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I always looked forward to an episode of "Acorn Antiques" in Victoria Wood's TV show. As a parody of the locally produced soap operas of the day it worked really well. Set in an antique store in the West Midlands, with "episodes" that were only a couple of minutes long, anything that could happen did happen: car crashes, sudden appearance of long-lost relatives, exposure of long-held secrets; and each episode ended with a cliff-hanger.
The plot lines were unique and not copycats of other established soap opera scripts of that era and the humour very wry. It's worth noting that Duncan Preston (Mr. Clifford) was a cast member of the original 'Crossroads' soap in the 60s. My favourite character was Mrs. Overall who made a pot of tea every 2 minutes and seemed to have a motto for every occasion - "That's God's way of telling you.....".
Apart from the wobbly sets the funniest parts were the "out-takes" when the characters thought the film was no longer rolling and reverted to normal speech ["Was that alright, darling?"]. The only minor flaw was that some of the characters spoke so fast or with such a thick accent that it took a few seconds to work out what they just said. I'm hoping this will be released on DVD (R1) with sub-titles and biographies of the main stars.
Victoria Wood seems to have remained a local UK celebrity but both Julie Walters and Celia Imrie have gone on to international fame thanks to productions that have been popular in North America - i.e. Julie in the Harry Potter movies (as Ron's mum) and Celia in "Nanny McPhee" and the 2nd Bridget Jones movie.
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