One Foot in the Grave (1990–2001)
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Alive and Buried 

At the age of 60, Victor Meldrew is retired from his job as a security guard to be replaced by a box and a recorded message.




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Episode complete credited cast:
Susie Blake ...
Valerie Minifie ...
Doreen Mantle ...
Nick Maloney ...
Simon Greenall ...


Victor Meldrew, a normal man with a normal life. He is suddenly thrown into turmoil when he loses his job after 26 years of service. Trying to relieve the monotony he decides to perform a magic show at the community centre . Things don't quite go according to plan when his car develops a problem and he is arrested for curb crawling. Written by James Booth

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Comedy | Drama





Release Date:

4 January 1990 (UK)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Susie Blake and Doreen Mantle would both later go on to star in Coronation Street; Blake played barmaid Bev Unwin from 2003 to 2006, whilst Mantle appeared as Joy Fishwick from 2010 to 2011. See more »


[first lines]
Mrs Inglis: Twenty-six years sitting behind a reception desk, what must that do to a man's brain?
Mrs Jellis: I shouldn't think it does a lot of good, myself.
Mrs Inglis: Mmm. I suppose it's a bit like one of those polar bears that just suddenly snap and ends up lumbering round its cage bellowing at everyone in a rather irrational manner.
Mrs Jellis: Huh. Either way it'll be a merciful release. God, early retirement at sixty; you'd jump at the chance.
Mrs Inglis: Anyone would.
Mrs Jellis: How did he take it when you told him?
Mrs Inglis: Oh, great, great. No ...
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User Reviews

The moaning begins...
18 January 2011 | by (Ambrosia) – See all my reviews

Like 'Dad's Army', 'Fawlty Towers' and 'Only Fools & Horses', David Renwick's 'One Foot In The Grave' was a slow burner. By that I mean reviews and viewing figures were none too impressive initially . On seeing the trailer I did not think "Oh I must watch that! It looks brilliant!". It showed Victor in an armchair ranting about this and that. My thought was: "Oho. They're ripped off 'In Sickness & In Health'". I only gave it a chance because I liked Richard Wilson from his past sitcoms such as 'A Sharp Intake Of Breath', 'My Good Woman' and ( especially ) 'Only When I Laugh'. Renwick's work included ( co-written with Andrew Marshall ) the radio show 'The Burkiss Way' and the wonderful sketch show 'End Of Part One', not forgetting 'Whoops Apocalypse!' and 'Hot Metal'.

After viewing the first episode of 'One Foot', I did not think it too special but sensed it had potential. Little did I know it would soon blossom into one of the all-time great B.B.C. sitcoms. It begins with Victor, a security guard, suddenly dismissed after 25 years loyal service because he has been replaced by a machine. Mrs.Inglis ( Susie Blake ) makes his sacking sound as though a great new chapter in his life has just been opened. Depressed, Victor mopes round the house, getting under the feet of wife Margaret ( the marvellous Annette Crosby ) and being irritated by the world in general, particularly on finding crisp packets on his front lawn. An altercation with a garage manager ( Nick Maloney ) does not help matters. Things look up when Mrs.Warboys ( Doreen Mantle ) helps land him a job doing conjuring tricks at the local community centre. But on arrival he finds the place empty...

A pretty modest opener this, no hint of the nastiness ( frozen cats, boiled crocodile eggs, cremated tortoises etc. ) to come in future episodes. Its a brilliant piece of acting from Wilson, but then you'd expect no less from him. Even when noting that his visits to the toilet have become more frequent since he was made redundant ( "I'm in danger of turning into a lavatory junkie!" ), he is marvellously funny. 'Nick Swainey' ( Owen Brenman ) the creepy care worker, later became their neighbour. Nick Maloney, the garage manager, was a regular in the Saturday night sketch show 'Carrott's Lib'. Alan Partridge's friend 'Michael' ( Simon Greenall ) briefly is seen as a police officer who books Victor for kerb-crawling ( in reality his car has not been repaired properly and is having problems ).

Funniest moment - a glum Victor is part of a pensioners' day out. Nick's car breaks down, so the old people ( including those with sticks ) are made to get out and push the thing. The engine sparks into life and Nick shoots off, leaving the party stranded in the middle of nowhere.

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