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.
Number of episodes: 19
Length: 30 mins