Each week, we will be taking an in depth look at some of the best sitcoms and comedy shows from both the UK and the USA.

Today we will be looking at a comedy that  show that was written by one of the UKs most talented women – dinnerladies

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Opening Sequence / Theme Tune

About the Show

Summary of Plot

Comedy about the workers in a factory canteen. IMDb

Number of Seasons / Episodes

2  seasons

Characters:

Victoria Wood – Bren

Thelma Barlow – Dolly

Andrew Dunn – Tony

Shobna Gulati – Anita

Celia Imrie – Philippa

Maxine Peake – Twinkle

Duncan Preston – Stan

Anne Reid – Jean

Trivia

  • Maxine Peake (whose first significant TV role this was) sought Victoria Wood’s advice about her acting career during the series. Wood advised her that in the long term she should lose weight ,or she would be playing characters like “Twinkle” for the rest of her career. Taking Wood’s advice, in between the first and second series, Peake went on a major diet and returned for the second series much thinner and to the great surprise of the cast and crew, none of whom knew of her intentions. However, Wood and producer Geoff Posner were angry with Peake for not discussing her plans with them first as they felt she had changed the character of Twinkle with her weight loss and which would now have to accommodated in the new scripts.
  • The first series originally was to have ten episodes, but Wood threw four of them away as she was not happy with the quality of her own writing.
  • Despite achieving huge popularity in the UK, the show only ran for two series, from 1998 to 2000, as Victoria Wood did not want to ruin the appeal by dragging the show on. Another popular series of Wood’s, Victoria Wood: As Seen on TV (1985), also ran for two series.
  • Victoria Wood insisted that the title “dinnerladies” should be spelled with a lower-case D.
  • ulie Walters plays the role of Petula, the mother of Bren (Victoria Wood). As Walters was only three years older than Wood, heavy makeup was required to significantly age Walters
  • To research for the programme, Wood got first-hand experience working on the early morning canteen shift at the James Halstead factory in Whitefield, Manchester, England.

Classic Clips

Best Bits