- 5 (1 series)
- Anthony Tancred
- George Cole and Pat Heywood
- Mark Chapman and William Donaldson
- Mark Chapman
- Mark Chapman, Justin Judd, Rod Henwood and William Donaldson
In the late 1970s, a series of opinionated, right-wing letters elicited some revealing and amusing replies from senior Establishment figures. The writer of the missives was one Henry Root, owner of a chain of wet fish shops and a natural chauvinist. But Root was fiction, a character dreampt up by writer William Donaldson, who in 1980 collated his spoof letters and their earnest replies into a best-selling book, The Henry Root Letters.
As 1992 approached, with trade barriers falling all across the European Community, Donaldson resurrected his obnoxious alter-ego for this five-part TV series. Casting George Cole in the lead, and Patricia Heywood as his downtrodden wife, Donaldson and co-writer / producer Mark Chapman sent Root across the Channel as a self-appointed protector of English heritage.
For Root, a dark threat from foreign culture and customs lurks only a short ferry ride away and he sees himself as the man to stand up for all that is right and proper. This eventful journey takes him from his home at The Anchorage, Lakeside Avenue, Esher (changed from a London address in the original letters) to France, Belgium, Spain, Italy, Germany and Holland. Along the way, the arrogant Root defiantly squares up to Johnny Foreigner at every turn, only to come off much the worse.
- First broadcast
- Sunday 17th May 1992 at 8:45pm on ITV1