Forgotten English play is Germany’s biggest Christmas TV treat

The most famous show on German TV each Christmas is called “Dinner for One’.  It is performed in English, has British cast and regularly attracts millions of viewers.

Almost everyone in Germany (and in Austria, Finland, Estonia and Lithuania for that matter) can recite almost every word of a short funny play that they consider a classic of legendary dimensions.

The strange thing is that nobody in Britain seems ever to have heard of it.

Starring Freddy Frinton and May Warden, it is a one act play about an elderly lady and her doddery old servant. “Miss Sophie” is having her birthday but sadly all her old friends (Mr Pomeroy, Mr Winterbottom, Sir Toby, and Admiral von Schneider) have passed on, so it is up to reliable old James the butler to take each role in turn as they drink a series of toasts to her health. James gets utterly trousered and … well I won’t give the ending away, but it is a good one.

The play is just 17 minutes long and is the most repeated show ever. Why the Germans get to enjoy it while we have to put up with the usual drivel is beyond me. Through the magic of YouTube we can all now enjoy dinner for one every Christmas, no matter where in the world we happen to be.

Giles Brandreth did a short piece about the “Dinner for One” phenomenon a few years ago. You can take a look at that too.

Happy Christmas