Two’s Company

As the wry opening titles suggest, this sitcom derives its humour from the clash of attitudes between a brash American novelist (Elaine Stritch) and an old-school British butler (Donald Sinden). She hires him to look after her Chelsea town-house and though the pair are soon firing off at each other, they share a grudging respect. There were occasional guests in the house, but most of the shows consisted of two-handers, bristling with excellent comic dialogue. The first series in 1975 was only shown within the LWT region, but the three subsequent runs were fully networked by ITV and became very popular. Peter Cook starred in a cheesy 1981 American spin-off, The Two of Us, as butler to Mimi Kennedy.