Remembering John Howard Davies, David Croft and Trevor Bannister


While wishing everyone a Happy New Year and prosperous 2012, I wanted to remember some ‘friends’ the world of comedy lost in 2011. Over the past several years, those of us involved in the production of a number of British comedy retrospective specials for PBS have had the incredible good fortune to spend quality time with some of the best of the best in British comedy. Here are some excerpt from our interview with John Howard Davies, producer/director (Monty Python, Fawlty Towers, Mr. Bean, etc), followed by Trevor Bannister and then David Croft. So, before we say goodbye to 2011 and hello 2012, thanks to John, David and Trevor from comedy fans worldwide for your gift of smiles and laughter that will last a lifetime.

John Howard Davies – 22 August, 2011

John was one of the kindest, most giving of his time, individuals who wanted nothing more than to share insights from his life’s work and, hopefully, pass along thoughts to the next generation of producer/directors, actors/actresses…and viewers, as to how he spent almost 50 years making people laugh.

In this first clip from our 2005 production of Fawlty Towers Revisited, John recalls the filming of, perhaps, the funniest sequence in the history of British comedy ever.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dwemWni6sns

Next up, during our 2010 interview for Behind the Britcom: From Script to Screen, John talks about what he looked for in a comedy script and what makes a good sitcom from his days as both a producer/director and as commissioner of comedy when he was Head of BBC Comedy.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TKcHgEEjGJM

Trevor Bannister – 14 April, 2011

Best known for his portrayal of Mr. Lucas in Are You Being Served?, Trevor was always appreciative of his success and was the epitome of British humbleness when discussing his career accomplishments. Here, Trevor Bannister and Frank Thornton discuss what comes first in a comedy, the situation or the character, the creation of Are You Being Served and how both he and Frank came to be cast in the series created by David Croft and Jeremy Lloyd.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ci4fi8zFLj4

David Croft – 27 September, 2011

During our 1999 public television production of Salute to British Comedy on American Public Television, we had the distinct privilege of sitting down with both David Croft and Jeremy Lloyd to discuss their classic sitcoms, Are You Being Served and ‘Allo ‘Allo. Here Croft and Lloyd, in somewhat of a genius stream of consciousness exchange, talk about their early remembrances AYBS and, in particular, of Mr. Humphries, John Inman.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cjdA–C4h9U

With that, it’s a final goodbye to 2011 and a welcome hello to 2012. Thanks to each and every one of you that have stopped by and read Tellyspotting this past year. You are much appreciated.