Alan Bennett's incisive monologues never lose the power to draw you in, make you smile but leave you drained at the quietly desperate lives they depict.
They are performed by a dazzling cast: Bennett, Patricia Routledge (twice), Maggie Smith, Stephanie Cole, Julie Walters (twice), Thora Hird (twice), Eileen Atkins, David Haig and Penelope Wilton.
Standouts from Series 1 are Maggie Smith as the depressed vicar's
wife whose secret drinking leads to the arms of an Asian shopkeeper and the BAFTA-winning performance by Thora Hird as Doris, reviewing her life in the dying light of day after suffering a fall.
Series 2 wasn't as consistent but several are stunning: David Haig as the park cleaner struggling to hide his secret, Julie Walters as the sour wife realising her husband is a serial killer, and a second BAFTA-winning
performance by Hird as Violet, a stroke victim in her 90s.
Shelf or charity shop? They can soliloquize from the shelf...