Bob Larbey was born in South London, moving to Ockley in 1979 where he now enjoys the quiet life with his wife, Trisha, son Matthew, and their cats and dogs. Bob and Trisha have given sterling support to ODS for many years (Bob writing and directing, Trisha acting and assisting in many ways, including a stint as Secretary). In 2001 they were both made life members of the Society in recognition of their invaluable contribution.
Bob began his writing career in radio and made his television debut with a film adaptation, ‘Mrs Silly’ starring Maggie Smith, which proved a huge popular success.
With his partner John Esmonde he has written many comedy series for television, including ‘Please Sir’, ‘The Fenn Street Gang’, ‘Get Some In’, ‘The Good Life’, ‘The Other One’, ‘Feet First’, ‘Just Liz’, ‘Don't Rock the Boat’, ‘Now and Then’, ‘Ever Decreasing Circles’ and ‘Double First’.
His solo work for television includes ‘On the Up’, ‘My Good Friend’ and ‘As Time Goes By’, but Bob is probably best known for the highly acclaimed series ‘A Fine Romance’ starring Judi Dench and Michael Williams, for which he won both the Broadcasting Press Guild Award and the Pye Award for Best Comedy of 1982.
Bob’s work for stage includes ‘Building Blocks’ (in which the central character was allegedly based on a well-known local builder) and ‘A Month of Sundays’, for which he won the London Evening Standard Award for Best Comedy of 1986.
With John he wrote ‘Hiccups’, which was first performed at the Thorndike Theatre in 1980 but was revived to appreciative reviews by ODS at the Dorking Halls in 1988. For this production Bob provided additional material, including two entirely new characters, and directed it himself with Trisha’s assistance.
Specially for ODS, Bob has written and directed two plays, ‘Half an Idea’ and ‘A Small Affair’. Most recently, in November 2001, the Society performed Bob’s play ‘Sand Castles’, a comedy of beach hut politics based on an idea by Trisha, originally written to a commission from BT for a millennium project.
See his Wikipedia page, shared with John Esmonde, his writing partner for much of his work.
See doollee.com for a list of his stage plays.
See IMDB for his very extensive filmography.
See here for his contributions to the society.
A Small Affair (1990)
Half an Idea (1992)
Sand Castles (2001)
Half an Idea (2018)