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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

A lovable rogue trying to stay ahead

Author: Enoch Sneed from United Kingdom
19 March 2013

Although it is undeniably a sitcom, 'The Gaffer' has a kernel of truth which is worth remembering while you laugh.

Fred Moffat runs his own small engineering company somewhere in West Yorkshire. He lives in an ordinary terraced house, and drives a clapped-out car full of unpaid parking tickets. His overdrafts have overdrafts and he is usually just one step ahead of the tax man, the factory inspector, or the bank manager, or all three at once. His workforce is work shy and usually wondering if they will be paid this week. Fortunately, Fred has quick wits and an unending reserve of low cunning to get out of scrapes, much to the amazement and reluctant admiration of his buxom secretary, Betty.

Bill Maynard plays Fred to perfection. He may be a rogue and a bit of a conman but he will do anything to keep his little world afloat, even getting his hands dirty on the factory floor. He may the gaffer (i.e., the boss) but he does actually know about engineering. This is what gives the show its heart. We know what a struggle it is to keep a small business going when you're faced with bureaucracy, banks and Bolshie workers (and a shaky economy - has there been a time since about 1973 when the UK economy wasn't shaky?). You laugh at Fred's scheming while recognising he is really just trying to survive as well as he can.

This was a good series, if not quite a classic. There were some upsets during production, and eventually the series came to an end, because the writer increasingly resented Bill Maynard's tendency to ad-lib around his scripts (resulting in some slightly flubbed lines and quite a bit of 'corpsing' by Pat Ashton's Betty). As Bill Maynard is one of the UK's best-loved and most experienced comedy actors, he might have been more grateful for the input.

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Witty and clever

Author: Alanjackd from United Kingdom
30 June 2015

The Gaffer. That's a good old fashioned term for the boss.This is what the programme was, a good old fashioned working mans down to earth comedy. Very well scripted and the cast all seem to be having so much fun. Very clever plot lines and a social statement of the need to juggle a small business to keep it all going.You have to admire Bill Maynard here as it's all based around him and he is in almost every scene.I think we all know a person like the gaffer ,just takes it all in his stride and gets on. 3 series probably just about right as any more would probably have over stretched it. Still seems as fresh now as it was 35 years ago. Modern writers could take a look at this to see how to write a proper sit-com. No vulgarity or coarse language and would like to see any of todays so called comedy writers do anything half as good.Bought this as a 3 DVD set so I can enjoy it in another 35 years when it will probably still look fresh.

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