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Porridge: The Best Lines From Britain's Greatest Sitcom

by Chris Collier
30 September 2013 12 Comments

No one does British comedy quite like Porridge. Here are six of our favourites that'll tickle you pink.



MEDICAL OFFICER: Suffer from any illnesses?

FLETCHER: Bad feet.

MEDICAL OFFICER: Paid a recent visit to a doctor or hospital?

FLETCHER: Only for my bad feet.

MEDICAL OFFICER: Are you now or have you been at any time a practising homosexual?

FLETCHER: With these feet? Who’d want me?



FLETCHER: Miss Lonelyloins here, lovelorn Lennie, he wants to know whether the BBC plays prisoners’ requests?

MACKAY: No. The answer to that is no, on the grounds that is caused embarrassment.

LENNIE: Embarrassment?

MACKAY: To the prisoners’ families. The family might have excused his absence by telling the neighbours that the felon in question was abroad, or working on a North Sea oil rig.

LENNIE: Oh I see.

MACKAY: No doubt your wife, Fletcher, has told your friends that you’re on a five-year safari.

He laughs


FLETCHER: (Reading paper) No, no. She tells them I’m doing missionary work in Scotland.



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FLETCHER: …and he’s only commandeered our ping-pong table for your bleeding mess.

BARROWCLOUGH: Only until our billiard table’s been recovered.

FLETCHER: Oh yes, well…

BARROWCLOUGH: Some prisoner certainly tampered with it.

FLETCHER: Can you prove that?

BARROWCLOUGH: We can at least surmise it. When Nosher Garrett went over the wall he was picked up in Blackpool wearing a green baize suit.



FLETCHER: I had a friend once – haven’t told you this before, have I? He was a light-heavy. Good strong boy. Won a few fights. Suddenly thought he was the bee’s knees. Fast cars, easy women. Classic story of too much, too soon. He just blew up. He got into debt and ended up in one of those travelling booths. Four fights a night, seven nights a week. Well the body can’t take that punishment. His brain went soft, his reflexes went. You know – punchy. Just became like a vegetable – an incoherent non-thinking zombie.

MACKAY: What became of him?

FLETCHER: He joined the prison service as a Warder. Doing very well.



MACKAY: Brawling in the yard.

LENNIE: Weren’t brawling, sir.

JARVIS: Just fooling around. Playful high spirits, sir.

LENNIE: We were just re-enacting a big moment from last Sunday’s football on the telly. The bit where Peter Shilton dived at Charlie George’s feet.

MACKAY: I don’t recall Charlie George smashing a dustbin lid over Peter Shilton’s skull. Not even in the action replay.



VENABLES: Now to the business in hand. I have always found Christmas to be a very difficult time.

MACKAY: Yes, sir. So open to abuse. Contraband, bartering, smuggling. There isn’t a Christmas cake comes inside that isn’t laced with marijuana.

VENABLES: What are we doing about that?

MACKAY: I’ve taken precautions, sir. I’ve put Mr.Barrowclough on to sampling all food parcels.

VENABLES: Has he anything to report?

MACKAY: He’s still too stoned to tell me, sir.

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image descriptionCOMMENTS

linky 5:14 am, 23-May-2010

brian glover as Heslop to fletch I read a book once it was green

David Scott 6:14 pm, 27-May-2010

At school, for many years the catchphrase we used whenever someone said or did something stupid was a line taken from Porridge: 'Wot's an isthmus?'

TSS 7:42 pm, 26-Aug-2010

Pure genius. There never has, or ever will be a better comedian than Ronnie Barker. Legend.

duggiedee 10:23 am, 28-Aug-2010

Apparently, Richard Beckinsale suggested Glover's line was changed so it went: "I read a book once. Green it was." A slight alteration, but a world of difference.

Ian Stubbs 10:18 am, 1-Dec-2010

Another Legend that will be missed, in fact Ronny Barker was as good in the two ronnies as well as Porridge brilliant actor.

Kenny Whizzbang 2:41 pm, 10-Jan-2011

It's not often that I can laugh just from reading excerpts from scripts, but these all made me laugh. Brilliant stuff.

Manu 3:32 pm, 10-Jan-2011

Best British sitcom ever, no question.

simon west 9:23 pm, 10-Jan-2011

Total and utter class,got all the episodes recently on dvd.Laugh out loud funny.The whole cast were fantastic and the first episode (which the number 1 extract is from) is the best first episode of any comedy ive seen

barry sutton 3:52 pm, 30-Sep-2013

Apologies if this isn't spot on but quoting from memory, but my fave went something like this this: Fletch 'She's a big woman, my wife. I said to her once "you know, my love, I'm never going to get over you, I'm going to have to get up go and go around"'.

Andy N 10:34 pm, 30-Sep-2013

Godber asks about someone in for poisoning: Godber - "Is that why they call him arsenic Riggs?" Fletch - "No, that's because he once sat on a razor blade"

Tim Footman 10:55 am, 1-Oct-2013

(Fletch discussing Pan's People.) "There's one special one. Beautiful Babs. Dunno what her name is." and of course Doctor: "I want you to fill one of those containers for me." Fletch: "What, from here?"

Mick 2:58 pm, 12-Nov-2013

Heslop; you've got a lotta bottle fletch, a lotta bottle. Fletcher; yeh well I used to be a milkman

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