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.

When I'm 65 is repeated on Gold tomorrow at 8pm.

Series 2, Episode 3 - Mr. Fix-It

When a journalist asks to interview the Goods, Margot spies an opportunity for self-promotion. Jerry's attempts to act for the Goods' interest are very successful - but it all looks set to backfire.

Further details

Rain stops play at the Good residence which means valuable time is being wasted. Barbara uses the time to mend her work clothes and Tom tries to mend his fork but a knock at the door interrupts him. It's Margot, who informs Tom that there is a phone call for him at her house. Whilst he goes to answer it, Margot asks Barbara why Tom is gardening in a dinner jacket. Barbara explains that they no longer have any functions to attend, and that it doesn't matter what clothes looks like as long as they are serviceable.

Tom returns to announce that the phone call was from a journalist who wants to do a feature on the Goods and their way of life. Barbara seems interested but not nearly as much as Margot who casually asks for the specifics of his visit before trying to get involved in the proceedings. Unfortunately for her, her attempts are in vain.

Her attempts are similarly in vain the following morning when she tries to sneak into one of the photos that the journalist is taking of the Goods. Tom quickly notices her gardening in the background and so makes sure that he and Barbara are snapped alone. The Goods and the journalist move into the house so that a brief interview can take place but it's not long before Margot once again tries to gatecrash proceedings. Margot happily outlines her biography and details the upcoming amateur production of The Sound of Music she is involved with, before realising the journalist is not writing any of it down.

Tom and Barbara take pity on her though and insist that she get a mention by listing a series of things that Margot had supposedly done to help the Good cause. No one is more shocked at the list than Margot herself! As the journalist leaves, Margot comes to the conclusion that his black shoes indicate that he works for one of the better papers but is horrified to learn that he is a freelance journalist.

Some days later the phone rings once more, and the journalist informs Margot that his article is to be published in The Observer. Margot is delighted and sends Jerry next door to tell the Goods. As he leaves, Margot begins making some phone calls. The first is so that she can attempt to blackmail one of her fellow drama society members into letting her have the final say on the cover of the programme.

When Jerry arrives, Tom and Barbara are too concerned with their chickens to consider a newspaper feature. He struggles to get the magnitude of the publication across before realising that the Goods could actually benefit from their exposure. He lets them know that local traders might give away free samples of their goods if they can tell people that local celebrities use them. However Tom and Barbara have a difference of opinion on the idea. Tom thinks that they have left commercialism behind and that this would be 'cheating'. Barbara thinks that it would be fine if they only used this idea in order to get essentials for the garden such as chicken wire and work tools. They discuss the matter until finally Tom concedes.

Jerry wastes no time in advertising the Goods as a brand in the local high street. A flow of free items find their way to the Goods' front door as a result, including a boat which Jerry lets the Goods know is his commission.

The big day arrives and as Margot rifles through The Observer in search of the article, the phone rings. It's her fellow drama society member again, who is less than impressed by the non-appearance of the piece. Margot informs Jerry of its omission and he immediately realises this is bad news for Tom and Barbara as a lot of shopkeepers will want words with them.

Tom is modelling some new clothes that he has received when Margot arrives to berate them, closely followed by Jerry. He has just received another phone call from the journalist - the article was in an Observer: The Ox and Bucks Observer! Tom finds the situation very funny at first but Jerry tells him that all of the free items must be returned.

Broadcast details

Friday 19th December 1975
30 minutes

Cast & crew

Regular cast
Richard Briers Tom Good
Felicity Kendal Barbara Good
Penelope Keith Margo Leadbetter
Paul Eddington Jerry Leadbetter
Guest cast
John Quayle Mr. Coles
Steve Emerson Delivery Man
Writing team
John Esmonde Writer
Bob Larbey Writer
Production team
John Howard Davies Director
John Howard Davies Producer

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