This was before that small mole started trying to get out of the end of his nose.
But gone are the knockabout larks of yore - even Chez's mate Kirk's been dragged into the abyss lately.
This is a family that, off the top of my head in the last two years or so, has seen Fiz convicted of murder - for which she's just been bailed pending appeal (!) - for a crime she didn't commit. Okay so she might have covered up the body - or was that the other one? But the actual killing was done by her (now late) husband John.
That's Stape, who has killed one person (Charlotte the Smash robot) by caving her in the head with a hammer - whose body, actually she was still alive at this point, he dumped in the rubble caused by a train wreck outside his gaff - and let another (Colin Fishwick) die in his house, before burying him under the knicker factory floor, so he could continue living under John's name, thus allowing him to teach.
The reason he couldn't teach - his old job - under his own identity is he had an affair with a schoolgirl (Rosie) and then kidnapped her - can anyone remember why? So he nicked Colin's identity.
While in prison for at least some of that, and diagnosed with acute mentalness of the cranium, he and Fiz get married. Outside of nick John gets a stalker, and L story S, it's Charlotte.
John and Fiz have a kid which develops a hole in the heart, John also kills Colin's mum to stop her shouting after he confesses to her what he's done (up to that point).
Then Fiz nicks the mum's legacy, meanwhile John is pretending to Charlotte's parents that he (as Colin) was going to marry Charlotte. Chesney susses it so John holds him and Charlotte's parents hostage in the basement for a bit until Fiz - who STILL won't turn John in - rescues them. At some point in all this John had stopped taking his mental pills.
But before that John gets a job digging holes for Chesney's girlfriend's dad Owen - he's only about to dig up Colin! Luckily he gets Fiz to help him sling the body in the canal.
After that she rescues Chesney and the parents before the police turn up and John then nicks his and Fiz's baby. Fiz then gets run over, John comes back the hozzy, gives her the kid, goes to the roof, falls off it and disappears.
Then he comes back a bit later and kidnaps Rosie again before crashing his car with her dad Kevin in hot pursuit. John then dies in hospital but not before he videoed a confession supposedly exonerating his wife of all crimes.
As of last night Fiz was still in nick, but about to be bailed. She's been found guilty of one murder and possibly she got done for nicking the old girl's money, although that bit seems to have been forgotten.
While in nick, Fiz has been accused of being a grass, had her baby threatened, grassed, and bashed the woman who threatened her baby.
And just to round things off about two weeks ago they (the government?) gave the dog Schmeichel (a great Dane - I only just got that) cancer. The dog. Got cancer. This is how you want to get people watching, ITV?
He died last night, but only after Chez had nicked the money his bird's dad had given her to pay the rent, which was late so a bailiff came round, on vets bills and medicinal bonio and the like. Was the rent really bailiff late though?
I think that's about it. Now, is it just me or does that all seem a little far fetched?