A worthy keeping-up-with-the-Joneses sitcom, sprung from Comedy Playhouse and given added piquancy by the fact that the sparring neighbours were also related.
Married sisters Rose and Lana live next door to one another in Larkworthy Road, Muswell Hill, an area of north London, with their respective husbands Gerald and Harry. Gerald is an underpaid junior executive while Harry is a high-earning fitter, thus while the Garveys struggle to make ends meet the Butts enjoy the fat of the land. Gerald's upbringing has made him something of a snob and he coerces Rose into keeping up the pretence that they are doing quite well when the opposite is true. Lana puts on airs and graces perceiving their wealth to mean they have moved up a class, but her husband Harry remains a down-to-earth bloke and it's his sheer delight in the pleasures that his money brings (a large television, luxury car, foreign holidays and so on) that causes him to enthuse so. Needless to say, these inequities offend Gerald and often cause him to boast about something he and Rose have, often resulting in problems for them when they have to maintain a pretence.
The first series of Beggar My Neighbour reunited Peter Jones and Reg Varney in a kind of role-reversal to their boss/foreman positions in The Rag Trade Jones then left (it was said that he was reluctant to become involved in another long-running show) and was replaced by Desmond Walter-Ellis, but the format remained the same. Researched and written by Mark Lewisohn.
Peter Jones - Gerald Garvey (pilot & series 1)
Desmond Walter-Ellis - Gerald Garvey (series 2 & 3 and special)
June Whitfield - Rose Garvey
Reg Varney - Harry Butt
Pat Coombs - Lana Butt
Rosemary Faith - Deirdre Garvey (from series 2)
Ken Hoare - Writer
Mike Sharland - Writer
David Croft - Producer (pilot, series 1 & 2)
Eric Fawcett - Producer (special & series 3)
Number of episodes: 24 Length: 23 x 30 mins 1 x short special
Pilot 24 May 1966 BBC1 Tue 7.30pm
Series One (7) 13 Mar-2 May 1967 BBC1 Mon 7.30pm
Series Two (6) 2 July-6 Aug 1967 BBC1 Sun 7.25pm
Short special part of Christmas Night With The Stars 25 Dec 1967 BBC1 Mon 6.40pm
Series Three (9) 30 Jan-26 Mar 1968 BBC1 mostly Tue 7.30pm