Newton's laws of television

Man About The House

An episode guide by Matthew Newton

Man About The House was a very popular British sitcom during the 70s. Its basic premise concerned a young male student sharing a flat with two girls - hardly a radical concept now, but something that was considered revolutionary and improper. The young man in question was Robin Tripp, a catering student from Southampton. His room-mates were Chrissy Plummer, with whom Robin wanted to be more than friends, and dizzy blonde Jo. The other main characters were their landlords, George and Mildred Roper. Whilst George was very uptight and disproving of the situation, Mildred was more relaxed.

Man About The House spawned two separate spin-offs - Robin's Nest, in which Robin started his own restaurant, and George and Mildred about the Ropers. It was also the subject of an infamous American remake, Three's Company.

A Thames Television Production. Colour.
All episodes are 30 minutes in duration.
Broadcast dates for original UK transmission on ITV.

Written by: Johnnie Mortimer and Brian Cooke
Producer and Director: Peter Frazer-Jones

Series One

Regular Cast
Robin Tripp: Richard O'Sullivan
Chrissy Plummer: Paula Wilcox
Jo: Sally Thomsett
Mildred Roper: Yootha Joyce
George Roper: Brian Murphy
Larry: Doug Fisher [4,7]
Jim the Landlord: Michael Segal [5,7]

1:   Three's A Crowd 15 August 1973

Guest Cast: Helen Fraser (Gabrielle).

During the aftermath of a party to celebrate their flatmate's engagement, Chrissy and Jo meet Robin, a catering student who is looking for a flat in London. The girls need a new flat mate and Robin can't find any accomodation. The obvious suggestion is agreed on, but just how can they explain it to the Ropers, their landlords?

2:   And Mother Makes Four 22 August 1973

Guest Cast: Daphne Oxenford (Chrissy's Mother).

Robin has just moved into the flat when Chrissy gets a telephone call from her mother who is in London on her annual shopping trip and will soon be arriving at the flat. Chrissy quickly herds Robin out of the flat, as what would her mother think, with her sharing with a man? It is only when Chrissy's mum decides to stay the night that things become more complicated...

3:   Some Enchanted Evening 29 August 1973

Guest Cast: Steve Paterson (David).

Jo has invited her boyfriend round to the flat to cook him a meal. Jo is a hopeless cook so Robin is persuaded to help. It is only when Chrissy and Robin are downstairs, enjoying the delights of a game of monopoly with the Ropers while leaving the flat free for Jo, that they discover something that might not be helping things to go smoothly upstairs.

4:   And Then There Were Two 5 September 1973

Guest Cast: Jenny Hanley (Liz), Janine Drzewicki (Sheila).

Jo is going away for the weekend, leaving Chrissy alone with Robin for the first time. Chrissy is dreading this, but Robin is looking forward to it immensely.

5:   It's Only Money 12 September 1973

Guest Cast: Ken Watson (Bank Manager), Derek Seaton (First Policeman), Colin McCormack (Second Policeman), Raymond Farrell (Bank Clerk).

This week's rent money is stolen from the flat. The rent is due, so if Roper knows they don't have it he might throw them out of the flat. All Robin, Chrissy and Jo have to do is find a way of replacing the lost money.

6:   Match Of The Day 19 September 1973

Guest Cast: Duncan Lamont (Dr Macleod), Michael Redfern (Tom), Michael J Jackson (Barry).

Robin has finally been picked for the college football team, but a few days before his big match, he is struck down by a common cold. Can Chrissy and Jo help him recover in time?

7:   No Children, No Dogs 26 September 1973

Guest Cast: None.

Larry lumbers Robin with a puppy, but their lease on the flat prevents the flat sharers from keeping pets. Will they be able to conceal the puppy from Roper?

Series Two

Regular Cast
Robin Tripp: Richard O'Sullivan
Chrissy Plummer: Paula Wilcox
Jo: Sally Thomsett
Mildred Roper: Yootha Joyce
George Roper: Brian Murphy
Jim the Landlord: Michael Segal [1-3]

1:   While The Cat's Away 9 January 1974

Guest Cast: Ian Lavender (Mark), Jenny Hanley (Liz), Jeffrey Gardiner (Maurice), Colin McCormack (Henry).

While the Ropers are away Robin, Chrissy and Jo decide to hold a party.

Note: Jenny Hanley reprises her role as Liz from "And Then There Were Two".

2:   Colour Me Yellow 16 January 1974

Guest Cast: Paul Angelis (Mick), Eammon Boyce (Paddy).

Robin believes his character has been brought into doubt by not standing up to a large Irishman in the pub. Despite reassurances from Chrissy and Jo he is determined to put things right next time he meets him.

3:   In Praise Of Older Men 23 January 1974

Guest Cast: Norman Eshley (Ian Cross), Audrey Nicholson (Mrs Cross), Chet Townsend (Waiter).

Chrissy has a new boyfriend who is planning to take her to Bournemouth on a "business trip." Then Robin finds out that he is married...

4:   Did You Ever Meet Rommel? 30 January 1974

Guest Cast: Dennis Waterman (Franz Wasserman).

If there's one thing Roper can't stand it's Germans, after Hitler, Doodlebugs and most of all for knocking England out of the 1970 World Cup. This could prove a problem as Chrissy has invited the Ropers for a meal at the same time as Robin has invited a German friend from College...

5:   Two Foot Two, Eyes Of Blue 6 February 1974

Guest Cast: Richard Fraser (Simon Randall), Jo Kendall (Podge Randall), Karl Howman (Philip), Bella Emberg (Podge's Mother).

Jo has arranged to go out with her boyfriend at the same time as she should be babysitting for a friend, so Robin and Chrissy are persuaded to take her place looking after the baby.

6:   Carry Me Back To Old Southampton 13 February 1974

Guest Cast: Leslie Sands (Mr Tripp), Doug Fisher (Larry), John Carlin (Mr Gideon).

Robin has failed his exams and it seems that he has to return to Southampton and work for his father. So arrangements are made for Larry to take his place in the flat and Robin prepares to move out.

Series Three

Regular Cast
Robin Tripp: Richard O'Sullivan
Chrissy Plummer: Paula Wilcox
Jo: Sally Thomsett
Mildred Roper: Yootha Joyce
George Roper: Brian Murphy
Larry: Doug Fisher [1,2,4,7]

1:   Cuckoo In The Nest 9 October 1974

Guest Cast: Norman Chappell (Mr Morris).

Larry is staying in the flat and driving everybody crazy. They have to find somewhere for him to live. But where?

2:   Come Into My Parlour 16 October 1974

Guest Cast: Caroline Dowdeswell (Angie), Hilda Kriseman (Shop Assistant).

Robin is like a spider at the centre of his web, waiting to trap his latest girlfriend after a romantic evening alone at the flat. But this particular fly is an old school friend of Chrissy, so Robin's flatmate is taking quite an interest in this relationship...

3:   I Won't Dance, Don't Ask Me... 23 October 1974

Guest Cast: Alison Hughes (Maddie), Robert Swales (Peter), John Colclough (Nigel), Gareth Johnson (Stuart), Frances Sealer (Marjorie), Sally Harrison (Denise), Peggy Ann Clifford (Mrs James) and The Amborse Quillby Four

It is the week of the staff do at the firm where Chrissy and Jo work. In need of an escort, Chrissy invites Robin. But it is a black tie dinner dance - surely Robin won't fit in?

4:   Of Mice And Women 30 October 1974

Guest Cast: Annie Hayes (Rita).

A mouse has appeared in the flat, and Robin comes up with a way of turning this to his advantage.

5:   Somebody Out There Likes Me 6 November 1974

Guest Cast: Christopher Chittell (Alan), Colin McCormack (Bernard).

Chrissy has a secret admirer, who is sending her flowers and chocolates. And it appears to Mr Roper that so has Mildred...

6:   We Shall Not Be Moved 13 November 1974

Guest Cast: Roy Kinnear (Jerry), Derek Seaton (Agent), Michael Redfern (1st Removal Man), Ian Sharp (2nd Removal Man).

While Mildred is away for the weekend, George takes the opportunity to make a few changes, one of which is tricking Robin, Jo and Chrissy into leaving.

7:   Three Of A Kind 20 November 1974

Guest Cast: Jeremy Bulloch (Derek), Duncan Lamont (Dr Macleod), Louisa Martin (Nurse).

Robin takes part in regular weekly sessions of poker, but while he is in hospital having his tonsils removed, Chrissy persuades him to let her take his place, just to prove that poker is not just a man's game. All Chrissy has to do then is learn how to play...

Note: Duncan Lamont previously appeared as Dr Macleod in "Match Of The Day".

Feature Film

Man About The House Released 22 December 1974

Directed by: John Robins
Produced by: Roy Skeggs
A Hammer Production (85 mins)

Cast: Richard O'Sullivan (Robin), Paula Wilcox (Chrissy), Sally Thomsett (Jo), Yootha Joyce (Mildred Roper), Brian Murphy (George Roper), Doug Fisher (Larry), Peter Cellier (Morris Pluthero), Patrick Newell (Sir Edmund Weir), Aimi McDonald (Hazel Lovett), Jack Smethurst (Himself), Rudolph Walker (Himself), Spike Milligan (Himself), Melvyn Hayes (Nigel), Michael Ward (Mr Gideon), Bill Grundy (Interviewer), Berry Cornish (PA), Norman Mitchell (Doorman), Michael Robbins (Second Doorman), Johnnie Briggs (Milkman), Bill Pertwee (Postman), Bill Sawyer (Chauffeur), Aubrey Morris (Lecturer), Arthur Lowe (Spiros), Andria Lawrence (Miss Bird), Julian Orchard (Producer), Mark Rogers (Boy Scout), Bill Maynard (Chef), Pauline Peart (Secretary), Arthur Hewlett (Elderly Man), Annie Leake (Tweedy Lady), Corinne Skinner (Housewife).

For once Robin, Chrissy and Jo are in agreement with Roper as they all join forces to fight the threat of a ruthless property developer who is determined to demolish the street in which they live. [85 minutes duration]

Notes: It was common for successful British television comedies of the 1970s to have a big screen outing, and Man About The House was not left out. All of the principal television cast appears, joined by cameos from Jack Smethurst and Rudolph Walker (stars of another Thames sitcom, Love Thy Neighbour) and Spike Milligan.

Series Four

Regular Cast
Robin Tripp: Richard O'Sullivan
Chrissy Plummer: Paula Wilcox
Jo: Sally Thomsett
Mildred Roper: Yootha Joyce
George Roper: Brian Murphy
Larry: Doug Fisher [1,3,4,6]
Barman: John Carlin [1,3,4,6]

1:   Home And Away 6 March 1975

Guest Cast: Michael Redfern (Mike), Drew Wood (1st Hells Angel), Hilary Minster (2nd Hells Angel).

Robin and Chrissy borrow Roper's car to go to a football match. When the car breaks down they have to phone the pub for advice, where Roper is showing off his new personal accessory - a wig.

Note: This episode is credited only to Brian Cooke.

2:   One For The Road 13 March 1975

Guest Cast: Ken Watson (Policeman), Harry Littlewood (Examiner), Alister Williamson (Sergeant), Erik Chitty (Magistrate), Marc Boyle (Warrant Officer), Frank Lester (Clerk of Court).

Chrissy decides to learn to drive, which is just as well, with Robin about to lose his licence...

3:   All In The Game 20 March 1975

Guest Cast: Roy Kinnear (Jerry), Jessel Saks (Colin), Jo Garrity (Vera), Ian Sharp (Tom).

It appears that the flat has woodworm, so Jerry, George's friend, is called in to treat it, resulting in Robin having to spend a night downstairs with Roper!

Note: Roy Kinnear previously appeared as Jerry in "We Shall Not Be Moved".

4:   Never Give Your Real Name 27 March 1975

Guest Cast: Alison Hughes (Linda), Suzanne Moore (Sandra), Mostyn Evans (Sandra's Dad).

Larry has a habit of telling a few untruthes, like giving his girlfriends a false name. After a week as Orinocho Womble, Larry becomes Robin Tripp, and causes the real Robin Tripp quite a few problems...

5:   The Tender Trap 3 April 1975

Guest Cast: Glyn Edwards (Chrissy's Father), Daphne Oxenford (Chrissy's Mother), Sheila Dunion (Susan), John Colclough (Ted).

Chrissy's mum visits the flat again, intending a little match-making between her daughter and Robin. Her first move is to invite Robin down to the christening of Chrissy's baby nephew - with the hope that it's a wedding that she might be celebrating next.

Note: Daphne Oxenford previously appeared as Chrissy's mother in "And Mother Makes Four".

6:   My Son, My Son 10 April 1975

Guest Cast: Anthony Sharp (Mr Matthews).

George has been requested to make an appointment to see someone from the Inland Revenue. Could it have something to do with the fact that he has been claiming tax relief for a non-existant son for 19 years?

Series Five

Regular Cast
Robin Tripp: Richard O'Sullivan
Chrissy Plummer: Paula Wilcox
Jo: Sally Thomsett
Mildred Roper: Yootha Joyce
George Roper: Brian Murphy
Larry: Doug Fisher [1,4,5,6]

1:   The Last Picture Show 4 September 1975

Guest Cast: Peter Greene (Neil), Catherine Riding (Diana).

Chrissy is given a cine camera for her birthday. After using it to make her first film, she borrows a projector in order to view her epic, giving Larry an opportunity for showing a very different sort of film.

2:   Right Said George 11 September 1975

Guest Cast: Roy Kinnear (Jerry).

In need of money for repairs to his car, Roper sells his piano to Robin. The problem comes in moving it upstairs...

3:   A Little Knowledge 18 September 1975

Guest Cast: Peter Jones (Mr Morris).

Robin is in need of money, so he answers a job advertisement in the newspaper. As a result, Robin ends up as a trainee door-to-door encyclopedia salesmen, in search of someone to practice on.

4:   Love And Let Love 25 September 1975

Guest Cast: Wendy Allnutt (Susan), Veronica Doran (Myra), Mark Cooper (Desmond).

Robin suggests introducing a rule that any of the flat sharers needs to give the others 24 hours notice should they want the flat to themselves for entertaining a friend. This is all very well until Robin's girlfriend can't make their date the following day, but can make it that night instead...

5:   How Does Your Garden Grow? 2 October 1975

Guest Cast: Ken Watson (Policeman), Charles Morgan (Teacher), Mike Savage (1st Dustman), John Lyons (2nd Dustman).

Persuaded into clearing out the garden, Robin and Chrissy find an interesting plant that they decide to keep in the flat, until Larry identifies it as a cannabis plant...

6:   Come Fly With Me 9 October 1975

Guest Cast: None.

Chrissy is given some tickets for a Frank Sinatra concert, which she doesn't want, but both Jo and Robin do. Downstairs, George is reminded that it is soon his wedding anniversary, so he goes out and buys Mildred a present - a budgie.

Series Six

Regular Cast
Robin Tripp: Richard O'Sullivan
Chrissy Plummer: Paula Wilcox
Jo: Sally Thomsett [2-7]
Mildred Roper: Yootha Joyce
George Roper: Brian Murphy
Larry: Doug Fisher [1,4,6,7]
Barman: John Carlin [1-2]
Norman Tripp: Norman Eshley [5-7]

1:   The Party's Over 25 February 1976

Guest Cast: Hilda Braid (Mrs Hollins).

Roper finally goes too far by cancelling a party planned by Robin and Chrissy, so Mildred does what she has been threatening to do for so many years, and finally leaves him.

2:   One More For The Pot 3 March 1976

Guest Cast: Alison Hughes (Linda), John Flanaghan (James).

Roper puts the rent up. The only way that Robin, Jo and Chrissy can afford it is by taking in a fourth person. So the search is on for another flatmate.

Note: Alison Hughes previously appeared as Linda in "Never Give Your Real Name".

3:   The Generation Game 10 March 1976

Guest Cast: Mike Savage (Commissioner).

Robin is persuaded to accompany Mrs Roper to a dinner dance when George refuses to go. Roper is left at home where he generates a few suspicions...

4:   The Sunshine Boys 17 March 1976

Guest Cast: None.

Preparing for a summer holiday, Robin is worried about his pale complexion, until Larry sells him a sun lamp so that he can develop a healthy tan before he goes. But where did Larry get the lamp from?

5:   Mum Always Liked You Best 24 March 1976

Guest Cast: Steve Plytas (Restaurant Manager), Lawrence Davidson (Waiter), John Harvey (Doctor).

Norman, Robin's brother, visits the flat. Norman is completely different to Robin; tall, handsome, charming and the owner of a flash car. To Robin's dismay, Chrissy starts to take quite a liking to him...

6:   Fire Down Below 31 March 1976

Guest Cast: Frankie Jordan (Deirdre), Cecily Habis (Muriel).

Chrissy's relationship with Norman is developing. Robin decides to finally tell Chrissy how much she means to him when Norman makes an announcement - he and Chrissy have got engaged.

7:   Another Bride, Another Groom 7 April 1976

Guest Cast: Leslie Sands (Robin's Dad), Daphne Oxenford (Chrissy's Mum), Hilda Kriseman (Robin's Mum), Dennis Ramsden (Registrar), Glyn Edwards (Chrissy's Dad).

The big day arrives. Robin has baked a monster of a wedding cake and family and friends will be arriving. Something has got to go wrong, hasn't it?

Note: The final episode features a number of returning actors playing the parents of Chrissy and Robin.

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