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Is It Legal?

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Title: Is It Legal?  
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Subject: Carlton Television, Alexander Armstrong (comedian), Imelda Staunton, Jonathan Coleman (presenter), Simon Nye, Kate Isitt, Law firms in fiction, Richard Lumsden, Michael Troughton, Matthew Ashforde
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Is It Legal?

Is It Legal?
Format Sitcom
Created by Simon Nye
Starring Patrick Barlow
Imelda Staunton
Richard Lumsden
Kate Isitt
Jeremy Clyde
Matthew Ashforde
Country of origin United Kingdom
No. of series 3
No. of episodes 21 (List of episodes)
Running time 25 minutes
Production companies Hartswood Films
Original channel ITV (Series 1 & 2)
Channel 4 (Series 3)
Original run 12 September 1995 (1995-09-12) – 9 December 1998 (1998-12-09)

Is It Legal? is a British television sitcom set in a solicitors office in Hounslow, west London, which ran from 1995 to 1998. It was produced by Hartswood Films and was shown on ITV for Series 1-2 and Channel 4 for Series 3. It was written by Simon Nye, who also wrote other ITV sitcoms such as Men Behaving Badly and Hardware.


Notable Guest Stars


Colin Lotus

Lotus is the junior partner of the firm and succeeded his father once he had retired. Colin is very proud to be a solicitor and is enthusiastic about his work but unfortunately he is naive and very often makes stupid mistakes and it is usually down to Bob to sort out the mess he has made.

He is very helpful to the rest of the firm despite the fact that they all think he is annoying and that he is very strange. He is a bachelor who only has his dog Tucker for company. He remained a bachelor despite having a one-night stand with the wife of a client who was imprisoned in 'Office Party'. In 'Glad To Be Colin' and 'New Bloke' he started a relationship with Sarah who had appeared in the previous two series as the delivery girl from Mr. Bappy, the sandwich shop that was below the office. As a result there was tension between Colin and Bob as Bob used to have a crush on Sarah and he contemplated having a relationship with her.

Dick Spackman

Spackman is one of the senior partners of the firm but his knowledge of law is limited. Dick is very arrogant and often disregards others in order to make his life more convenient. Most of his time is spent in his office drinking glasses of sherry, watching golf on the television and not doing any work. He sees his position in the firm as bringing the work in which is completed by Stella, Bob or Colin. Dick's last appearance in the series was in "Indecision." In "A Question Of Pants" it was revealed that Dick had taken early retirement and therefore Stella became the sole senior partner of the firm. In reality the case may have been that Jeremy Clyde chose not to reprise his role in a possible third series.

Stella Phelps

Stella Phelps is the senior partner of the firm and had an ambition of being a solicitor since childhood, and always tried to succeed in being the most professional solicitor. However the rest of the firm, especially partners Colin and Dick, hold her back because of their inept attitude towards law and the legal profession.

Bob Birch

Bob is the office manager of Lotus, Spackman & Phelps, and is, aside from Stella, probably the most competent employee of the firm. A very dedicated worker, Bob tends toward bossiness and is a bit of a prude, which tends to grate on many of his co-workers. He fell in love with Sarah, a worker at the sandwich shop - 'Mr. Bappy' - which is located in the same building as the firm. Bob pursued her—despite her apparent lack of interest and his allergy to bread products, which eventually led to the dissolution of his marriage and a drawer full of odd-flavoured baps. During the third series, he and Stella became a couple.


Alison is the sexy secretary who has a job at the firm only because her estate agent boyfriend sends them a lot of clients looking for conveyancing work to be done. She is constantly bored and likes to annoy the other members of the firm, particularly Bob, because of his crush on Sarah.


Darren is the firm's office assistant and general jack-of-all-trades. Generally seen as incompetent at his job, but remains on good terms with Bob and Colin despite Stella's obvious dislike of him. His object of affection is Alison.


Filming locations

Interior shots were filmed at Teddington Studios in south-west London

Exterior shots were filmed in and around Staines and Walton-on-Thames.


It won the British Comedy Award for 'Best ITV Sitcom' in 1996.

DVD releases

All three series of Is It Legal? have been released by Network between September 2010 and March 2011. A 3-disc set of the complete series is planned, but Network have yet to announce a release date for this.

DVD Release date
The Complete Series 1 13 September 2010
The Complete Series 2 17 January 2011
The Complete Series 3 21 March 2011
The Complete Series 1 to 3 Box Set TBA

External links

  • Internet Movie Database
  • BBC Online
  • on the Hartswood Films website
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