TV comedy powerhouse Harold Snoad dies

Wednesday 5th June 2024, 1:24pm

Saluting Dad's Army. Harold Snoad

Harold Snoad, a prolific producer and director of television comedy, has died. He was 88.

Born on 28th August 1935, he died on Sunday 2nd June after a long period of ill health. Amongst an extensive array of credits, he will be best remembered for his work on Dad's Army and Keeping Up Appearances.

Beginning his career in theatre in the 1950s, he joined the BBC towards the end of the decade, and by 1969 was one of the youngest producer/directors - then a combined role - working anywhere in British television.

Some of his earliest work remained his most prominent, filling in for David Croft as director on seven episodes of Dad's Army in its early series. Remaining in a senior production role with the comedy, he would go on to form a successful writing partnership with actor Michael Knowles, together adapting all of the sitcom's radio scripts, and creating a spin-off, It Sticks Out Half A Mile.

Elsewhere, his credits include all three series of Rings On Their Fingers; Galton & Simpson's Casanova '73; feature film Not Now, Comrade; and Partners.

In 1972 Snoad produced all seven episode of Ronnie Barker's hotel sitcom His Lordship Entertains, and the following year he reunited with the star to make multiple entries in the 7 Of 1 anthology series.

The Many Faces Of.... Harold Snoad. Copyright: Green Inc Film And Television

He also forged a long working relationship with comedian Dick Emery, producing the BBC's Dick Emery Show from its twelfth series onwards. This was, however, a rare foray outside the sitcom format, with the majority of Snoad's working amidst the burgeoning narrative genre.

With other notable hits such as Are You Being Served? and Derek Nimmo's Oh Brother! under his belt, he would go on to greater acclaim in the 1980s, directing and producing a range of the BBC's most successful and acclaimed comedy series over more than a decade.

During this period Snoad helmed hits such as Don't Wait Up, Ever Decreasing Circles and Brush Strokes, before embarking on Roy Clarke's international smash hit Keeping Up Appearances. Here, his writing talent would again be utilised as an uncredited script editor and writer of additional material across all five series.

In 1988 he wrote the BBC Books-published guide Directing Situation Comedy, and in 2009 published an in-depth look behind the scenes of Keeping Up Appearances, It's Bouquet - Not Bucket!.

Harold Snoad is survived by his wife of 71 years, Jean, and three daughters.

Harold Snoad - It's Bouquet - Not Bucket!

By Harold Snoad

Keeping Up Appearances is one of the best-loved British sitcoms and has now been seen in more than sixty countries around the globe, with a particularly huge following in the USA. The show, originally broadcast on the BBC from 1990 to 1995, starred Patricia Routledge as the unforgettable Hyacinth Bucket pronounced 'Bouquet!' the incorrigible snob whose desperate attempts at social climbing always end in disaster and humiliation.

Throughout the sitcom's five series (plus four Christmas specials), the producer and director was Harold Snoad, whose directing credits already included such classics as Dad's Army and The Dick Emery Show. In this hugely entertaining memoir of the series, Snoad takes us behind the scenes and into the hurly-burly world of TV production - from location shooting in the city streets of Britain's Midlands and the glamorous lounges of the QE2, to the daily grind of schedules and rewrites and the shenanigans and foibles of the actors ...

Witty and revealing, the 224 pages of It's Bouquet - Not Bucket! offer both an exclusive insight into a great British institution - the situation comedy - and a comprehensive guide to one of its greatest examples, Keeping Up Appearances, with full plot synopses, cast lists and locations. Like the series before it, it's a book that looks set to gain its own band of avid admirers.

First published: Thursday 26th November 2009

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Harold Snoad - Directing Situation Comedy

Director/producer Harold Snoad's account of the way in which he has worked over many years producing comedy programmes for television from first script, right through to studio production in front of an audience.

For more than 20 years, Harold Snoad has produced and directed some of the BBC's best-known comedies including The Dick Emery Show, Don't Wait Up and Ever Decreasing Circles. In the course of his work he has encountered every kind of problem, from the not-quite-adequate script to the trained animal that won't perform. This book describes the author's approach to the complex process of making people laugh through the television screen. It is a most valuable record of do's and dont's, as well as a step-by-step account that will be indispensable to all those involved in the making of television comedy.

First published: Thursday 1st December 1988

  • Publisher: BBC
  • Pages: 56
  • Catalogue: 9780948694257

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BCG may earn commission on sales generated through the links above.

Not in the UK?

Fear not! Many items can still be ordered. Amazon in the UK delivers to many international territories, whilst their Australia, USA and Canada stores also supply many equivalent or imported items.

If you are in the North America, look out for US/Canadian flag icons on popular product listings for direct links.

If you order from a UK store, please note that the UK is in Region 2 and B, respectively, for DVDs and Blu-rays - check your player's compatibility, or look for multi-region products if you are located in another region.

If you are in Australia or New Zealand (DVD Region 4), note that almost all DVDs distributed in the UK by the BBC and 2entertain are encoded for both Region 2 and Region 4. The UK and Australasia are in the same Blu-ray region (B).

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