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Love Thy Neighbour

Love Thy Neighbour was a British sitcom of the early 1970s, made by Thames Television for ITV. It was created and exclusively written by Vince Powell and Harry Driver.

The "comedy" centred around a suburban white working-class couple who unwittingly found themselves living next door to a black couple, and the white couple's attempts to come to terms with this.

Love Thy Neighbour was hugely succesful in the early 1970s. As during that era Britain struggled to come to terms with its recently arrived population of black immigrants, and Love Thy Neighbour exemplified this struggle. It aroused great controversy for many of the same reasons as the earlier (and more subtle) Till Death Us Do Part. The views of the white male character, played by Jack Smethurst, were presented in such a way as to make him appear stupid and bigoted, and were contrasted with the more tolerant attitude of his wife. His use of terms such as "nig-nog" to refer to his black neighbour, despite being intended as ironic by the script-writers, attracted considerable criticism from viewers. The male black character was in contrast educated and sophisticated.

Love Thy Neighbour is now seen as a period piece of the 1970s, due to its dated and politically incorrect handling of issues of race.



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