Dear John...

Dear John..... Image shows from L to R: Kirk (Peter Blake), Kate (Belinda Lang), John Lacey (Ralph Bates). Copyright: BBC.

Dear John....

Sitcom following the trials of John Lacey, who joins a singles' club when his wife suddenly leaves him for his best friend

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Ian G

  • Thursday 4th September 2008, 3:12am [Edited]
  • Hull, England
  • 168 posts

This seems to be John Sullivan's 'forgotten' sitcom (well, apart from his ghastly effort that was set in Hull - by the cringe!), and I can't understand why. I think it was terrific.
It was first shown in 1986 and ran for two seven-part series and a Christmas special. It told the story of a newly separates teacher, John Lacey (Ralph Bates), who begins attending meetings of the 1-2-1 Club for divorced and separated people. There he meets Louise, the group leader who has the hots for him, Kate, a three-times divorcee with a frigidity problem, Kirk St Moritz, a fantasist whose real name is Eric Morris, Ralph, a misfit whose Polish wife left him as soon as she got a passport and Mrs Arnott, a woman who very rarely speaks.
Ok, on paper it might not seem like a barrel of laughs, but it was beautifully written, had a great cast and a good mix of humour and poignancy.

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Nil Putters

  • Thursday 4th September 2008, 3:19am
  • A galaxy far, far away or, England
  • 28,690 posts

"Do you have any SEXUAL problems?"

I liked it. Dunno how it holds up now. Kirk was great, his 'other self' was brilliant.

And Ralph, did he once say (whilst DJing) "Boogaloo 'til you puke", or am I getting him mixed up with someone else.

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Aaron

  • Thursday 4th September 2008, 3:31am
  • Royal Berkshire, England
  • 68,751 posts

Great show. Pity that it (IMO) peaked in S01E01, but still great nonetheless. :)

Just to correct though, it was one series of 7 episodes, one series of 6 episodes, and the special. 14 in total. :)

There's another thread about it elsewhere on the site, but it's less than a page long, so I won't close this one. ;)

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Ian G

  • Thursday 4th September 2008, 3:35am
  • Hull, England
  • 168 posts
Quote: Nil Putters @ September 3 2008, 11:19 PM BST

"Do you have any SEXUAL problems?"

I liked it. Dunno how it holds up now. Kirk was great, his 'other self' was brilliant.

And Ralph, did he once say (whilst DJing) "Boogaloo 'til you puke", or am I getting him mixed up with someone else.

The last time I watched it, I think it stood up pretty well.
I think he did say that. Also, he only had one record, 'Green Door' by Shakin' Stevens.
:)

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Aaron

  • Thursday 4th September 2008, 3:43am
  • Royal Berkshire, England
  • 68,751 posts

Laughing out loud Yes, that was great. The final episode too, IIRC. I wish I had my blooming TV archive with me, I fancy watching some now!

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monkeybeard

  • Thursday 4th September 2008, 4:40pm
  • England
  • 221 posts

One of my favourite sitcoms of all time that I re-watch on a regular basis.

14 episodes of pure sitcom bliss.

Great stuff :)

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chipolata

  • Thursday 4th September 2008, 5:44pm
  • England
  • 30,101 posts
Quote: Ian G @ September 3 2008, 11:12 PM BST

This seems to be John Sullivan's 'forgotten' sitcom (well, apart from his ghastly effort that was set in Hull - by the cringe!), and I can't understand why. I think it was terrific.

It was great, but not sure I'd say forgotten. They did remake it in America and it was pretty succesful over there (I think). If so, Sullivan might have made more from this any of his others.

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Aaron

  • Thursday 4th September 2008, 6:04pm
  • Royal Berkshire, England
  • 68,751 posts

Well it's certainly forgotten in the sense that it's unjustly not been released on DVD!

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Ian G

  • Thursday 4th September 2008, 7:47pm
  • Hull, England
  • 168 posts

Also, most people would struggle to get past OFAH, Just Good Friends and Citizen Smith if they were asked to list John Sullivans writing credits.

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Ian G

  • Thursday 4th September 2008, 8:18pm
  • Hull, England
  • 168 posts

Btw, does anyone else remember the sitcom set in Hull that I referred to in my opening message? I can't find any reference to it anywhere, mainly because I can't remember the title.
I seem to remember it appeared in the 80s.It ran for one series and the most used phrase was 'by the cringe'. It was arse-gravy of the first order so don't fret yourselves if you can't remember it. I'll just sit here going slowly insane 'til I think of the title. :)

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Ian G

  • Thursday 4th September 2008, 9:51pm
  • Hull, England
  • 168 posts

Thamks, Aaron, but it's none of those.
I'm starting to doubt whether it was written by JS because if it had been there would be some reference to it somewhere, surely.
Anyway, I'm not going to obsess on it, honest I'm not. :D

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Aaron

  • Thursday 4th September 2008, 9:55pm
  • Royal Berkshire, England
  • 68,751 posts

Are you sure it was Hull? I can't find a reference to it at all on comedy sites! (Aside from To Hull And Back.)

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Ian G

  • Thursday 4th September 2008, 10:37pm [Edited]
  • Hull, England
  • 168 posts

I'm certain it was set in Hull. So few shows are set here that you tend to remember the ones that are. Well, apart from the title and the cast, obviously. :)
Also, 'by the cringe' isn't an expression I'd ever heard before, yet we all say it apparently.

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Ian G

  • Thursday 4th September 2008, 11:42pm [Edited]
  • Hull, England
  • 168 posts

I've found it!!
It's 'Dogfood Dan & The Carmarthen Cowboy' from 1988.
It was written by David Nobbs, so it's unusual that I didn't like it.
Sorry to send you up a blind alley re. JS, Aaron, but I've spent most of the afternoon looking for it, too. :$