Porridge was a British BBC television sitcom (1974Ã¢â?¬â??1977), written by Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais and starring Ronnie Barker and Richard Beckinsale. In a 2004 BBC poll of the 50 greatest British sitcoms, it was voted number 6. It is set in the fictional "HMP Slade" in Cumberland (now Cumbria). "Doing porridge" is British slang for a spell of imprisonment, as porridge was once a traditional breakfast in UK prisons. It was followed by the sequel series, Going Straight.