A Jolly Good Smacked Rowbottom

Romany Jones was a 1970s trailer trash sitcom originated by Ronald Wolfe and Ronald Chesney, who are better known for On the Buses – which tells you something straight away about the level of the humor. The series was created as a vehicle for James Beck (Private Walker in Dad’s Army), playing Bert Jones, a newlywed layabout living on a caravan site and dong his best to avoid the threat of ever having to do any work. Redhead Jo Rowbottom was his long-suffering wife Betty:

01

And one of the things she had to suffer each week in the title sequence was what Bert did to her when he caught her bending:

02 Romany Jones

To be honest, I never found Jo Rowbottom a sexy woman back in her heyday, but I began to change my mind when I saw her in Romany Jones:

03 Romany Jones  2h04 Romany Jones  2i05 Romany Jones  2a

Then there’s her later appearance as Frank Finlay’s mistress in ‘There’s One Born Every Minute’, a 1981 episode of Tales of the Unexpected. At one point they’re together in bed, and she lays face down over his legs to use the telephone…

06 Tales of the Unexpected

… whereupon he does the obvious thing and gives her a few pats on the bottom. It’s not a spanking, as such, but it’s pleasant enough to watch.

Romany Jones hit problems when James Beck died unexpectedly in 1973, shortly after completing the second series and a month or so before it aired. It was decided to go on to another series, but with two completely new characters, a fish-out-of-water posh couple played by Jonathan Cecil and Gay Soper, who lasted for two more series before the show was retired in 1975. Coincidentally, she does reach across him in bed in one closing credits sequence…

07 Gay Soper

… but there’s no longer any smacking in the opening titles or indeed anywhere else.

But never mind. After she finished on Romany Jones, Gay Soper’s career was headed in a direction of interest to us. But she wasn’t just going to be smacked like Jo Rowbottom. Oh no, she was going to be spanked

Gay’s next role was Maisie the prostitute in The Ups and Downs of a Handyman – in which two spankings fell to her lot, and across the seat of her panties too!

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