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Rich/poor gap would prevent Good Life remake

A modern remake of hit 1970s show The Good Life would be impossible because society has changed too 'radically' for rich and poor people to be neighbours, says Penelope Keith.

Penelope, 72, shot to fame in the sitcom as snobby Margo Leadbetter, opposite Paul Eddington as her henpecked husband and Richard Briers and Felicity Kendal as self-sufficient neighbours Tom and Barbara Good.

The actress, whose co-star Richard died earlier this month, told the Radio Times: "There was a move afoot for Paul Eddington and I to have a series together.

"But I remember realising very strongly that the reason why The Good Life (opens in new tab) worked was because its four characters were juxtaposed with each other. Plus I think the great secret with television situation comedy is to know when to stop.

"And as time went on, life changed radically, so I don't think you would have believed the idea of the Goods, who had no money, living on the same street as a neighbour who was running a big business.

"The Leadbetter characters would be on over £100,000 easily, so it wouldn't have worked, no."

 

Patrick McLennan is a London-based journalist and documentary maker who has worked as a writer, sub-editor, digital editor and TV producer in the UK and New Zealand. His CV includes spells as a news producer at the BBC and TVNZ, as well as web editor for Time Inc UK. He has produced TV news and entertainment features on personalities as diverse as Nick Cave, Tom Hardy, Clive James, Jodie Marsh and Kevin Bacon and he co-produced and directed The Ponds, which has screened in UK cinemas, BBC Four and is currently available on Netflix. 


An entertainment writer with a diverse taste in TV and film, he lists Seinfeld, The Sopranos, The Chase, The Thick of It and Detectorists among his favourite shows, but steers well clear of most sci-fi.