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The Liver Birds
The Liver Birds began life as a Comedy Playhouse pilot. Created by friends Carla Lane and Myra Taylor (who'd met at a writers' workshop), the show - their first contribution to television - was very much based on their own lives in Liverpool.
With the BBC keen to develop the production into a series, the duo were assigned experienced writer Len Schwarz as a mentor during the early years, with Eric Idle on script-editing duties.
The first series followed the exploits of Dawn and Beryl sharing a flat on Liverpool's Huskisson Street. With women beginning to enjoy new freedoms at the start of the 1970s, the show followed the friends as they hit the dating scene, partied and generally tried to improve their lot in life.
After the first run, Pauline Collins left, to be replaced by Nerys Hughes as Sandra. It was here The Liver Birds' golden era dawned - the newcomer proving to be a refined foil to the outgoing Beryl.
More change followed at the end of series four. With Polly James now deciding to move on, Beryl was married off, and in came scatty Carol. She brought with her an extended family - the Boswells.
Clearly the inspiration for Lane's 1980s series Bread, this incarnation of the clan included rabbit-loving brother Lucien and God-fearing parents.
The series came to a conclusion 1979, but that wasn't the end of the story.
In 1996, The Liver Birds return for a seven-part, continuity-mangling reprise. Set 20 years on, the show's golden pairing of Sandra and Beryl were back together again, contemplating life after divorce. Lucien was now Beryl's sibling, while Carmel McSharry played her mother, Mrs Hennessy.
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