The British Sitcom Guide


Programme: Porridge
Broadcast: 1973 - 1977   ( BBC )
Episodes: 21 (3 series)
Starring: Ronnie Barker, Richard Beckinsale, Fulton Mackay, Brian Wilde, Sam Kelly
Written by: Dick Clement, Ian La Frenais
Directed by: Sydney Lotterby
Production: British Broadcasting Corporation More info

Set in Slade Prison, "Porridge" documents the life of Norman Stanley Fletcher, a habitual criminal. Fletcher is a smart, witty, cunning and loveable character. He shares his cell with Godber a first time inmate who he imparts his knowledge upon. Slade is run by the strict Scottish 'screw' Mr Mackay who has help from the gullible Mr Barrowclough (who Fletcher exploits).

BSG Review:

"Porridge" was a brave move; setting a sitcom inside a prison isn't where you would expect laughs, however this programme has more than its fair share of that. The excellent casting, acting and dialogue (especially Barker who was on exceptional form) makes this one the BSG's favourite sitcoms and one of the nations too (it was voted as one of the top ten British sitcoms in a 2004 poll ). The only criminal thing about this programme was that too few episodes were made.

Related: Going Straight (follow-up)

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