"'Porridge' is set in the grimmest place imaginable - a prison.
And yet still manages to be both gritty and witty".
"Why? The scripts of course
and it doesn't hurt that
Fletcher - the most brilliant sitcom creation of all time - is played
by the comedy guvnor himself Ronnie Barker".
"Fletch laid down the template for comedy rogues which Del
Boy and 'Fools and Horses' followed shamelessly. David Jason even
studied Ronnie Barker on the set of 'Porridge'".
"And who could be a better comedy foil for Barker than doe-eyed
innocent Richard Beckinsale. The pair made episode 'A Night In'
the best ever two-hander to ever appear in a British sitcom".
"'Porridge' had proper villains too! No sitcom has ever had
a character quite as mean as the man who really runs Slade Prison
- Harry Grout. And prison officer Mackay, played to neurotic perfection
by Fulton Mackay, very nearly stole the show from under the convicts'
"And the show was ahead of its time. 'Porridge' had straight,
black, white and gay all living together relatively harmoniously.
Slade was - strangely - a tolerant utopian vision of society. Except
for Grouty, that is".
"'Porridge' is rich, satisfying, and packed with goodness. Never past its sell-by date,
and guaranteed no artificial additives like labyrinthine plots,
rubbish title music and stereotypical nagging wives."
About the Advocate
Johnny Vaughan is an actor, writer, producer and television presenter.