Thursday 7 August 2014, 16:49
To celebrate the start of Siblings, a new BBC Three sitcom featuring dysfunctional brother/sister duo Dan and Hannah, we looked back at the highs and lows of sharing your life with a sibling in 10 popular BBC comedies.
Rodney (Nicholas Lyndhurst) was raised by older brother Del (David Jason)
Del and Rodney Trotter in Only Fools and Horses (1981)
The earliest of our sibling sets is one of the best-loved in British comedy.
The two shared a close bond, strengthened by their wheeler-dealing scrapes.
Peter Howitt as Joey, Jonathan Morris as Adrian, Jean Boht as Mrs Nellie Boswell, Gilly Coman as Aveline, Ronald Forfar as father Freddie Boswell, Nick Conway as young Billy and Victor McGuire as Jack
Adrian, Aveline, Billy, Jack and Joey Boswell in Bread (1986)
The Trotters weren’t the only ones taking dubious measures to make a living in 1980s Britain.
In Liverpool, Mrs Boswell’s clan used every trick in the book to put money in the pot and food on the table.
Hyacinth Bucket, and her sisters Daisy, Rose and Violet in Keeping Up Appearances (1990)
Hyacinth Bucket, pronounced Bouquet, would doubtless have treated the Boswell dinner table with disdain.
She was much more comfortable emulating the lifestyle of her sister Violet, whose property was widely rumoured to be blessed with “room for a pony”.
Hyacinth Bucket (Patricia Routledge) and her sisters Daisy (Judy Cornwell), Rose (Mary Miller) and the seldom seen Violet (Anna Dawson)
Life as an insufferable snob could be tiring - keeping up with wealthy Violet, solving lazy Daisy’s problems, not to mention stopping Rose getting too close to the vicar.
For Hyacinth, things never seemed to go to plan.
Denise and Antony in The Royle Family (1998)
Hyacinth would never have set foot in the Royle household, but her sister Daisy and brother-in-law Onslow would have probably found themselves at home.
With no laughter track and little to see except a family gathered lethargically around the TV, The Royle Family was strikingly different from other sitcoms of the time.
Denise (Caroline Aherne) with baby David, and Antony (Ralf Little)
There weren’t many things that could stir lazy Denise, but getting into juvenile spats with her cheeky brother Antony was one of them.
While Denise was painting her nails or having her feet massaged, Antony slaved away making the tea, answered the phone or ran errands.
Michael, Nick and Janey in My Family (2000)
While The Royle Family was lauded for putting a new spin on the sitcom, My Family showed there was plenty of life left in a traditional comedy.
Michael Harper (Gabriel Thomson), Nick (Kris Marshall), and Janey (Daniela Denby-Ashe)
The wackiest sibling must surely have been oldest child Nick, routinely sacked from all manner of jobs and completely lacking in common sense.
Over 11 series, all characters developed and matured – Janey transformed from a shopaholic to a mum and care worker, while Michael grew into something of a manipulator.
Jake, Ben and Karen Brockman in Outnumbered (2007)
Aged five, seven and 11 when the show started, Britain watched the Brockman children develop from lovable moppets into wisecracking adolescents.
You could tell whether you were watching a new series or repeat according to the degree of frizziness in little Karen’s hair, while Ben’s mischief and brazen lies added to the family chaos.
All five siblings rarely share a scene, but they did get together at Cathy’s behest for a family therapy session:
Tom and Bea (Nina Conti) visit their great-aunt’s grave with Monk
Monk’s frequent foul-mouthed outbursts made it difficult for Bea to hold down any job that doesn’t involve offending the public - which turned out to be most jobs.
Luckily she had patient support in her brother Tom.
Hannah and Dan in Siblings (2014)
Finally, meet (probably) the worst brother and sister in the world, who spectacularly wreck the lives of all those unlucky enough to meet them.
Comments made by writers on the BBC TV blog are their own opinions and not necessarily those of the BBC.
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Tuesday 5 August 2014, 13:50
Friday 22 August 2014, 08:16