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Rupert Rigsby would have been a good neighbour for Albert Steptoe - both filthy!
Eric Chappell's 'Rising Damp' is arguably the best sitcom ever broadcast by ITV. That channel's paucity of quality comedy has been embarrassing for years, which just makes the outstanding comedies like 'Rising Damp' and 'Shelley' seem all the greater.
Leonard Rossiter played two of the greatest-ever comedy characters - Reggie Perrin and Rigsby. Whereas Perrin had some admirable qualities, Rigsby was seedy and lascivious, with ideas above his station in the shape of the posh Miss (Ruth) Jones (Frances de la Tour). He was also jealous of young guns Alan (Richard Beckinsale) and Philip (Don Warrington), because HE wasn't getting any... The two happily tormented him, but it was all very playful. Another star of the series was Rigsby's black and white cat, Vienna, who was probably Rigsby's only friend - and that was debatable!
Though he had just left the show, Beckinsale's tragic early death in 1979 really put the kybosh on any future series, though the best bits of the TV series were squeezed into a movie, with Christopher Strauli from 'Only When I Laugh' fame drafted in to play Alan. With Leonard Rossiter's death in 1984, there was no chance of, maybe, reviving the old show in a desperate effort to boost ratings. As with 'Fawlty Towers', less is more, and 'Rising Damp' ended with its audience not fully satiated. It ran for 28 half hour episodes from 1974 to 1978, plus the 1980 movie.
Rising Damp Main Cast List
Rising Damp DVDs available from booksmusicfilmstv.com - in association with Amazon.co.uk
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