Seven of One

1973 | United Kingdom

Series of one-off comedies highlighting the inimitable talent of Ronnie Barker, and the ease in which he could slip in and out of such diverse characters as the hard edged prison lag Fletcher, to the ageing northern shopkeeper Arkwright. 

The idea of the series (originally intended to be called Six Of One...thereby the follow up series could be called Half A Dozen Of The Other), was a tried and trusted format on British Television under the 'Playhouse' format, whether it be drama or comedy. Many long running shows had begun life in this way and in Barker's case it led to two of the most enduring of television comedies, Open All Hours (the first in the series), and Porridge (the second). The other, now forgotten, five shows were My Old Man about a pensioner forced to move from his terraced house into a block of high-rise flats (later made as a starring vehicle for Clive Dunn), Spanner's Eleven which told the tale of a football team, One Man's Meat, which saw Barker playing a man forced to go on a crash diet, Another Fine Mess teamed the star with Roy Castle as two Laurel and Hardy impersonators, and finally I'll Fly You For A Quid, a story about a Welsh family who bet on absolutely everything and anything. 

Seven of One was the third series in which Ronnie Barker had appeared as a different character each week, the previous two being The Ronnie Barker Playhouse in 1968 and Six Dates With Barker in 1971

Published on January 28th, 2019. Written by Laurence Marcus for Television Heaven.