The British television series Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em was produced by the BBC. Probably one of the best-remembered comedies of the decade, the show ran from 1973 to 1978 and starred Michael Crawford as the accident prone Frank Spencer.
Frank was a man who always did his best, but seemed to have an almost supernatural talent for getting things wrong.
Frank found it difficult to find a job. Even when his search for work was successful, he could never keep a job for long, but he always tried to keep himself busy doing things around his home.
The only problem was that, for Frank, DIY invariably ended up becoming a case of Destroy It Yourself. A fact that was just as frustrating for Frank as it was for his long-suffering wife Betty, played by Michele Dotrice.
It’s hard for me to imagine anyone else other than Michael Crawford playing the role of Frank Spencer, yet yet he was not the BBC’s first choice to play Frank. Originally they wanted either Norman Wisdom or Ronnie Barker (of Porridge fame).
Apart from his great talent for comedy, Crawford was also very athletic and rarely used a stunt man. This is something that you have to admire him for because a lot of the stunts were very dangerous, if not potentially life threatening.
If Frank was the funny guy, though, Betty was, in a way, his straight man (okay, woman). Betty was always trying to maintain a sense of normality as her husband destroyed the world around them.
Michele Dotrice made a perfect Betty Spencer. The show would not have been the same without her squeaky voice crying out, “Ohhh, Frannnk!” whenever something went badly wrong, which of course it always seemed to do, and in spectacular fashion as well.
The BBC made a total of three series of Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em and three Christmas Specials.