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The Rag Trade

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No. of series

Running time
30 minutes per episode

Program creator

Created by
No. of episodes

First episode date
6 October 1961


The Rag Trade The Rag Trade cast and crew credits British Comedy Guide

Peter JonesMiriam KarlinSeries 1-3 (BBC):Sheila HancockBarbara WindsorReg VarneyEsma CannonWanda VenthamAnn BeachUnaired Colour Pilot (BBC):Tony RobinsonGaye BrownMollie MaureenJumoke DebayoDiane LangtonAnnabel LeventonJamila MasseyTrixie ScalesSeries 4-5 (LWT):Christopher BeenyAnna KarenGillian TaylforthDeddie Davies

Dennis Main Wilson (BBC)Bryan Izzard (LWT)


The Rag Trade is a British television sitcom broadcast by the BBC between 1961 and 1963 and by LWT between 1977 and 1978.


The Rag Trade Classic TV Sitcom The Rag Trade with Miriam Karlin amp Peter Jones

The scripts were by Ronald Wolfe and Ronald Chesney, who later wrote Wild, Wild Women, Meet the Wife and On the Buses. Wild, Wild Women was a period variation of The Rag Trade.

The Rag Trade Original Cast Recording The Rag Trade Factory Sample UK vinyl LP


The Rag Trade The Rag Trade TV Sitcoms amp Sketch shows Pinterest The o

The action centred on a fictional small clothing workshop (the title refers to the textile industry), Fenner's Fashions in London. Although run by Harold Fenner (Peter Jones) and Reg Turner the foreman and pattern cutter (Reg Varney), the female workers are led by militant shop steward Paddy Fleming (Miriam Karlin), ever ready to strike, with the catchphrase "Everybody out!" Other cast members included Sheila Hancock (as Carole Taylor), Esma Cannon (as Lily Swann), Wanda Ventham (as Shirley) in series 2 and Barbara Windsor (as Gloria, during series 1), later returned (as Judy, in series 3) replacing Sheila Hancock.

The Rag Trade httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediaenthumb0

In 1975, a colour pilot was made, with only Peter Jones reprising his role, this colour pilot featured a young Tony Robinson (replacing Reg Varney), Gaye Brown (briefly replacing Karlin), Jumoke Debayo, Diane Langton, Annabel Leventon, Jamila Massey, Mollie Maureen (replacing Esma Cannon) and Trixie Scales.

The Rag Trade The Rag Trade cast and crew credits British Comedy Guide

The theme tune for this colour pilot was performed by Alex Welsh and his Band, however this was never transmitted, as the BBC rejected the colour revival of the series.

The Rag Trade Rag Trade The

Two years later, the series was later revived by ITV company LWT, with Jones and Karlin reprising their roles. The 1977-78 version ran for two series, most of the scripts being based on the BBC episodes from the 1960s, and featured Anna Karen (reprising her role as Olive from On the Buses) and future EastEnders star Gillian Taylforth as factory workers.

The theme tune for the LWT series was written and performed by Lynsey de Paul and released as a track on an album of T.V. themes that also featured another de Paul penned theme Hi Summer.

In 1990 the series was remade as the series Fredrikssons Fabrikk by NRK in Norway, it ran for three seasons (1990–93) (17 half hours and one 45min special) and spawned a film version Fredrikssons Fabrikk - The Movie in 1994 with a script credited to Chesney and Wolfe, and Norwegian series writer Andreas Markusson.

TV episodes

On original transmission many episodes of the original BBC TV series of The Rag Trade weren't given titles, so some are from production notes and repeat screenings.

Original BBC TV series

Series 1 (1961)

Series 2 (1962)

Christmas Night with the Stars 25 December 1962 - featured a The Rag Trade short sketch. (Has been lost)

Series 3 (1963)

Colour Pilot (1975)

LWT re-launch series

Series 4 (1977)

Christmas special (1977)

Series 5 (1978)

Missing episodes

Because of the BBC's wiping policy of that era, of the 36 episodes made only 21 episodes of the original BBC TV version (1961-62) still exist in the BBC archives.

The first series of the original BBC TV version of the show is complete, whilst the second series remains incomplete, as two episodes remain missing, and none of the 13 episodes of the third (and final) BBC TV series (1963), along with the "Christmas Night with the Stars" sketch (1962) have been found.

DVD release

The 8 (out of the 10) existing episodes of the first series (broadcast in 1961) were released on DVD (DD Home Entertainment) in March 2006, followed by the 11 existing episodes of the second series (broadcast in 1962), released on DVD 7 months later in October 2006.

All the episodes of both colour series 4 and 5 of the (1977–78) LWT version of the series, including the 1977 Christmas special, have been released on DVD through Network.


The Rag Trade Wikipedia

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