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Customer reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
Only When I Laugh - The Complete Series [DVD]
Format: DVD|Change
Price:£13.99+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on 2 June 2016
As described
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on 16 August 2010
Only When I Laugh is about three men in a hospital ward, none of them seems to be ill enough to stay in bed when anything happens. Figgis is the outspoken working man, a lorry driver, who is behand almost all the trouble the three patients cause the long-suffering Doctor Thorpe. There is no swearing or gore, just genuine wit and comic situations in every episode, of which there are 29. The series was written by Eric Chappell, an outstanding writer of sitcoms including "Duty Free". The series was very poupular when shown on TV in the eighties and doesn't seem to have dated at all. Lots of fun and laughs make this set exceptional value.
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on 15 May 2012
Eric Chappell's winning formula in the previous Rising Damp - the Complete TV Series Plus the Movie [DVD] was to place a group of fairly disparate characters in a dingy boarding house, rub them against each other and watch the sparks fly. The characters were strong while also easy to empathise with. The formula is repeated here, with the focus switching to an hospital ward with another group of engaging & funny characters. The middle bed on this 3-bed ward is occupied by Roy Figgis, perhaps symbolically as much of the comedy eminates from this character, who is often in direct conflict with the patient on his left, Archie Glover. Young Norman Binns sits to his right, while watching over the three is Dr. Thorpe and Nurse Gupte. Here is a few details about the main characters....

ROY FIGGIS (James Bolam)....Married with children. Lorry driver & staunch left-winger, outspoken on just about every subject. A bit of a busybody who regularly crosses swords with Archie Glover and Dr. Thorpe, with the latter often viewing him as a bit of an agitator. Wife doesn't want him home because (quote)...'she can't stand illness'. Along with the other two on the ward has a pathological fear of being discharged from the hospital.

ARCHIE GLOVER (Peter Bowles)....Single. Upper middle-class & blue-blooded Tory. Hypochondriac with delusions of grandeur who despite his man-of-the-world persona, cuts a lonely, lovesick figure. Occasionally mocks mummy's boy Norman Binns. Insists on a bed by the window.

NORMAN BINNS (Christopher Strauli)....Single. The youngest on the ward. Sometimes unconfident & awkward. Still living at home with domineering mother & wants out of his 'romance' with 'dreary Deirdre' (although mother approves of her). A gentle and friendly mummy's boy who keeps a Teddy bear by his bedside. Has occasional run-in with Glover but often confides in Figgis whom he views as a bit of a father figure.

DR. GORDON THORPE (Richard Wilson)....Married. (But with a keen eye for the ladies!). Often sees his caring nature pushed to the limits by the antics on the ward. Has a fanatical love of Gilbert & Sullivan. Main adversary: Figgis!

NURSE GUPTE (Derrick Branche)....Single. Caring and sensitive Indian male nurse who like Glover is occasionally lovesick. Often finds himself flustered by the shenanigans on the ward. Seems to get on best with Norman.

The series was originally broadcast from 1979/82. Despite being set almost exclusively within the confines of an hospital ward, the scripts still manage to be varied and funny, with great comic timing and good performances from all. The cast share a great chemistry which helps to make this series great fun.
This complete series is made up of twenty-nine, 25 minute episodes (+ the Christmas special). The picture and sound quality is generally good. There are no extras or subtitles. The 4 discs are stored in a single-size case with an episode synopsis featured on the inside.

Another enjoyable release from Network.
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on 19 November 2014
Only When I Laugh is a forgotten 1980s sitcom concerning three hypercondriac patients Roy Figgis, Archie Glober and Norman Binns who are confinded to a ward in the hospital owned by Doctor Gordon Thorpe who is constantly trying to get rid of them and his staff nurse Gupte who is always extremely hyper.

While it doesn't rank amongst many of the best sitcoms ever made, it is still a very fun show while great performances from its cast who are constantly put is hilarious situations.
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on 4 May 2016
Watch documentaries about classic comedy and the usual bunch are discussed, only fools, fawlty towers, blackadder, etc. But rarely does this masterpiece get a mention. The writing, performances, and characters are all top notch, and blend together in perfect harmony to produce one of my favourite comedy's of all time.
The price of this box set is incredible value, so now is the time to have your funny bone reset. Enjoy.
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on 27 October 2017
Outstanding comedy sitcom, if you loved James Bolam, as Terry in the likely lads your Love this too!
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on 16 September 2017
Another great series ..And Excellent Value ....have been buying a lot of the Good old Series of TV Comedy GREAT When nothing on the telly worth watching When you feel like a really Good LAUGH ...
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on 15 January 2010
Some comedy shows don't stand the test of time, but happily Only When I Laugh is not one of them. The writing is inspired, and the actors are not the slick two-dimensional characters seen so often on TV now, but are equally convincing racing around the ward hiding from an outraged husband or discussing the end that comes to all of us. I guess that the modern US sitcom Scrubs owes a lot to this show, as the ability to combine farce and pathos (and pull it off) is rare now. All the characters are brilliantly done and play off each other nicely - James Bolam's working class character winds up Peter Bowles' middle class one whilst innocent Norman Binns (the wonderful Christopher Strauli) tries to referee (and stand up to his domineering mother). And collectively, they drive Richard Wilson's pompous but caring doctor and well-meaning nurse Gupte round the bend with their schemes. The ironic theme song "I'm H.A.P.P.Y." perfectly complements the show and I find myself singing it at work ;)
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on 14 September 2017
Very funny, remember this from years ago its one of those tv series you don't see repeated on tv so have to buy.
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on 4 December 2017
Great fun - loved mocking the asian actor and thr antics of the 'patients' - nice theme song too...
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