Episode Guide: dinnerladies diaries

It’s been 20 years since the world was introduced to Victoria Wood’s delightful dinnerladies, serving up generous helpings of hilarity from the canteen of a fictional factory in Manchester. Here’s the full story of the sitcom that left an indelible mark on British comedy history.

Episode Guide: dinnerladies diaries

Episode 1: Perfect Ingredients

Victoria Wood describes why she wanted to have a go at making a sitcom, how she came up with the idea of dinnerladies, and how she came to use a mixture of long-time collaborators coupled with some new actors to create the perfect cast. The show also focuses on one of the funniest couplings in sitcom history, Dolly & Jean played by the unforgettable Thelma Barlow and Anne Reid. Plus, Victoria describes why she wanted her friend Julie Walters to be one of the stars of the show by playing her on screen mum, Petula Gordino.

Episode 2: Love Bites

Victoria Wood describes the making of dinnerladies, how she did her own warm-up comedy for the show and how she persuaded the BBC to record each episode, not once, but twice. The show also focuses on some of the male characters in the dinnerladies kitchen, such as the catering manager Tony played by Andrew Dunn and their 'will they, won't they?' on screen romance. Plus, there's a feature on Stan the canteen Handy Man, played by Duncan Preston who, previous to dinnerladies, had worked with Victoria for over 20 years.

Episode 3: Final Toast

In this final instalment, Victoria Wood describes why, despite the show being set in a canteen, preparing meals and acting at the same time isn't a particularly good idea. The show also looks at some of the canteen's customers, such as Bob played by Bernard Wrigley and Jane played by Sue Devaney as they describe their experiences on set. Plus, there's a feature on the canteen's human resources manager Philippa, played by long-time collaborator Celia Imrie. To top it all, Victoria describes why she decided to close the canteen for good after just two series and what she went on to do next.