Running from 8 November 1968 to 12 February 1972
Key Cast List:
|Deryck Guyler||Norman Potter|
|Noel Howlett||Mr. Cromwell|
|Joan Sanderson||Doris Ewell|
|Richard Davies||Mr. Price|
|Erik Chitty||Mr. Smith|
|Liz Gebhardt||Maureen Bullock|
|John Alserton||Bernard Hedges|
|Peter Cleall||Eric Duffy|
|David Barry||Frankie Abbott|
|Peter Denyer||Dennis Dunstable|
|Penny Spencer||Sharon Eversleigh|
|Malcolm McFee||Peter Craven|
I HAD NEVER HERD OF ‘Please Sir’ until the movie was shown on the TV as a repeat. From watching the film, which was extremely funny, I recognised some of the characters from Carry On films such as Carol Hawkins and Patsy Rowlands.
I then went on to watch the series which I found hilarious. The class of 5C showed their with, unruliness and affection for their newly qualified teacher.
The main factor that attracted me to ‘Please Sir’ was the true reflection of the naivety shown from teachers towards pupils. They believe they have the kids under control whereas we know different.
The easy-going sitcom was very entertaining, serious and was full of humour. The sitcom for this portrayal of outside and school life gets a place in the top five of the 60’s.
In 1968, fresh out of teacher training college, Bernard Hedges is a newly qualified teacher who takes his first post at Fenn Street Secondary School, London.
The caring teacher is put in charge of class 5C, the most challenging class in the whole school. With his unfavourable and difficult class to teach, Hedges somehow see’s hope for his impossible pupils, much to the shock of his teaching staff who have lost all faith in the kids.To the surprise of the viewers, Hedges actually manages his class well and has very few problems with his good-natured manner.
Despite on the eye having an unruly class to teach, his naivety and optimism help him to build a good teaching relationship with the pupils, with respect mutual both ways.
However, his unclearness and his determination to stand up for his pupils often lead him into funny situations.
The backing cast was a main factor why the show became so popular and successful. Mr Hedges’ often has complaining relationships with the Head Teacher Mr. Cromwell and Deputy Doris Ewell.
These two characters are superbly played, the Head being ‘wet behind the ears’ not having much idea, he often tries to impress but ends up acting like a big kid. Whereas Miss Ewell, arrogant and whose harsh exterior only disappears in the presence of the Head with whom she is love-sick.
But for most of the viewers the favourite staff member was Caretaker Mr Potter. He was an ex-soldier and was still very passionate about the war, with ideas above his position. He is always in conflict with everyone around the school except the Head. He always gets him comeuppance regularly in the series from pupils and teachers.
At the end of series three, Mr. Hedges’ pupils of 5C eventually leave to enter into society of work. With the strong bond he made with his pupils, Hedges’ finds Fenn Street a sad place without them and just a few days into the next term resigns from his role. The show carried on for another year but not with the same impact on the general public.
The popular sitcom was a show of its time; not just the fashion of short skirts but also some of the humor may be portrayed as very innocent in today’s society. At the time of the show the language used was quite strong but for today’s audience is ideal for a family show.
On very few occasions the sitcom touched the areas of politically incorrectness. When this was evident the show stood up far better than many other sitcoms around this time period.
Written by, John Esmonde and Bob Larbey (1972-02-12)
Broadcast on London Weekend Television