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One Foot In The Grave. Image shows from L to R: Margaret Meldrew (Annette Crosbie), Victor Meldrew (Richard Wilson). Copyright: BBC
One Foot In The Grave

One Foot In The Grave

  • TV sitcom
  • BBC One
  • 1990 - 2000
  • 42 episodes (6 series)

The grumpy complainer and accident prone Victor Meldrew takes early retirement and finds he has far too much time on his hands. His long suffering wife and neighbours just have to grin and bear it. Stars Richard Wilson, Annette Crosbie, Doreen Mantle, Owen Brenman, Angus Deayton and Janine Duvitski

  • JustWatch Streaming rank this week: 1,565


Episode menu

Series 1, Episode 2 - The Big Sleep

Margaret tries to help her husband cope with early retirement by getting him a book from the library entitled Coping with Old Age.

Further details

The window cleaner is distressed because she claims that Victor had indecently exposed himself to her when she was cleaning the windows; he was drying himself but she says she's going to report him to the police. The police arrive, but they're off-duty officers doing their Jehovah's Witness duty, and Victor reacts rudely to them before throwing them out.

Margaret tells Victor she's just hear that a cousin of his has died. Freshly depressed, she takes him to try a yoga class for the elderly. Ironically, the fitness instructor dies mid-meditation, whilst another student finds her hip replacement seizes - and then quickly faints, leaving the Meldrews to seek help.

After his cousin's funeral, Victor begins noticing his own health problems: lumps behind his ears and a rash across his entire upper body foremost, whilst consultation of a medical dictionary does nothing to help matters. Attempting to relax whilst Margaret is out, Victor sits in the back garden to read his newspaper but soon falls asleep. Whilst slumbering a thick fog descends, and when he wakes up Victor believes he has died - before managing to knock himself out in the mist!

Broadcast details

Thursday 11th January 1990
30 minutes

Cast & crew

Richard Wilson Victor Meldrew
Annette Crosbie Margaret Meldrew
Guest cast
Faye Maguire Window Cleaner
Christopher Saul 1st Jehovah's Witness
David Peart 2nd Jehovah's Witness
Kay Adshead Keep Fit Instructress
Len Lowe (as Leonard Lowe) Len
Danny O'Dea Michael
Hilary Mason Elspeth
Pamela Lane Nurse
Lisa Bluthal Make-Up Girl
Helen Fraser Dr. Snellgrove
Colin Ward Lewis (as Colin Ward-Lewis) Radio DJ (Voice)
Writing team
David Renwick Writer
Production team
Susan Belbin Director
Susan Belbin Producer
Mike Houghton Editor
Chris Wadsworth Editor
Nick Somerville Production Designer
Rebecca Howard Casting Director
Richard Winter Costume Designer
Jean Steward Make-up Designer
Chris Kempton Lighting Designer
Eric Idle Composer
Pete Wane Graphics

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