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    Coronation Street

    Coronation Street

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    ITV
    Welcome to the Coronation Street guide at TV.com. Coronation Street is credited as being one of the longest running soaps in the world and the longest running television soap in Britain (with the longest running overall being The Archers on BBC radio). The show has been on British TV screens since 1960 and has aired over 6,000 episodes. Coronation Street was created by Tony Warren, who drew on his own experiences living in Salford when developing the show for Granada Television in Manchester. The show's working title was Florizel Street. In a memo from Tony Warren to Granada, he explains the basis of the show: "A fascinating freemasonary, a volume of unwritten rules. These are the driving forces behind life in a working class street in the north of England. The purpose of Florizel Street is to examine a community of this nature, and to entertain." The first episode of Coronation Street, written by Tony Warren and containing the first airing of the iconic theme music (composed by Eric Spear), was transmitted live at 7.00pm on Friday 9th December 1960 and was an instant success due to its eliment of "realism". The series began as a twice weekly serial (airing originally on Wednesdays and Fridays) and was initially only commissioned for twelve episodes but due to the series' success with the viewers it became a perminant fixture, soon changing its transmission days to Monday and Wednesdays. Almost 30 years later the number of episodes increased to three per week in 1989 (additional episode on Fridays) and then to four in 1996 (additional episode on Sundays). Recently that has increased again with a second episode being added on a Monday night at 8.30, leaving a half hour gap between the end of the first episode of the evening and the start of the second. Coronation Street, Corrie or The Street (however you know it) has been at the top of the ratings for most of it's long run and despite tough competition from new soaps and even new TV channels it remains the highest rated programme on British television. William Roache is now the only original cast member remaining - he's played Ken Barlow since episode one. The Set: In early 1960, after Granada Television commissioned twelve episodes of Coronation Street, the set designer Denis Parkin was taken on a tour of Salford by series creator Tony Warren for inspiration on the set. The street's set was based on Archie Street in the Ordsall district, a film shot of which was used in the opening credits of the programme from 1960 to 1964. Archie Street itself was knocked down in 1971. The original television set was built indoors, the cobbles and paving slabs were painted to the floor and the houses were made out of wood. The set was so big and the studio so small that it had to be erected in two parts which explains why shots of the entire street were not seen until 1968 when Granada decided that the interior set was too limiting and so re-erected the set outside in a yard rented from British Railways on Grape Street on Manchester, behind the Granada studios. The cast hated it! They complained that it was draughty and cold; nevertheless it was soon re-built in bricks and mortar and survived until the end of the 1970s when the decision was made to incorporate the set into the Granada Studios Tour. By 1982 a brand new set had been erected on a new site just a few hundred yards away. When the set was complete it was opened by the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh. The new set was first seen on-screen in episode 2210, broadcast on Monday 7 June 1982. From 1982 up until 1999, it was possible for fans of the show to visit the exterior set as part of the Granada Studios Tour. With the closure of the tour, Granada were able to expanded the exterior set to incorporate further buildings on Rosamund Street (the Health Centre) and later on Victoria Street (Roy's Rolls & Elliot and Son). Coronation Street currently airs on the following days in the UK: Monday @ 7.30pm & 8.30pm, Wednesday @ 7.30pm, Friday @ 7.30pm, Sunday @ 7.30pm. Note: This episode guide mirrors the episode numbers that are used by Granada Television. These, in turn, are based on the episode production numbers. On the odd occasion over the years these have proven to be slightly haphazard. To explain; the first episode of the programme was production code P228/1, the second P228/2, etc. In 1970, the production team reached episode 999 with the episode that was broadcast on Wednesday 19th August that year. The next episode, the 1000th, was not given the production code of P228/1000 but instead was given the new production code of P694 and the number 1! (To confuse matters more, Granada also publicised episode 999 as the 1000th episode!). The actual 1000th episode was therefore known as episode P694/1. As the seventies went on, two episodes (P694/26 and P694/27) were edited down into one half-hour episode, supposedly because Doris Speed - playing Annie Walker - was ill, and four episode numbers were not used at all - P694/503, P694/504, P694/505 and P694/549. You will therefore not find episodes 1503, 1504, 1505 or 1549 in this guide - because they were never made! When the 4000th episode was broadcast in April 1996, Granada's production codes skipped from P694/2999 to P694/4000, thereby mirroring better the actual episode number being shown and publicised. The fact remains though that other episode numbers have been skipped or counted as double episodes and therefore the publicity over episodes such as number 6000 in 2005 are a few episodes out. This is no big secret and, on occasion, comments have appeared in the UK press about this anomoly.moreless
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    Taggart

    Taggart

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    ITV (ended 2010)
    Welcome to the Taggart guide at TV.com. In the early 1980s, Robert Love, Controller of Drama at Scottish Television, and Glenn Chandler, pathologist-turned-writer, created a Glaswegian police detective named Jim Taggart, a creation that resulted in a world-wide successful television drama that lasted for twenty-seven years. Over the course of 110 stories the series, which followed the exploits of Maryhill CID, continued to win over viewers old and new despite major changes in the cast which caused most in the business to write it off. From the pilot broadcast, "Killer", to the final episode, the show presented more grizzly murders and plot twists than even the most ardent of fans can remember. Its film noir quality, along with the stunning setting of Glasgow, the second city of the empire, helped it remain a success even after the death of the titular character. The excellent cast, both past and present, have provided characters that have become much loved and remain in the hearts of fans even after their departure. This guide is dedicated to the memories of Mark McManus, Iain Anders, Robert Robertson and Tom Watson. Taggart was made by Scottish Television (later Scottish Media Group) Productions and broadcast on the ITV network across the UK. In 2010, with ITV assessing their output due to financial issues, the show was at risk of being cancelled. The two broadcasters agreed a co-production arrangement for the next series, which was broadcast first on STV, and later aired in the rest of the UK on ITV1. However, despite the new format and the series' continuing popularity in Scotland, viewing figures across the rest of the UK were disappointing, and ITV announced in May 2011 that it had decided not to commission any further series.moreless
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    The Bill

    The Bill

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    ITV (ended 2010)
    Welcome to The Bill guide at TV.com. The Bill recounts the goings-on within and around Sun Hill, a Metropolitan Police Station located in the fictional Borough of Canley, in east London. Running for over 25 years, The Bill was Britain's longest running police drama series, finally outstripping Dixon of Dock Green on 10 August 2005. It adapted to meet the challenges of the highly competitive world of independent television, evolving from a standard post-watershed police procedural drama, through a period as a twice- and, later, thrice-weekly early evening ratings grabber with stand-alone plots, then as a twice-weekly one-hour drama with ongoing soap-style exploration of the troubled personal lives of its police officers. The Bill reverted to a once a week, post-watershed drama on 23 July 2009, but ITV decided not to renew the show when the contract came up for renewal the following year. The Bill is not your average cop show, but rather an extraordinary police drama that brings each episode to the audience through the eyes of the characters. An excellent cast, supported by some of the country's leading writers and directors and some innovative camera work gives an incredible sense of realism. Other police dramas have been created in an attempt to mirror its conventions and match its success, but none has lasted. The Bill truly deserves its accolade as Britain's most successful police drama.moreless
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    Thomas The Tank Engine & Friends

    Thomas The Tank Engine & Friends

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    ITV
    Welcome to the Thomas The Tank Engine & Friends guide at TV.com. The show is about a tank engine, Thomas, and his friends who live on the Island of Sodor. Together, the engines work on the railways under the supervision of Sir Topham Hatt, the "Fat Controller." Thomas The Tank Engine actually dates back to 1945, when the Reverend Wilbert Vere Awdry created The Railway Series to amuse his son Christopher, who was suffering from measles. His wife Margaret encouraged him to publish the stories and he did so, going on to add another book each year (except 1947 and 1971) until 1972. Wilbert's son Christopher later continued The Railway Series up to 40 books. In 1984 Britt Allcroft decided to turn the stories into a TV series with Ringo Starr as the narrator. He was replaced by Michael Angelis in 1991, who still narrates today. (Full Narrator listings below.) When the series was shown on PBS in the US, it was part of a show called Shining Time Station. 2 of the show's narrators played Mr. Conductor in the series, Ringo Starr in the earlier episodes and George Carlin later. Since the show ran from 1989 to 1993, only early episodes of Thomas are part of it. A note on writers: In the episode guide, the writers are as follows: If the episode is based on a Railway Series book by the Rev W Awdry, he will be credited as the writer. If the episode is based on a Railway Series book by Christopher Awdry, he will be credited as the writer. If the episode is not based on a Railway Series book, Britt Allcroft and David Mitton will be credited as the writers since they wrote it. From Season 6 the writers are varied. Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends is Based on The Railway Series by The Reverend W. Awdry. Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends and Thomas & Friends are trademarks of HIT Entertainment Inc.moreless
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    Agatha Christie's Poirot

    Agatha Christie's Poirot

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    ITV (ended 2013)
    Welcome to the Poirot guide at TV.com. This is a British series which brings to life Agatha Christie's Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot, played by David Suchet, whose sleuthing for the purposes of this series belongs in the mid-1930s. Based in London, with the very English Captain Hastings (Hugh Fraser) as his Dr Watson, Poirot's field of operations ranges around the world. The series has strong story lines, good production and acting, and a real period flavour. Poirot won two BAFTA awards in 1990, then had more BAFTA nominations as Best Drama Series in 1991 and 1992. All of Agatha Christie's seventy-two Poirot stories were produced with David Suchet as Poirot, and the show has been broadcast in more than one hundred countries around the world.moreless
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    Auf Wiedersehen Pet

    Auf Wiedersehen Pet

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    ITV (ended 2004)
    With unemployment high and work prospects low, seven men from England head for Düsseldorf in search of work. Three from Newcastle and one each from London, Liverpool, Bristol and Wolverhampton. Seven very different men who meet in the unglamourous surroundings of a German building site, find that they are not so different after all. This show made many actors very famous. The show's regular cast list Jimmy Nail as Oz Tim Healy as Dennis Christopher Fairbank as Moxey Timothy Spall as Barry Pat Roach as Bomber Gary Holton as Wayne Kevin Whately as Neville With Noel Clarke as Wymanmoreless
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    Inspector Morse

    Inspector Morse

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    ITV (ended 2000)
    Welcome to the Inspector Morse guide at TV.com. Morse (played by the late John Thaw) is not the ideal policeman, his superiors think. He is prickly and sarcastic, a bachelor, an Oxford graduate, an intellectual snob, and he doesn't always follow protocol strictly as he should. But he gets results. Sergeant Lewis (Kevin Whately) is a plain family man, he follows orders, and the thing that keeps him from advancing in the Force is that he seems a little slow. The show takes place in and around Oxford, where many a mysterious murder occurs. Colin Dexter, the author of the Morse novels from which most of these dramas developed, appears in cameo roles in very nearly every episode. The books are: Last Bus to Woodstock (1975), Last Seen Wearing (1976), The Silent World of Nicholas Quinn (1977), Service of All the Dead (1979), Winter's Crime (short stories) (1981), The Dead of Jericho (1981), The Riddle of the Third Mile (1983), The Secret of Annexe 3 (1986), The Wench Is Dead (1989), The Jewel That Was Ours (1991), The Way Through the Woods (1992), The Daughters of Cain (1994), Morse's Greatest Mystery and Other Stories (1995), Death Is Now My Neighbour (1996) and The Remorseful Day (2000). Barrington Pheloung's theme tune for the series is based on the Morse code for m-o-r-s-e. Less well known is the fact that he weaves other characters' names into the score in Morse code at suitable moments. Pheloung appears as a choirmaster in The Remorseful Day, the last episode of the series featuring John Thaw. The Inspector Morse concept waslater revived by ITV,with spin-off seriesLewis (starring Kevin Whately as Inspector Lewis) and prequel episode Endeavour featuring Shaun Evans as a young Endeavour Morse.moreless
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    You Bet!

    You Bet!

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    ITV (ended 1997)
    You Bet! was a British game show based on the format of the German show Wetten, dass..?. Each week a panel of celebrities along with the audience would bet on the outcome of a series of odd and challenging tasks, with the winning celebrity getting to donate the winning amount money to a charity of his/her choice. The losing celebrity had to endure a forfeit. The show ran for 10 series hosted initially by Bruce Forsyth, then Matthew Kelly and latterly Darren Day before being replaced by Don't Try This At Home.moreless
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    The Ruth Rendell Mysteries

    The Ruth Rendell Mysteries

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    ITV (ended 2000)
    Welcome to The Ruth Rendell Mysteries guide at TV.com. The guide takes in over thirty hours of crime drama productions, based on the novels and short stories of Ruth Rendell. In most of these, veteran actor George Baker plays Chief Inspector Reg Wexford of Kingsmarkham (a fictional town in the real English county of Hampshire), with Christopher Ravenscroft as his partner-in-detection, Inspector Mike Burden. Wexford's wife Dora is played by Louie Ramsay. She had known George Baker for many years, but they became close while working on the series and married in real life. The Inspector Wexford stories were filmed on location in and around Romsey, Hampshire, and most were broadcast under The Ruth Rendell Mysteries banner. In 1992, having exhausted the supply of Wexford stories, Meridian started adapting other Rendell mysteries, thus belatedly justifying the use of the confusing umbrella title for the show. The final episode was broadcast under the Inspector Wexford banner, and this is the title used for DVD releases and repeat broadcasts of the Wexford stories on the ITV network.moreless
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    Tales of the Unexpected

    Tales of the Unexpected

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    ITV (ended 1988)
    Welcome to the TV.com guide to Tales of the Unexpected. This collection of twist-in-the-tail stories of suspense, horror and black comedy (in the early seasons, all by Roald Dahl) was filmed by Anglia Television, a regional production company in the East of England. Each episode stands alone and has its own cast, and for two seasons each was introduced by Dahl himself from a fireside arm-chair. He took a back seat when most of the stories coming forward were based on the work of other writers. Tales of the Unexpected was an instant hit. It ran for nearly ten years, clocking up a total of 112 episodes, and in the UK it is still being repeated. Anglia sold the series to more than eighty other countries, and all episodes are now available on DVD as well as VHS.moreless
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    Emmerdale

    Emmerdale

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    ITV
    Emmerdale first screened on ITV on the 16th of October 1972, which makes it one of the longest running soaps in British Television History.
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    The Benny Hill Show

    The Benny Hill Show

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    ITV (ended 1989)
    This guide strives to be as complete a resource as possible for the third TV series to bear Benny Hill's name in the title, which ran on Thames Television (ITV) from 1969-1989, and has appeared around the world in countless formats and re-edits ever since.

    This is a guide to the original hour-long version.

    In America, the show was usually presented in a specially-edited half-hour format, which ran for a total of 111 editions (although Comedy Central did screen the hour-long format in the early-to-mid '90's, albeit with sections edited out, typically the musical guest or dance numbers). 30-minute repeats (not the same as were made for the American market) often aired in Britain when the show was "between seasons."

    Comedy Central aired the original hour-long format for Shows 32 - 58 (except for Show 40). Also, USA Network aired the shows in the original hour-long format in the late '80s/early '90s. At least Shows 54 - 58, possibly others, along with the independently-produced Benny Hill's World Tour: New York special (both channels had a few minutes cut for extra commercial time).

    In the U.S., the original hour-long shows have been issued on DVD (Region 1) under the umbrella title Benny Hill - Complete & Unadulterated. The first three sets were released with the subheading The Naughty Early Years, covering the years 1969-1971 (Shows 1-11, including three B&W episodes previously unseen in America), 1972-1974 (Shows 12-21) and 1975-1977 (Shows 22-31, plus his 1970 half-hour silent film Eddie in August). The final three sets bore the subheading The Hill's Angels Years, and covered the years 1978-1981 (Shows 32-41), 1982-1985 (Shows 42-50) and 1986-1989 (Shows 51-58). Also, the Golden Greats set that came out in 2001 (now out-of-print) included 6 episodes, Shows 46, 47, 50, 55, 56 and 58.

    In England, the original hour-long shows (complete with production slates and adcaps) have been released on DVD (Region 2) on a year-by-year basis, under the umbrella of The Benny Hill Annual, each set representing a different year. The 1970 set (Shows 3-6) contains the aforementioned Eddie in August, and the 1974 set (which only saw two new editions air, Shows 20 and 21) features his first two Thames specials from 1969. As of October 2006, the total releases go up to 1979 (Shows 34 and 35). The Benny Hill Annual sets from 1976 and 1977 onwards have adcaps but not VT slates.moreless
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    Thunderbirds

    Thunderbirds

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    ITV (ended 1966)
    In 2065, former astronaut and millionaire Jeff Tracy forms an secret organization named International Rescue. Its mission is to intervene when human life is at threat and nobody else is able to help. They're based on a small tropical island in the Pacific. While it appears to all the world as a reclusive millionaire's retreat, complete with luxurious hillside house (appropriately in the International Style of architecture) and swimming pool, hidden beneath the house and inside a cliff face are various facilities for the enormous complex where their equipment is built, maintained and stored. The equipment, including the specialized Thunderbird vehicles, is designed and assembled by Brains, a brilliant engineer fiercely loyal to Jeff. Supporting the team is Lady Penelope, a famous society figure who secretly acts as their London operative, assisted by her butler, Parker. The five Thunderbird craft are piloted by each of Jeff's five sons, all named after members of America's Mercury program: - Thunderbird 1, piloted by Scott, named after Scott Carpenter. This ramjet-powered plane is their fastest aircraft, always first on the scene to assess the situation and coordinate the rescue. - Thunderbird 2, piloted by Virgil (after Virgil "Gus" Grissom." A fan favorite, Thunderbird 2 is the heavy lift air transport, responsible for carrying all manner of large and bulky machinery to rescue sites. - Thunderbird 3 is piloted by Alan (after Alan Shepard) or John (after John Glenn,) depending on who is on station in Thunderbird 5. 3 is the spaceship for International Rescue. - Thunderbird 4, piloted by Gordon (after Gordon Cooper), is a mini-submarine usually carried to sites inside Thunderbird 2. - Thunderbird 5 is manned by John and Alan on rotating monthly shifts. It's an orbital space platform where all communications around the world can be monitored and issues alerts to Jeff whenever trouble arises. International Rescue insists on complete secrecy. Their identities aren't known to anyone outside the organization and photography of their equipment is forbidden. Thunderbirds was produced by Gerry Anderson and was the culmination of his Supermarionation process, which used marionette puppets instead of live actors. Originally intended for children, the show still has a devoted fanbase of adult viewers, both in the United Kingdom where it originated and in the United States, where it was syndicated in the 1960s and 70s. The series spawned three theatrical features. Thunderbirds Are Go! and Thunderbird Six were produced soon after the series left the air, although neither met with box office success. In 2004, a live action feature of the same name was made without Anderson's involvement. It drew scathing comments from professional movie reviewers who compared it unfavorably to the original show.moreless
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    Robin of Sherwood

    Robin of Sherwood

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    ITV (ended 1986)
    Robin of Loxley is charged by Herne the Hunter, horned god of the forests, to become his son and champion. As "The Hooded Man," Robin must forge a band of outlaws and renegades into a force which will defy the Norman rulers who oppress the population of the region, especially Prince John and the Sheriff of Nottingham.

    This adaptation of the Robin Hood legend leans heavily on mysticism and magic. This mood was reinforced by the soundtrack by the Irish band Clannad.moreless
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    Mind Your Language

    Mind Your Language

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    ITV (ended 1986)
    Barry Evans stars as Teacher Jeremy Brown who is attempting to teach English to a class of mixed nationality students. The first series had 13 episodes and was shown from December 1977 to March 1978. The second series had only 8 episodes and was shown from October 1978 to November 1978. The third series of 8 episodes was shown from October 1979 to December 1979. Seven years later in 1986 an independently produced fourth series of 13 episodes of Mind Your Language was shown.moreless
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    Dempsey and Makepeace

    Dempsey and Makepeace

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    ITV (ended 1986)
    Welcome to the Dempsey and Makepeace guide at TV.com.

    This detective drama series was based around two mis-matched detectives. Lieutenant James Dempsey was seconded to SI-10, a new undercover section of Scotland Yard, for his own protection following a corruption scandal in the New York Police Department. Once in London, Dempsey was partnered with a beautiful female Detective Sergeant named Harriet Makepeace, who preferred to be known as "Harry". Together, they worked under the extremely watchful eye of Chief Superintendent Gordon Spikings. Dempsey and Makepeace never really agreed with each other's methods of police work, but they managed to get the bad guys.

    Michael Brandon and Glynis Barber made the roles of "Dempsey and Makepeace" their own. Their on-screen relationship could never prepare the public for what was to happen in real life. Michael and Glynis married on 18 November 1989. On 21 November 1992, three days after their third wedding anniversary, Glynis gave birth to a baby boy, Alexander.moreless
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    The Jewel in the Crown

    The Jewel in the Crown

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    ITV (ended 1984)
    This award winning mini-series is an adaptation of Paul Scott's Raj Quartet, and tells the epic story of men and women caught up in a struggle of race and class during the last five years of British rule in India.moreless
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    The Wind in the Willows

    The Wind in the Willows

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    ITV (ended 1990)
    Welcome to The Wind in the Willows guide at TV.com! The series was made not with 'claymation', but rather with very expensive models made from latex foam. Combined with superb animation, the result was often so realistic you can forget that the characters are not alive.moreless
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    Through the Keyhole

    Through the Keyhole

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    ITV (ended 2007)
    Welcome to the Through the Keyhole guide at TV.com. This is a gameshow in which an unidentified celebrity's home is looked around and then the guests in the studio have to work out who it belongs to.moreless
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    Robin's Nest

    Robin's Nest

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    ITV (ended 1981)
    Robin Tripp from Man about the House has left Chrssy and Jo behind and set up his own bistro along with his fiancee Victoria (Tessa Wyatt), with her father as a not-so-silent "silent partner". The spin-off series was once again created and written by Johnny Mortimer and Brian Cooke and aired on Thames Television from January 1977 to March 1981. Following the trend to Americanize the Man About the House/George & Mildred franchise, an American version of Robin's Nest was made, called Three's a Crowd.moreless
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