«Dinner for One» premieres on British TV
To watch «Dinner for One» (Grevinnen & Hovmesteren) is a Christmas tradition in Germany, Scandinavia and the Baltic States. The sketch is originally British, but it has never been featured on UK television before.
«Dinner for One» is the most sent and possibly most popular British sketch ever made, but most Brits have barely heard of it.
«The Countess and the Butler», as it is dubbed in Norway, is a 15-minute long sketch that was recorded in 1963 by the little known British comedian Freddie Frinton. Since then, it has become a national institution in Germany, where it is broadcast on New Year’s Eve, as well as in Norway, the rest of Scandinavia and most of the Baltic States.
For the first time, the British television audience will also be able to see Frinton in action as the increasingly animated Butler. Sky Arts intend to broadcast the sketch on New Year’s Eve, The Guardian writes.
The sketch is originally written by the British author Lauri Wylie, possibly as early as in the ‘twenties. Frinton improved on it and made several performances in Blackpool in the ‘sixties, where it was witnessed by the German entertainment guru Peter Frankenfeld. He persuaded Frinton to make a live recording of the sketch for the German broadcaster Nord Deutsche Rundfunk (NDR) in Hamburg in 1963. An eleven-minute version was made by the Swiss broadcaster SRF, which is the version shown in Norway.
The role of Miss Sophie, an ageing Countess who arranges a dinner party for four guests each year, even though all have passed away, is played by May Warden.
The ratings for «Dinner for One» are still formidable, and in 2014 a record was set with over two million viewers in Norway alone.
© NTB scanpix / #Norway Today