Porridge is a British situation comedy broadcast on BBC1 from 1974 to 1977, running for three series, two Christmas specials and a feature film also titled Porridge. Written by Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais, it stars Ronnie Barker and Richard Beckinsale as two inmates at the fictional HMP Slade in Cumberland. "Doing porridge" is British slang for serving a prison sentence, porridge once being the traditional breakfast in UK prisons.
Porridge was critically acclaimed and is widely considered to be one of the greatest British sitcoms of all time. The series was followed by a 1978 sequel, Going Straight, which established that Fletcher would not be going back to prison again.
Going Straight is a BBC sitcom which was a direct spin-off from Porridge, starring Ronnie Barker as Norman Stanley Fletcher, newly released from the fictional Slade Prison where the earlier series had been set.
It sees Fletcher trying to become an honest member of society, having vowed to stay away from crime on his release. The title refers to his attempt, 'straight' being a slang term meaning being honest, in contrast to 'bent', i.e., dishonest.
Also re-appearing was Richard Beckinsale as Lennie Godber, who was Fletcher's naïve young cellmate and was now in a relationship with his daughter Ingrid (Patricia Brake). Her brother Raymond was played by a teenage Nicholas Lyndhurst.
Only one series, of six episodes, was made in 1978. It attracted an audience of over 15 million viewers and won a BAFTA award in March 1979, but hopes of a further series had already been dashed by Beckinsale's premature death earlier in the same month.
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