Network has announced the DVD release of the complete six-episode series of the 1988 sitcom Andy Capp on 11th June 2012.
Starring James Bolam, this comedy series was an attempt to transform the flat-capped cartoon strip legend from the Daily Mirror into a television star with a cast that included Paula Tilbrook – now best known for her role as Betty Eagleton on Emmerdale – as Andy’s long-suffering wife, Flo.
Written by award-wining Leeds-born novelist, playwright and journalist Keith Waterhouse (Budgie, Billy Liar), this unique series was produced by BAFTA winner John Howard Davies (Fawlty Towers, Mr. Bean).
Despite some stellar casting and creator credits, when the Thames Television produced series was first aired in 1988, it proved a disapointment. Although the cartoon was already Internationally known, syndicated in newspapers worldwide, the episodes were filmed without a studio audience and lacked the spontaneous applause which would have benefited the show.
A short online biography of Andy Capp creator Reg Smythe (word document) notes that during rehearsals the camera men and production staff all laughed out loud, but without the studio audience the atmosphere at the time of filming was described as being “frankly dull”.
The series consisted of six episodes that were shown once and have never been repeated, so it’s good to see this oft-forgotten gem of British TV comedy finally released on DVD, so we can make up our own minds about the ill-treated show.