The curler-wearing charlady , played by Jean Alexander, lived with husband Stan in a house decorated with her famous flying ducks and treasured Alpine ‘muriel’.
Sir Michael arrived 30 minutes early for yesterday's ceremony so he could drive around his old neighbourhood, where his father was a fish porter and his mother a charlady .
The comedy drooped a little after this, when Sugden's charlady character, Lil, just given an MBE for services to the House of Commons, gossiped with a statue of Churchill and then celebrated her award at a drunken party with Vi and Min.
She works as a charlady for well-off, upper-middle-class women, and she lives a fairly austere, but comfortable, life with her husband, Stan, a mechanic in his brother's garage, and their grown-up children, Sid and Ethel.
Caine's mother was a charlady , so the scenes in the rural pile in the movie had a far deeper resonance for him than mere film-set nostalgia.
They spent much of their time moving forwards on their knees - much as the infiltrating Japanese must have done - and those wires broken without comment from the charladies were noted by observers.