The show centres on pub landlord Ken (John Henshaw), especially his preoccupation with his daughter Melanie (Christine Bottomley), and his nervous relationship with barmaid Tanya (Susan ... See full summary »
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2   1  
2004   2003  
2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Series cast summary:
John Henshaw ...
 Ken (12 episodes, 2003-2004)
Rita May ...
 Jean (12 episodes, 2003-2004)
...
 Eddie (12 episodes, 2003-2004)
Craig Cash ...
 Joe (12 episodes, 2003-2004)
Rodney Litchfield ...
 Tommy (12 episodes, 2003-2004)
Lorraine Cheshire ...
 Joan (12 episodes, 2003-2004)
Phil Mealey ...
 Duffy (12 episodes, 2003-2004)
James Quinn ...
 Phil (12 episodes, 2003-2004)
...
 Nige (12 episodes, 2003-2004)
...
 Melanie (11 episodes, 2003-2004)
Susan Cookson ...
 Tanya (11 episodes, 2003-2004)
Joan Kempson ...
 Winnie (9 episodes, 2003-2004)
Lisa Millett ...
 Debbie (9 episodes, 2003-2004)
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Storyline

The show centres on pub landlord Ken (John Henshaw), especially his preoccupation with his daughter Melanie (Christine Bottomley), and his nervous relationship with barmaid Tanya (Susan Cookson). Ken's wife left him for his best friend. The series reflects more than a little of the Northern humour displayed in The Royle Family (co-written by Cash). In a similar style to The Royle Family, every scene unfolds within the spatial context of The Grapes and it is also set in the Greater Manchester area. Written by John Mullee

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Comedy

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12 May 2003 (UK)  »

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1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the second series Joe refers to Melanie's previous boyfriend as being "shameless" for the way he dumped her. This is an in- joke about former co star James McAvoy (who played Mel's boyfriend in season 1) who had left the show to star in the hit Channel 4 series Shameless. See more »

Quotes

Tommy: [talking about how there is too much rubbish on the TV] That pillock from Sainsbury's was on again, he's never off him, cooking another pan full of shite that only his mates will eat. And then I flicked over to the other side and there were a bunch of nobodies sitting in a house and we're expected to watch them eat, sleep and shit and then as soon as they say anything interesting they put a load of bird noises on. I tell ya, I don't know what the world's coming to.
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Soundtracks

Small World
Written and performed by Roddy Frame
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User Reviews

The next logical step for British comedy
23 May 2003 | by (South East England) – See all my reviews



If the history of British sitcom has proved one thing - Then it is that pub set comedy will always work.

Some of the best scenes in Only Fools And Horses took place in The Nag's Head, Men Behaving Badly and The Likely Lads both featured a lot of pub based activity too. Pubs also appear in popular soap operas too - Eastenders infamous Queen Vic and Corrie's Rovers Return. The majority of TV audiences will be able to relate to a pub atmosphere. Pubs also have the ability to throw up some amazing, interesting, not-so-interesting, but always very rich, bittersweet and sometimes complex characters.

Craig Cash has taken the gritty realism of The Royle Family, mixed it with the Northern observations of Phoenix Nights and has come up with yet another winning British sit-com. That said, it seems however, that "sit-com" is far from what Cash and co. have bought us - There are no real situations. Merely people sitting around having a drink - With some of the 'action' happening in the upstairs flat. But it's the beautiful, colourful and quotable dialogue which keeps the programme afloat. That, coupled with some lovely camera work, makes the small setting of a pub, seem much grander than it really is.

Great characters, with all their traits well established within the first episode combined with a brilliant witty script, Early Doors may well be the best new comedy of 2003.


19 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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