When/why did Clegg become phobic towards women?

Don

Well-Known Member
#1
In the early episodes, he always has something witty to say to the ladies, even up to Getting Sam Home where he didn't seem too shy around Lily Bless Her or have much fear of Sybil. Why did the character have to change? I think I much prefer the earlier Clegg than the later one in this regard.
 

wstol

Well-Known Member
#2
Good question, in the early days he spoke very freely to Nora Batty, saying exactly what he thought.

Most of Getting Sam Home was written as a novel nearly 10 ten years before the TV special, so this would account for his confidence here.

I suppose as the Seymour Years began more women were intoduced to the show - Marina and Pearl had made appearances just before, Edie was brought in here, and coffee morning sequences were becoming frequent - which united the women more so.

Short answer, I don't know exactly when.
 
#3
I wonder if the reference of Cleggy being trapped in the lift with Marina allowed Roy Clarke to change the direction of how Cleggy behaved when meeting females and when Marina became a regular cast member it offered the opportunity to exploit that fear further.
 

RickAns

Well-Known Member
#4
I do like the bolder, adventurist and more witty version of Clegg the best :). Really wish he would have stayed that way. This is something I have thought about before and have made a few notes.

It seems to have started around The Funny Side of Christmas special series 6 - 1982. Clegg and Foggy are both scared of the three 'orphans' that Compo brings around to cheer the guys up. This is the earliest episode I recall Norman being phobic this way. Not counting his being tongue tied this series with the lady answering the door in Odd Dog Men with her bird! :29:

Series 8 with the introduction of Marina that Clegg in Woolen mills of the Mind seems to cement this trend of him being a bit on the phobic side with women. In contrast to series 7 he is sneaky clever in setting up Foggy and the barmaid in The Frozen Turkey Man. Norman had no problems at all talking with her.

Other observations.
In series 1 Cleggy adventurously wanted to buy a car, yet in later series he is strongly resistant to drive at all. Clegg willingly verbally spars with Nora Batty and is quite proud of it. He also affectionately referred to his wife as a silly b*tch.

Series 2 he bravely wanted to go canoeing and tricks Mouse into buying the drinks. He does get a bit whiny in series 4 with Kneeling on Sid's Wire as well as when he is sold a metal detector from Douglas in series 6. Not too fond of whiny Clegg. Not sure if he is putting on an act or being serious.

Yet in series 4 Clegg playfully scares a lady customer with his Russian dancing in the cafe. Also tricks the guys with Flower Power Cut into playing musical instruments for flowers much to Ivy's surprise so he could collect a bet. He tempts the guys to sneak off with a giant carrot in Greenfingers to one up a green grocer.

Series 5 he spins a clever yarn about Earnshaw to wind up Foggy. Next series he has some good moments in Service of Humanity.

Jumping up to series 9 Clegg is back to clever musings and comic leg pulling. Full of youthful vigor in Yorkshire Tastes Terrible with pub crawls, gate walking and tree climbing in the memory of Bill Henry.

Series 11 he get gets wimpy again around Marina and Mavis Poskit. Series 12 he cleverly devises a plan on how Foggy's radio got damaged in Sunray Major. Nonchalantly talks to Pearl about weevils. Series 14 he sets in motion the Ordeal by Trousers on Foggy. Series 17 to 20 he has some good moments and boldly fibs to Pearl and the ladies.

That's about where my notes stop. I truly liked the more confident Clegg the best. He was a better foil against the trio this way. He initiated adventures instead of being dragged along. Had clever and insightful musings such as how if our feet were on backwards we could stand closer to walls. That it is a good thing our legs are hinged together like they are so we can ride bicycles. That half of forceps are biceps and other such silliness. That is the Clever Cleggy I enjoy the most.
 

Sarkus

Well-Known Member
#5
My sense is that its tied to when Marina arrived, as Cap says. The play where Marina, Pearl, Howard, and Crusher originate apparently involved Marina going after Clegg romantically. When she first appears in Series 8 he is clearly uncomfortable with her. We later get the separate "trapped in a lift" story.

In my mind the "logic" of the show is that he had some scary experiences with Marina and that put him completely off of woman for romantic purposes. Thus he's scared of any that push in that direction. He's fine with Pearl (and other married ladies) because they represent no such threat.
 

and7barton

Well-Known Member
#6
A couple of my favourite Clegggisms. I won't spoil it by quoting the episode titles, but - first, He replies to Foggy's statement about having to smile whilst hypnotising someone. Foggy says - "Am I a genius of what ?" (or words to that effect). Clegg replies -
"Not only a genius, but a genius with a SMILE". This always makes me chuckle.
The other favourite is when Marina asks why the trio are standing like statues (They are hiding Howard from her gaze), and Clegg moans- "It's one thing after another". He nails it on both occasions, both in his timing and his tone.
 

Adanor

Well-Known Member
#7
I wonder if the reference of Cleggy being trapped in the lift with Marina allowed Roy Clarke to change the direction of how Cleggy behaved when meeting females and when Marina became a regular cast member it offered the opportunity to exploit that fear further.
Marina always referred to that time in the elevator (lift). I think they had to dumb him down when Foggy became the head dude. He couldn't be smarter than Foggy.
 

Sarkus

Well-Known Member
#8
Marina always referred to that time in the elevator (lift). I think they had to dumb him down when Foggy became the head dude. He couldn't be smarter than Foggy.
Not according to Andrew Vine's book and a quote from Jean Fergusson. As I said above, the reference was to the stage play.

Whatever the merits or drawbacks of the stage show, he (Clarke) would ever afterwards give an affectionate nod towards it in his scripts; an encounter between Clegg and Marina would be a guaranteed laugh as her face lit up and she advanced on him with all the purpose of an armoured division, always with the greeting, "Norman Clegg that was," as he drew back in horror. The first came in "Catching Digby's Donkey." Viewers who never saw the stage show laughed at the exchanges, but could be slightly mystified by them. Fergusson said: "People often ask me, and sometimes even write to me to ask me, what does Marina mean when she says in the series, "Norman Clegg that was"? Well, of course, the "was" is that one time in the play, he was somebody that I thought was my suitor, and of course it was all lies."
I think the later "trapped in a lift" story was meant to be a later incident between them.
 
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