Bremner, Bird and Fortune

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Bremner, Bird and Fortune
Bremner Bird & Fortune title card.jpg
Bremner, Bird & Fortune title card
Format Satirical Comedy
Created by Rory Bremner, John Bird and John Fortune
Starring Rory Bremner, John Bird, John Fortune, Pauline McLynn and Frances Barber
Country of origin United Kingdom
No. of episodes 85
Production
Running time 60 minutes (included Television advertisements)
Production company(s) Vera Productions
Broadcast
Original channel Channel Four
Original run 17 October 1999 – 6 May 2010

Bremner, Bird and Fortune is a satirical British television programme produced by Vera Productions for Channel Four, uniting the longstanding satirical team of John Bird and the late John Fortune ("the Two Johns") with the satirical impressionist Rory Bremner, and had 16 series, followed by several one-off episodes. Fortune died in December 2013, three and a half years after the last episode was broadcast.

History[edit]

Now Something Else[edit]

Rory Bremner's first television series started in 1986 on BBC Two, which ran for seven series. The BBC gave him his own television series after a successful shows at the Edinburgh festival.[1] The series also had input from Jeremy Hardy, Steve Nallon, Steve Brown and Enn Reitel.[2] In 1989 John Bird started to collaborate on the show with John Fortune following suit in 1991.[3] From the fourth series it was renamed The Rory Bremner Show.

Rory Bremner, Who Else?[edit]

In 1993 the series moved to Channel 4, and over the six series the show developed into a more hard-edged, satirical and political show while satirical sketches of The Jerry Springer Show, Ainsley Harriott and sporting personnel was reduced.

Bremner, Bird and Fortune[edit]

By 1999 all non-political sketches were dropped for the show and series was refocused purely on political satire, with a name change.

In 2002, three members of the show's production team, Geoff Atkinson, Steve Connelly and Tristam Shapeero, were nominated for a BAFTA for Best Comedy Programme or Series.[4] Bird and Fortune were nominated for a BAFTA for Best Entertainment Performance in 2001 and Best Comedy Performance in 2002.[5]

In 2003 the episode "At Her Majesty's Pleasure" won a Broadcasting Press Guild Award for Best Entertainment.[6]

In October 2004, they published a book based on the show, called You Are Here: A Dossier (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 288 pages, ISBN 0-297-84778-3, also available as a paperback from Orion mass market paperback, ISBN 0-7528-6493-9).[7] In 2004 Rory Bremner was nominated for a BAFTA for Best Comedy Performance.[8]

In November 2008 a four-part mini series was produced, called Silly Money. The trio looked at the economic downturn, with fewer of the usual sketches and co-stars. The episodes contained many more George Parr sketches than usual. They also included a number of archive clips to further illustrate points and create satire from them based on hindsight.

The last full series was broadcast in late 2008. Two further series, both having 3 episodes, forced more on specific issues. The Last Show Before The Recovery, started on 7 June 2009 and looked at the banking crisis, and The Daily Wind-Up, aired from 2-4 May 2010, and focused on the 2010 United Kingdom General Election.[9]

Regular features[edit]

The show is almost entirely political, but in recent series different genres of sketches have been introduced. The programme features regular stand-up impressionism sections by Bremner, Another feature is interviews between Bird and Fortune, one of them normally as George Parr, a man in a government position or a businessman, who normally ends up exposing the idiocies of their area of expertise. There are also heavily researched, bitingly satirical three-handed historical narratives; the dinner party sketches, featuring Bird, Fortune, Pauline McLynn and Frances Barber; and other small sketches. The show ends with a (usually political) musical number.

Episodes[edit]

Now Something Else[edit]

  • Series 1: 5 Episodes (3 March - 7 April 1986)
  • Series 2: 5 Episodes (3 April - 8 May 1987)
  • Series 3: 6 Episodes (5 May - 2 June 1988)

From this point onwards renamed Rory Bremner Show

  • Series 4: 6 Episodes (31 March - 5 May 1989)
  • Series 5: 6 Episodes (20 May - 25 June 1990)
  • Series 6: 6 Episodes (15 March - 19 April 1991)
  • Series 7: 6 Episodes (8 May - 12 June 1992)

Rory Bremner, Who Else?[edit]

  • Series 1: 9 Episodes (9 October - 4 December 1993)
  • Series 2: 10 Episodes (8 October - 10 December 1994)
  • Series 3: 8 Episodes (07/10/1995) - 25/11/1995)
  • Series 4: 8 Episodes (05/04/1996) - (24/05/1996)
  • Series 5: 10 Episodes 27/09/1996) - (29/11/1996)
  • Series 6: 7 Episodes (24/10/1997) (12/12/1997)
  • Series 7: 8 Episodes (11/10/1998) - (06/12/1998)

60 episodes in total.

Bremner, Bird and Fortune[edit]

A near full list of most episodes can be viewed on the BFI website: http://ftvdb.bfi.org.uk/sift/series/32481

Death of John Fortune[edit]

Fortune died on 31 December 2013, aged 74.[10][11] His agent Vivienne Clore said he died peacefully with his wife Emma and dog Grizelle at his bedside.[10]

References[edit]

External links[edit]