Lucky Feller. Bernard 'Shorty' Mepstead (David Jason). Copyright: London Weekend Television.

Lucky Feller

ITV sitcom about a man luckless in love. 14 episodes (pilot + 1 series) in 1976. Stars David Jason, Peter Armitage, Cheryl Hall and Pat Heywood.

Trivia

Writer Terence Frisby lived with David Jason in a holiday cottage in Somerset for two days in Summer 1975, observing the actor in order to pen the character and scripts around his real-life manner.

Lucky Feller suffered from fractured scheduling. HTV (Wales region) broadcast the show first, at 6:30pm on Friday nights. London and the Midlands followed at 7pm, with Anglia and Yorkshire showing each episode at 8:30pm. In many other regions, the episode was broadcast the following day - Saturday - at 10pm.

Writer Terence Frisby felt a slot of 9pm would be more suited to the programme's content.

Some sources suggest this series broadcast on Mondays 30th August - 25th November 1976, but we have been unable to confirm or corroborate these dates.

Co-star Peter Armitage - ladies' man Randy - was a real-life heart-throb 'housewives' favourite' at the time of broadcast: thanks to his role as a cheery milkman in television commercials for Unigate.

A pilot episode was recorded on 3rd June 1975 and unbroadcast. It featured Elizabeth Spriggs in the role of Mrs. Mepstead, with Nicky Henson as Randy, plus Burt Kwouk and Sylvester McCoy. The programme was designed by John Clements and directed by Bryan Izzard.

Writer Terence Frisby said: "I wrote 13 episodes in 26 weeks and by the time I finished I think my brain had gone soft. LWT wanted to commission another series but I felt too wrung out to write any more unless they gave me the stimulus of repeating the first series - which they couldn't do because of ITV's system. There is a belief that LWT axed the show. They didn't, it was their top show that year. It was me who axed it, unwillingly.

"LWT also put the show out at the wrong time. It should have been on after the watershed at 9:00pm - not at 7 - because of the content. But LWT's fortunes were at a low ebb and to get and keep an audience when they took over the network for the weekend they put it out first. It certainly got their audience and their viewing figures went down from 7:30pm on - after it finished."