Liam Rudden: Boy Meets Girl, a sitcom with a heart

Peggy (JANINE DUVITSKI), Jackie (LIZZIE ROPER)
Peggy (JANINE DUVITSKI), Jackie (LIZZIE ROPER)
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BOY Meets Girl surprised me.

Having managed to avoid it when first broadcast on BBC Two (the ‘transgender romcom’ tag sounded a bit too earnest for my liking, never have been a fan of labels), I finally gave it a watch when the press blurb for the DVD release revealed my old pal Lizzie Roper was one of the series’ regulars.

In general, sitcoms, which is what Boy Meets Girl is, seldom hold my attention for more than a couple of episodes. Few are peopled by fully rounded characters these days, instead sanitised, politically correct are passed off quirky.

Boy Meet Girl is different. For a start it boasts the same cosiness of the like of Dad’s Army. It also has some wonderfully grotesque characters in the mould of On The Buses. And like so many of the best-loved, sitcoms, Terry And June, Hi De Hi and Benidorm for example, it is full of heart.

That is in no little way due to the contribution of comedy legend Janine Duvitski. Having made her name in Mike Leigh’s Abigail’s Party, chances are you know her as the love-struck Jane Edwards in Waiting for God, the long suffering neighbour Pippa Trench in One Foot in the Grave, or gormless swinger Jacqueline Stewart in Benidorm.

Duvitski plays the beautifully batty Peggy, mother of Judy, one half of the loving couple at the centre of the action. The other is Leo, freshly fired from his job and deeply attracted to this surprising and beguiling woman.

My pal Lizzie is Judy’s chocoholic sister Jackie, and quite magnificent she is too, although I’m probably biased. All ‘round though, the casting is pitch perfect.

So, if like me you missed Boy Meets Girl on the telly, don’t let the labels put you off, it’s a good old-fashioned love story, albeit one with a nicely subversive twist. Grab a copy now courtesy of Acorn DVD and you’ll be up to speed when they screen the recently commissioned second series.