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Ooh Betty! Bay had starring role in classic BBC comedy

ACTION: Do you remember the filming?
ACTION: Do you remember the filming?

DID you know the very first episode of BBC comedy Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em, with the then virtually unknown Michael Crawford as Frank Spencer, was filmed in Herne Bay? Well, neither did we until spotting postmgs about the show by former Herne Bay High student Mark Jones on the Herne Bay and Herne Remembered Facebook page. The Job Interview was shot in 1972 and aired on February 15, 1973. Featured in the programme, which shows Frank trying to get a salesman’s job at an iron mongers, is Herne Bay’s town, including William Street, the high street and the approach to the train station. Thanks to the members of the Herne Bay and Herne Remembered group we know that he also passed by the library Nicholas Blow told the group:

ON FILM: Michael Crawford and Michele Dotrice in William Street
ON FILM: Michael Crawford and Michele Dotrice in William Street

“They stayed at the Dolphin during the production and got to know the landlady Betty Weldon very well.  They had shot some bits in the hotel itself but they were cut out of the episodes.”

Sue Smedley posted:

“I remember seeing Michael pushing Melvin in his pushchair and me wearing my white boots (very fashionable at the time, yucky now, lol) walking in the High Street. Did anyone else see theirselves?”

WHOOPSIE: Another disaster for Frank Spencer
WHOOPSIE: Another disaster for Frank Spencer

Sue is pictured in the frame taken from YouTube. Apparently, the shop where Frank has his interview was at 126 High Street. And he might never have become famous for the iconic role.

First choice

Mark Jones posted:

INTERVIEW: The High Street shop where the BBC filmed
INTERVIEW: The High Street shop where the BBC filmed

“This being the first-ever episode of Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em. Michael Crawford really made a name for himself as Frank Spencer, but he wasn’t first choice for the role. Had Ronnie Barker or Norman Wisdom accepted the part, you might still be wondering who he is.”

After the Herne Bay episode was first broadcast in 1973, the sitcom ran for three series, ending in 1978. The series followed the accident-prone Frank Spencer and his tolerant, if accident-prone wife, Betty, through Frank’s various attempts to hold down a job, which frequently ended in disaster.

FASHION: The credits capture Sue Smedley in the High Street, wearing her white boots!
FASHION: The credits capture Sue Smedley in the High Street, wearing her white boots!
• Find more great stories of the town’s history at the Herne Bay and Herne Remembered Facebook page.

Herne Bay Gazette, November 19th 2014

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