The fabulous British Sitcom Guide's newsletter has made my day by informing me that one of my favourite sitcoms ever is coming out on DVD. I taped episodes of All Quiet On The Preston Front off the telly years ago, but have been afraid to watch them lately in case the aging tape finally chews up and I lose them forever. But now I can bin them and watch a shiny DVD!
'Preston Front' was based in a fictional Lancashire town called Roker Bridge, and followed the day jobs and love lives of a bunch of Territorial Army bods. Colin Buchanan, now one half of Dalziel and Pascoe, who played lead character Hodge, who spent most of his time either with best mate Eric, or secret lovechild Kirsty - product of his affair with Jeanetta - played by Caroline Pickles (most recently seen as Shelley in Emmerdale). Geeky teacher Spock was played first by Stephen Tompkinson and then by Alistair McGowan; and Caroline Catz (The Bill, Murder in Suburbia, Doc Martin) played Eric's girlfriend Dawn.
I loved clumsy but well-meaning man mountain Lloydy (Adrian Hood, who later did a lovely turn as Norman the delivery man in Victoria Wood's dinnerladies). One golden moment involved him encouraging Hodge to practice for his driving test in the van from local Chinese restaurant, Roman Holiday:
"Honest Hodge, the gearboxes are dead similar and having that noodle bowl loose on top makes y'concentrate. It's like them Maori women that learn to walk with pots on their heads."15/06/06 EDITED TO ADD: Series 2 will be out on DVD on July 3 2006! Newton's Laws of Television: The Preston Front MBuster: All Quiet On The Preston Front (screen shots from each episode)