Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Please Sir, I Want Some More!

The death was announced last night of John Howard Davies. His first brush with fame was as the eponymous hero of the 1948 production of Oliver Twist [long before Mark Lester warbled his way through Oliver! in 1968] This was the one with Anthony Newley as the Artful Dodger and Alec Guinness as Fagin.

a star-studded cast!

JHD – man and boy…



As an adult, JHD became the Head of Comedy at the BBC. He brought such laughter to our screens – Fawlty Towers, Yes Minister, Only Fools And Horses, The Good Life and much, much more. Looking at some of the output that the BBC claims to be ‘comedy’ these days, and at the risk of sounding a grumpy old woman – I wish we still had JHD at the BBC. Here’s one of my favourite clips

My daughters used to live in Peckham!



  1. Thank you for this, I really enjoyed watching the Good Life Christmas clip, it was great...I used to really enjoy this series, must put it on my wish list.

  2. I'll be grumpy with you! ~Liz

  3. I loved his performance in Oliver

  4. Comedy used to be decent. We gave up on British comedy here because the comedy became crude.Things we saw on the BBC station would not be allowed on our equivalent CBC.
    Thanks for the Good Life clip.I still wish my Dad "Yuletide Felicitations" (taken from the program/programme). For all it's bluster, there were some very touching moments in Only Fools and Horses.
    Jane x

  5. Thanks for the comments - Jane, I think you are right, the comedies which have 'touching moments' are good, because they reflect the realities of life.
    I read last month that Penelope Keith is due back on our screen soon, in a programme about a refurbished National Trust property. Worth looking out for!

  6. Hi Angela, Justine here as anon lol. I was open mouthed when I saw JHD was Oliver in Oliver Twist -I still learned something from your blog as usual I didnt know that he was head of comedy at the BBC xx


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