Wednesday, 2 August 2017
First viewed : 1 May 1986
And to make it a hat-trick of crap sitcoms, along came the latest effort from Carla Lane.
I know this series was very popular and my wife was a fan but I watched the first episode and decided it wasn't for me, despite the charms of Caroline Millmoe as a supporting character.
Bread gave Carmel McSharry a starring role as Nellie Boswell the Liverpudlian Catholic matriarch to whom her five rather charmless children , including the always-annoying Jonathan Morris,, ultimately deferred. He was the only one who had a steady job; the others managed to put the titular bread on the table by various dodgy means.
"Bread" for money is actually a Cockney rhyming slang expression and Liverpudlians apparently had an ambivalent attitude towards the series ,many feeling it fuelled the growing stereotype of the perma-unemployed scrounging Scouser.
Nonetheless , the series ran for seven seasons up to 1991 and allowed Lane to indulge her idiosyncratic solutions to animal welfare. However, its demise also proved the end of her reign as the queen of comic writing. Three subsequent efforts in the nineties ( Screaming, Luv and Searching ) were critically mauled and shortlived. She died last year aged 87.