Frank And Betty: A Love Story

We look at the highs, lows and near-death scrapes of Frank Spencer and his beloved Betty…

Frank and Betty

Frank and Betty

THEIR FIRST MEETING

How did Frank first meet Betty? You might be surprised to learn it was while they were both on horseback. Yes, Frank really had joined a riding school, and actually looked rather splendid in his hat and tweeds. Of course, the look didn't last, and he went from spiffing to soaking when his horse dropped him in a pond. Luckily, Betty came to the rescue, and - after mistaking her for a man (good start there, Frank) - they got along like a house on fire. Which is a very apt analogy for Frank Spencer.

THEIR FIRST DATE

Again, Frank and Betty surpass expectations. Their first date didn't involve awkward chit-chat over prawn cocktails and other 70s restaurant staples. They actually went 10-pin bowling, just like today's hip young things might do. Of course, it didn't go entirely smoothly, as Frank somehow ended up whooshing along the lane and right into the gaping maw of the mechanism which resets the pins. "Betty!" he cried, "I've been masticated!" She should have really realised then, shouldn't she?

Frank and Betty

BONDING WITH THE IN-LAW

It's fair to say that, when daydreaming of the day their daughter brings a suitor home, few parents would picture someone like Frank Spencer. Betty's mum was... how can we put this... BEYOND HORRIFIED at the prospect of Frank as a son-in-law. Even his attempts to fix her coal shed didn't impress - probably because his entire tool collection consisted on exactly one hammer. "I get a different tool each week," Frank explained. "This is the first week."

FLEETING DOUBTS

How about Betty? Did she ever have any early regrets about settling down with Frank? Well the woman does have the patience of a saint, but even she seemed to crack when Frank mused out loud, "We could be together for another 50 years. Just think of that!" Cue a look of abject terror on Betty's face, so much so that even Frank had to ask what was wrong. "It's just that sometimes when I look at you I get so... depressed," she explained. Can't blame her, can you?

THE SECOND HONEYMOON

Over the years, Betty always gave Frank very sensible advice on personal safety. Like the time she warned him not to stick his hand into a waste disposal unit to "see how it worked". But Frank never learnt, and he almost got himself killed on the way to their second honeymoon, when he wound up clinging to a moving train which dragged him along the platform. As for the rest of the honeymoon, well... things went awry at the hotel, when Frank managed to methodically demolish the entire guestroom. This was nothing new, with Frank recalling how he and his mother had once wrecked another hotel. "We were up all night flushing the mattress down the toilet."

Happy family

HAVING A BABY

"I am a man!" was Frank's triumphant cry, after Betty told him she was pregnant. It did take him a while to twig what she was getting at, though. When Betty timidly announced that they'd soon be hearing the patter of tiny feet, Frank was defiant. "We're not having another cat in the house," he vowed. "I've had enough trouble with Cleopatra." And even when he worked out she meant a baby, he was indignant, saying "You might have asked me first. I don't like you doing things behind my back."

A HAPPY FAMILY

"She's having it!" That was Frank, mistaking cramp for the contractions of childbirth, much to the teeth-grinding annoyance of NHS staff who kept having to deal with Frank's false alarms. Eventually, the baby really did arrive, and Frank was delighted to see it was a boy. Until he was told it was actually a girl (he'd been fooled by the very large umbilical cord, you see). And then, once it was all over, Frank fainted dead away. Welcome to fatherhood, Frank Spencer.