The title for the show came from a regular catchphrase that the character of Leonard Swindley used in Coronation Street. He would often punctuate a conversation, almost apologetically, with "...if you pardon the expression" - especially when using 'modern speak' that he disapproved of.
For the first and only time, a regular character from the soap opera Coronation Street walked in to a series of their own. Arthur Lowe had played the part of Leonard Swindley for 4 years and the writers of Coronation Street found enough comedy in his performance as the pompous fusspot for them to contemplate a situation comedy series. The star was happy enough to go along with the plan at first but would complain that the scripts were beneath him on many occasions.
The transition from soap to sitcom was smooth with the character saying goodbye in Coronation Street and two days later walking in to his new job at Dobson & Hawks. The same team who were writing stories for 'The Street' were also working on this new show but no other characters would crossover or make appearances.
The second series saw a change of personnel with Robert Dorning, as Mr Hunt, replacing Mr Parbold as the manager of the store. The popularity of the show dipped midway through the long run and many regions did not show the entire 24 episodes - opting out in the middle and coming back for the final episodes. Our Guide shows the transmission dates for the London region, which broadcast the entire run.
Even though many of the production team thought they had
squeezed all the juice out of the character, Granada produced a sequel, Turn Out The Lights, which saw ex-managers Swindley and Hunt teaming up as ghost hunters.
Two not-for-broadcast pilot episodes were produced. Both are missing, believed wiped.