Home to Roost

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Home to Roost
Genre Sitcom
Created by Eric Chappell
Starring John Thaw
Reece Dinsdale
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original languageEnglish
No. of series4
No. of episodes29
Executive producerVernon Lawrence
Running time30 minutes
(including adverts)
Production company Yorkshire Television
Distributor ITV Studios
Original network ITV
Picture format 4:3
Audio format Mono
Original release19 April 1985 (1985-04-19) 
19 January 1990 (1990-01-19)

Home to Roost is a British sitcom produced by Yorkshire Television between 19 April 1985 and 19 January 1990. Written by Eric Chappell, it stars John Thaw as Henry Willows and Reece Dinsdale as his teenaged son Matthew.


The premise is that Henry Willows, who is 40-something has been divorced from his wife for seven years and is perfectly happy living alone in London until his oldest child, Matthew arrives to live with him after being thrown out by his mother. The episodes generally revolve around Henry's annoyance at having his solitude disturbed and the age gap between father and son. Henry employs two cleaners during the show's life; first Enid Thompson and in the third season, Fiona Fennell.

The show's theme tune is Lionel Bart's " Consider Yourself " from Oliver! , arranged in a jazz style by Peter Knight.

The series was later repeated on Channel 4, ITV3 and Forces TV. All 29 episodes have now been released on DVD by the Network imprint.

Main cast

Episode list

Series 1

EpisodeEpisode titleTransmissionPrécis
1 (1-1)A New Life19 April 1985Henry's bachelor lifestyle is turned upside down when his son Matthew asks to stay.
2 (1-2)Bad Apples26 April 1985Henry must find a new school for Matthew.
3 (1-3)All You Need is Love3 May 1985Henry objects to Matthew's choice of girlfriend.
4 (1-4)Suspect10 May 1985Matthew suspects that the neighbour's college student son is not all he seems.
5 (1-5)Dating Henry?17 May 1985Henry is acting very strange and Matthew sets out to find out why.
6 (1-6)Small Change24 May 1985Henry refuses to invest in Matthew's future until he finds suitable employment.
7 (1-7)The Way We Were31 May 1985Matthew sets up a meeting between his divorced parents.

Series 2

EpisodeEpisode TitleTransmissionPrécis
08 (2-1)Protest5 September 1986Henry and Matthew's relationship is strained when Matthew becomes an animal rights activist and a vegetarian.
09 (2-2)Open House12 September 1986Matthew throws a party whilst Henry is away, but when Henry suddenly returns, he joins in the festivities rather than putting a stop to them.
10 (2-3)Plastic Dreamworld19 September 1986Matthew inherits a large sum of money but struggles to keep it.
11 (2-4)Acting out26 September 1986Matthew becomes an actor much to the anger of Henry.
12 (2-5)The Test3 October 1986Henry reluctantly teaches Matthew how to drive.
13 (2-6)Any Questions?10 October 1986Henry is standing for councillor as an Independent, but can he convince first time voter Matthew and Conservative Enid to vote for him?
14 (2-7)Julie17 October 1986Henry's daughter (and Matthew's sister) Julie comes to stay, but Henry and Matthew discover that three is a crowd.

Series 3

EpisodeEpisode titleTransmissionPrécis
15 (3-1)Human Interest24 October 1987Henry and Matthew search for a new cleaning lady.
16 (3-2)Success Story31 October 1987Henry's brother comes to stay and Henry finds himself no longer wanted.
17 (3-3)High Spirits7 November 1987Matthew becomes obsessed with ghosts.
18 (3-4)The Real thing14 November 1987Henry tries to play matchmaker for Matthew.
19 (3-5)Crimewatch21 November 1987Henry becomes paranoid about security and joins the neighbourhood watch.
20 (3-6)Getting on?!28 November 1987A visit to the hospital urges Matthew to adopt a homeless old man.
21 (3-7)Paper Chase5 December 1987Matthew sits his exams, but can he resist his friend's offer of cheating.

Christmas Special

EpisodeEpisode titleTransmissionPrécis
22Family Ties27 December 1987Henry's hopes of a quiet Christmas are dashed when his kids turn up.

Series 4

EpisodeEpisode titleTransmissionPrécis
23 (4-1)Bridge of Sighs1 December 1989A blast from the past sets Henry thinking of romance.
24 (4-2)Front Runner8 December 1989Henry suggests Matthew gets a job in order to pay for his college fees.
25 (4-3)The Boyfriend15 December 1989Henry quickly takes a dislike to Julie's new boyfriend.
26 (4-4)Thought for the Day22 December 1989Henry takes in a lodger which turns into a disaster for Matthew.
27 (4-5)Return to Clagthorpe5 January 1990Henry and Matthew go to Clagthorpe for a holiday.
28 (4-6)High Noon12 January 1990Matthew's involvement with a boxer's girlfriend leads to a fight.
29 (4-7)Leaving19 January 1990Matthew is leaving for college. Will Henry's life ever be the same again?

Foreign versions

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