All six series of Boyd Clack’s classic comedy series, High Hopes are currently available to watch on BBC IPlayer.
Between 2002 and 2015 across six series and two specials, the Welsh Valleys based sit-com by Boyd Clack and Kirsten Jones followed the adventures of a budding Welsh “entrepreneur” Fagin (Robert Blythe), whose business deals were usually on the wrong side of the law and his Mam (Margaret John). After an attempted burglary from two teenage tearaways, Fagin and Mam take in the boys, Hoffman (Steve Meo) and Charlie (Ben Evans, later Oliver Wood) as Fagin’s apprentices.
Further to our interview with Boyd Clack about the series, he reveals to Andy Howells six of the best episodes – a choice which he found difficult as he loves all of them!
Writer/creator of High Hopes, Boyd Clack select six favourite episodes.:
To Catch A Thief (Series 1, Episode 2)
When Mam confesses to an affair with an infamous cat burglar, Aneurin Snoddy, Fagin is determined to find out whether Snoddy is his real father and if he can be conned out of his acquired fortune.
“It was right at the beginning and it was excellent which is very important for the future audience. Phil Madoc and my old friend Grahame Fox were great guest artists. “
‘He’s got the brain of an eighty-year-old woman.’
‘Aye, they found it in the boot of his car.’
Stardust (Series 2, Episode 4)
Wannabe pop idols Hoffman and Charlie seem set for stardom when Fagin becomes their manager, but when Claude and Sgt Ball form a rival duo for a local talent contest who will come out on top?
“The episode with the pop band competition where I got to write some silly, but good songs for the characters to do live, famous for Mam’s striptease!!”
The Roman Spring of Mrs Stone (Series 3, Episode 5)
The Cwm Pen Ol Am Dram players next production is Romeo and Juliet. While the director, Mr Stone, gives Mam her big break, Fagin suspects thespian Jamie Newman has designs on Mam!
“The Roman Spring of Mrs Stone was another good episode. It was about inter-generational love and theatre. “
Close Encounters of The Third Kind (Series 4, Episode 5)
Mam and Mrs Coles set out to find Walter after he disappears investigating strange lights on the Glyn mountain.
“Walter Coles and the Martians in Close Encounters (or Grocers Counters as I called it) featuring Huw Thomas and Di Botcher as Mr and Mrs Coles the shop were fabulous throughout”
A Christmas Story (series 4, Episode 7)
The Hepplewhites need some Christmas merriment after becoming involved in a robbery. However with Sgt Ball and Claude dealing with the festive crime wave, will the Christmas Fairy bring some magic for Mam?
“This was the forty minute Christmas Special. I like it because it is very funny which is so rare for sitcom specials. Fagin gets to leave the house too and Mam dresses as a Fairy in Santa’s grotto.”
Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (Series 6, Episode 6)
Sgt Ball asks Hoffman and Charlie to go to Cardiff and pick up an envelope from a Mr Hunter. Mam and Fagin warn the boys to keep a low profile, as the city can be a dangerous place. Will Hoffman and Charlie return home safely?
“I like it because it is one of the few episodes where they get out of their comfort zone by going to THE BIG CITY! It is also a police episode and I get to be incredible Sergeant Ball-ish in it – knocking the bad guy out like a light at the end.
The boys are so happy to get home in one piece and their love of home is so poignant in the very last few lines. There are also some nice naughty scenes in it!”
“’My husband is like an ambidextrous golfer. He swings both ways!!’