Wednesday, 3 February 2016
333 Two's Company
First viewed : 1978
I think I only caught one episode of this series which my mum and sister liked but I thought was awful.
The premise was that a pretty ghastly New York writer Dorothy ( Elaine Stritch ) is holed up in London and hires an upper crust English butler Robert ( Donald Sinden ) to help run her affairs. He of course disapproves of everything about her leading to either a hilarious culture clash comedy or two ageing hams shouting at each other according to taste. Apparently Stritch was fond of drinking something rather stronger than the good old English cuppa which made working on the series interesting.
It ran for four series from 1975 to 1979 and received BAFTA nominations in 1977 and 1979. Stritch stayed in the UK for a few years then returned to the USA where her career in US TV and performing one woman shows continued almost up to her death. Sinden went on to the reviled Never The Twain which ran throughout the eighties and made him the target of a sustained attack from Spitting Image which portrayed him as crazily impatient for a knighthood. In one sketch he starts importuning the Queen at an after-show presentation and gets told "Go away you dreadful old ham". He finally did get one in 1997. He claimed that he was never out of work between 1942 and 2008 ( when his recurring role on Judge John Deed finished ) though he's including a lot of voiceover and documentary work in that. He and Stritch died within weeks of each other in 2014.