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A ghostly fantasy comedy that proved irresistible to -
and durable with - younger viewers.
Writer Bob Block's original concept featured ghosts who
have come back from the spiritual world to make amends
for failing in their previous existence, but although
the spectres had magical powers they still tended to be
hidebound by the same ineptness that had dogged them
during their earthly lives. In the opening episode,
Fred Mumford returns from the spirit world and opens
the agency Rentaghost, which offers ghosts and poltergeists
for hire on a daily or weekly rental. He is helped
(and hindered) in these plans by a fussy Victorian ghost,
Davenport, and mischievous medieval poltergeist Claypole.
Initially, Mumford enlists the additional support of his
still-living parents, but things really take off when he
links up with wheeler-dealer Mr Meaker, who becomes their agent.
The four had many comically spooky adventures before Davenport
and Mumford moved on, leaving Meaker and Claypole to run the
show. Following their departure (from series five) the format
changed, becoming more domestic, and other characters were
brought in and began to share centre stage, notably Hazel
the McWitch and, in later episodes, Nadia Popov. Like many
other children's series, Rentaghost was able to attract more
than decent actors to its ranks.
Fred Mumford: Anthony Jackson
Hubert Davenport: Michael Darbyshire
Timothy Claypole: Michael Staniforth
Mr Meaker: Edward Brayshaw
Mrs Mumford: Betty Alberge
Mr Mumford: John Dawson
Written by Bob Block