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A 2003-2004 BBC Brit Com co-written by Craig Cash and Phil Mealey. A kind of Spiritual Successor to The Royle Family (also written by and starring Cash), it is set entirely in a pub Oop North and centres around the everyday ups and downs of landlord Ken and a small group of regulars. As with The Royle Family, there is no laugh track or gags; the laughs come from the interactions between the characters. It came 91st in a 2004 poll to find Britain's Best Sitcom. It also features a pre-fame James McAvoy.


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Provides Examples Of:

  • Big Eater: Jean. Tommy too, provided the food is free.
  • The Bore: Eddie. Don't get talking to him about the local traffic situation.
  • Bottle Episode: Every episode is set in the pub.
  • Brick Joke:
    • In the first episode of series 1, Ken complains that someone is throwing their cigarette butts into the urinals. In the final episode of series 1, we find out who it is (Joe).
    • To help control his premature ejaculation, Duffy advises Joe to recite England's 1966 World Cup winning team. Later, as Nicola seduces Joe in the gents toilets, he begins "Gordon Banks, Bobby Moore..." It doesn't work.
  • British Brevity: Just 12 episodes were made. A third series was written, but was not picked up by the BBC.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Melanie's boyfriend Liam disappeared after series 1. He was replaced by Suspiciously Similar Substitute Dean.
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  • Dirty Cop / Cowboy Cop / Police are Useless: Phil and Nige. They abuse their position to get perks from local businesses, sell Ken counterfeit notes, smoke weed in the back of the pub and are actually dealing drugs at Melanie's birthday party. On the rare occasions they actually do some real police work, they're pretty inept.
  • Disappeared Dad: Melanie's real dad absconded soon after she was conceived.
  • The Ditz: Eddie and Joan.
  • The Eeyore: Tommy. He's also the Misanthrope Supreme.
  • Everybody Smokes: Almost everyone in the pub. It does make the show an Unintentional Period Piece as smoking was banned in all UK pubs in 2007.
  • Fetish: One of Phil and Nige's superiors in the police apparently likes roleplaying as a baby in a local massage parlour (and is now known as "the Kindergarten Cop")
    Ken: Dressing up as a baby? What does he get out of that?
    Nige: Two Farley's rusks and his arse wiped, according to her!
  • Gossipy Hens: Jean and Winnie, although most of the pub qualify.
  • Happily Married: Eddie and Joan are, pretty much everyone else is not.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Joe and Duffy. Phil and Nige.
  • Hypocritical Humor:
    • Any time Jean accuses anyone else of laziness.
    • Duffy, who regularly cheats on his wife, is outraged when he discovers that she has also been cheating on him.
  • Interrupted Intimacy: Ken accidentally walks in on Melanie and Dean.
  • Jerkass: Melanie's real dad Keith.
  • Manly Tears: Ken does it a few times.
  • My Beloved Smother: Jean to Ken.
  • My Local: The Grapes.
  • Nobody Poops: Very much averted. A number of scenes take place in the gents toilets.
  • Professional Butt-Kisser: Ken to Phil and Nige. It does have advantages for him though.
  • Screen-to-Stage Adaptation: Early Doors was revived in 2018 for a stage version. Most of the cast from the television series reprised their roles.
  • Those Two Guys: Phil and Nige.
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Ken and Tanya. Lampshaded when the others starting singing Beauty and the Beast.
  • Will They or Won't They?: Ken and Tanya.
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