Monday, 1 September 2008

Classic Comedy: The Brittas Empire

"Since I have been manager, I am proud to say there have only been twenty-three deaths. And not one of them was a staff member."

Gordon Brittas (Chris Barrie) - one of the most memorable characters in sitcom history first appeared on our screens in 1991 as the new manager of Whitbury New Town Leisure Center. As far as Gordon is concerned this is the most important job he could do - safeguarding the physical and emotional well-being of all visitors to the center.

At least this would be the case if he wasn't so hugely incompetent. Initially Gordon was portrayed as pompous, arrogant and pretty dislikable. This was toned down for the later series in which Gordon was incompetent but well-meaning, and became a likeable - if infuriating - character who causes chaos wherever he goes.

The supporting characters were the perfect foils for Gordon: Helen - Gordon's long-suffering wife; Colin Weatherby - ex swimming instructor turned maintenance man; Carol, the highly emotional receptionist who keeps her children in drawers during work hours (it makes sense when you watch it); Laura - as efficient and competent as Gordon is useless; Gavin and Tim - gay lovers, only Gordon doesn't realise it; Linda, an extremely over-enthusiastic all-rounder; Julie - Gordon's secretary who really can't stand him.

The show lasted for seven series between 1991 and 1997 and is still regarded as some of Chris Barries finest work.

Brittas Opening

Clips Compilation

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