The Comedy Vault – Sorry!

Sorry! (BBC1, 1981-1988)

The Two Ronnies was a hugely successful comedy sketch show, but Ronnie Barker and Ronnie Corbett were rather different to the average comedy double-act, because they also worked on a lot of shows individually. Corbett starred in various sitcoms going back to the late-60s, but this is the one that was the most memorable of them.

All of the episodes of Sorry! were written by Ian Davidson and Peter Vincent, who contributed to a huge amount of comedy shows over the years, and I think I’m right in saying that they also wrote some of the “Ronnie in the chair” monologues on The Two Ronnies. Corbett played Timothy Lumsden, who at the start of the first series was 41 (even though he was actually a decade older than this).

He was a librarian who tried to remain cheery, but he became somewhat downtrodden because he still lived with his parents. Unlike his sister Muriel, he is still somewhat dominated by his mother, and he does have the urge to make changes in his life. There were some episodes that followed the usual fare where he tried to get a girlfriend, and he did indeed date a few women, although they turned out to be somewhat sappy.

And then there were some episodes that took some rather unusual twists. Well you would never believe what kind of things that Timothy could mix up, and how much chaos all of this could cause, embarrassment seemed to follow him around. By what turned out to be the final series, Timothy (now 48) met Pippa, who was the one he finally left home with.

And of course, the opening sequence always has to be referenced when looking back at this show, as there was some rather groovy music, accompanied by a bright pink version of Timothy’s head. Well it’s definitely one way to get the attention of viewers. There were 42 episodes of Sorry! in seven series, and all of them have been released on DVD.

I didn’t see too many of the episodes first time around, but I do remember that some of them eventually turned up on Granada Plus in a repeat run many years later. If this does have to be compared with Barker’s work, then maybe this didn’t touch the heights of Porridge and the like, but this was still a more than decent sitcom that was a regular fixture in the schedule throughout the 80s.


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