Never A Cross Word

Never A Cross Word

1968 - United Kingdom

One of the first sitcoms to appear on the newly formed London Weekend Television network in 1968, Never A Cross Word starred Nyree Dawn Porter (The Forsyte Saga) and Paul Daneman (Not In Front Of The Children) as Ronald and Deirdre Baldock, a cosily-off middle class married couple. 

Although the series didn't make much of a lasting impression it does have the distinction of being the programme that landed John Alderton the lead role in the hugely successful Please Sir! as well as being something of a failed experiment in as much as LWT decided to try a sitcom lasting 45 minutes. 

The first series was due to debut on 27 September 1968 as part of the new season for LWT, but an ITV dispute on the 10 August meant that a programme filler was needed. The first episode of Never A Cross Word was hurriedly put out by the company only to disappear from the screens for six weeks before reappearing in its originally scheduled spot. In that first episode Alderton made an appearance as an asthmatic schoolteacher. 

There were many other guest appearances during the two series run (the second series reverting to the tried and tested 30 minute format) including Sam Kydd, Roy Kinnear, Bill Fraser, Hattie Jacques, Kate O'Mara, Jack Watling and June Whitfield, although Nyree Dawn Porter didn't stay the course, she opted out and was replaced for the second series by Barbara Murray (The Power Game). The two series were broadcast either side of LWT's change from black and white to colour transmissions. 

The first series was written by Donald Churchill and the second by Michael Pertwee (brother of Jon), and the situations were built round a pretty average format of domestic harmony/disharmony. The first episode was released on DVD by Network in 2006 as part of their release of 'Please Sir! - The Complete Second Series'

Published on January 11th, 2019. Written by Laurence Marcus for Television Heaven.

Read Next...

My Son Rueben

A middle-aged man, still living at home with his mother, is completely under her thumb.

Also tagged Domestic Sitcom

Arabian Knights

Animated series of stories set round the ancient city of Baghdad which is under the rule of the evil Sultan Bakaar, who has usurped the throne from the rightful inheritance of the young Prince Turham

Also released in 1968

Dad's Army

"If the quality of the writing was a major factor in Dad's Army's resounding success, then that quality was more than matched by a cast which not so much interpreted the writing, as physically embodied it."

Also released in 1968

George and the Dragon

Classic sitcom starring Sid James as an over-amorous handyman who wants his boss to employ a 'dolly-bird' housekeeper, but ends up with a 'dragon' (Peggy Mount).

Also tagged Domestic Sitcom

meet the wife

Domestic sitcom about a loving married couple.

Also tagged Domestic Sitcom

The Dick Van Dyke Show

This much loved, top rated US comedy series from the 1960's very nearly didn't make it on the air because then CBS chief, Jim Aubrey, disliked it so intensely that he had to be persuaded by the shows sponsors, Proctor and Gamble, to put it on.

Also tagged Domestic Sitcom

According to Dora

According to Dora, subtitled A Bryan's Eye View on the World, was a starring vehicle for Southport born actress/comedienne Dora Bryan who had made her showbiz debut as a child in pantomime in Manchester.

Also released in 1968

The Dickie Henderson Show

This third series to run under the title of The Dickie Henderson Show aired on November 14 1960 and continued until March 1968 by which time Henderson had established himself as one of Britain's top all-round entertainers.

Also tagged Domestic Sitcom

My Little Margie

US domestic sitcom with an unusual history - being broadcast on television and radio.

Also tagged Domestic Sitcom