1973 | United Kingdom

Stanley Bowler has a finger in every profitable pie, and his money can buy everything but the thing he wants most: class. His unstoppable ambition to move in higher social circles sees him embarking on a series of ill-fated schemes - including opening his very own gentlemen's club, conspicuously embracing high culture, and even trying to set himself up as a laird. Sadly, while Bowler stumbles from one faux pas to another, the doors of Society remain very firmly closed...Written as a spin-off from The Fenn Street Gang (itself a sequel to Please Sir!) but presented as a 'prequel', Bowler chronicles the early life of former Fenn Street pupil Peter Craven's shady boss, Stanley Bowler (George Baker), an East End villain whose social aspirations fail consistently due to his lack of ability to grasp the qualities he needs such as refinement and elegance of manner. 

The series was written by veteran sitcom writers John Esmonde and Bob Larbey and co-starred Renny Lister as Stanley's estranged wife Doreen, Fred Beauman as his valet, Reg, and future EastEnders star Gretchen Franklin as his cockney mum. Soap stars Wendy Richard and Johnny Briggs are also among the guest stars. (Network DVD). 

Published on November 30th, 2018. Review: Network DVD reproduced with permission..