Three series and a 90 minute Christmas special were produced for the BBC by Ray Butt. In 2004, it came 43rd in Britain’s Best Sitcom.Writer John Sullivan had previously written two successful sitcoms for the BBC, Citizen Smith and Only Fools and Horses. The lead roles in these series had all been male, and Sullivan felt he should base his new sitcom around a woman. His source of inspiration was a letter in a magazine read to him by his wife, written by a woman who had been jilted by her fiancé on the day of her wedding
According to a 2007 Comedy Connections documentary on Just Good Friends, Sullivan was originally motivated to create the character by Cheryl Hall, the co-star of Citizen Smith. Hall complained that Sullivan was incapable of writing comedy for women, always giving the best of his material to the male characters. Sullivan was stung by the remark because, in his words, ‘she was absolutely right’, and deliberately set out to create a strong and funny female lead.