Just Good Friends

British comedy series
Broadcast 1986 on BBC.
Written and created by John Sullivan
Title music sung by Paul Nicholas, written by John Sullivan, arranged by Ronnie Hazelhurst
Directed by Sue Bysh
Jan Francis as Penny Warrender
Paul Nicholas as Vince Pinner
John Ringham as Norman Warrender
Sylvia Kay as Daphne Warrender
Ann Lynn as Rita Pinner
Ed Bishop as Vernon
Adam Price as the lad

Plot Summary

The series was a light romantic comedy, following the turbulent relationship of Penny and Vince. Vince (Paul Nicholas), a Cockney betting shop owner and heir to an empire of scrap metal merchants, jilted Penny, a PR consultant, at the altar years before the series begins. By chance they meet again, and despite penny’s family's objections, find themselves back in a relationship. At the end of the second series, Penny is offered a job in Paris at her company's French offices, and after yet another fight with Vince, decides to take it, but arranges to meet him one year later at the top of the Eiffel Tower. Ed's episode, working title Paris, although no episode titles were broadcast, is the first of the third series. It is two years since Penny moved to Paris and she is again at the top of the Eiffel Tower for her meeting with Vince. He failed to turn up the year before, and in the opening scenes, Penny is debating whether she is wasting her time waiting for him to arrive this time. At the same time she manages to miss Vince as he too wanders among the tourists on the platform, wondering if she will turn up as he has let her down.

Penny goes to the railings, still thinking things over, and a man comes to stand beside her. Since he is wearing a raincoat like Vince's she assumes it is him and offers a coy 'hello'. Unfortunately the man turns out to be a rather geeky American tourist called Vernon (Ed Bishop), who thinks he is being chatted up. Penny works her way out of the situation rapidly and runs off, just as Vince arrives. Vernon shows off about his 'conquest', before Vince spots Penny heading for the lift and runs after her.


The rest of the plot would be too complicated to go into here, as the series revolved around things getting more and more difficult for the two lovers, but for anyone who's worried, they do end up married in the final episode! Ed has a very small cameo in this episode, mostly holding an incredibly bulky 1980s video camera, and is deliberately made up to look goofy, and does suffer quite a bit of sarcasm at the hands of Paul Nicholas.




"...From Tulsa, Oklahoma. D'you live here?"

"Maybe you could show me some of the sights?"

Penny:, no, sorry, I have meetings -

- lots and lots of meetings" at which point she exits sharply.

"Yes sir...

"Hello Paris..."

Vince arrives

"Say, isn't this a great city? I've been in Paris for two hours and already some young thing tried to pick me up! Can you believe that?"

Vince: "No."

Vernon: "This has never happened to me."
Vince: "I can believe that."

This page by Jessica Ramage