19 August 2020 | Sinafter
It left me broken-hearted.
I only recently discovered this series and without significant expectation I have thoroughly enjoyed it. With good writing Ronnie Barker is always a treat and Alan Ayckbourn delivers alongside a host of well known contributors including Graeme Garden and Bill Oddie.
In each episode the opinionated Lord Rustless (Barker) educates viewers on a different topic from his country house, supported by his staff, all of whom make welcome contributions. There are also additional sketches that are separate from the central narrative, some of which are very good and each programme is introduced by Barker in the newsreader style that he carried forward to The Two Ronnies.
Lord Rustless is hilarious and the reason that I mentioned that this series has left me broken-hearted is because I read that the impressive cast were given the chance to make a sit-com playing the same roles (His Lordship Entertains) in 1972 but that most of the episodes are lost. Many other 1960s and 1970s comedies are entirely missing and I find it very sad, however Hark at Barker is still with us and it is a bit of a gem!