A Look-in at Bless This House

Everyone of a certain age is sure to remember Look-in. Throughout the seventies and eighties, this television-based magazine aimed at children was a fixture on newsagent shelves throughout the country. Also known as The Junior TV Times, Look-in focused on the television output of the ITV network and featured interviews with the stars of the day, as well as taking a fascinating peak behind the scenes.

For the majority of people who remember reading Look-in as a child, myself included, the most fondly recalled features are sure to be the comic strips. Right from the magazine's debut in January 1971, each issue featured a number of comic strips based on some of the biggest television hits on the ITV network. Sitcoms were, of course, a natural fit for the comic strip treatment. Over the years, Look-in ran strips based on the likes of On the Buses, Doctor at Large and Please Sir!

Unlike today, where finding a quality comedy series on ITV is akin to stumbling upon the proverbial haystack needle, the early seventies was awash with commercial comedy gold. Thames Television, in particular, seemed to posses the Midas touch, with the likes of Love Thy Neighbour, Man About the House and Father,Dear Father raking in the viewers. Retaining the comedy crown in imperious fashion, however, was a certain Mr Sidney James with Bless This House.

As the end of 1973 approached, Bless This House was the nation's most beloved sitcom, with three series already in the bag. Its huge popularity made it a shoe-in to receive the comic strip treatment. Sure enough, the December 1973 edition of Look-in featured the very first installment of the Bless This House comic strip series.

Bless This House would remain a fixture of Look-in until September 1975, when it was replaced by a strip based on the sci-fi hit Space:1999. Although a sixth and final TV series of Bless This House would be broadcast in 1976, the lack of any new episodes in 1975 may have contributed to the comic strip version taking its final bow in Look-in.

Here is how the very first Bless This House comic strip looked in the December 1973 edition of Look-in.


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