I know how she feels, love

She died too young
Thanks to Paramount, it is currently possible to gorge daily on classic episodes of Man About The House (1973-6) and George & Mildred (1976-9), and if one thing shines from this unashamed wallow in sitcom’s glory years, it’s Yootha Joyce. A tragic figure, which is doubtless why Morrissey immortalised her on the sleeve of Ask, she died aged just 53, in 1980, of hepatitis, linked to her ongoing battle with the booze. I don’t have any more details of her illness, so let’s not dwell on the rumours – needless to say, she was a comic genius, and her onscreen partnership with Brian Murphy (who’s still with us, and was apparently at her bedside when she died) remains one of the all-time greats. And any tribute would not be complete without a salute to Johnnie Mortimer and Brian Cooke, who wrote every single episode of both series – and a large portion of Robin’s Nest (1977-81), which ran concurrently with G&M. Astonishing. Especially after having slaved over six episodes of a gag-based audience sitcom and nearly perished under the weight of it. To those that served: a sherry, a new hat and one of Mildred’s pursed-lipped glares.



11 thoughts on “I know how she feels, love

  1. An interesting woman I’ve always thought. More so when I discovered she drank a bottle of vodka a day for 10 years, told to me by an ex-TV Times photographer who was good pals with her. Considering she died in 1980 she was battling the booze throughout her heyday. You’d never have thought it would you?And she was married to Glyn Edwards, who ran the bar at Minder’s Winchester Club.It’s about time someone made a biopic.

  2. You can’t beat digital television for nostalgic weekday afternoons and evenings, when you should be doing something more useful instead.I’m was never a G & M fan, but I’m really enjoying the Minder re-runs on M & M. I’d never appreciated the quick-witted script writing before, the kind of stuff that probably took ages to write, but whizzes past in the wink of a Daley eye.I’ve even started buying the Minder box-sets off eBay! Right, what was I doing? That’s right – looking for a job…

  3. I interviewed Brian Murphy a wee while ago, and he had nothing but loveliness to say about our Yootha. For the same piece, I spoke to Ann Reid (Corrie, dinnerladies, Craig’s co-star in The Mother), and I was reminded that there’s nowt so funny, kind, wise, and a teller of good tales than a celebrity who’s worked their way up through the ranks, ideally in the Seventies, for being a top bloke/ess.

  4. I will use the anonymity of the internet to confess that I still think Yootha was one of the sexiest women I ever saw on tv. I realise that’s weird. But who’s to say what makes a person attractive? After she appeared on Man About The House, I gradually became obsessed with teenage dreams about running off with Yootha. It was my main reason to watch George and Mildred!

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