Life with the Lyons
Cast: Ben Lyon, Bebe Daniels, Molly Weir, Doris Rogers and Horace Percival
Life With The Lyons was a British radio & television domestic comedy dating from the 1950's. What was most unusual about this sitcom, was that it featured real-life American family members, Ben Lyon & his wife, Bebe Daniels.
The real life couple had settled in London during World War II & were featured with comedian Vic Oliver in the radio series (1940-1949) "Hi, Gang!"
Life with the Lyons carried on where "Hi, Gang!" left off, and together with Ben & Bebe, were featured their children, Richard & Barbara Lyon. Although this program was completely scripted, it expanded on real-life events. It was, however, definitely not reality television!
Molly Weir was their Scottish housekeeper Aggie MacDonald, Doris Rogers was the nosey neighbour Florrie Wainwright & Horace Percival played Mr. Wimple.
Two movies were produced from this program & the show then leaped to BBC TV; later on, it went on to ITV. Produced in Britain, Life with the Lyons broke with the standard format of comedic radio shows at the time, which were sketch comedy shows blended with musical acts. One of the first British situation comedies, Life with the Lyons was very successful, inspiring two movies and concurrent television shows starting in 1955. In 1961, citing concerns for Bebe's health, as she had been very involved in the show and was under considerable stress, the Lyon's retired from their long running show.
John Lennon & Yoko Ono paid tribute to the series in the naming of their 2nd album, "Unfinished Music No.2: Life with the Lions." This was the album cover on which John Lennon is with many 'British Officers of the Law.'