British Comedy Guide

The Good Life. Image shows from L to R: Tom Good (Richard Briers), 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 3, Episode 2 is repeated on Gold today at 6:40pm

Series 2, Episode 1 - Just My Bill

Tom and Barbara are left in financial trouble as they struggle to sell their surplus fruit and vegetables just as the rates need to be paid. A last-gasp search down the back of a sofa means the payment is met on time - leaving the Goods with a single penny to their name.

Full synopsis

It seems the Goods are in a better position financially than they were when we last saw them - although they only have £3.28 left in the bank. Nevertheless Margot and Jerry have been invited to dinner. The guests are welcomed in and offered the house speciality of pea-pod wine which they use to toast the harvest that they all gathered. The Goods proceed to show the Leadbetters the fruits (and vegetables) of their labours.

It appears that the Goods have transformed a spare bedroom into their storage room, due to the optimum conditions. Tom shares his plans to sell a portion of it during the year to pay the rates but Jerry thinks Tom may be in for a nasty shock. He thinks finding a buyer may not be as easy as Tom expects, Tom surprises Jerry however by announcing that he already has one... or so he thinks. Unfortunately for Tom a misunderstanding leaves him lumbered with his surplus vegetables and without £90.

Later on Tom returns home with his tail in-between his legs and informs Barbara of his unsuccessful day. He also reveals a tip that he picked up from a greengrocer whilst trying to offload his goods. Regular fruit and veg is normally bought in bulk but speciality crops can be sold in smaller quantities for fair prices, such as asparagus. This looks like being the plan for next year. Suddenly they realise that they might have more success selling straight to the public.

Barbara sits in front of the house trying to sell to passers-by, with little success. A car pulls up in front of Barbara and Margot and Jerry emerge. Margot is very unhappy and suggests that Barbara's stall could cause falling house prices whilst Jerry is more worried about the Goods trading without a licence. We go to Tom who we see dragging a small trolley around. He too seems to have had little success at selling as his trolley is still full. To make matters worse it would appear he has competition from a well-established pairing with similar goals.

Tom arrives home, and he and Barbara sit and repent about choosing such common vegetables as Jerry arrives. He offers to buy the lot but Tom and Barbara refuse his charity. They decide that they must sell at a loss but learn this valuable lesson so that they are not in the same position next year.

Later on, Margot is paying her bills in a way that only she could. As she is leaving Tom and Barbara enter the 'rates office' to pay their bills in a way that only they can, with two cheques and a bag of copper coins. They reassure Margot that they know what they are doing as she shows her concern. As they talk, Mr Squires informs the Goods that they have overpaid - by one penny.

Broadcast details

Friday 5th December 1975
30 minutes


  1. Saturday 9th April 2011 at 11:35pm on Gold
  2. Friday 1st July 2011 at 10:00am on Gold
  3. Friday 1st July 2011 at 1:40pm on Gold
  4. Saturday 23rd July 2011 at 8:40am on Gold
  5. Monday 19th September 2011 at 9:40am on Gold
  6. Monday 19th September 2011 at 2:20pm on Gold
  7. Sunday 23rd October 2011 at 8:50am on Gold
  8. Monday 24th October 2011 at 1:50am on Gold
  9. Thursday 24th November 2011 at 7:30am on Gold
  10. Thursday 24th November 2011 at 2:35pm on Gold
  11. Saturday 28th January 2012 at 12:35pm on Gold
  12. Sunday 29th January 2012 at 9:40am on Gold
  13. Thursday 29th March 2012 at 10:40am on Gold
  14. Thursday 29th March 2012 at 4:40pm on Gold
  15. Saturday 5th May 2012 at 5:55pm on BBC2
  16. Saturday 5th May 2012 at 6:05pm on BBC2 Wales
  17. Wednesday 13th June 2012 at 1:40pm on Gold
  18. Wednesday 13th June 2012 at 7:40pm on Gold
  19. Tuesday 11th September 2012 at 9:40am on Gold
  20. Tuesday 11th September 2012 at 3:40pm on Gold
  21. Thursday 10th January 2013 at 9:40am on Gold
  22. Thursday 10th January 2013 at 3:40pm on Gold
  23. Sunday 3rd March 2013 at 7:40am on Gold
  24. Wednesday 6th March 2013 at 12:20pm on Gold
  25. Wednesday 6th March 2013 at 6:20pm on Gold
  26. Tuesday 28th May 2013 at 3:40pm on Gold
  27. Wednesday 29th May 2013 at 9:35am on Gold
  28. Saturday 19th October 2013 at 3:30pm on Gold
  29. Sunday 20th October 2013 at 8:30am on Gold
  30. Saturday 30th November 2013 at 6:20pm on Drama
  31. Sunday 1st December 2013 at 5:50pm on Drama
  32. Tuesday 10th December 2013 at 1:00pm on Gold
  33. Wednesday 11th December 2013 at 8:20am on Gold
  34. Thursday 6th July 2017 at 7:20pm on Gold
  35. Friday 7th July 2017 at 6:50pm on Gold
  36. Tuesday 1st August 2017 at 1:40pm on Gold
  37. Tuesday 1st August 2017 at 6:20pm on Gold
  38. Tuesday 7th November 2017 at 2:30pm on Gold
  39. Tuesday 7th November 2017 at 7:40pm on Gold
  40. Friday 12th January 2018 at 7:20pm on Gold
  41. Saturday 13th January 2018 at 4:50pm on Gold

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