The Good Life. Image shows from L to R: Margo Leadbetter (Penelope Keith), Tom Good (Richard Briers), Jerry Leadbetter (Paul Eddington), Barbara Good (Felicity Kendal). Copyright: BBC.

The Good Life

BBC One sitcom about a couple practicing self-sufficiency. 30 episodes (4 series), 1975 - 1978. Stars Richard Briers, Felicity Kendal, Penelope Keith and Paul Eddington.

Series 1, Episode 2 is repeated on Gold on Monday at 7:40pm.

Silly, But It's Fun....

When the Leadbetter Christmas is cancelled, Tom and Barbara save the day by inviting them over for a self-sufficient Christmas that cost only 15p.

Further details

Tom and Barbara are preparing for Christmas. Tom has been scrounging bits and pieces while Barbara has been making paper chains for the house and the pig sty! Margo walks in and beckons them to be witness to her unending fight against tradesmen.

They all march next door where a delivery man is waiting on the sofa. Margo instructs them to measure her supposedly 9-foot tree. Both parties agree it is-8 foot, 5 and three quarter inches. Wholly unacceptable! Margo's Christmas in a van is sent back: including all the food, drink and decorations. As Margo has it out with the man in the Avenue, Jerry arrives home from his last day at work before the festive 'break' - he's exhausted and stressed out, and explains that the next five days will be filled with socialising with several groups of people that bore him senseless and all he wants is some peace and quiet over Christmas. Margo walks in with more questions and Jerry responds with frustrated venom before heading off for a bath. The Goods sneak out as the Leadbetters argue.

Later that day, Barbara is decorating the Goods' modest bonzai Christmas tree when Tom enters holding a box. She hides and surprises him, thinking it to be her Christmas present, but it in fact contains home-made Christmas crackers that don't go bang! Tom and Barbara sit down to check their total Christmas expenditure. It comes to the almighty total of 15p, which Tom is furious about until he realises that the rest was spent on balloons, which are a necessity in his mind.

It is Christmas Day and Jerry finds Margo in the sitting room, busy on the phone. It soon transpires that she's been calling round telling everyone he has chicken pox! It seems that 'Christmas is cancelled' as the delivery men do not work on Christmas Day, leaving the couple with nothing to entertain their intended various guests! Jerry is positively thrilled by this until they realise that they don't just have a true or decorations, but no food or drink either! Fortuitously, the Goods appear carolling at the window. Two minutes later when all is explained the quartet head next door to have Christmas Good-style.

Tom and Jerry relax by the fire as Margo and Barbara enter from the kitchen after a terrific meal. Margo does her best to suck the fun out of the cracker-pulling but finally starts to get into the spirit of things after some words of encouragement from Tom.

After playing further games Tom declares he is hungry again and the group return to the kitchen. Margo and Jerry express their thanks to the Goods and declare it the best Christmas they've ever had. Tom and Barbara give them some home-made clothes, and while they wait for the Leadbetters to get their presents they suppose they will be given something entirely useless for their lifestyle. But then the back door opens and Margo leads a cow into the kitchen, complete with gift bow!

Broadcast details

Monday 26th December 1977
30 minutes

Cast & crew

Regular cast
Richard Briers Tom Good
Felicity Kendal Barbara Good
Penelope Keith Margo Leadbetter
Paul Eddington Jerry Leadbetter
Guest cast
David Battley Bill
Writing team
John Esmonde Writer
Bob Larbey Writer
Production team
John Howard Davies Director
John Howard Davies Producer

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