Richard Beckinsale

Richard Beckinsale was born on 6 July 1947 in Carlton Nottingham. Before Porridge, Richard Beckinsale had starred in a highly successful sitcom over on the ITV network called "The Lovers".

During the same period that Porridge was on our screens, Richard also starred as Alan in the hit Rising Damp. Rising Damp is arguably the funniest comedy ever shown on the ITV network (the BBC have always been more successful in this genre). This is why despite his short career that Beckinsale is still so much a part of our daily lives. He brilliantly contributed to two of the best comedies of the 1970s.

Sadly, Richard Beckinsale died of a heart attack on 19 March 1979. He was just 31 years old. It is tragic that such a wonderful talent should have met such an early demise. However, we should be grateful that he gave us so much laughter and this continues today.

Richard played the part of Leonard Arthur Godber in Porridge. His character was very important to the series. Fletcher takes him under his wing and explains prison life to Lennie. Therefore, prison life is explained to us, the audience.

The role grew beyond this however due to the combination of the brilliant writing of Clement and La Frenais and the undeniable genius of Richard. Ronnie Barker always enjoyed working with Richard and all of these factors gave us one of the finest comedies in British TV history.

Lennie Godber was born in 1949 and he was serving two years for his first offence. He was from Smethwick in Birmingham and had an 'O' Level in Geography. During the series he was destined to fall in love with Fletch's daughter Ingrid. They would finally marry in the sequel, Going Straight.

Porridge | The Unofficial Homepage of the BBC Sitcom and its sequel, Going Straight