Radio Times Favourite Ever Show!

Auf Wiedersehen, Pet has been voted viewers favourite ITV show in a recent poll, beating top ITV shows such as Coronation Street, Downton Abbey and The X Factor!

Starring Timothy Spall, Kevin Whately, Tim Healey and Jimmy Nail, the comedy drama followed British construction workers as they took on jobs in Dusseldorf and further afield.

The poll to mark the 60th birthday of ITV saw Dick Clement and Ian Le Frenais’ penned show beat Thunderbirds into second place and Coronation Street into third.

Auf Wiedersehen, Pet first aired on ITV in 1983 for two series before transferring to the BBC in 2002.

Dick Clement was “astonished” by the news, saying “I knew it had a strong following in the North East, but I didn’t realise its reach.” Writing partner Ian Le Frenais added: “It had a significant social context at the time, because of Thatcherism, and people going abroad to find work. There was a strong contrast between the affluence of some and the have-nots that really resonated, and still resonates today.”

Indeed, the writers were “years ahead of their time”, according to Radio Times editor Ben Preston, as “the issues thrown up by migrant workers dominate our politics today like never before.”

“Our poll shows the best contemporary drama, tackling controversial issues of the day, really strike a chord with viewers – and lives long in their memories. Auf Wiedersehen, Pet showed a bunch of Geordies getting on their bikes and finding work for the Germans barely a generation after the end of the war.”

More on this story on the Faniste, including radio interviews with the team and Tim Healy on BBC Radio Newcastle. More>>