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Encyclopedia > Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em
Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em

Michele Dotrice and Michael Crawford as Betty and Frank Spencer
Genre Situation comedy
Created by Raymond Allen
Starring Michael Crawford
Michele Dotrice
Theme music composer Ronnie Hazlehurst
Country of origin Flag of the United Kingdom United Kingdom
No. of episodes 22
Running time Approximately 30 minutes per normal episode.
Original channel BBC One
Original run 15 February 1973
25 December 1978
External links
IMDb profile
TV.com summary
Frank Spencer sporting his trademark beret in a scene with Broadcaster David Jacobs
Frank Spencer sporting his trademark beret in a scene with Broadcaster David Jacobs

Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em (1973-1978) was a BBC situation comedy, written by Raymond Allen and starring Michael Crawford and Michele Dotrice. Image File history File linksMetadata Some_Mothers_Do_Ave_Em_1. ... This article is about a genre of comedy. ... Raymond Allen refers to two separate American actors. ... Michael Crawford (right) as Frank Spencer in Some Mothers Do Ave Em Michael Crawford, OBE (born Michael Patrick Dumble-Smith, 19 January 1942 in Salisbury, Wiltshire), is an English actor and singer. ... Michele Dotrice (b. ... Ronnie Hazlehurst (GR) (born Dukinfield, Cheshire, in ?1931) is a composer and jazz musician, and after joining the BBC in 1961, was BBC Light Entertainment Musical Director. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_the_United_Kingdom. ... BBC One is the primary television channel of the BBC, and the first in the United Kingdom. ... is the 46th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... For the song by James Blunt, see 1973 (song). ... is the 359th day of the year (360th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1978 (MCMLXXVIII) was a common year starting on Sunday (link displays the 1978 Gregorian calendar). ... Image File history File linksMetadata Some_Mothers_Do_Ave_Em_2. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Some_Mothers_Do_Ave_Em_2. ... David Jacobs (born 1926) is a British broadcaster, who became known as a disc jockey in the 1950s. ... For the song by James Blunt, see 1973 (song). ... Year 1978 (MCMLXXVIII) was a common year starting on Sunday (link displays the 1978 Gregorian calendar). ... The British Broadcasting Corporation, which is usually known as the BBC, is the largest broadcasting corporation in the world in terms of audience numbers, employing 26,000 staff in the United Kingdom alone and with a budget of more than GB£4 billion. ... This article is about a genre of comedy. ... Michael Crawford (right) as Frank Spencer in Some Mothers Do Ave Em Michael Crawford, OBE (born Michael Patrick Dumble-Smith, 19 January 1942 in Salisbury, Wiltshire), is an English actor and singer. ... Michele Dotrice (b. ...


The show

Each episode saw the well-meaning and optimistic, but naive, clueless, accident-prone tank top-wearing character, Frank Spencer (Michael Crawford), and his highly tolerant but often frustrated wife, Betty (Michele Dotrice), getting into situations that usually spiralled ridiculously out of control, frequently resulting in someone else's nervous breakdown or some unlikely destructive catastrophe. Frequently the viewer would see a scene in which a character who is familiar with Spencer would warn another about him, although he was usually harder to work with than they had feared. The Gumbies wearing classic examples of 20th century tank tops A tank top (known in America as a sweater vest) is an item of knitwear which is similar to a jumper but without sleeves. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...

Episodes usually included stunt work performed by Crawford himself, often highly physical, that even today would be unusual in an inexpensive half-hour comedy. With such a denouement in mind, typical plot lines would involve picnics on high cliffs, driving lessons by the sea, household repairs, or a wide variety of new jobs such as motorcycle courier or high-rise window cleaner. The latter stunt really did go wrong when the rigging equipment being used jammed, necessitating a rescue by the Fire Service. One episode saw Michael Crawford hanging from the outside of a small aeroplane.

The wimpish smiling Frank, sporting his trademark beret and Trench Coat, was married to the (apparently normal) Betty (Michele Dotrice) and in later series they had a baby daughter, Jessica, which offered scope for even more slapstick humour. Frank was a gift for impersonators, and for a time it became a cliché that every half-decent impersonator was doing him, particularly his catch phrase "Ooh Betty". One of Frank's catch phrases was a quavering "Ooh... I'm being ha-RASSed!", or occasionally "I've had a lot of ha-RASSments lately" surprisingly most people now use this pronunciation. Basque style Beret Black beret with military emblem A beret (pronounced in English, except in North America where it is pronounced ) is a soft round cap, usually of wool felt, with a flat crown, which is worn by both men and women. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... A catch phrase is a phrase or expression that is popularized, usually through repeated use, by a real person or fictional character. ...

Norman Wisdom and Ronnie Barker were the BBC's first choices for the role, however the choice of Crawford proved effective, as many of Frank's mannerisms and turns of phrase were invented by Crawford, and his stunt-performing and singing skills were used also. Sir Norman Wisdom, OBE (born 4 February 1915) is an English comedian, singer and actor. ... Ronnie Barker Ronald William George Barker OBE (September 25, 1929 – October 3, 2005), popularly known as Ronnie Barker and (as a writer) Gerald Wiley , was an English comic actor and writer. ...

Theme Tune

The theme tune by Ronnie Hazelhurst features a piccolo spelling out the title in Morse code, excluding the apostrophes but including the final full stop. Ronnie Hazlehurst is a composer and jazz musician, and was BBC Light Entertainment Musical Director. ... The piccolo is a small flute. ... 1922 Chart of the Morse Code Letters and Numerals Morse code is a method for transmitting telegraphic information, using standardized sequences of short and long elements to represent the letters, numerals, punctuation and special characters of a message. ... For the prime symbol (′) used for feet and inches, see Prime (symbol). ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ...

 ... --- -- . -- --- - .... . .-. ... -.. --- .- ...- . . -- .-.-.- S o m e/m o t h e r s /d o /a v e/e m /. 


Series One

For the song by James Blunt, see 1973 (song). ... is the 46th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... For the song by James Blunt, see 1973 (song). ... is the 88th day of the year (89th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... BBC One (or BBC1 as it was formerly styled) is the oldest United Kingdom, and indeed, the world. ...

"Getting a Job" (aka The Job Interview)

In this first episode, Frank and Betty are newlyweds, and living with his mother-in-law at her house. She is frustrated by him constantly breaking things. Frank's latest attempt to "help" involves losing the door to the coal shed. Betty buys him a new briefcase and Frank goes for an interview for a sales rep of a wholesale ironmonger (or, as Spencer puts it, "wholeiron salemonger"). Before he even enters the building he causes chaos by giving a frightening bug-eyed grin to an assistant setting up a window display, causing the assistant to fall over and destroy the display. Frank then gets stuck in the lift for several hours. Once released from the lift, the interview with the manager of the company later results with Spencer breaking an expensive bathroom thermometer by demonstrating his door-knocking technique and causing a heavy metal cupboard to collapse with him under it. His patience eventually wearing thin, the manager gets short-tempered and shouts at his staff and they resign in protest. Frank says, "You'll let me know then? About the job. I expect you'll be thinking about me", only to get stuck in the lift again.

"George's House"

Frank and Betty are staying with Betty's brother George, a futuristic designer who has filled his house with high-tech, remote-controlled gadgetry, all linked by foolproof electrical circuits, but sadly, they are not "Frank-proof". They are expecting an important visit from Mr Fletcher, the head of a large building firm, who is interested in a demonstration of the mechanical devices in the house, so Frank is on his best behaviour. Whilst trying to use the mechanical toilet, Frank accidentally breaks the flushing mechanism. His attempts to repair this soon lead to the toilet brush, a ballcock and his slippers becoming wedged in the pan - "I had a bit of bad luck", he notes. By now water from the leaking cistern is seeping through the house and finding its way down to the control room in the cellar. The others attempt to prevent Mr Fletcher noticing the various mounting problems, but Frank is already at work trying to repair things. His efforts cause a major short circuit of the house's systems - Mr Fletcher becomes trapped in an automatic chair and Betty's sister-in-law is jammed in an electric window. Mr Fletcher storms out of the house refusing to sign a contract for the technology.

"Love Thy Neighbour"

Surely Frank can telephone a doctor after his mother-in-law falls ill? If he hadn't damaged the nearest phone, it would be easy. Even allowing for the need to call on a neighbour, a writer, it should be quite easy. However, confusion, frustration and carnage soon follow....... Frank and Betty are in their new house one night when Betty's mother, Mrs Fisher, arrives having left her husband. She feigns illness and Frank is sent across the road to phone for a doctor. He calls upon a neighbour who writes television scripts and asks to use his phone but in the process he manages to break a typewriter and upset a vase of water over a new script. After much confusion over house numbers, the doctor pronounces Mrs Fisher as being well. Frank realises he has unwittingly taken away the script that the writer was working on and crosses the road again to return it. Whilst he is gone, Betty locks up and goes to bed. Not wishing to wake her, Frank enlists the services of the writer and his friend to help him break back into his house. With Frank teetering atop a ladder, the police are called by an onlooker and all three are arrested as burglars.

"Have a Break, Take a Husband"

After their first honeymoon turned out a débacle, Frank and Betty embark on a second honeymoon. Frank's intention of moving one single bed over to the other single, turns out to be continuous chaos. The interference of a camp psychic guest doesn't help matters any further...... Frank is in the station toilet and manages to miss the train. He ends up running for it and grabbing hold of the back of the train. After being dragged along the platform, he is eventually pulled inside by the angry guard and returned to Betty. The guest-house they are staying in is somewhat dilapidated and Frank manages to tear the flimsy bedroom lino whilst moving the bed. In the process of trying to disguise this, he manages to destroy most of the contents of his room. He decides to swap his broken wardrobe, dirty bedspread and torn mat with those in the opposite room. The room is occupied by a somewhat effeminate psychic who is convinced the strange disappearance of the contents of his room are an attempt by his dead grandfather to contact him (as he puts it, "He never said anything about [using a wardrobe to do so]. Maybe this was the only way he could manage it"). After a long struggle, Frank and Betty are eventually ready to go to bed. However, the floorboards under the bed are rotten and the bed collapses. Luckily, Frank has given the proprietor a false name and address since this sort of thing once happened before to him and his mother (Frank: "The bed was rotten anyway. We were up all night flushing the mattress down the toilet.") Betty and Frank climb down the hole in the floor to the hotel bar and secretly make their escape, wrecking the bar in the process.

"The Hospital Visit"

Frank embarks on a visit to Betty, who is in hospital for an unspecified though seemingly female-specific and serious operation. He stops off at the greengrocer's to buy her some fruit. After much confusion with money, the shop assistant (played by Elisabeth Sladen) gives Frank the fruit free of charge in order to get rid of him, although he manages to cause an avalanche of oranges before he finally leaves the shop. Returning home, Frank finds the back door is stuck and has to climb in through the window. Magically, the back door finally works loose as Frank is crouching on the other side and smashes itself over his back. Frank then sets about preparing his lunch: steak and kidney pudding and a single tomato. However, the pudding gets too hot and explodes, bringing down most of the kitchen shelving with it. That afternoon at the hospital, Frank manages to spill some fruit squash on Betty's bedspread. He tries to surreptitiously swap this with another woman patient in the same ward, but is mistaken by a doctor as the uncaring husband of the same woman patient who has not been visited for many weeks. The doctor gives Frank a stern talking to and crossly tells him to take "his" wife home and care for her there. Frank returns that evening to find that all the other women in the ward have also decided to go home, as a result of an earlier misunderstood explanation to Betty. He puts them all on a hospital bed to wheel them out but gets lost in the maze of hospital passages. On a sloping corridor, the bed goes out of control, catapulting Spencer down a chute and into an ambulance whereupon is he admitted to the hospital as a casualty. Elisabeth Sladen (born February 1, 1948, Liverpool, England) is an English actress best known for her work as the character Sarah Jane Smith on the television series Doctor Who and related spin-offs. ...

"The Psychiatrist"

Frank goes to visit a psychiatrist and partially details events from his childhood and past, including meeting Betty and her mother. Frank has lost his job as a fireman after continually missing the fire-engine. He is depressed by this and after briefly evaluating his life, he is convinced that he is a failure so Betty suggests that he goes to see a psychiatrist. As part of the session with the psychiatrist, Frank relates how he first met Betty at a riding school where he had been tossed from his horse into a pond. Frank and Betty's first proper date didn't go too well either; with Frank becoming trapped in the mechanism at a bowling alley before managing to tear the letter-box off his front door in an attempt to sneak Betty indoors without his aunt hearing. Betty's mother's first meeting with Frank was also unsuccessful, with her mistaking him for a repair-man for her cooker. After demolishing the cooker, Frank managed to fall down her stairs, taking the carpet and banisters with him. These unhappy stories make the psychiatrist convinced that Frank really is a failure and that he can't offer any help. His initial beliefs confirmed, Frank leaves the surgery a happy man and is oblivious to warning shouts from a workman across the street. Seconds later he is buried under tons of gravel being dumped from the back of a lorry.

"The Employment Exchange"

Frank's local labour exchange is under new management. Their optimistic new manager, Mr Bradshaw, is told by his staff about the difficulty of finding Spencer a job that he can hold down. Bradshaw doesn't believe anybody can be that bad and believes every person is employable, including Frank. Frank claims to be willing to have a go at anything, but another member of staff points out that he already has. He bets a colleague that he can find Frank a job he can keep for a week.

Bradshaw begins to change his mind when Frank comes in reporting that he has lost his job as a window cleaner - the first day's work ending with Frank and his workmate hanging from a rope halfway down a tower block. Bradshaw is also told of another recent job that Frank had as a security guard where the factory was robbed whilst Frank was out looking for his guard dog which had run off. Bradshaw sends Frank out on a new job as a furniture removal man. However, on the first morning, Frank backs the removal lorry over the furniture being unloaded and thus soon finds himself back at the labour exchange.

Without any other options, Bradshaw employs Frank to help out at the labour exchange itself. After causing a fire alarm and dropping a magnetic tape into a bucket of water, Frank accidentally leaves the contents of a tea-urn running into the works of an expensive new £300,000 super-computer and blows it up, although he promises to pay for any damage. Once more Frank is fired and the manager of the labour exchange suggests Frank finds a job in Australia on a sheep farm.

Trivia: This is the only episode which has alternate end credit music, using the theme from the 1958 film The Big Country instead of the usual end credit music. Year 1958 (MCMLVIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Big Country was a 1958 American movie starring Gregory Peck, Jean Simmons, Carroll Baker, Charlton Heston, Burl Ives, Charles Bickford, and Chuck Connors. ...

Later Series

  • Series Two
    • Producer Michael Mills
    • 6 episodes of 30 minutes
      • 1 - Cliffhanger
      • 2 - The RAF Reunion
      • 3 - The Public Relations Course
      • 4 - Frank and Marvin
      • 5 - Fathers' Clinic
      • 6 - The Baby Arrives
  • 1974 Christmas special
    • Jessica's First Christmas
    • Producer Michael Mills
    • 50 minutes
    • Broadcast on 25-12-1974 (Wednesday) on BBC1 at 7:15pm
  • 1975 Christmas special
    • Learning to Drive
    • Producer Michael Mills
    • 45 minutes
    • Broadcast on 25-12-1975 (Thursday) on BBC1 at 6:55pm
  • Series Three
    • Producer Sydney Lotterby
    • 6 episodes of 35 minutes
    • Broadcast between 11-11-1978 and 16-12-1978 (Saturdays) on BBC1 at 8:30pm
      • 1 - Moving House
      • 2 - Wendy House
      • 3 - Scottish Dancing
      • 4 - Men as Women
      • 5 - King of the Road (aka Motorbike)
      • 6 - Australia House
  • 1978 Christmas special
    • Learning to Fly
    • Producer Sydney Lotterby
    • 45 minutes
    • Broadcast on 25-12-1978 (Monday) on BBC1 at 7:15pm

For the song by James Blunt, see 1973 (song). ... For the song by James Blunt, see 1973 (song). ... Year 1974 (MCMLXXIV) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display full calendar) of the 1974 Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1975 (MCMLXXV) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Sydney Lotterby is a British television producer and director with the BBC. Television comedy series of which he was producer or director included: As Time Goes By, May to December, Yes, Prime Minister, Ever Decreasing Circles, Brush Strokes, Open All Hours, Butterflies, Ripping Yarns, Porridge, Going Straight, Broaden Your Mind... Year 1978 (MCMLXXVIII) was a common year starting on Sunday (link displays the 1978 Gregorian calendar). ... Year 1978 (MCMLXXVIII) was a common year starting on Sunday (link displays the 1978 Gregorian calendar). ... Year 1978 (MCMLXXVIII) was a common year starting on Sunday (link displays the 1978 Gregorian calendar). ...


The BBC has repeated Some Mothers Do Ave Em hundreds of times since the series was produced in the 1970s and was broadcast in Australia on the Seven Network program Great Comedy Classics in 2006-2007. British Channel UKTV Gold took over repeats of the program in 2007. The Seven Network is an Australian television network, owned by the Seven Media Group. ... Great Comedy Classics is an Australian television programme compiled by the 7 Network, which screens episodes of classic British comedies. ...

References in popular culture

  • In the song "You Probably Couldn't See For the Lights But You Were Staring Straight at Me" by the Arctic Monkeys a lyric is "Could all go a bit Frank Spencer".
  • The song "Kylie Said To Jason" by the KLF contains the lyric "Trapped in a rerun / Of a seventies sitcom soap / Some Mothers Do Have Them [sic] / Or The Archie Bunker Show"
  • Walter Plinge in Terry Pratchett's Maskerade is a nervous Frank Spencer-ish type.
  • The song "Mimic Man" by British pop group Black Lace contains a verse "mimicking" Frank Spencer.
  • One of the only impressions David Brent performs on The Office which succeeds in making his colleagues laugh is one of Frank Spencer.
  • On Knowing Me Knowing You with Alan Partridge the radio series, Alan insists a young impersonator does his Frank Spencer twice despite the fact that he doesn't normally impersonate Frank Spencer.
  • In the sitcom I'm Alan Partridge, during a dream scene, Alan says to two IRA terrorists that their berets are also worn by Saddam Hussein, Frank Spencer, and the French.
  • On the Ali G: Bling Bling DVD. Borat is reporting on his 'Borat's Guide to Britain' during the Edinburgh festival and says: "When you hear the word 'England', you probably think of the country with the most talented actors in the world; Laurence Olivier, Alec Guinness and Frank Spencer 'ooh Betsy, the cat done a shit!That man can do no thing right and two things wrong"
  • In "The Trial" Episode of One Foot in the Grave, Victor Meldrew discovers that the delivery man from the garden centre has planted a new plant into the toilet bowl, and in complaining supposed that the delivery driver was Frank Spencer. Interestingly Richard Wilson, who played Meldrew, appeared in a 'Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em' episode.
  • In The Now Show, Prince Edward is usually portrayed as Frank Spencer by Hugh Dennis.
  • The show was even mentioned once in the Brtish House of Commons, when Labour Party leader John Smith taunted Prime Minister John Major in a speech in 1994, by saying recent government mishaps would be considered 'too far-fetched' if submitted to the show's producers by script-writers.

Arctic Monkeys are a Mercury Prize winning, English indie rock band from High Green, a suburb of Sheffield. ... The KLF (also known as The Justified Ancients of Mu Mu (The JAMs), The Timelords and other names) were one of the seminal bands of the British acid house movement during the late 1980s and early 1990s. ... The KLF (also known as The Justified Ancients of Mu Mu (The JAMs), The Timelords and other names) were one of the seminal bands of the British acid house movement during the late 1980s and early 1990s. ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... Walter Plinge is a pseudonym, traditionally used in London theatres. ... Maskerade is the eighteenth novel in the Discworld series by Terry Pratchett. ... Black Lace are a British band noted for hits such as The Music Man, Agadoo, and Superman. They also represented the UK in the Eurovision Song Contest 1979 in Jerusalem with the song Mary Ann, which finished seventh. ... This article is about the various versions of the television series The Office, comparing the UK, US, French, German, and French Canadian versions. ... Information Gender Male Date of birth April 2, 1955 ) Occupation Radio and Television Broadcaster Portrayed by Steve Coogan Alan Gordon Partridge is a fictional television and radio presenter portrayed by English comedian Steve Coogan. ... Im Alan Partridge is a British sitcom. ... Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti (28 April 1937 – 30 December 2006) was the fifth President of Iraq and Chairman of the Iraqi Revolutionary Command Council from 1979 until his overthrow by US forces in 2003. ... One Foot in the Grave was a popular BBC television situation comedy series written by David Renwick. ... Victor Meldrew was the main character in the BBC 1 sitcom One Foot In The Grave. ... Richard Wilson, OBE (born July 9, 1936) is a Scottish actor and theatre director, best known for playing Victor Meldrew in the popular BBC situation comedy One Foot in the Grave. ... Hugh Dennis and Steve Punt at the 2005 Radio Festival, Edinburgh. ... HRH The Earl of Wessex His Royal Highness The Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex (Edward Antony Richard Louis Mountbatten-Windsor), styled HRH The Earl of Wessex (born March 10, 1964), is a member of the British Royal Family, the youngest son of Queen Elizabeth II. He has held the title... Hugh Dennis (left) with Steve Punt on The Now Show. ... British House of Commons Canadian House of Commons The House of Commons is the elected lower house of the bicameral parliament in the United Kingdom and Canada. ... The Labour Party has been, since its founding in the early 20th century, the principal political party of the left in the United Kingdom. ... // John Smith is a name often regarded as the archetype of a common personal name in most English-speaking countries, a generic name sometimes representing everyman or the average person. ... A prime minister is the most senior minister of a cabinet in the executive branch of government in a parliamentary system. ... For other persons named John Major, see John Major (disambiguation). ...

External links

  • Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em at the BBC Guide to Comedy
  • Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em at British Film Institute Screen Online
  • Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em at the Internet Movie Database

  Results from FactBites:
Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (627 words)
Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em (1973-1978) was a highly successful BBC sitcom, written by Raymond Allen and starring Michael Crawford and Michele Dotrice.
It has been claimed by some critics (in retrospect) that the character of Frank Spencer was a comedic representation of an autistic man [1].
Under such a reading, the title of the programme (a once-common expression of exasperation at the behaviour of other people's children) implies that Frank's characteristic confusion and ineptitude has been a constant since birth and is a social stigma.
Em (326 words)
EM EM, Em or em can mean: Electromagnetism Electron microscope Exametre (10 m) Expectation-maximization Enlisted man Em...
EM gauge EM gauge is a gauge of OO gauge was too narrow.
Texas hold 'em Texas hold 'em (or simply hold 'em or holdem) is the most popular of the positional of all poker variant...
  More results at FactBites »



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