Clarence: Season 1, Episode 1

Episode #1.1 (4 Jan. 1988)

TV Episode  -   -  Comedy
7.0
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It's the coronation day for George VI and everybody is celebrating except Clarence, who is in charge of moving an upper class lady's furniture. With Clarence's very poor eyesight, it wasn't going to go well. Jane lends him a hand.

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Title: Episode #1.1 (04 Jan 1988)

Episode #1.1 (04 Jan 1988) on IMDb 7/10

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Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
...
Josephine Tewson ...
...
Mrs. Vaile
Julia Deakin ...
Angela
Jonathan Stratt ...
Albert
Steve Whyment ...
Delivery Boy
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Storyline

It's the coronation day for George VI and everybody is celebrating except Clarence, who is in charge of moving an upper class lady's furniture. With Clarence's very poor eyesight, it wasn't going to go well. Jane lends him a hand.

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Comedy

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Release Date:

4 January 1988 (UK)  »

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Keep Your Sunny Side Up!
30 December 2007 | by (Ambrosia) – See all my reviews

Following the failure of 'The Magnificent Evans' in 1984, Ronnie Barker did one more season of 'Open All Hours', before writing his next sitcom himself ( under the pen name 'Bob Ferris', also the name of the Rodney Bewes character in 'The Likely Lads' ). Set in 1937, 'Clarence' was inspired by an episode of 'Six Dates With Barker', broadcast on I.T.V. on 8/1/71. Barker played 'Fred', a myopic removals man hired to carry out his business while the owner, the snobbish Mrs.Vaile, is away watching the Coronation procession. Of course everything he touches falls to bits. Mrs.Vaile's maid, Jane Travers, takes a shine to him however.

This opener is a virtual remake of 'The Removals Person', though Ronnie altered the name of his character, added new lines and slapstick. Josephine Tewson reprised her role as the mousy 'Jane'. This marvellous actress was a perfect foil for Ronnie, not just in this but in other shows such as 'Hark At Barker' and 'His Lordship Entertains'.

Critics at the time were unimpressed, many predictably likened 'Clarence' to the American cartoon character 'Mister Magoo'. But there was more to the show than just slapstick. At its heart was a touching love story.

Midway through its run, Ronnie announced his retirement from show business. Critics who had blasted 'Clarence' suddenly changed their stance, thinking their earlier comments had upset Ronnie. There was another more important reason though; he was in ill-health. Barring occasional guest spots on chat-shows and retro specials, this was indeed Ronnie's last comedy work. It was not a bad farewell either, if not quite up to the standard of 'Porridge' and 'Open All Hours'.

Funniest moment - Clarence picking up Angela, Mrs.Vaile's horrid daughter, thinking her to be a standard lamp!


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