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Porridge is a British sitcom, starring Ronnie Barker and Richard Beckinsale, written by Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais, and broadcast on BBC1 from 1974 to 1977. The programme ran for three series and two Christmas specials. A feature film of the same name based on the series was released in 1979.
|Created by||Dick Clement|
Ian La Frenais
|Written by||Dick Clement|
Ian La Frenais
|Directed by||Sydney Lotterby|
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of series||3|
|No. of episodes||21 (list of episodes)|
|Production location||BBC Television Centre|
|Running time||19 × 30 mins|
1 × 40 mins
1 × 45 mins
|Original release||1 April 1973 (pilot)|
5 September 1974 (1974-09-05) (series) –
25 March 1977 (1977-03-25)
|Going Straight (1978)|
The sitcom focuses on two prison inmates, Norman Fletcher (played by Barker) and Lennie Godber (played by Beckinsale), who are serving time at the fictional HMP Slade in Cumberland. The show's title is a reference to both the traditional breakfast that used to be served in British prisons, and a 1950s British slang term for a prison sentence.
Porridge was critically acclaimed and is widely considered to be one of the greatest British sitcoms of all time. It is ranked No. 35 on the 100 Greatest British Television Programmes compiled by the British Film Institute in 2000. In 2004, Porridge placed seventh in a poll to find Britain's Best Sitcom.
The series was followed by a 1978 sequel, Going Straight, which saw Barker reprise his character as he tries to avoid going back to prison. Porridge was revived in 2016 under the same name, with Fletcher's grandson beginning a prison sentence.