John Ryan is Dead

by Harry on July 26, 2009

We have one old cassette tape of Peter Hawkins reading 2 Pugwash stories, that my eldest enjoyed so much that for about a year I had to invent further stories just about every night for her. Fortunately, it was always easy to come up with the final line. BBC obit here. Liberal England memories here. Channel 4 (youtube).
Part of his masterpiece:

And the entire opening episode of Sir Prancelot:



Chris Williams 07.26.09 at 7:10 pm

Chad Varah, Ryan – I think that we’ve now seen the last of the ‘Eagle’ generation, more’s the pity.


kid bitzer 07.27.09 at 1:14 pm

speaking of british childrens’ tv:

does anyone else remember willie rushton’s reading of winnie the pooh?

he wanders through a wooded park somewhere, reciting it, and he’s brilliant.

doesn’t seem to be on youtube, alas.


harry b 07.27.09 at 2:24 pm

Yes, I remember. It was done on VHS in the US, and amazon has a page for it here but none are currently available. It was Jackanory.


kid bitzer 07.27.09 at 2:43 pm

jackanory, right.


harry b 07.27.09 at 2:54 pm

Aha, amazon uk has it here, and dead cheap unsurprisingly! Pity no-one has a videoplayer any more.


Anonymous37 07.27.09 at 7:31 pm

Which brings to mind the Mitchell and Webb sketch on British children’s TV.


Harry 07.27.09 at 9:28 pm

That’s great. There’s a fine one from Alexie Sayle’s Stuff too, but I couldn’t find it anywhere.


vivian 07.28.09 at 2:01 am

You always spark the most… peculiar conversations with the (brit) spouse.

“Who’s John Ryan?”
“No idea, why?”
“Well, there’s this crookedtimber thread–”
“Oh, yes! He had a show called Captain Pugwash, featuring Master Bates, Screw the Cabin Boy and…”
“What, on BBC radio?”
“No, television.”

Then follows an hour or so of happy youtubing adventures.


Harry 07.28.09 at 3:03 am

The Mitchell and Webb thread says that Richard Digance invented and spread that particular urban legend. Ryan was deeply, deeply, hurt by it, as someone whose own inventions manifested a wonderful childlike innocence, without any of the dodgy aspects of, say, Alice in Wonderland. If Digance did, indeed, invent it, clever as it is, he should be sorry about it.

The “new” Pugwash is readily available on DVD, but its very hard, if not impossible, to get hold of the old Pugwashes. Maybe they’ll come out now.


vivian 07.28.09 at 3:13 am

Then I apologize for repeating it and ask you to delete the comment.


Salient 07.28.09 at 2:32 pm

<a href="This is just adorable:

Tom: “Tell them a joke or something!”

Captain: “Oh yes… mm hmm… Master Mate, what’s the difference between a cannonball and a cauliflower?”

MM: “Ddddddon’t know… I’m sure, Captain.”

Captain (laughing): “That’s the last time I send you out shopping!”

Comments on this entry are closed.