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Cast

Episode credited cast:
Wilfred Pickles ...
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Jack Smethurst ...
Barbara Mitchell ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Joanna Cooper ...
Jenny
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Cyril
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Mr. Hepworth
Joan Young ...
Fat Elsie
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Release Date:

29 March 1971 (UK)  »

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Is Ada shoplifting?
24 October 2011 | by (Ambrosia) – See all my reviews

It might be wrong to judge programmes before they are screened, but Ricky Gervais' 'Life's Too Short' looks like one to avoid. What's it about? The clue is in the title. It tells of the hilarious exploits of a dwarf actor ( Warwick Davis ). Incredible, isn't it? Having gone through the alternative comedy boom of the '80's, we are now back to the days when physical deformity was considered good for a laugh. Gervais' unsympathetic views of the disabled are well known. He bandies about words like 'mongs' on Twitter, and when his mate Karl Pilkington mocked a deformed woman on a B.B.C. radio show, he could be heard laughing fit to burst in the background. He comes across as a smug, insufferable git of the "I'm good looking, rich and the Americans love me, so you can all get stuffed!" variety. I won't be tuning in. Life's too short to waste on Ricky's drivel. On behalf of all disabled people everywhere, I urge you to exclaim the next time you hear someone fart on a crowded bus: "Ewwww, he's just done a Ricky Gervais!".

I don't know what Ricky thinks of 'For The Love Of Ada'. Frankly, I don't care. Vince Powell and Harry Driver's sitcom was one of the most popular I.T.V. offerings of the early '70's, enjoyed by young and old alike. By 1971, it was in its third season. One more would follow, along with the obligatory feature film. 'Housekeeping' begins with Walter Bingley ( Wilfrid Pickles ) noticing that the quality of his packed lunches ( he is a gravedigger ) has improved recently. He is now getting salmon and Yorkshire ham, while his chum ( Harold Goodwin ) has to make do with jam. Ada ( Irene Handl ) says she is getting the food cheap from a market stall. After finding a store of tins in a cupboard, Walter begins to suspect she is shoplifting. In reality she is buying the stuff at discount prices from the supermarket where her son-in-law Leslie ( Jack Smethurst ) works. Not realising this, Walter plans to take the tins back to the shop...

An amusing episode of an amusing series. The cast worked well together, particularly Handl and Barbara Mitchell, the latter cast as Ada's snobbish daughter 'Ruth'. It is a little hard to watch now though in the knowledge that Mitchell would die a mere six years later, aged only 48. Also in the cast is Edwin Richfield as Leslie's boss. This actor popped up in all sorts of shows, such as 'The Avengers', 'U.F.O.', and the 'Dr.Who' story 'The Sea Devils'.

Funniest moment - asked to give his name, Walter spots a poster on the wall of the supermarket manager's office, and says: "Harold Cadbury!". A moment later, Ada arrives, and, also noticing a poster, gives her name as 'Ada Kellogg'! What a great name for a serial killer that would have made! Alright, its cereal really! Not much of a joke, but I'm sure its better than any you'll find in 'Life's Too Short'.


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