Discuss

THE PETTICOAT LINE

  • TrevorCooper on Friday, 1st May 2009

    I am going to probably invite howls of derison, but, inspired by "Weaklemondrink" asking for rebroadcasts of Sounds Familiar, can I put in a word for "Petticoat Line"?. This programme was devised by Anona Winn (who chaired it) and Ian Messiter, and each week four women, including Kathleen Whitehorn, Lady Isobell Barnett, Shiela VanDamm, and, in nearly every edition, the inimitable Renee Houston, would answer questions sent in by post from listeners. It ran from 1965 to 1979 and at one time had a male equivalent called "Be Reasonable" introduced by the late Michael Smee, which took up the discussion of the previous weeks PL, on Sunday afternoons. Line itself was broadcast on Tuesday lunchtimes and cheered up winter lunchtimes. At least for me, and plainly many others, otherwise it wouldn't have survived for 14 years.

    People will say it is lightweight (not always - there were the occassional serious topics), and demeaning to feminism (but has anyone seen "Loose Women" which runs EVERY WEEKDAY on TV?)

    Perhaps it is time for a revival?

  • Message 2. Posted by IvorThirst on Friday, 1st May 2009 permalink

    Fri, 01 May 2009 16:15 GMT, in reply to TrevorCooper in message 1

    I don't recall hearing either of these, Trevor, but they would fit in the Sunday morning 11:00 slot. To work properly, it would need PL to be followed by the resulting BR to give a closure. I suppose that most of them have been lost, or someone would have resurrected them by now.

    Ivor smiley - winkeye

  • Message 3. Posted by TrevorCooper on Friday, 1st May 2009 permalink

    Be REasonable I think only ran for two series, in 1969 and 1970, so I doubt that any of those shows exist. I do have one Petticoat Line on tape, first broadcast on 25th February 1969.

  • Message 4. Posted by Heather all at sea on Friday, 1st May 2009 permalink

    I dont remember either of them, either, but they sound ike a nice change.

    I DO remember Lady Isobel Barnett in "Whats my Line" . She was brilliant and no fuss about femininism - she was just her own person. It would be great to hear her again.

  • Message 5. Posted by TrevorCooper on Friday, 1st May 2009 permalink

    She did some radio work in the sixties and seventies - she was in several series of "Many A Slip" till Gillian Reynolds took over, and in a series called "The Year In Question in 1974/5 - that series was revived several times in the 80s and 90s.

    Lady Barnett died in 1980

  • Message 6. Posted by Mrsgoat on Friday, 1st May 2009 permalink

    aaawhh! aaawwwhhh!
    My best attempt at a howl....
    I was an avid 4 listener in those days, anything and everything, but I couldn't stand The Petticoat Line. Renee and Anona in particular said the same thing every week in response to every question. Yes, of course I still listened to it, but then I even listened to the atrocious 'Jokers Wild' with Ted Ray and Arthur Askey, surely two of the unfunniest funnymen ever. I'd welcome 'My Word' or 'Many a Slip', though.

  • Message 7. Posted by Heather all at sea on Friday, 1st May 2009 permalink

    I suggested "My Word" (use to be my favourite)to the powers that be some time ago, but they seemed doubtful, i forget exactly why, I think the surviving extracts were too fragmented.

    I believe there was an appeal for old broadcasts a while ago (before my time). Perhaps it should be repeated?

  • Message 8. Posted by CHINABIRDY on Saturday, 2nd May 2009 permalink

    anyone remember "the law game" hosted by shaw taylor on radio two?could be updated.

    what about "oh mother" with mollie sugden?

    please can adio 7 say when the Wendy Richard Comedy called "LEGAL DECENT HONEST AND TRUTHFUL" will be on?they were going to broadcast it as a tribute.

  • Message 9. Posted by Jrgboy on Saturday, 2nd May 2009 permalink

    I always though of The Petticoat Line as a distaff version of Does the Team Think

  • Message 10. Posted by Guy Barry on Sunday, 3rd May 2009 permalink


    I remember the Petticoat Line (just), and I can't say I was too impressed with it, but I quite enjoyed Does the Team Think? - the original version that is, not the recent revival on Radio 2 with Vic Reeves which I've never heard. (Has anyone?)

    As far as the other programmes mentioned are concerned, I'd favour repeating My Word and the Law Game, both of which were favourites of mine. I don't remember Oh Mother. Legal, Decent, Honest and Truthful was repeated on 7 a little while ago but I'm pretty sure it didn't feature Wendy Richard, unless she was a guest at some point.

    If we're doing requests, can I put in a word for Son of Cliche please?

  • Message 11. Posted by TrevorCooper on Sunday, 3rd May 2009 permalink

    "what about "oh mother" with mollie sugden?"


    ..and Patricia Brake?. One of those rare Sunday evening comedies they used to do at 2200 on Sundays! (Jim the Great with Jimmy edwards and Julian Orchard was another one in that spot). Not a bad idea, but i think there was only one series.

    I can't see why The Law Game couldn't be repeated - it ran from 1975 to 1992 and there were often two series ayuear - i shoudl think some of them must survive - two of them recorded late in 1987 were among Kenneth Williams last work). There was a companion series to this, too, in the early days "Pros & Cons" also with Shaw Taylor and written (like TLG) by Brad Ashton) The idea was a panel of three had to guess whether or not a scene acted out in front of them contained a confidence trick and, if so, who did what to whom. This ran for UI think three series and slightly pre-dated TLG starting, iI think in 1973.

  • Message 12. Posted by Guy Barry on Sunday, 3rd May 2009 permalink


    I have another request. Can we make sure that "The Grumbleweeds" is NEVER repeated?

  • Message 13. Posted by derekay on Sunday, 3rd May 2009 permalink

    I used to think "Does the Team Think" hilarious but I was only about 13 at the time. However it would be good to hear the odd episode or two with Jimmy "Whacko" Edwards etc.

  • Message 14. Posted by Michael Appleyard on Tuesday, 5th May 2009 permalink

    I too remember The Petticoat Line, and I would like to hear one or two for old times sake. But I seem to remember the name Renee Cutforth being associated with this programme.

  • Message 15. Posted by rochdalejohn on Tuesday, 5th May 2009 permalink

    Rene Cutforth was a male jounalist and so not eligible to be on Petticoat Line. Renee Houston was the regular panellist , being a comedienne from way back.She can be seen in the film Carry on at your convienience.

  • Message 16. Posted by Splanky on Tuesday, 5th May 2009 permalink

    A more serious (but still essentially comic) film role for Renee Houston: she costarred with Alec Guinness in the film The Horse's Mouth, playing an artist's inspiration/nemesis. This was based on a novel by Joyce Cary (not the actress of a similar vintage), directed by Ronald Neame and adapted by Guinness himself. Worth seeking out - it's now on DVD.

  • Message 17. Posted by TrevorCooper on Tuesday, 5th May 2009 permalink

    Renee Houston also appeared in "Carry On At Your Convenience" in 1971 as Kenneth Cope's mother and "love interest" for Charlie Hawtrey! (they have afternoon games of strip poker when there is a strike at W.C. Boggs (Kenneth Williams, of course) lavatory factory.

    Happy days! as Richard ll has it "oh call back yesterday, bid time return!"

    I can just imagine Rene Cutforth in Petticoat Line - he had a very gravelly voice, not unlike Churchill's.

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