Sunday, October 14, 2007

John Bird and John Fortune: Well Anyway

I have just watched the South Bank Show documentary about the two Johns. There was no mention of Well Anyway - the situation comedy they wrote and performed for the BBC in 1976.

I remember enjoying it at the time and being impressed by them, even though I was too young to know anything of their involvement in the satire boom of the early 1960s.

Yet there is next to nothing about the programme on IMDB and only a little more detail at
The setting for this British sitcom was the Earl's Court District of London. By day a photographer and sculptor, John Dally (John Bird) moonlighted as a private eye. Dally's hectic if well-balanced existence was upset by the arrival of John Chance (John Fortune), who claimed to have been a college pal of Dally's from Cambridge. Presumptively moving in with his "old friend" for what was supposed to be a few days, Chance remained on the premise for what seemed to be forever -- or at least, for the duration of the series' seven episodes. Written by its two stars, Well Anyway was originally broadcast from September 24 to November 5, 1976.
I am coming to the conclusion that I am the only person alive who remembers certain television programmes. This is one of them, and other examples are Gophers! and Edward Woodward in 1990.


Anonymous said...

That's way too old for me as I was two years old when it came out! However, I hadsn't relkaise they been around for so long.

You've got a good site here, so thanks to Myth Shifter ( for linking to you or I'd never have found you.

Anonymous said...

I was 15 when I watched this series, the only thing I can vaguely recall about this series is a scene where John Bird gets a bottle of champagne from the back of a milk float, very surreal.

Louis Barfe said...

A friend mentioned this just now on Twitter, and I was moved to look up its archival status. Oh dear. Of the 6 episodes, only number 3 survives. The South Bank Show also failed to mention John Bird and John Wells' Leeds series for YTV, which exists in its entirety.

marcus said...

I was 15 and I remember it being quite dark, but very funny. There was one episode where John Bird decides the future is in artificial life, so he makes John Fortune turn the kitchen into a lab. After some sleepless nights a very tired John Fortune creates life in a beaker/milk bottle. At this point Bird decides there's no money in it and pours it down the sink. It reminded me of "The Bed Sitting Room" a David Lester John Antrobus movie from 1969 that just seems to have been forgotten.

Tilley lamp said...

One of the episodes was titled "There Again". I associate this programme with leaving home in the north east of England to go to Barcelona to teach English. It could have been the night before I flew out.