Me & My Girl (ITV, 1984-1988)
This is the sitcom that was regularly on TV at the weekend throughout the mid-80s. Me & My Girl starred Richard O’Sullivan (best-known for the sitcoms Man About The House, and the sequel Robin’s Nest). The writer of the majority of the episodes was Colin Bostock-Smith, who seemingly was the writer of just about every other comedy and entertainment show in the 80s.
O’Sullivan played businessman Simon (bid again, Simon) Harrap, whose wife Ruth has died, and he is trying to find the time to raise his daughter Samantha by himself and date more women. But this is made more complicated, because she is entering her early-teens, and is discovering more about life. Simon works at the advertising agency Eyecatchers, alongside his friend and colleague for many years Derek.
The other main characters are Simon’s grumpy mother-in-law Nell (Joan Sanderson), and his secretary Liz (Joanne Campbell, who went on to appear in CITV’s Alphabet Castle). Most episodes deal with Simon trying to balance his work and family life. And as this was an LWT production, there would be plenty of laughter guaranteed from the studio audience, whether the situations were actually amusing or not.
But the real reason that I remember anything about Me & My Girl is because Derek was played by the much-missed Tim Brooke-Taylor. Now my sister had been a fan of his ever since his was in The Goodies, and she was keen to follow the rest of his career, meaning that she would watch this at every opportunity. And of course his character has the same name as our dad, which made things rather embarrassing. But this wasn’t the first time that Timmy has had to deal with a feisty girl called Samantha!
There were 52 episodes of Me & My Girl packed into just over four years, and this was to make sure that Samantha didn’t end up outgrowing her role. About a decade on, there were some repeat runs on Granada Plus. There are some mysteries that remain though. None of the episodes have been released on DVD, and as far as I know, the actress who played Samantha has never appeared in any other TV show since.
One thought on “More TV Memories – Me & My Girl.”
Me and My Girl’s theme song (Peter Skellern!) brings on a Proustian rush of nostalgia and loss. There’s certainly a melancholia raised by what would later happen to Richard O’Sullivan and Joanna/Iona Ridley.
No one would mistake Me and My Girl would never be mistaken for one of the great sitcoms but what it was was *nice*. Forgot the bibble about certain things being too middle-class (often from people who ARE middle-class or else think that all working-class people are unimaginative dullards who are interested only in soccer, booze, soap operas, and people who are “just like them”), I don’t know how a hellworld of people shows, soaps, endless cockery programmes, and abysmal non-sitcoms with Romesh Ranganathan or Daisy May Cooper could be considered to be better. It almost makes me pine for the terrible Terry and June. But I wouldn’t go that far.