lee Boardman, Jonathan Coy and others
Lou Wakefield and Carole Hayman
John Henderson
Geoffrey Perkins and Francis Matthews

Gentle comedy drama about two very different widows who forge a friendship through letters. Based on the Radio 4 series of the same name.

Irene and Vera reveal their adventures to one another through letters, with each of them trying to outdo the other.

The two ladies first meet at Vera's daughter's wedding and begin a correspondence that, beneath a veneer of civility, hides a constant battle of one-upmanship as they regale each other with stories of blissful holidays, delicious recipes and grateful grandchildren.

In reality, both are lonely, taken for granted by their families and their correspondence is a lifeline for them: for all the unspoken animosity, they need each other.

In the first series Vera and Irene's friendship saw them through a variety of experiences, including a spot of man trouble, Irene's episode of amnesia, a stint behind bars on a prison ship for the pair of them, the revelation of Vera's son Howie's sexuality, and the threat of Vera's home being destroyed to make way for a bypass.

The second series picks up five years after Irene and Vera's doomed vacation. Having not spoken to each other in all that time, the erstwhile buddies are reunited at the funeral of Irene's one-time gentleman caller Bill, the man who almost ruined their fledgling friendship by subsequently flirting with Vera before dumping them both.

The ladies soon end up in some rather extreme situations. Irene finds herself living rough in the Australian outback after being rescued from a asylum by Vera's daughter Karen and trailer park thug Damon. Meanwhile Vera battles with social services for custody of her granddaughter Sabrina.

Ladies of Letters blends the comedic elements of the ladies' relationship with a hint of melancholy as we learn how the duo are both taken for granted by their families and loved ones. The series follow the ups and downs of their long-distance relationship as it occasionally becomes slightly fractious when one or other of them engages in too much one-upmanship.

Production Details

Production company
Laugh track

Broadcast details

First broadcast
Tuesday 3rd February 2009 on ITV3 at 10pm
Last new broadcast
Tuesday 16th November 2010 on ITV3 at 10pm
Length of episodes
30 minutes
Last repeat
Thursday 19th December 2013 at 2:00pm on Radio 4 Extra

Website links