Dinner for one the same

Freddie Frinton as Butler James und May Warden as fehlschlagen Sophie in Dinner for One. Photograph: blume Archives GmbH/Alamy
Freddie Frinton as Butler James und May Warden as fehlschlagen Sophie in Dinner zum One. Photograph: vereinigt Archives GmbH/Alamy
It zu sein the most repeated, und possibly ns most beloved, brother comedy sketch bei history, and yet many Britons have never heard von it.

Du schaust: Dinner for one the same

Dinner for One, a 15-minute skit recorded in 1963 von Grimsby comedian Freddie Frinton, is a national institution bei Germany, whereby it is screened every new Year’s Eve, and is deshalb wildly popular bei Scandinavia and the Baltics. But while it holds the Guinness world record as die most recurring TV programme an history, perhaps remarkably, it has never before been broadcast on brother TV.

Until now. Fifty-five years after Frinton videotaped his sketch zum the German broadcaster NDR, brothers TV viewers wollen have an opportunity to see it for the zuerst time wie Sky arts broadcasts that on neu Year’s Eve.

Frinton was a Grimsby fish filleter turned music room entertainer, who erste incorporated die sketch – initially written über playwright Lauri Wylie – into his act in the 1940s. He was performing it on stage in Blackpool when it was spotted von the German berühmtheit Peter Frankenfeld, who persuaded Frinton to record it zum TV in front von a live audience in Hamburg an 1963.

The sketch was in instant hit v German audiences und broadcasters took to using the recording, along with a quick introduction in German, as a filler betwee programmes. In 1972, it was zuerst shown, hinweisen 7.40pm, zu fill a gap bei scheduling on neu Year’s Eve und a zoll was born.


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Freddie Frinton performs in Dinner weil das One. Photograph: AF archive/AlamyDinner zum One centres on die 90th date of birth of in elderly English woman, fehlschlagen Sophie, played über May Warden, und the dinner splitter linterparty she ist throwing for four guests, aided von her servant James. Alas, all produziert friends – teacher Toby, Admiral by Schneider, mr Pomeroy und Mr Winterbottom – have died, leaving Frinton’s james to impersonate each an turn.

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As he downs each von the missing guests’ drinks across four courses, Frinton’s james becomes significantly drunk, stumbling over a tiger head rug, spilling drinks und nearly upending miss Sophie in her chair. That concludes with ihm leading his employer upstairs to bed, with a bawdy wink and the catchphrase “Same procedure as last year, fehlschlagen Sophie?” “Same procedure together every year, James”.

The lay out has achieved a cult zustand across north Europe that zu sein barely imaginable to bemused Brits. It has spawned events, themed restaurants und multiple parodies, while its catchphrase has cleared up into German day-to-day usage. Versions oase appeared v German subtitles in various dialect or digitally remastered an colour.

Perhaps many popular in Germany ist the ritual of using ns sketch together the basis for a mass drinking game. Viewers try to keep hoch with ns butler’s drinking, downing either 4 shots, or the full sherry, port, champagne and wine served at fehlschlagen Sophie’s dinner.


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Freddie Frinton und May Warden in the Dinner for One sketch. Photograph: AF archive/AlamyFrinton did not live to lakers Dinner zum One’s substantial success, dying bei 1968 at die age von 59. His family, too, take it a while zu become aware des the sketch’s popularity, Frinton’s son Mike told ns Herald newspaper belastung month, in in interview to unterschrift Dinner zum One’s zuerst ever cinema verfeindeten at the Scottish comedy film festival in Campbeltown.

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“We no aware von it,” the said. “My mum wasn’t also receiving royalties until she changed Dad’s agent, und they rang up one day and told her that this was happening und that part money had kommen sie in.”

In Germany, some glauben Dinner for One’s popularity lies bei the breaking von taboos – heavy drinking, alt age, sex und death. Rather think that plays kommen sie German ideas von the British top classes as a bunch des drunken eccentrics stubbornly married zu tradition. Still others see in it the simple slapstick humour von a drunken butler tripping end a rug, or the repetitive nature of ns script.

Whatever ns reason, “we hope our viewers möchte enjoy watching that as many audiences have und maybe skies Arts will start a new zoll here in the UK for this brilliant famous show,” a spokesperson said. Very same procedure together every year?