Francie and Josie
|The Adventures of Francie and Josie|
|Created by||Rikki Fulton and Jack Milroy|
|Country of origin||Scotland|
|Running time||25 minutes|
|Original channel||Scottish Television
|Original run||26 October 1962 – 15 August 1965|
The Francie and Josie concept first appeared on The Five Past Eight Show in the Alhambra Theatre Glasgow during the 1958 season, and was a brainwave of Stanley Baxter, Stan Mars and Rikki Fulton. Over the season the idea grew and the grass roots of Francie and Josie was refined by Jack and Rikki. Often there would be a sketches from Francie alone and a sketch from Josie alone and then the two of them together at the end.
In 1962 Scottish Television gave them their own show, The Adventures of Francie and Josie which also starred Clement Ashby, Glen Michael, and Ethel Scott (first wife of Rikki Fulton). The show became an instant hit, being broadcast by Border Television, Grampian Television, and UTV, and resulted in the pair opening many British Relay TV rental shops. The first shop they opened, in Airdrie, caused such mayhem that crowds smashed the windows of the shop due to the pressure of the number of people wishing to meet the pair.
In 1965 the last series was produced, with the pair returning to The Five Past Eight Show, the following year. Both Jack Milroy and Rikki Fulton were given their own show on Scottish Television. The double act toured around Scotland and also created a Panto. During 1970 the pair did a successful tour around Northern Ireland.
In 1970 they released an LP called Francie & Josie on PYE Golden Guinea
Unfortunately, no copies of The Adventures of Francie and Josie have survived. Much of Scottish Television's early output was destroyed in a fire at the Theatre Royal in Glasgow in November 1969. It's also possible that any video tape that was created may have been recorded over, a common practice in the television industry at the time.
Francie is seen as the less intelligent one of the pair but overrules Josie's intelligence by telling jokes. He's more interested in "birds". He would often burst into laughter in the middle of Josie telling a story at something Josie says. The thing he laughs at are usually not funny at all. Example: Josie: "I couldnae get a hud o' that Chinese waiter, ye know, the one wi' the funny walk." (Walk/Wok)
More details can be found about Francie in Is It that time already? Rikki Fulton AutoBio ISBN 1 845020 01 Page 284:
Josie is the more intelligent one of the pair. He's interested in talking about culture and politics where Francie usually laughs at him. He would often muddle up his words to mean something utterly different. Example:
Josie: "There's no wonder that Glasgow has been decimated the city of architecture."
Auntie Jessie is the somewhat dumb woman who looked after Francie and Josie after both of their families left their homes. She's usually mentioned a lot in the stage shows and has been played on stage by Mary Lee Milroy.
Glen Michael played many parts on the show, including Josie's cousin when Jack Milroy was ill
The Stage show ran for over 30 years and the best remembered stage shows are Francie and Josie (1989) and The Farewell Performance (1996). No others are listed. Are organised by Francie and Josie would sing some songs, then a solo from Francie, and then a piano tune from Josie, then another song, and then the famous Arbroath Gag.
In popular culture
Boaby called Jack and Victor "Francie and Josie" to wind them up in a 2002 episode of Still Game.
- Is It that time already? Rikki Fulton AutoBio ISBN 1 845020 01