The lives and loves of Beryl Hennessey and Sandra Hutchinson, two young, single women sharing a flat in Liverpool.
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Cast

Series cast summary:
Nerys Hughes ...  Sandra Hutchinson / ... 81 episodes, 1971-1996
Polly James Polly James ...  Beryl / ... 51 episodes, 1969-1996
Mollie Sugden ...  Mrs. Hutchinson 49 episodes, 1971-1996
Elizabeth Estensen Elizabeth Estensen ...  Carol Boswell / ... 36 episodes, 1975-1979
Michael Angelis Michael Angelis ...  Lucien / ... 34 episodes, 1975-1996
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Storyline

The lives and loves of Beryl Hennessey and Sandra Hutchinson, two young, single women sharing a flat in Liverpool.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy

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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 April 1969 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Twee malle meiden See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(80 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Stereo | Mono

Color:

Black and White (season 1)| Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Carla Lane confessed that Sandra was essentially based on herself, Mrs Hutchinson was her mother, and Beryl was co-creator Myra Taylor. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Who's Doing the Dishes?: Crissy Rock (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Liver Birds
(theme song)
Sung by The Scaffold
See more »

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User Reviews

Glamorous, amorous, female and free
3 October 2002 | by F Gwynplaine MacIntyreSee all my reviews

"The Liver Birds", which ran on BBC1 from 1969 to 1996, is one of Britain's most popular sitcoms. Firstly, that title: the second word is pronounced "LY-vah", and "Lyvah birds" are young women (birds) who live in Liverpool.

The programme's first series is set in Liverpool during the period when Beatlemania was over but the city still retained a few bits of its Mersey Beat glamour. To emphasise the programme's Liverpudlian flavour, the theme song was sung by Scaffold, a Mersey band fronted by Mike McGear ... who was known to be Paul McCartney's brother, trying for a rock-music career on his own merits. The timing of this programme was also significant for another reason: in the late sixties, due to the convergence of several social factors, women in Britain were experiencing true independence - sexually, socially, economically - for the very first time, and 'The Liver Birds' triumphantly documented this new freedom.

The programme follows the adventures of two young unmarried working women ('Liver birds') who share a flat in Huskisson Street while they contend with the problems of careers, parents, money (and lack of same) and boyfriends (definitely no lack of same). 'Liver Birds' was far more realistic than most sitcoms, and this was definitely a strong part of its appeal: many young working-class British women could identify with the heroines of this show... and so could many other viewers who were not young, or not women.

Due to frequent cast turnover, several actresses came and went as the two roommates. Originally the 'birds' were Dawn and Beryl, but Dawn moved out (and Pauline Collins went on to a successful career as a dramatic actress) to be replaced by Sandra. The Beryl/Sandra episodes are the most popular period for this long-running programme. Eventually Beryl left too, and Carol became Sandra's new roommate. Each of the 'birds' had her own distinctive personality.

Over its long run, 'The Liver Birds' developed a large supporting cast ... notably Sandra's mum, Mrs Hutchinson, played by Mollie Sugden before she became famous as Mrs Slocombe from 'Are You Being Served?' Jonathan Lynn, later to create 'Yes, Minister' had a long-running role as one of the boyfriends.

The series was created by two Liverpool housewives: Myra Taylor and Carla Lane, who based the early scripts on their own lives. Because they had no previous writing experience, the BBC required them to work with script editor Eric Idle (just before he went on to fame as one component of Monty Python). Both women went on to write scripts for other series, and Carla Lane is now one of the most respected and prolific series creators in English television.


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