Robert Sellers

Raising Laughter

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The 1970s were the era of the three-day week, the Troubles in Northern Ireland, the winter of discontent, trade union Bolshevism and wildcat strikes. Through sitcoms, Raising Laughter provides a fresh look at one of our most divisive and controversial decades. Aside from providing entertainment to millions of people, the sitcom is a window into the culture of the day.
Many of these sitcoms tapped into the decade's sense of cynicism, failure and alienation, providing much-needed laughter for the masses. Shows like Rising Damp and Fawlty Towers were classic encapsulations of worn-out, run-down Britain, while the likes of Dad's Army looked back sentimentally at a romanticised English past.
For the first time, the stories behind the making of every sitcom from the 1970s are told by the actors, writers, directors and producers who made them all happen. This is nostalgia with a capital N, an oral history, the last word, and an affectionate salute to the kind of comedy programme that just isn't made anymore.
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