A Bit of a Do (1989)

TV Mini-Series  |   |  Comedy, Drama
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 84 users  
Reviews: 3 user | 3 critic

This series was set in a fictional Yorkshire town and based on the books by David Nobbs, the creator of Reginald Perrin and Henry Pratt. Each episode took place at a different social ... See full summary »

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2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Series cast summary:
 Ted Simcock (13 episodes, 1989)
 Rita Simcock / ... (13 episodes, 1989)
Nicola Pagett ...
 Liz Badger / ... (13 episodes, 1989)
 Betty Sillitoe (13 episodes, 1989)
Tim Wylton ...
 Rodney Sillitoe (13 episodes, 1989)
Sarah-Jane Holm ...
 Jenny Simcock (13 episodes, 1989)
Wayne Foskett ...
 Elvis Simcock (13 episodes, 1989)
 Neville Badger (12 episodes, 1989)
Nigel Hastings ...
 Simon Rodenhurst (12 episodes, 1989)
Karen Drury ...
 Carol Fordingbridge (10 episodes, 1989)
Malcolm Hebden ...
 Alec the Barman (9 episodes, 1989)
 Paul Simcock (6 episodes, 1989)
 Sandra Pickersgill / ... (6 episodes, 1989)


This series was set in a fictional Yorkshire town and based on the books by David Nobbs, the creator of Reginald Perrin and Henry Pratt. Each episode took place at a different social function (a "do") and followed the changing lives of two families, the working-class Simcocks and the middle-class Rodenhursts, together with their respective friends, Rodney and Betty Sillitoe, and Neville Badger. Written by Martin Underwood <imdb@martinunderwood.f9.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama





Release Date:

13 January 1989 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Gremo na zabavo  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(13 episodes)


See  »

Did You Know?


David Jason claimed appearing in this series paved the way for getting the lead role in The Darling Buds of May (1991) and from there, to getting cast in A Touch of Frost (1992), because although the show only lasted two series, it went down well with critics and viewers alike, and put him on Yorkshire Television's radar. See more »


[recurring line]
Alec the Barman: Can do. No problem. Tickety-boo.
See more »


A Bit of a Do
(Title Theme)
Written by Ray Russell
Performed by George Melly and John Chilton's Feetwarmers
See more »

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User Reviews

Great drama, funny with it
12 October 2006 | by (London) – See all my reviews

I have just caught up with this and it is as brilliant as people said it was at the time. But nearly 20 years have passed, and some things now jar. Nothing is as distant as the recent past. Paul and Jenny as the right-on, ideologically sound, politically correct couple are great, especially the way Jenny is boring and humourless and manipulates everybody by constantly bursting into tears and rushing from the room. People like that certainly were around back in those days. But they were hard to send up – possibly because they were so earnest and smug they could never see a joke, let alone one against themselves. I like the way Liz begs Jenny to stop the "progressive preaching". But there's something wrong about Jenny. Her clothes and hairdo are too conservative (though they're dull and unsexy because fashion is a capitalist plot, and being sexy is pandering to patriarchy...). Maybe they thought the audience wouldn't get it if she spoke like that, or wore the kind of clothes a feminist eco-protester would have worn. Her constant sermons seem to be a way of explicating her far-out ideas to an audience who may never have heard them before. Another false note is struck by Rita's conversion from downtrodden, shy, unconfident wife and mother to liberated single woman (with big, big hair and a ghastly shiny outfit) – just by having her husband leave her for another woman. She too starts spouting political sermons and reveals that she met her new boyfriend at a CND rally. She is a heroine for the late 80s and we're not meant to laugh at her as we laugh at Paul and Jenny.

I'd forgotten that way back then ideas that are now being embraced by the Conservative Party genuinely divided people. Conventional people had conservative ideas; if you wanted to go vegetarian or campaign against nuclear weapons you became a weirdo, a lefty, an unconventional person. Your original social group would look at you askance or possibly eject you. You might have to join another.

These are flaws that time has revealed. The rest stands up as great drama, acting and observation. Looking forward to catching up with the second series.

14 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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