Porridge meets the Royal Family: 5 reasons you will love Henry IX

Brand new to Gold, Henry IX is a sitcom about the King of England facing a mid-life crisis. Stars include Charles Edwards, Sally Phillips, Annette Crosbie and Kara Tointon.

Legendary writers Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais have teamed up again for Henry IX. This three episode Gold sitcom (BT TV channel 310) takes a satirical look at the Royal family in 21st century Britain.

Henry IX, played by Charles Edwards (Downton Abbey, Diana), is facing a midlife crisis. With a loveless marriage to a Scandinavian ice queen (played by Sally Phillips) he is tired of a life full of duty and responsibility. And when his wife hires a young PR consultant to liven up his public image – everything changes. 

Here are five reasons why we think you'll love watching this raucous comedy.

1. An incredible cast

Henry IX stars some of Britain’s most celebrated stars. This includes Charles Edwards (Downton Abbey, Diana), Sally Phillips (Smack the Pony, Bridget Jones Diary), Annette Crosbie (One Foot in the Grave, Calendar Girls), Kara Tointon (EastEnders, Strictly Come Dancing) and Colin Salmon (James Bond, Resident Evil).

2. A rebel king

As King Henry embraces his mid-life crisis full throttle, he suddenly develops a newfound love for hip hop music, multi-coloured Paul Frank socks and even takes a romantic interest in the palace’s young florist (played by Kara Tointon). He then shocks his entire family by declaring he’s “had enough” and plans on abdicating.


Writer Ian La Frenais says of Henry IX’s character:

“We realised there had never really been a comedy about the British Royal family, and so when Dick and I got together we looked for a character and thought it would be interesting to have a man whose going through a midlife crisis, his children have left the roost, his marriage is stale, he dislikes his brother, and he would really like to change his life and do something completely different because he’s led a life of sacrifice and duty – but he’s the King of England – so he can’t.”

3. It's Porridge meets the Royal Family

While the settings are completely different, Ian says Henry’s sentiments are not that different from the characters of the original Porridge.

“Charles (Edwards) is totally believable. You really believe that he is someone that is trapped. We’ve done it before with Porridge in a prison cell, but here his character is actually trapped in Buckingham Palace – it’s still essentially the same premise – Henry wants out – he wants a life.”

4. Incredible writers 

Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais are a screenwriting power house that have been collaborating for over fifty years. Their impressive credits include creating and writing – The Likely Lads, Porridge, Auf Wiedersehen, Pet, The Commitments and Lovejoy – just to name a few.

Dick jokes, “It’s taken us all of these years to prove that we can write posh!”

5. Still not convinced? Then watch the trailer:

Henry IX premieres on Wednesday, April 5th at 9pm on Gold - BT TV channel 310.

[Read more: Freddie Highmore previews the new series of Bates Motel]

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