Monday, 18 February 2013

A Good Life!

goodlife logoThe BBC just announced the death of Richard Briers – a  brilliant actor, with wonderful comic timing.

Perhaps he is most well known for “The Good Life”- with Paul Eddington and Penelope Keith – and of course his ‘screen wife’ Felicity Kendal.

good life

Marriage Lines

My earliest memory of RB is of my parents watching “Marriage Lines” on their little black&white TV, and laughing their heads off. [63-66]

It is actually fifty years this month since that series came to the screen. Richard was ‘married’ in that one to Prunella Scales [I suspect she may count as a National Treasure too] I guess many people have forgotten that programme now. But it was great fun at the time

Seems rather dated now!

Richard was also an oddball husband in “Ever Decreasing Circles” – married this time to Penelope Wilton [now Mrs Crawley in Downton], with Peter Egan playing the chap next door – and of course, Howard and Hilda in their matching jumpers [that was 1984-89]

everdecreasing circles

And most recently, married to Susan Hampshire, Hector and Molly in “Monarch of the Glen” It ran from 2000-2005 altho Richard left at the end of series 3 in 2001 [but re-appeared as a ghost in the final series!]


And quite apart from all his TV appearances, mostly light-sitcom-on-a-Sunday-night sort of stuff, Richard Briars had a very distinguished stage career [including lots of Shaw and Shakespeare] and did some children’s TV [Bob the Builder, Roobarb]

Earlier this year Briers stated that he had smoked half a million cigarettes before quitting in 2003, and had been battling lung disease since 2008. I find that very sad. His wife Ann and daughter Lucy are also actors.

Did you enjoy any Richard Briers programmes-

and which was your favourite RB character?


  1. My favourite must be 'The Good Life'. RIP Richard.
    Love from Mum

  2. I can't for the life of me remember what character he played in a drama,but he was extremely malevolent and downright creepy...quite the opposite of the delightful Tom Good.
    Jane x

  3. We loved the early series of The Good Life. How sad that he was such a heavy smoker.

  4. He was a marvellous Malvolio in the adaptation of Twelfth Night that I watched when I was at college in 2006, and of course Tom Good was a fabulous +1 for me at Jane's magnificent virtual birthday party last year!

  5. We saw him play King Lear on stage in Manchester in Kenneth Branagh's production. He was excellent we thought. Never saw him in quite the same way again.

  6. I thought he was just great as Hector in Monarch of the Glen - a lovely chap. He will be missed xx

  7. Monarch of the Glen... I just loved Hector!
    Sad he was a smoker, as was my dad, who also ended up with lung cancer from it.
    I have the whole DVD Monarch series ~ he was an awesome actor.

  8. I was saddened to hear of his passing. Loved him in The Good Life.

  9. My favorite is The Good Life.

  10. He was also 'The Caretaker' in an episode of Doctor WHo from the Sylvester McCoy era entitled, Paradise Towers! Suitably creepy in that! I adored him, especially in the goodlife! My deputy head whistles and she whistles (totally coincidentally), that little motif he used to whistle in the Good Life and I always think of him when I hear her!

  11. This is so sad. Like many others possibly my favorite show he's been on is the good life but how excellently cringy was he in ever decreasing circles. Brilliant.


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