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Is It Legal? 

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A British comedy series following the misadventures of a small law firm. The staff includes such characters as the young and eager bumbler Colin, the old and timid bumbler Bob and the stern... See full summary »


Simon Nye




3   2   1  
1998   1996   1995  
1 win. See more awards »



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Series cast summary:
Patrick Barlow Patrick Barlow ...  Bob / ... 21 episodes, 1995-1998
Imelda Staunton ...  Stella Phelps 21 episodes, 1995-1998
Richard Lumsden ...  Colin Lotus 21 episodes, 1995-1998
Kate Isitt ...  Alison 21 episodes, 1995-1998
Matthew Ashforde Matthew Ashforde ...  Darren 21 episodes, 1995-1998
Jeremy Clyde Jeremy Clyde ...  Dick Spackman 14 episodes, 1995-1996
Nicole Arumugam Nicole Arumugam ...  Sarah / ... 11 episodes, 1995-1998


A British comedy series following the misadventures of a small law firm. The staff includes such characters as the young and eager bumbler Colin, the old and timid bumbler Bob and the stern and unsympathetic office commander Stella. Leading this gang is the completely incompetent Dick Spackman, who breezes through life unaware that his employees can barely handle their own affairs, let alone their clients'. Written by Jean-Marc Rocher <rocher@fiberbit.net>

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Release Date:

12 September 1995 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Pykälänviilajat See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


(21 episodes)

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The star of the show is called Stella (Stellar = starlike), and the remaining main characters are named alphabetically: Alison, Bob, Colin and Darren. See more »

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User Reviews

A lost nugget happily found again
1 June 2007 | by andytoolsSee all my reviews

This is a comedy I happened on by accident on the original airing of the third series in 1998. Now, thanks to the explosion in channels that is satellite/cable TV, I discovered it tucked away on ITV3 and have been enjoying it all over again.

Simon Nye is known primarily for "Men Behaving Badly" and often when a writer has a huge hit, their other work is sometimes buried. I always felt this was true also of John Sullivan, whose monolithic "Only Fools and Horses" has caused the excellent "Dear John" to be almost forgotten.

"Is it Legal" benefits from a cast strong in comedic talent. I don't think I can ever remember Imelda Staunton being off her game. Patrick Barlow is a superb comedy actor and even when in a small role, shines through, witness "Bridget Jones Diary" as the 'Orange Baboon' TV shopping host and brief love interest of Bridget's mother. Richard Lumsden is the perfect "drip" and Jeremy Clyde just how one imagines a senior partner in a law firm to be. If there is one slight criticism it must be that the Darren character seems out of place. He's funny, but you cannot ever imagine how he got a job there. But hey, this isn't supposed to be the real world.

This all said however, the aspect of "Is it Legal" that struck me when I first saw it and still does when I watch the re-runs is that I sit spellbound and swooning whenever Kate Isitt is on screen. 'Beautiful' just doesn't come close. Later to have greater recognition in "Coupling" (Ben Miles her love interest in that series also appears in one episode of "Is It Legal"), she excellently portrays the unapproachable, unattainable office bitch Alison. Any single male that has worked in an office will recognise the character. The type of girl that if she were ever so give you a smile or kind word, would turn you to jelly. She never does though and she never will. You just know she has a boyfriend that is absolutely loaded and you will never be in her league.

An understated sitcom of the type Channel 4 used to make but sadly don't anymore, happy as they seem to be to spend money on bilious rubbish like "Big Brother" and endless tenuously themed "Top 100" shows

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