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Sorry! (TV series)

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Sorry! is a BBC television sitcom, that aired on BBC1 from 1981 to 1982 and from 1985 to 1988 Starring Ronnie Corbett, created and written by Ian Davidson and Peter Vincent for the BBC, both of whom had previously written for The Two Ronnies, of whom Corbett was one half

The theme music was composed by Gaynor Colbourn and Hugh Wisdom, arranged by Gaynor Colbourn and conducted by Ronnie Hazlehurst


  • 1 Cast
  • 2 Plot
  • 3 Episodes
    • 31 Series 1 1981
    • 32 Series 2 1982
    • 33 Series 3 1982
    • 34 Christmas sketch 1982
    • 35 Series 4 1985
    • 36 Series 5 1986
    • 37 Series 6 1987
    • 38 Series 7 1988
  • 4 DVD releases
  • 5 References
  • 6 External links


  • Ronnie Corbett – Timothy Lumsden
  • Barbara Lott – Phyllis Lumsden
  • William Moore – Sidney Lumsden
  • Marguerite Hardiman – Muriel
  • Derek Fuke – Kevin
  • Roy Holder – Frank Baker
  • Wendy Allnutt – Jennifer series 6
  • Bridget Brice – Pippa series 7


Sorry! is based around Timothy Lumsden who, 41 years old in the first three series his age increased to 42 and then 48 in subsequent series - Corbett was actually 50-57 during the series' run, is a librarian who still lives at home with his domineering mother Phyllis and henpecked father Sidney Although quite shy around women, Timothy longs to find love and leave home, but Phyllis is always against the idea, and constantly manipulates her son into staying at home One of the running gags of the series is Sidney frequently shouting "Language, Timothy!" when he feels Timothy has said something inappropriate though most times nobody would typically find the words even close to offensive Timothy usually responds "Sorry father", but sometimes snaps "Shut up, father!" to which Sidney always replies "Fair enough"

In contrast, Timothy's friend Frank and sister Muriel urge Timothy to stand up to his mother once and for all Muriel had successfully left home, and married Kevin, and as a result is viewed with distrust by her mother


Series 1 1981

Title Airdate Overview
"For Love or Mummy" 12 March 1981 Timothy Lumsden is a 41-year-old librarian whose mother won't let him cut those apron strings Timothy is determined to take his latest love, Annette, to the dance, even if he does have to dress up as the cat from the amateur dramatics group he is a member of
"Buttons" 19 March 1981 Timothy, who has been cast as the rear end of a horse in the latest production of Cinderella, is smitten with Vanessa, a woman who is friends with his casting director, even if it does mean he has to fight one of his rivals, Tiny Heseltine, to win her
"The Godfather" 26 March 1981 After a morning trying to get rid of some bin bags, Timothy gives his godson, Gavin, some guidance about bullying Gavin tells him about Duggy Bullford, who is constantly bullying him Timothy is determined to settle the matter with Duggy's father
"Bachelor Seeks Anywhere" 2 April 1981 Timothy is interested in an advertisement for sharing a cheap flat with a couple of girls Can he reply to the ad without Mother knowing and can he persuade a singing hobo to leave the library
"Does Your Mother Know You're Out" 9 April 1981 Timothy's mother, Phyllis, wants him to paint the understairs cupboard for the meter man's next visit But he is more focused on winning a bet with his colleague, Victor, that he will see Gone with the Wind with the library assistant, Caroline
"Curse of the Mummy" 16 April 1981 Timothy's sister, Muriel, comes to visit, and she tries her best to help Timothy leave Mother and Father and be free Can Timothy escape

Series 2 1982

Title Airdate Overview
"Cromer or Bust" 22 April 1982 Timothy has booked a second honeymoon for Phyllis and Sydney in Cromer, so he can have a party while they're away All is slowly going to plan until Sydney has an accident with a barrel of beer
"Perchance to Dream" 29 April 1982 Timothy is preparing for a job but is very nervous He keeps having nightmares that the interviewer is his old headmaster and is ready to cane him Timothy goes to see a psychiatrist
"Sons and Lovers" 6 May 1982 Timothy becomes jealous when Phyllis is spoiling his cousin Brinsley more than him
"Great Expectations" 13 May 1982 Phyllis is determined to make sure Timothy's auntie will consider leaving them some money in her will
"The Next Best Man" 20 May 1982 Timothy is upset when Frank asks his friend Richard to be the best man at his wedding When Richard has an accident Frank asks Tim: when Phyllis finds out she puts on a big party for Frank and his fiancé Jenny
"Could Do Better" 27 May 1982 Timothy is determined to get Frank's wedding ring to the church in time for the service

Series 3 1982

Title Airdate Overview
"The Rabbit and the Pussycat" 28 October 1982 Timothy ends up becoming involved in a treasure hunt for a golden rabbit which is supposed to be buried somewhere close by
"You're Going Nowhere" 4 November 1982 Timothy's plans to pay a visit to the Gobi Desert are ruined by Mother
"Bottom of the Class" 11 November 1982 Timothy is given the role of Bottom in the amateur dramatic society's production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream"
"Spellbound" 18 November 1982 When the mobile library breaks down on a country road near a prison, Timothy is forced to set off on foot to find help and he ends up meeting three strange women in a barn
"It Never Rained In Those Days" 25 November 1982 Mother's birthday is coming up again and it's time for the rest of the family to pay some suitable homage
"The Big Sleep" 2 December 1982 Timothy has to visit the hospital after an incident at the tennis court

Christmas sketch 1982

Title Airdate Overview
The Funny Side of Christmas 27 December 1982 Sketch 6 minutes

Series 4 1985

Title Airdate Overview
"My Huckleberry Friend" 28 April 1985 Timothy attempts to help a runaway, when he believes that her fate lies in his hands
"Move Over Mrs Lumsden" 5 May 1985 Timothy's Mother becomes determined to be named as the new secretary of the Ladies' Luncheon Club, it causes mayhem for the rest of the family
"One of Our Naughty Bits Is Missing" 12 May 1985 Timothy tries to supply an adult book to the men's ward at the local hospital but chaos ensues
"Confessions of a Jobbing Gardener" 19 May 1985 Timothy's mother is worried that his father is getting up to no good with a local widow
"A Little Something Set Aside" 26 May 1985 Timothy's Mother finds out that he has a modest sum of money in his savings account
"Collapse of Small Party" 2 June 1985 After his parents are invited to attend the Chartered Accountants' Ball, Timothy decides to throw a party whilst they are out

Series 5 1986

Title Airdate Overview
"The Primal Scene, So to Speak" 10 May 1986 Timothy accidentally finds out about an affair that a local businessman is having who ends up offering him a large amount of money and a book contract to keep his mouth shut
"Every Clown Wants to Play Hamlet" 17 May 1986 Timothy has the role of prompter for the local amateur dramatic society's production of "Hamlet," and he has his eye on the woman playing Ophelia
"Bells for Uncle Barnstable" 24 May 1986 There might be church bells be ringing for Timothy and his piano teacher, Miss Clanger
"Natural Wastage" 7 June 1986 Timothy is determined to prove that he can still be as lively as a kitten
"My Family and Other Monsters" 14 June 1986 Timothy becomes involved with a woman called Fenella, who lives on a canal boat and runs a children's theatre
"It's a Wonderful Life, Basically" 21 June 1986 Just as everything looks like it is going wrong for Timothy, a wish he made comes true

Series 6 1987

Title Airdate Overview
"A Chief Inspector Calls" 1 June 1987 Timothy finds his hands are full when he has to deal with an escaped convict, a female mud wrestler and a French maid
"Dream Time" 8 June 1987 Timothy attempts to realize his dreams before his mother can turn them into a nightmare
"Amaze Your Friends!" 15 June 1987 Timothy takes part in an assertiveness course and his girlfriend ends up seeing him in a whole new light
"Gone, But Not Forgotten" 22 June 1987 Timothy soon learns that even though his Mother may be out of sight, her influence over him is still as strong as it ever was
"Little Foxes" 29 June 1987 As Timothy prepares to get married he soon learns that getting married might not mean happy ever after
"Do You Take This Man – And His Mother" 6 July 1987 Every single detail has been arranged on Timothy's wedding day so nothing can go wrong

Series 7 1988

Title Airdate Overview
"Mothers and Brothers" 5 September 1988 Muriel attempts to persuade Timothy that the only way to escape their Mother's clutches is for him to buy his own home
"Every Day, In Every Way" 12 September 1988 Timothy is given a lucky charm but he realizes in very little time that its powers in shaping his destiny are nothing compared to those of his mother
"A Fool and his Money" 19 September 1988 Timothy is tricked after he runs into an old friend
"Flying Lessons" 26 September 1988 Timothy makes a date with the girl of his dreams but Mother finds a way to blackmail him into not showing up for their date
"Winter's Tales" 3 October 1988 Mother makes one last attempt to clip his wings as Timothy stands on the verge of finally gaining his freedom
"Up, Up and Away" 10 October 1988 Timothy finally escapes his mother's clutches and leaves home to live with his partner Pippa

DVD releases

The first two series of Sorry! were released on DVD under Playback Entertainment Region 2, UK in 2004 The DVD was put out of print in 2006, but the first series was re-released on DVD in 2007 under 2entertain & BBC Worldwide It includes three audio commentaries by Ronnie Corbett The second series was re-released in March 2008 The third, fourth, fifth and sixth series were released for the very first time on 2 August 2010 and 21 February, 20 June and 26 September 2011 The seventh and final series was released on 4 June 2012 along with the complete set of 7 DVDs

In region 4, the first four series have been released

DVD title No of discs Year No of episodes DVD release
Region 2 Region 4
Complete Series 1 1 1981 6 2 July 2007 12 September 2007
Complete Series 2 1 1982 6 17 March 2008 19 March 2008
Complete Series 3 1 1982 6 2 August 2010 8 October 2008
Complete Series 4 1 1985 6 21 February 2011 2 February 2011
Complete Series 5 1 1986 6 20 June 2011 2011
Complete Series 6 1 1987 6 26 September 2011 201
Complete Series 7 1 1988 6 4 June 2012 201
Complete Series 1 – 7 7 1981 – 1988 42 4 June 2012 TBA


  1. ^ "Sorry!:Series 7 DVD 1988" Amazoncouk 23 February 2012 Retrieved 23 February 2012 
  2. ^ "Sorry!: The Complete Collection 7 Discs" amazoncouk 4 June 2012 Retrieved 11 August 2013 
  3. ^ "Buy Sorry! - The Complete 4th Series on DVD-Video from EzyDVDcomau" ezydvdcomau Retrieved 18 September 2015 
  • Mark Lewisohn, "Radio Times Guide to TV Comedy", BBC Worldwide Ltd, 2003
  • British TV Comedy Guide for Sorry!

External links

  • Sorry! at BBC Programmes
  • Sorry! on IMDb
  • Sorry! at British Comedy Guide

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