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 4, Episode 3 - Our Speaker Today

Barbara offers to do Margo a favour by filling in for a speaker at one of her groups. Her talk on self-sufficiency quickly comes to the attention of Lady 'George' Truskett who asks her to do the same talk at a few other locations. This absense from home causes Tom some problems and Margo is jealous of Barbara and George's relationship.

Further details

Margo comes to visit Tom and Barbara in a rather formal mood. It seem that the librarian who is due to speak at the Townswomen's Guild meeting has laranghitis and is therefore unavailable. Margo tells them this has forced her into scraping the barrel for a substitute . . . and subsequently asks Barbara if she will fill in! Barbara is unsure but can see Margo is desperate and knows that her image means everything to her in these social circles and so she agrees.

Days later Jerry answers the phone to receive the 6th congratulatory call of the morning on Barbara's behalf for her talk. Margo is a little bit testy when she is informed. At that moment Lady Truskett calls, wanting a personal meeting with Barbara after hearing her talk. Margo wastes no time in putting the wheels in motion. Jerry is sent away with a to do list and Margo pops next door.

Tom scrambles to get the wood for his new chicken house out of the rain when Lady Truskett, or George, arrives just in time to help. Inside George meets Barbara and asks if she would repeat her talk in front of another audience in the week. Again Barbara is reluctant but succumbs to George's plea. As they prepare to toast the agreement with peapod burgundy, Margo and Jerry arrive in their Sunday best. Margo quickly tries to warn George about the wine but George lets her know its her second glass and Margo is left somewhat abashed. This blooms into full humiliation when George insists she has another engagement preventing her from joining the Leadbetter's for tea next door, hoping they haven't gone to too much trouble she leaves. Tom and Barbara console Margo but assure her they will help with the £50 hamper sitting next door!

Tom is home alone attempting to put up the chicken house by himself. As he struggles, Lenin escapes out of the open door of the coop. Tom chases him round the garden and into the Avenue where Lenin decides a bus will be quicker than walking! Barbara and George arrive back at the house and see the rest of the chickens have also escaped. They start to heard the chickens back in the right direction.

The 3 eventually convene in the kitchen and everything is explained. George realises that she is taking up too much of the spare time that the Goods simply do not have. Barbara reluctantly agrees and says she will do one more before retiring. As George makes to leave, Margo and Jerry arrive and are once again late to the party. Barbara informs them that her final talk will be in front of juvenile offenders. Both are slightly shocked and Tom decides he will come along.

As Barbara and George enter the lecture room, wolf whistles erupt from the crowd. However when they leave the crowd silently filter out of the door. Tom, George and Barbara are stunned but believe that the subject matter must have really been well received. Tom picks a boy out and offers a suggestion as to why he may have liked it. The boy quickly nullifies the idea and simply remarks that when the sun was shining through the window behind her they could see right through Barbara's dress!

Broadcast details

Sunday 24th April 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
Angela Thorne Lady 'George' Truscott
Robert Lindsay Remand Home Youth
Colin McCormack Mr. Batty
Con Chambers Bus Conductor
Writing team
John Esmonde Writer
Bob Larbey Writer
Production team
John Howard Davies Director
John Howard Davies Producer

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