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Thursday 23rd April 2015
As you may've noticed, it's St. George's Day, the patron saint of England, plus the anniversary of both the birth - and the death - of William Shakespeare. But today also marks four years since the untimely, unjustly early death, aged just 64, of sitcom legend and modern-day bard John Sullivan, the creator and writer of Only Fools And Horses.
In a career lasting nearly 40 years, John brought laughter to millions, and here we celebrate by highlighting those of his comedies that are currently available on DVD, in hope that perhaps a few more people might rediscover his genius outside the much-lauded OFAH.
John Sullivan sitcoms
Citizen Smith - Series 1 & 2 (DVD)
Sullivan's first sitcom, Citizen Smith, is the show that made a star of Robert Lindsay: aka feckless Marxist (aren't they all?) Wolfie Smith, wannabe revolutionary and self-proclaimed leader of the Tooting Popular Front. An incredibly popular show, Citizen Smith ran for four series from 1977, covering many themes of youth, politics and idealism. A Series 3 & 4 set is also available. Details
Just Good Friends - The Complete Series 1 - 3 And Christmas Special (DVD)
If you've been at home during the day at any point in the last fortnight, chances are you might well have caught an episode of Just Good Friends, Sullivan's massively successful mid-1980s romantic sitcom, currently enjoying a mid-afternoon repeat run on BBC Two. Starring Paul Nicholas and Jan Francis, the on-off tale of love between Vince and Penny captured the hearts of millions. Details
Dear John.... - The Complete Collection (DVD)
A much-overlooked gem in the crown of British television comedy - and, perhaps controversially, our favourite of John Sullivan's sitcoms. Dear John.... ran for two series and one special in 1986 and 1987, starring Ralph Bates as John Lacey, a haphazard hero trying to adjust to singledom and get back on the dating scene after his wife leaves him for his best friend and colleague. Details
Rock & Chips - The Complete Collection (DVD)
Having been rumoured for well over a decade, Sullivan's plans for a prequel to Only Fools And Horses finally came to fruition in 2010 with the first of what would become three comedy specials set in early 1960s. Focusing on Del & Rodney's mum, the latterly omnipresent Joan Trotter, it's a great insight into Del's early years - plus their Dad, Grandad, and Freddie 'The Frog' Robdal, too. Details
Only Fools And Horses - The Complete Collection (DVD)
Surely this needs no introduction! Beginning in September 1981 and running until 2003, Only Fools And Horses remains as popular as ever, coming top of every list we can think of, of the greatest British sitcoms. Every one of those episodes - although, sadly, not including some of the mini-specials for Comic Relief and the like - is included in this mammoth 26 disc set. Details
The Green Green Grass - Series One To Four (DVD)
This popular mid-2000s sequel to Only Fools And Horses focuses on Boycie and Marlene; on the run from the notorious Driscoll Brothers, they leave their beloved Peckham and set up home in the middle of rural Shropshire. Sadly, for contractual reasons, a clip-show episode featuring OFAH footage is not included, but all other 31 episodes of the show span these 8 discs. Details
New Products
Bad Education - Series One & Two (DVD)
First two series of the hit BBC Three sitcom starring and co-written by comedian Jack Whitehall as brilliantly immature teacher Alfie Wickers. A third and final series was broadcast late in 2014 and is due on DVD later this year - in the meantime, Summer will see the release of a big-screen feature film spin-off, currently scheduled to hit cinemas on Friday 21st August. Details
The House That Jack Built - The Complete Series (DVD)
Pop icon Adam Faith and ex-EastEnder Gillian Taylforth star in this sitcom chronicling the life of a wealthy property developer who dreams of nothing less than a family dynasty - even if his benevolent dictatorship isn't always appreciated. Overseen by sitcom supremos Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran, the set includes an episode never shown on television. Details
Faith In The Future - The Complete Series (DVD)
Lynda Bellingham reprises her role as divorcee Faith Greyshott in this hit sequel series to award-winning sitcom Second Thoughts. Also starring Julia Sawalha and featuring an early role for Simon Pegg, Faith In The Future ran for three massively successful series and this complete set contains all 22 episodes.
Details   See also our interview with writer Jan Etherington: Read
French Dressing (DVD)
Cinema's enfant terrible, Ken Russell's debut feature is an exuberant farce that has become a cult classic since its theatrical release fifty years ago. Featuring early lead roles for James Booth and Roy Kinnear, and with script input from Johnny Speight, this much sought-after comedy gem is made available here for the first time. Details
Hackney's Finest: Gangs Of London (DVD)
The debut feature by director Chris Bouchard. A small-time drug-dealer gets into big trouble when a corrupt East London cop tries to steal a consignment meant for Welsh-Jamaican Yardies. This is an enjoyable small-budget gangster film with comic sensibilities. Details
Moone Boy - Series Three (DVD)
It's 1991 and Martin Moone (David Rawle) is a little older and a lot wiser. Well, slightly wiser. Okay, not much wiser at all. But that's probably because the words of wisdom from his imaginary friend are as useless as ever. However that doesn't stop Sean Murphy (Chris O'Dowd) from leading Martin into all sorts of new scrapes. Co-written by O'Dowd, this is the latest series of the Sky1 sitcom. Details
British Comedies Of The 1930s - Volume 1 (DVD)
The latest DVD collection from archive liberators Network began just this week the release of this first volume of 1930s film comedies. Two films are included on 1 disc: 1932's Let Me Explain, Dear, in which a husband finds a girl's necklace in his pocket; and 1934's The Outcast, in which a music hall star and his friend are conned out of their wages and left with only a greyhound. Details & Trailer
For more, see our full list of new releases and items coming soon.
Coming Soon
Raised By Wolves - Series One (DVD)
Concluding earlier this week, the highly acclaimed Raised By Wolves is loosely based on the Wolverhampton childhoods of Caitlin Moran and Caroline Moran. Following six socially-isolated, home-schooled siblings and their acerbic, highly capable mother Della Garry, it's a riot of female power in this functioning dysfunctional family from the Midlands. Details
Splitting Heirs (DVD)
From Eric Idle comes a madcap case of mistaken identity, also starring Rick Moranis, Barbara Hershey, Catherine Zeta-Jones and John Cleese.
At a wild party during the 60s, baby Thomas Henry Butterfly Rainbow Peace (a.k.a. the 15th Duke of Bournemouth) is accidentally 'misplaced' by his rich hippie mum and dad, and swapped with the child of a poor Pakistani family... Details
W1A - Series One & Two (DVD)
With the London games of Twenty Twelve successfully delivered, W1A follows former Head of the Olympic Deliverance Commission Ian Fletcher (Hugh Bonneville) at the start of a new chapter of his life as Head of Values at the BBC. Series 2 starts later today (Thursday), and will be released alongside Series 1 in this 2-disc DVD set during May. Details
Spitting Image - The Complete 11th Series (DVD)
If you've seen any media coverage of the past couple of weeks of television, you'll likely have seen mention of Spitting Image in comparison to ITV's new satirical puppet-based sketch show, Newzoids. Running for 21 series from 1984 to 1996, the show was a massive hit, nailing celebrities, Royals and politicians alike. The complete Series 11 comes courtesy of Network in June. Details
Aldwych Farces - Volume Two (DVD)
A series of now-legendary stage comedies from the 1920s and '30s, the Aldwych Farces broke theatre box-office records and made the transition to celluloid with a run of hit films - making stars of Tom Walls, Ralph Lynn and Robertson Hare. This single-disc set includes two 1934 releases, A Cup Of Kindness and Dirty Work. Volume One is out now. Details
The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (Blu-ray & DVD)
While preparing for his imminent marriage to the love of his life, Sunaina (Tina Desai), Sonny (Dev Patel) has his eye on a promising property now that his first venture, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel for the Elderly and Beautiful, has only a single remaining vacancy - posing a rooming predicament for fresh arrivals Guy (Richard Gere) and Lavinia (Tamsin Greig). Blu-ray Details & DVD Details
No, That's Me Over Here (DVD)
Created by Barry Cryer, Eric Idle and Graham Chapman, Ronnie Corbett stars in his first leading sitcom role, donning bowler hat, brolly and briefcase to play a quintessential suburban commuter on whom disaster fits more snugly than his pin-striped trousers!
Includes all 13 episodes from the third and final series - only one other episode is known to survive. Details
Hugh And I (DVD)
We're very excited to report this release and can't wait until it hits shelves in September. Starring comedy legends Terry Scott and Hugh Lloyd, and produced by sitcom supremo David Croft (Dad's Army, 'Allo 'Allo! and much more), almost every surviving episode of this long-running sitcom is included; 20 in total. Click through for more info about the show: Details
For more, see our full list of new releases and items coming soon.
That's all, folks!
We hope you've found another few treats here to take your fancy. We'll be back again to cure you of election fever with another Shop Newsletter on Thursday 7th May. Until then,
The British Comedy Guide
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