Season Three Episode Guide

Episode 95 (T 27-09-83 “Soaking”) Written by Andy Lynch

Roger gets a shock when he goes to see Diane again. Bobby and Sheila plan their 25th wedding anniversary party.

Episode 96 (W 28-09-83 “Memory Lane”) Written by Andy Lynch

Both Samantha and Val think a message Alan has left is for them. Sydney prepares to escort Heather, and Gizzmo is beaten up.

Episode 97 (T 04-10-83 “Workers’ Wives”) Written by Jimmy McGovern

Sheila tries to set up an action committee. Barry tries to tempt Terry. Alan’s bottom is bitten during a rugby match.

Episode 98 (W 05-10-83 “Neighbourliness”) Written by Jimmy McGovern

Barry and Terry’s attempts to store their knock-off jeans are continually thwarted. Alan discovers who bit his bottom. The residents meet their new neighbours – Edna and Harry Cross.

Episode 99 (T 11-10-83 “Jack and Gill”) Written by Andy Lynch

While Heather visits her parents in Belfast, Roger returns to the Close and almost burns her house down.

Episode 100 (W 12-10-83 “Dulce”) Written by Andy Lynch

Heather talks to Will about her marriage, and prepares for life on her own. Annabelle takes Sheila for a driving lesson.

Episode 101 (T 18-10-83 “Fund Raising”) Written by Barry Woodward

Annabelle gets carried away, Sheila joins the picket line, and Barry and Terry discover that some of their jeans have gone missing.

Episode 102 (W 19-10-83 “Jeans”) Written by Barry Woodward

Sheila is disappointed when the newspaper coverage of the pocket line is dominated by Samantha. Terry and Barry are not the only ones selling jeans….

Episode 103 (T 25-10-83 “White Elephants”) Written by Helen J. Wilson

Sheila is invited to appear on television, and George buys Paul’s cardigan at the bring and buy sale.

Episode 104 (W 26-10-83 “Good Cause”) Written by Helen J. Wilson

Sydney takes Heather and Roger out for the day in an attempt to reconcile them. Sheila puts forward strong arguments in her interview, but returns home to bad news.

Episode 105 (W 02-11-83 “Mischief Night”) Written by John Godber

Bobby tries to negotiate a fair settlement, Barry and Terry need some cable, and Marie’s washine machine needs to be repaired.

Episode 106 (W 02-11-83 “On The Fire”) Written by John Godber

The Jacksons’ bonfire has some surprising contents. Marie finds that her kitchen is full of water. Mike tells Karen he is joining the Army.

Episode 107 (T 08-11-83 “Daylight Robbery”) Written by Frank Clarke

Harry and Edna move in. While Harry tells Paul about his boxing medals, Mark steals them – but Damon and Gizzmo are blamed.

Episode 108 (W 09-11-83 “What You’ve Lost”) Written by Frank Clarke

Paul and Heather see Gizzmo being beaten up by his brother. Damon fights with Mark, and wins – but Bobby tells him off.

Episode 109 (T 15-11-83 “Gnomes”) Written by Len Rush

When Harry’s attention is diverted, Damon and Gizzmo start moving his gnomes around. Barry helps Samantha retrieve a valuable disk Alan has accidentally dropped behind a cabinet, but then she spills coffee on it.

Episode 110 (W 16-11-83 “Age Of Opportunity”) Written by Len Rush

Barry works on Bobby’s car. Gordon and Mark go to a recording studio to hand in their demo tape. Gordon asks the receptionist for a date, but she turns him down.

Episode 111 (T 22-11-83 “Small Mercies”) Written by Jimmy McGovern

Sheila and Karen go to bingo, and Karen wins £75. Alan continues his search for the missing disk, and blames Gordon when it turns up damaged.

Episode 112 (W 23-11-83 “Foibles”) Written by Jimmy McGovern

Karen arrives home late with Mike, and Bobby throws him out. Karen and Bobby then argue over her giving away her bingo winnings.

Episode 113 (T 29-11-83 “Shopping Lists”) Written by Barry Woodward

Paul tries to pacify Jack when he discovers Gordon has the stolen drum-box. Everyone on the Close is having car trouble.

Episode 114 (W 30-11-83 “Outdoor Mechanics”) Written by Barry Woodward

Barry and Terry go to the beach to burn the Jaguar, but discover they haven’t enough petrol. When they return with some, they find the car is sinking into the sand.

Episode 115 (T 06-12-83 “The Pit”) Written by Janet Goddard

Marie decides to try to contact Petra by putting an ad in the paper. Heather is invited to the firm’s annual dinner with Roger and feels that she can’t tell her boss that her marriage has broken up.

Episode 116 (W 07-12-83 “New Order”) Written by Janet Goddard

When Alan refuses to tell Harry why he has dug a pit, he starts to fill it in. Heather spends a day at Mr Johnston’s printing firm in Billinge, and agrees to let Polly come and stay with her.

Episode 117 (T 13-12-83 “Sardines”) Written by Helen J. Wilson

Harry discovers that some of his gnomes are up Alan’s Christmas tree, and that his is the only garden without a sapling. Marie and Michelle face a gruesome task. Heather and Polly gain a third lodger.

Episode 118 (W 14-12-83 “So Thoughtless”) Written by Helen J. Wilson

Polly and Sydney disturb Heather when she has work to do at home. Harry is asked to dress up as Father Christmas. Samantha returns home earlier than expected.

Episode 119 (T 20-12-83 “Nothing Serious”) Written by Andy Lynch

As Christmas approaches, Heather battles to save her client’s business. Marie receives news that George has been injured and taken to hospital. Bobby and Matty deliver Christmas hampers, and Barry and Terry try to sell dodgy perfume.

Episode 120 (W 21-12-83 “Not Beaten Yet”) Written by Andy Lynch

Heather dashes back to Ireland, Marie and Michelle discover that Petra has sent them a Christmas card, and Barry and Terry discover a more profitable use for their perfume.

Episode 121 (T 27-12-83 “Nothing’s Changed”) Written by Jimmy McGovern

Having Lucy home for Christmas doesn’t improve Annabelle’s mood, but can she be persuaded to see a doctor? Mike hears a few tales when he returns home on leave from the Army.

Episode 122 (W 28-12-83 “Survivors”) Written by Jimmy McGovern

The Collins family have a party on New Year’s Eve, but Gordon is out getting drunk elsewhere. Mike comes to visit Karen, but ends up playing cards with Barry and Terry.

Episode 123 (T 03-01-84 “Long Johns”) Written by Frank Clarke

Harry loses his underwear. Annabelle goes to the doctor. The Huntingtons’ burglar alarm goes off again.

Episode 124 (W 04-01-84 “Beyond Repair”) Written by Frank Clarke

The long johns thief is exposed. Sheila decides to set up an agency, and, after an argument with Marie, vows never to speak to her again.

Episode 125 (T 10-01-84 “Workmanship”) Written by John Godber

Annabelle and Marie clean Heather’s house. Samantha asks Alan to marry her. Paul has more problems with Skelly.

Episode 126 (W 11-01-84 “Sound Advice”) Written by John Godber

Annabelle wants to have her hair done in case she is invited to Alan’s wedding, but her telephone isn’t working. Paul discusses how the YTS scheme is progressing with his boss.

Episode 127 (T 17-01-84 “Alan’s Mother”) Written by Helen J. Wilson

When Alan hears that his mother is on the way to visit him, his extensive preparations including convincing Samantha to move out of the bungalow for a few days.

Episode 128 (W 18-01-84 “The Wrong Time”) Written by Helen J. Wilson

Molly finally meets Samantha, whose boss gives her something to think about as her wedding day approaches. Paul tells Annabelle that their medical insurance has lapsed. Marie and George can now go home – but do they want to?

Episode 129 (T 24-01-84 “Bad Luck”) Written by Andy Lynch

Marie tries to convince George that they should continue to live at Petra’s. It’s Alan and Samantha’s wedding day, but not quite everything goes according to plan.

Episode 130 (W 25-01-84 “Bad News”) Written by Andy Lynch

Molly believes that Alan has been taken for a mug, and tries to dispose of his photo of Samantha. Marie and Michelle are at loggerheads over who should stay on at number 10, but then they have an unexpected visitor bringing bad news.

Episode 131 (T 31-01-84 “Muesli”) Written by Chris Curry

Barry has to decide whether he should go to Petra’s funeral. Alan discovers that Molly has fed his muesli to the birds. Harry finds a betting slip in Edna’s purse.

Episode 132 (W 01-02-84 “Mummy’s Boy”) Written by Chris Curry

Harry prepares for a visit from his son, but he doesn’t know that Kevin has told Edna he is living with a married woman and her daughter. When Mrs O’Rourke tells Marie it is what Petra wants, she and George move back to the Close.

The Cast

Annabelle Collins (nee Harvey) – DOREEN SLOANE (96, 98-104, 107, 111-114, 121-129)
Paul Collins – JIM WIGGINS (96, 98, 101, 103, 107, 108, 111-116, 121-129)
Gordon Collins – NIGEL CROWLEY (95, 96, 101, 105-114, 121, 122, 127)
Lucy Collins – KATRIN CARTLIDGE (121, 122)
Edna Cross – BETTY ALBERGE (98, 107-110, 112, 113, 118, 122-124, 127, 128, 131, 132)
Harold Cross – BILL DEAN (98, 107-109, 112, 113, 115-118, 121-124, 127, 128, 130-132)
Bobby Grant – RICKY TOMLINSON (95, 96, 98, 101, 102, 104-108, 111-113, 117-120, 123, 124, 129, 131, 132)
Sheila Grant – SUE JOHNSTON (95-104, 109-113, 114 OOV, 117-120, 122-126, 129, 131, 132)
Barry Grant – PAUL USHER (96, 97, 101, 102, 104-111, 113-116, 119-122, 124, 129, 131, 132)
Damon Grant – SIMON O’BRIEN (95, 96, 102-110, 114, 124, 128, 129)
Karen Grant – SHELAGH O’HARA (95, 96, 103, 106, 112, 113, 121-123, 128, 129)
Heather Huntington (nee Haversham) – AMANDA BURTON (96, 98-101, 104, 106, 108, 113-120, 125, 127, 128, 130)
Roger Huntington – ROB SPENDLOVE (95, 99, 100, 104)
George Jackson – CLIFF HOWELLS (95, 96, 99, 100, 103-106, 115, 117-124, 128-132)
Marie Jackson – ANNA KEAVENEY (95, 96, 99-101, 103, 105, 106, 110, 112, 115-122, 124-132)
Gary Jackson – ALLAN PATTERSON (95, 96, 103, 105, 106, 108 OOV, 112, 115, 116, 130)
Little George Jackson – STEVEN PATTERSON (95, 96, 103, 105, 106, 108 OOV, 112, 115, 116, 130)
Michelle Jones – TRACEY JAY (95, 96, 101, 105, 106, 108, 117, 118, 120, 126, 129-132)
Alan Partridge – DICKEN ASHWORTH (96-98. 103, 105, 106, 109-111, 114-118, 125-132)
Samantha Davis – DINAH MAY (96, 98, 101-103, 109-111, 114, 118, 125-130)

Donald “Ducksie” Brown – MARK BIRCH (95, 96)
Valerie Chang – SUSAN LEONG (96-98 )
Dennis (shop steward) – ANDREW HAY (101, 102, 105)
Detective Constable – COLIN PROCKTER (95)
Mark Gossage – CAPTAIN MOG (95, 96, 105-112)
Gizzmo Hawkins – ROBERT T CULLEN (95, 96, 103, 105-109, 114)
Sydney Huntington – BERT GAUNT (96, 100, 104, 117-119)
Trevor Johnston – TIM BARKER (115, 116, 119, 120)
Gregory “Jonah” Jones – TOM BRANCH (96, 105)
Maureen Lomax – VAL McLANE (97, 101-104)
Diane McAllistair – ROSY CLAYTON (95)
Marie McGovern – DEANNA BROWN (126)
Mike – VIC McGUIRE (106, 111, 112, 121-123)
Matty Nolan – TONY SCOGGO (96, 106, 119, 120)
Teresa Nolan – ANN HADYN-EDWARDS (96)
Susi McSharry – HELEN MARTIN (96)
Pauline – JEANETTE DOBSON (95, 96)
Policewoman – SONNY ORMONDE (116, 130)
Polly – JANET RAWSON (99, 100, 115-120)
Eileen Salter – JUDITH BARKER (126)
Victor Scott – ROBBIE DEE (116)
Eugene Skelly – MARK ASPINALL (125, 126)
Terry Sullivan – BRIAN REGAN (96-98, 101, 102, 104-107, 114-116, 119, 120, 122, 129, 131, 132)
Robin Tate – RICHARD TATE (103, 122)
Mr P. Todd, Economics Teacher – JOHN McARDLE (102)
Alan Torenson – DAVID WILLIAMS (96, 97, 105)
Jack Turner – TOM NEWBURY (96, 97, 105)
George Williams – DOC O’BRIEN (96, 105)

Kevin Cross – STUART ORGAN (132)
Dr Michael Elliot – MICHAEL LEES (126)
Jonathan Hargreaves – RANDALL HERLEY (115, 120)
Gill Haversham – EVE PEARCE (99, 100)
Jack Haversham – KEVIN FLOOD (99, 100)
Eric Hawkins – SHAUN HART (108 )
Dewi Jenkins (Caretaker) – PHIL KERNOT (103)
Jack Martell – GRAEME KIRK (109-111, 113)
Molly Partridge – HILDA BRAID (127-132)
Dorothy Tate – MARY CUNNINGHAM (122)
June Torenson (nee McVie) – DINAH HANDLEY (96, 97)
Rose Thurley – (99, stand-in)
Will Thurley – DEREK THOMPSON (99, 100)

Father Christmas – DAVID ROSS (119)
Mr Hulme – SIMON MOLLOY (119)
Man In Pub – MICHAEL STARKE (120)
Norman – JOHNNY MAXFIELD (124-126)
Policeman – NEIL CONRICH (123, 124)
Registrar – JIM MARSH (129)
Dr Reid – STUART TURTON (123)
Removal Man – JIMMY TOMLINSON (107)
Reporter – MARK WINGETT (101, 102)
Susan – JILL GREENACRE (109-113)

TV Interviewer – BRIAN TRUEMAN (103, 104)

Arthur, bottom-biting rugby player (97, 98 )
Banner and Bennie, trainees (125)
Bill, cameraman (104)
Carol, Paul’s secretary (124)
George, boat buyer (100)
Joe, second removal man (107)
Kev, photographer (101)
Mervin, an employee of Trevor Johnson (116)
Michael, barman (100)
Pauline (or Louie), barmaid (130)
Sindy, the Jacksons’ dog (95, 98, 105, 106, 115, 120, 132)


In episode 96 the action continues AFTER the end credits, but before the “Mersey Television Production” caption – Bobby and Sheila are seen collapsing into bed, drunk and laughing, after celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary. This episode, running to just under 26 minutes, is the longest so far, and features an unprecedentedly high number of credited performers – thirty-two. In the whole 21 years of the series, this total would only once be exceeded…….

The credits continue to be displayed on a light blue background until episode 104. Thereafter they are superimposed over an image of the Close.

For scheduling reasons, episodes 105 and 106 were broadcast edited together as an artificial double episode – a practice which would become all too frequent many years later.

The storylines:

While there is also much light relief in this season, life on the Close continues to be fairly tough for the residents. Paul is not enjoying his new job, and is concerned about Gordon’s choice of friends. Alan and Samantha decide to marry, but after he has said his vows she decides not to go through with it after all. Despite the efforts of Sheila and the other wives, Fairbanks Engineering is closed down, so Bobby is out of work. Sydney’s attempts to reconcile Roger and Heather are unsuccessful, and Petra commits suicide. Marie and George, who have been living temporarily with Michelle while their own place is refurbished, decide to move in permanently – and there are also new arrivals at number 7, Harry and Edna Cross. Before too long, it is clear that Harry is unaware of his son’s living arrangements, and that Edna may have a gambling problem….

The dates:

It is reasonable to suppose that most scenes are set on approximately the dates on which the episodes were originally aired. In episode 105, Halloween is “tomorrow”; in episode 115 it is “nearly Christmas”, and in episode 122 it is New Year’s Eve. There are only occasional more specific references that it is Saturday (110, 113), Sunday (114, 118 ); and Tuesday (111).


Paul McCartney (95); Lord Derby – who George once rescued, according to the twins (95); Barry Manilow (95); Norman Tebbit (97); Stanley Matthews (98 ); Tex Ritter (98 ): Joan of Arc (99); Arthur Scargill (101); “Mr Rickenbacker” from a jeans commercial (102); “That’s Life” (105); Fanny and Johnnie, chefs (106); Dead Or Alive, Echo and the Bunnymen, Wah! (107); John Peel (109); James Dean (110); Stanley Woods, TT champion (114); Nat King Cole (122); Lonnie Donegan (122); The Muppets (129); Tracey Ullman (129); Liv Ullmann (129); Scott (of the) Antarctic (132).


All of the action in this season is set in Liverpool, except that several scenes in episodes 99 and 100 take place in Belfast, where Heather visits her parents.


None. We are told, however, that the Jackson twins are 10 (105); Karen is still 16 (112); Gordon is 15 (113); and Bobby is 46 (131). Although it has previously been mentioned that Sheila is older than Bobby, unfortunately in episode 101 it is Sheila’s 43rd birthday……. Beginning a long tradition of people’s ages being incorrect whenever they appear in the press, Sheila’s is given as “53” in the newspaper in episode 102. In the same paper, Samantha’s age is “29” – which may or may not be correct. In episode 127, Alan’s mother reminds him of a promise he made in 1954 when he was 7; and, according to Lucy, Mme Dubois is about the same age as Annabelle (121).


None. Samantha decides against marrying Alan at an uncomfortably late moment in episode 129. In episode 99, however, we are told that Heather and Roger have been married “just over a year”, and that George and Marie have been married for 15 years.


One – Petra Taylor commits suicide in Llandudno (episode 130). We are also told that the following unseen and never-to-be-seen characters are no longer alive: Jack Turner’s brother, who used to work for Standard Triumph (97); Marie’s mother (103); Terry’s grandad (104); Edna’s mother (127); Alan’s uncle Arthur (127); and Cyril, Alan’s father, who died nearly ten years ago of a heart attack at the age of 48 (128 ). And, some time after the event, we finally learn that Gavin was 24 when he died (128 ).

Toilet visits:

Only two – Terry in episode 105, and Barry in episode 121 (after conning Karen out of the bathroom!)

Characters mentioned and not seen yet, but sure to turn up soon:

Sal, the woman Kevin Cross is living with, and her daughter Jessica, who had a birthday recently (132)

Gone but not forgotten – those seen previously and still mentioned occasionally, but not reappearing in this season:

Petra (95, 96, 98, 99, 100, 101, 103, 106, 108, 115, 116, 118, 120, 126, 129, 130, 131, 132); Sydney’s wife Margaret (96, 118, 119); Jack’s wife Vera (97); Gavin (98, 106, 119, 120); Bob Gossage (114); and Father Daley (118 ).

Mentioned, but destined to remain unseen forever (in order of non-appearance):

Eddie McAllistair, Diane’s estranged husband (95); Jacqueline, babysitter for the Jacksons (96); Ma Roach, a 38-year-old who lives in Terry’s street (98 ); Derek Wade, a guest at the Havershams’ hotel (99); David, one of Will’s brothers, who is two years younger than Will (100); David’s wife Maggie (nee Rigby) (100); Brian, Maureen Lomax’s husband (101, 103); Renee Maddock, cake baker (102); Claire, Sheila’s sister who has six children, and her husband Al (104); Bob, another presenter(104); Bert (105) or Fred (107), a mate of Barry’s who needs cable; Mrs O’Rourke, Marie’s medium (106, 120, 132); Lily, a relative of Edna’s who gave her a vase (107); Billy Mansell, a motorcyclist Sheila used to go out with (108); Ricky/Richard Blades, for whom Susan once recorded a jingle (109); Micky Doyle, who has a garage (111); Gizzmo’s uncle (114); Johnny Stevens, medic at PetroChem (114); Demi Roberts, a Welshman with a business on the Wirral (114); Barbara and little Susie, Trevor Johnson’s daughters (115); Angela in California, a relative of Marie (115); Sheila’s uncle Russell in Australia (117); George’s mother, who lives locally (117); Mr Godfrey, who Heather says has telephoned her (118); Adrian, Polly’s boyfriend (118, 119, 120); Ron Bennett, who played snooker with George (119); Mrs Johnston, Trevor’s wife (120); Mme Dubois (121), Maurice Talham and Georgie Hanlon, members of Harry’s regiment (121); George’s mother (121); Jean, Lucy’s boyfriend in France (122); Samantha’s mother in Toronto, Canada (126); Lord Sefton, who paid for the beer at Harry’s wedding (127), Alan’s auntie Kate in Tunisia, who lives with a Swedish anthropologist or archaeologist (127); Alan’s cousin Sylvia, who he promised could be his bridesmaid in 1954 (127); Charles Hawthorn, Samantha’s boss (127, 128, 129); Peggy Riley, the half-deaf former neighbour of Marie (128 ); Alan’s uncle Peter (128 ); Jack, Alan’s mate who is injured playing rugby and unable to be his best man (129); Betty Walker, a friend of Marie’s (129, 130, 132) Brian, Betty’s son, who Michelle loved when aged 13, and who emigrated to Australia (130).


In episode 105, Barry’s mate, who telephones him in need of cable is Bert; but in episode 107 Terry calls him Fred….
In episode 130, Harry appears to know the barmaid and calls her Pauline, but George calls her “Louie” (perhaps meant to be “Lovie”?).


Harry’s measurements are 36 waist, 31 inside leg (98 ). He once had a mate with “Bernice” tattooed on his chest (132). Harry has never had a car (109). His son Kevin, a scale 3 teacher (112), lives in Maghull (107) and had a motorbike when he was younger (109).

The address at which Gordon delivers a gorilla-gram, and gets drunk, is 142 Arundel Road – which Dorothy Tate says is near the school at which she teaches (122).

Sheila appears on the television show “Midday Magazine” (103). Karen goes to the “Dog and Goat” pub (112). Jonah’s full name is Gregory Botswana Jones (96). Terry was in the “BB”, not the Scouts (114). June Torenson is a headmistress (97).

George’s nickname at the fire station where he works is “Sniffer” (95).

Roger went to Liverpool University (100). Will and Rose have “brothers” (99). The firm Heather works for is J.D. Hargeaves (120), Her boss Jonathan Hargreaves’ wife’s brother has a pig farm (115).

Cyril Alan Partridge (129) met Samantha Helen Davis (129) at a trade fair in Harrogate (128). The notice outside the office at which they don’t get married refers to “Noel Grear – Superintendent Registrar” (129). Alan’s phone number at the bungalow is 259 9232 (129). His mother Molly lives in Crosby, and once had a Persian cat called Samantha (127).

“Blink-and-you-miss-it” moment:

Without being named or having any dialogue, Val’s uncle is seen in episode 97.

The end-of-season cliffhanger:

Late at night, Barry and Terry carry Alan home from the pub, where they have been teasing him about being a mummy’s boy. When his mother opens the bungalow door, he drunkenly wishes her a happy (Chinese) New Year, and tells her he wants her to leave: “I’m fed up with you mothercoddling me, Molly”. Molly, who has already decided to go, says she hopes he chokes on his MUESLI (which she has finally learned to pronounce), and drives away. The lads’ celebratory singing wakens Sheila, who opens her bedroom window and orders Barry in – meekly, he obeys. Alan continues to drunkenly sing outside the bungalow, until he complies when Sheila orders him to go inside too….