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Summary

Here is the unforgettable 'Fletch', everyone's favourite criminal, making the most of his enforced stay at Her Majesty's Pleasure. 

Never a man to shrink from a challenge, even from behind bars, Fletch could manage anything from organising a win on the horses to buying a council flat in Mayfair. Amazing his cellmates and infuriating officialdom, Fletch, the Arthur Daley of penal servitude, always comes out on top. 

Starring Ronnie Barker with Brian Wilde, Richard Beckinsale and Fulton Mackay, here are 12 prize shows from the original television series: 

'Prisoner and Escort' (1 April 1973)

Norman Stanley Fletcher, a career criminal, and his escorts - soft-hearted Mr Barrowclough and authoritarian Mr Mackay - make the journey on New Year's Eve from London up to Slade Prison in Cumberland.

'A Night In' (19 September 1974)

Godber is moved into Fletch's cell and confides that he finds it tough each time the door bangs shut. Fletch advises him to think of it as 'a quiet night in': but the trouble is, Godber has 698 more nights to get through.

'Heartbreak Hotel' (31 October 1975)

Godber has an uncharacteristically violent episode after receiving a 'Dear John' letter from his fiancée, Denise. Fletcher tries to help him, but Fletch's daughter Ingrid proves more of a consolation.

'Disturbing the Peace' (7 November 1975)

With Mackay away on a course, the prisoners plan to have some fun, but it turns out his replacement, Wainwright, is even worse. His excessive discipline causes a riot, and it's left to Fletcher to sort out the situation.

'No Peace for the Wicked' (14 November 1975)

With everyone watching a football match, Fletch attempts to snatch a few precious minutes of peace and quiet, only to suffer constant interruptions, among whom are Mackay and visiting members of the Home Office, who then insist on questioning Fletch about his views on the penal system. 

'The Harder They Fall' (21 November 1975)

Godber's been chosen for the boxing team, so naturally everybody wants a bit of a flutter. When rivals Grouty and Billy Moffatt both want to fix the fight different ways, only Fletch looks like coming out the winner.

'No Way Out' (24 December 1975)

A planned escape causes all kinds of trouble just before Christmas, and Fletch attempts to spend some valuable time in the infirmary.

'The Desperate Hours' (24 December 1976)

Fletcher, Godber, Barrowclough and the governor's secretary are held hostage by a mad prisoner with a homemade gun attempting to escape.

'Poetic Justice' (25 February 1977)

Fletch is incensed to discover that he is getting a new cellmate. To make matters worse, it turns out that the cellmate is the judge that sentenced him.

'Rough Justice' (4 March 1977)

After the judge's watch is stolen, everyone is convinced that Harris is the culprit, and so a kangaroo court is set up in an effort to convict him of the crime.

'Pardon Me' (11 March 1977)

Blanco refuses parole after serving a life sentence for a murder he's always claimed he never committed, so Fletch sets up an appeal committee to get him pardoned.

'A Test of Character' (18 March 1977)

Fletch is determined to help Godber pass his History O-level, so he has Warren steal the papers, only to discover that Godber doesn't want them. Meanwhile, a debate flares up over a claim of Warren's that, at a certain scale, the nearest star from the sun would be in Johannesburg.

©2019 BBC Worldwide Ltd (P)2019 BBC Worldwide Ltd

What listeners say about Porridge

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Classic Ronnie Barker

Wished there were more episodes.
Never get tired of Porridge. This never feels dated and transfers from TV to audiobook extremely well.

7 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Fabulous Sitcom, poorly put together by Audible

I love Ronnie Barker, I love Porridge. I know it well. I have watched and listened to the Porridge series many times and they never fail to amuse and entertain me. Unfortunately, they have been put together in the wrong order on this, it is like listening to them on shuffle. As long as you don’t mind your episodes all being out of order go for it and purchase this. I can only assume someone who does not know the Porridge series has put them together, the sin of it! How can they not know their Porridge? The bottom line, though, is that Ronnie Barker and friends are very funny.
The BBC audio description is very good, when you get it. I think the BBC have provided the audio description as opposed to Audible.

4 people found this helpful

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Classic Porridge

I'm a huge Porridge fan, and these recording don't disappoint. They have cleverly filled the visual TV moments with additional commentary which works perfectly even if you don't remember the scene. Cant recommend highly enough

2 people found this helpful

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Translates to audio extremely well

I loved this TV series as a kid, and this audio version really is great. I wish all the episodes from the TV show were available as audio. Also, it would be great if they released Open All Hours as an audiobook.

2 people found this helpful

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Genius at work

From the writing to the acting. Every joke hits its target. Don’t write comedy like this today.

1 person found this helpful

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Classic!

This programme aired the year I was born and has always been a staple of my life. Whenever I’ve been down or just in the need of a chuckle I’ve watched it. Now , after forty odd years (am I THAT OLD?!) I finally find it available on Audible. Yey!
Porridge has easily stood the rest of time, the gags, timings and story lines still make me laugh out loud. It’s a survivor from the time of classic comedy and can still score a happier smile than many lauded comedy shows of today.
Barker is superb as the wise old lag Fletch and the supporting cast of the dearly missed Godber, brilliant ‘Bunny’ Warren and simply fantastic Mckye (excuse the spelling) serve to enrich a brilliant prison comedy. Let’s face it if you can laugh about prison then it’s clearly a winner.
The only problem with this recording is that it is NOT complete. We are owed another 6 episodes and a Christmas special, so please please bring out the rest.
If you ever liked Porridge you will love this audio book, if you have never heard of it, climb out from wherever you have been hiding and give yourself a treat. Five stars all round!

1 person found this helpful

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One of the greatest comedies of all time.

Was not sure if it would work as audio because of the many visual gags but the narration gets around that obstacle.
Each episode is a gem of its own.
Barker and Beckinsale chemistry is magic then you throw in wilde and mackay.
Each story you want to listen to longer, sad when comes to an end.
And then you throw in the comedy legend David Jason might not be in the series much but his rapport with barker makes you think the cell doors are open all hours.
Waiting for that one to come to audible.

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Amazing

Amazing story and a barrel of , and amazing acting and performing. No flats. Z

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Excellent

Enjoyed every minute and despite it being lifted directly from the TV series it was still excellent. Ronnie Barker at his best.

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A gem

Superbly written & performed.
Wouldn’t get made today in the world of bland PC “comedy”.
A classic.