In John Mortimer’s satirical look at criminal law and the workings of the Old Bailey, Horace Rumpole (Leo McKern) is a down-at-the-heels barrister who spouts Wordsworth to himself and is famed among colleagues for his battered hat and general slovenliness. His wife, known as "She Who Must Be Obeyed", sometimes thinks Rumpole has been so busy playing parts in courts that he’s lost track of his own identity. Nevertheless, Rumpole is eccentric, kind-hearted, and an old rascal.
He is regarded as a legend in the corridors and courts of the Old Bailey but as somewhat of a liability by his colleagues in the chambers. Rumpole only represents the defense and delights in taking on apparently lost causes. He’s often on the defensive at home as well, his hen-pecked existence with Mrs. Rumpole often prompting him to take refuge in poetry.
RUMPOLE OF THE BAILEY is created by John Mortimer whose experience as a barrister lends a dimension of authenticity and first-hand observation to a drama justly acknowledged as a television classic.