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5 April 2007
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Close To Home
UK, ITV (LWT), Sitcom, Colour, 1989
Starring: Paul Nicholas, Angharad Rees, Jane Briers

A mediocre ITV sitcom starring Paul Nicholas as James Shepherd, a man juggling with life's responsibilities: he's a vet with his own practice, he's divorced but his remarried ex-wife Helen remains a millstone around his neck - indeed he probably sees more of her now than when they were married - and he also looks after their children Kate (19) and Robbie (14) and runs the family home. As if he doesn't have enough strife, Shepherd's veterinary assistant, Rose (played by Jane Briers, sister of Richard), is a former showgirl who claims to dislike animals. Shepherd cannot even distance himself from his problems because the vet's surgery is attached to the house.


Close To Home was the British adaptation of a dire American sitcom, Starting From Scratch which ran there for 24 episodes in 1988-89 and has also aired in the UK. While hardly a rarity - it ranks among tens of transatlantic sitcom crossovers - this one was unique in that it was created by the British writer Brian Cooke while he was living in the States. Adaptation rights to many of Cooke's previous British creations had been sold to the USA - Man About The House, George And Mildred, Robin's Nest, Keep It In The Family, Tom, Dick And Harriet, Tripper's Day/Slinger's Day and Full House - but here was one coming back the other way. Cooke duly returned to England from the US to oversee the production of Close To Home.

Researched and written by Mark Lewisohn.

Cast
Paul Nicholas - James Shepherd
Angharad Rees - Helen DeAngelo
Jane Briers - Rose
Lucy Benjamin - Kate Shepherd
Andrew Read - Robbie Shepherd
Stephen Frost - Frank DeAngelo (series 1)
John Arthur - Tom (series 2)
Pippa Guard - Vicky (series 2)
Angela Curran - Jenny (series 2)

Crew
Brian Cooke - Creator
Brian Cooke - Writer (8)
Brian Cooke - Writer (1)
Ken Steele - Writer (1)
Paul Minett - Writer (6)
Brian Leveson - Writer (6)
Lucy Flannery - Writer (2)
Alex Shearer - Writer (1)
Jack Huffham - Writer (1)
Ian Hamilton - Director (10)
Nic Phillips - Director (5)
Alistair Clark - Director (4)
Marcus Plantin - Executive Producer (series 1)
Robin Carr - Executive Producer (series 2)
Nic Phillips - Producer (series 1)
Ian Hamilton - Producer (series 2)
Transmission Details
Number of episodes: 19 Length: 30 mins
Series One (9) 1 Oct-26 Nov 1989 � Sun 7.15pm
Series Two (10) 16 Sep-18 Nov 1990 � Sun 7.15pm

The information in the bbc.co.uk Guide to Comedy is complied from 'The Radio Times Guide to Television Comedy' by Mark Lewisohn, published by BBC Books. More information about the book is available from the BBC Shop.
(The BBC is not responsible for the content of external links.)

Reviews supplied by Radio Times © 2003 BBC Worldwide - used under licence from BBC Worldwide.

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