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That's My Boy (UK TV series)

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Title: That's My Boy (UK TV series)  
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Subject: Mollie Sugden, WikiProject Missing encyclopedic articles/British Comedy Guide, Kenneth Connor, Deryck Guyler, Muswell Hill
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That's My Boy (UK TV series)

That's My Boy
Genre Sitcom
Created by Pam Valentine &
Michael Ashton
Starring Mollie Sugden
Christopher Blake
Jennifer Lonsdale
Country of origin United Kingdom
No. of series 5
No. of episodes 37
Running time 30 minutes
Original channel ITV
Original release 23 October 1981 (1981-10-23) – 4 April 1986 (1986-04-04)

That's My Boy is a British TV sitcom starring Mollie Sugden that aired on ITV from 23 October 1981 to 4 April 1986.

The series, was written and created by Pam Valentine and Michael Ashton, whom later wrote My Husband and I (1987-88), which also starred Mollie Sugden. It was produced for the ITV network, by Yorkshire Television.


  • Cast 1
  • Plot 2
  • Episodes 3
    • Series One (1981) 3.1
    • Series Two (1983) 3.2
    • Christmas Special (1983) 3.3
    • Series Three (1984) 3.4
    • Christmas Special (1984) 3.5
    • Series Four (1985) 3.6
    • Series Five (1986) 3.7
  • DVD releases 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6



When Ida Willis gets a new job as Housekeeper to Dr Robert Price and his wife Angie, she moves into their London flat. However, she soon discovers that Robert is the son she gave up for adoption when he was a baby, and she proceeds to call him Shane, the name she gave him when he was born.

Other characters include Ida's troublesome brother Wilfred (Harold Goodwin), and Robert's adoptive mother, Mrs Price Clare Richards, an upmarket widow with whom Ida doesn't actually get on. In the fourth series, they move up north to the Yorkshire village of Little Birchmarch, where Ida befriends Robert's mousy receptionist, Miss Parfitt.


Series One (1981)

  • "Live as a Family" (23 October 1981)

Housekeeper Ida Willis is the terror of the domestic employment agency - not to mention the clients for whom she is sent to work. When she is sent to go to work for Dr Robert Price and his wife Angie, Ida tells Angie about the son she gave up. They exchange photos of Ida's son at one year old and Robert aged one only to find out they are the very same boy! Trouble unfolds when Robert tells Angie to fire Ida, until he finds out who she really is.

  • "Settling In" (30 October 1981)

Ida is settling in as housekeeper to the Prices, in spite of Robert’s resistance. But her happiness is soon to be somewhat blighted by meeting Robert’s adoptive upper class mother - Mrs Price. Here starts a bitter feud between Ida and Robert's "other mummy".

  • "Happy Birthdays, Robert" (6 November 1981)

Ida insists Robert’s birthday is in June, but Mrs Price says his birthday is when she adopted him. Trouble unfolds when Robert discovers he is taking both his mothers to dinner. It ends with Ida and Mrs Price becoming friends - but not for long!

  • "Is It Catching?" (13 November 1981)

When Ida reluctantly agrees to look after her brother Wilfred’s grandchild, she little suspects what she is letting herself in for!

  • "Driven Apart" (20 November 1981)

The old saying that husbands should never teach their wives to drive proves dangerously true for Robert and Angie when Angie hits Mrs Price’s car and everyone ends up in tears. Ida comes to the rescue in the end and saves the day.

  • "Think Thin" (27 November 1981)

Robert decides that he, Angie and Ida need to go on a diet and Ida can’t even have a gin and tonic. But Robert eats all his food in the hospital pub and when Ida finds out the diet is over!

Series Two (1983)

  • "Only When It Hurts" (7 January 1983)

It’s Sunday and Ida’s feeling very house-proud; Roberts "other" mother is coming for tea. Already wondering how the visit will go, Ida finds things deteriorating when she breaks her tooth on one of Mrs Price’s sausage rolls and is dragged unwillingly to pay her first visit to the dentist as she hasn't been for 28 years.

  • "Wakey Wakey" (14 January 1983)

When Ida agrees to take part in a sponsored "wake" in aid of distressed gentlewomen, she has no idea what she’s in for when she takes a whole bottle of sleeping pills. Then the police knock at her door to tell her there may be a bomb in the building and she must evacuate. Mrs Price turns up and they both fall asleep in the police officer’s arms.

  • "A Holiday Romance" (21 January 1983)

A chance encounter on a flight to Jersey leads to a very exciting fortnight for Ida, and a proposal. While all this is happening, Robert and Angie are spying on Ida - as Robert is disgusted by Ida’s behaviour. All is going well until her fiancée insults Robert by calling him "odd", and Ida’s romance ends immediately.

  • "A Brush with the Law" (28 January 1983)

Ida’s stars are not looking good - but when she sets out to change Angie’s blouse and buy her "a sky blue floaty scarf", she accidentally walks out of the store without paying for it. The store manager calls the police after he is aggravated by Robert. When Ida is in court, she quotes from a book which turns out to be written by the judge. All ends well when her newly befriended judge dismisses the case, as he says if her stars were in that position it obviously wasn’t her fault!

  • "Down Under" (4 February 1983)

Ida’s name somehow finds it’s way onto the computer at the employment agency and she is sick of calls from a Mrs Thornberry-Basset, known to her as "fancy drawers". She is quick to tell them she does not want to work. But then she takes a misunderstood phone call about moving to Australia and she informs Mrs Price that Robert and Angie are leaving them. A very complex confused misunderstanding begins.

  • "To Catch a Thief" (11 February 1983)

Just as Ida and Angie are settling down to watch an old film on television, the set breaks down, and Ida thinks Robert has called the television man, but when a man comes to the door he convinces her to hold the taps while he robs the place; Ida still unaware. When it turns out Wilfred knows him, she pays him to find him. The thief returns the things to Ida, as he has found out that she is Wilfred’s sister. Wilfred reports to Ida he has not found him and now she knows he has been lying to her and he is in big trouble.

  • "Go Jump In The Fountain" (18 February 1983)

Angie thinks Robert is getting stuck in a rut and insists he goes out for "an evening with the boys". Neither she or Ida are prepared for the consequences that follow!

  • "Invitation to the Wedding" (25 February 1983)

Wilfred gets a whack with a loaf when he lets himself into the house while everyone is out shopping. He informs them his daughter Maureen is going to marry a drummer in a steel band. Robert insists on not going, and when Ida and Angie forget their present, Robert comes to the rescue with the present and informs the guest Ida his the best mother he could ever wish for.

Christmas Special (1983)

  • "Cold Turkey" (23 December 1983)

Having looked forward to a nice quiet Christmas with Robert and Angie, Ida learns that Robert has invited his other mother and his boss to tea. She is not very happy especially as Wilfred is also coming; and when he comes he brings a live turkey, then replaces it with a solid frozen one!

Series Three (1984)

  • "Where There's a Will" (27 April 1984)

Ida gets rather more than she bargained for when she goes to buy fish and chips finding out that Herbert Mogs unknown to her has left her a cottage in his will. She goes to see the cottage and finally remembers that Herbert (Bertie) is actually Robert's father.

  • "Baby Blues" (4 May 1984)

Tensions rise in the Price household when Angie decides she wants to have a baby but Robert isn't as keen on the idea as she is.

  • "The Big Night Out" (11 May 1984)

Ida’s more than peeved with Robert when his boss invites his other mummy to a big shin dig. It actually turns out Roberts boss actually wants Ida but still wants Mrs Price for a friend he is bringing. Mrs Price finds out and Ida agrees to go out with Roberts boss’s friend. When it turns out the friend is much more handsome Ida really is pleased.

  • "Light and Shade" (18 May 1984)

Ida receives a post card from Mrs Price signed Cecilia her suspicions are aroused. She finds out she has turned into an amateur Buddha influenced by a Brother Laylord. She informs Wilfred and they get him to come round and Wilfred informs everyone he’s a fraud and he went supposedly to his funeral 5 years ago!

  • "Unfair Dismissal" (25 May 1984)

When several of the neighbours cut Ida dead in the foyer and want to sack their local friendly caretaker, Ida takes things into her own hands...

  • "Dirty Linen" (1 June 1984)

A crumpled note found by Ida in Robert's overcoat leads to a misunderstanding, provokes a crisis and nearly ruins Robert and Angie’s marriage.

  • "Ring If You Need Me" (8 June 1984)

Ida takes a tip from Wilfred and bets on a horse with odds on 40-1 and already spends her winnings before she has them and it turns out her horse came first but without its jockey.

Christmas Special (1984)

  • "Little Donkey" (28 December 1984)

Robert’s musical plans are thrown into disarray when he discovers one of the nurses is already singing Little Donkey at the hospital Christmas Concert. Wilfred suggests an alternative act - Mind Reading!

Series Four (1985)

  • "Moving Out" (18 January 1985)

Robert has landed a new job in Yorkshire. But can he pluck up the courage to tell his other mother the news? When all other movers are booked Robert uses Wilfred’s suggested removal men, trouble unfolds when they forget half of the furniture!

  • "Moving In" (25 January 1985)

The unconventional family makes it to the north after 3 hours driving and 5 miles walking. That’s where things start to go wrong starting with meeting Miss Parfitt the surgeries receptionist. Their flat above the surgery turns out to be immensely to Ida’s disliking.

  • "What Seems to be the Trouble?" (1 February 1985)

Ida has trouble adjusting to her new surroundings so Robert and Angie suggest she gets a hobby. In the end Ida helps to deliver a baby!

  • "Friendship View Marriage" (8 February 1985)

Ida’s is suspicious of the amount of attention shown by Miss Parfitt towards Robert and when Mrs Price and Wilfred come to stay, Wilfred tell everyone he is going to propose. When the big night arrives Miss Parfitt comes to dinner Wilfred walks her home. When he comes back his attentions have been diverted to Edith!

  • "Hello Young Mothers" (15 February 1985)

Ida indulges in local gossip and finds out Elton John is moving to the village. When they find out Edwin John is opening a home for unmarried mothers Mrs Cross the local corner store owner starts a petition until she finds out that her own innocent daughter is an unmarried mother and she doesn't even know who the father is!

  • "The Phantom of the Farmyard" (22 February 1985)

Ida stands in as a receptionist at the surgery. Mrs Price calls to say she’ll be coming to visit because she is lonely in London. Ida invents a story about a phantom rooster to deter her as she decides to live with them. Mrs Price investigates and finds out about a Headless Nun and Mrs Price is scared off. Although now Ida is scared stiff of the place.

  • "Surprise, Surprise" (1 March 1985)

Ida starts to drop some not-too-subtle hints that it is her birthday soon and tells Angie she wants a big strong man to carry her away. When Ida’s birthday arrives she is extremely angry about being given awful presents. When she comes to a ball at night she ends up getting her man!

Series Five (1986)

  • "Digging In" (21 February 1986)

Ida’s brother Wilfred has disappeared and she is extremely distraught. But when he’s found he invades a disused house near Ida with an old musket. He ends up buying the house and gets a job as the local grave digger.

  • "Drugs on the Market" (28 February 1986)

Robert is horrified when he sees the amount of pills Ida has and he confiscates them. Ida soon starts trading pills with Mrs Cross and finds out about the local medicine market. Robert is extremely upset when he finds out and says she’s on the drug market!

  • "Jezebel" (7 March 1986)

Robert’s talk to the Young Wives Group in the village is ruined by a woman Ida bumped into who takes a fancy to Robert!

  • "Something To Love" (14 March 1986)

Ida is thrilled when finally romance enters into Miss Parfitt's dull life.

  • "The Bypass" (21 March 1986)

A new bypass threatens to bring chaos to the village, and Ida and Robert are determined to take action and end up Morris Dancing in the middle of the main street.

  • "Happy Anniversary" (28 March 1986)

Ida takes great exception to Angie’s new career in commercials - especially when it threatens to disrupt Robert’s plans for his wedding anniversary.

  • "Two Lonely People" (4 April 1986) (Final Episode)

Storm damage to Wilfred’s cottage has the most unexpected consequences...

DVD releases

All series are now available individually from Network DVD.

Series Year(s) Region 1 (Canada) Region 2 (UK)
The Complete Series 1 1981 N/A 23 August 2010
The Complete Series 2 1983 N/A 24 January 2011
The Complete Series 3 1984 N/A 21 March 2011
The Complete Series 4 1985 N/A 4 July 2011
The Complete Series 5 1986 N/A 28 May 2012
The Complete Series 1 - 5 1981-
24 June 2008 TBA 2015

A Complete VHS collection of That's My Boy has also been release but is very rare.

A single episode of That's My Boy has been released in the UK by Network as part of a DVD compilation called Classic ITV Christmas Comedy.


  • Mark Lewisohn Radio Times Guide to TV Comedy, BBC Worldwide Ltd, 2003

External links

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