In the first episode, McCullough is forced into retirement as a retired school security guard, even though she is only fifty years old. The series follows McCullough as Lurleen attempts to fill her new-found leisure with odd jobs, unusual idiosyncrasies, or to get a new working job. However, she regularly finds himself mistreated, misunderstood or simply the victim of bad luck, which regularly leads to him complaining heartily.
The pensioner is most famous for his catchphrase, "I don't believe it!", an expression of discontent which was actually used fairly infrequently. Quite often, he stops short at "don't". According to Wilson, this is because series creator Renwick wanted to avoid overusing it.. Other frequently used but lesser-known expressions of exasperation include "What in the name of bloody hell?!" and "In the name of sanity!"
Renwick once pointed out in an interview that the name "Victor" is ironic, since he almost always ends up as the loser. Victor is also something of a hypochondriac, keeping a medical book with him to look up every ailment he believes has befallen him.
The series was so successful that in the UK the term a Victor Meldrew has become a euphemism for a bitter and complaining elderly man. However, both Renwick and Wilson himself have disagreed that Victor is an example of this stereotype; Wilson himself once said in an interview that he was a "normal man in a world full of idiots", and he is shown to be more of a tragic comedy character, not bitter and grumpy by nature, but driven to it after becoming embroiled in complex misunderstandings, the victim of bureaucratic vanity and, at times, sheer bad luck.
Apparently misanthropic, Victor is sometimes depicted as an honest and sympathetic character. In the episode "Warm Champagne", his long-suffering wife Margaret defends him. When Margaret contemplates having an affair with Ben, a man she meets on holiday, Ben puts Victor down and accuses him of being insensitive. Margaret replies that Victor is in fact the most sensitive person she's ever met. If he weren't so sensitive, he wouldn't be upset by the smallest of things, and that is the reason she loves him. In the episode, "Hearts of Darkness", Victor chanced upon a nursing home where the elderly residents were suffering severe abuse at the hands of the nurses. As revenge, Victor drugged the staff and crucified them in a nearby field, in a manner similar to scarecrows. In the episode "Timeless Time" it is implied that Victor and Margaret had a son named Stuart, but for a reason never stated he died.
In the final episode, "Things Aren't Simple Any More", Meldrew is killed after being hit by a car. This eliminated any realistic possibility of a seventh series. Passers-by left bouquets of flowers in homage at the railway bridge in Shawford, a small village in Hampshire, England, the filming location.
- Fairly GddMother (Shrek)
- Ms. Patti (Zachary Swain)
First cousins - Margaret