John Bird (actor)

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John Bird
Born (1936-11-22) 22 November 1936 (age 77)
Bulwell, Nottinghamshire, England, United Kingdom
Occupation Actor, comedian, satirist
Years active 1962–present

John Bird (born 22 November 1936) is an English satirist, actor and comedian.

Early life[edit]

Born in Bulwell, Nottingham, England, and educated at High Pavement Grammar School, Nottingham, Bird briefly joined the Socialist Party of Great Britain, while still at school.[1] He was educated at King's College, Cambridge (where he was to meet John Fortune), he became well known during the television satire boom of the 1960s, appearing in That Was The Week That Was, the title of which was coined by Bird. Bird was intended by Ned Sherrin for David Frost's role in the series, but was committed elsewhere. He also appeared in the television programmes Not So Much a Programme, More a Way of Life, A Very Peculiar Practice and My Father Knew Lloyd George, as well as in The Secret Policeman's Other Ball.

Acting career[edit]

He has also acted straight and comic roles in several television series and in films such as Dick Turpin, Help!, Jabberwocky, The Seven-Per-Cent Solution and Yellow Pages.

During the 1970s, when Idi Amin was at the height of his infamy, Bird starred on a popular recording (The Collected Broadcasts of Idi Amin) based on Alan Coren's anti-Idi Punch columns.

In 1975, Bird took the part of Mr Rembrandt, described as "Van Gogh's son, also an illegal [Pakistani] immigrant", in The Melting Pot. This was a sitcom written by Spike Milligan and Neil Shand, which was cancelled by the BBC after just one episode had been broadcast.[2] Bird played Raymond, a nervous, stuttering boy in Dennis Potter's play Blue Remembered Hills, in 1979.

He played the Director of the British National Theatre in an episode of the BBC situation comedy Yes, Prime Minister broadcast in 1988 and appeared as a newspaper editor in the political drama To Play the King in 1993.

From 1990 to 1992, Bird starred in eighteen episodes of the television detective series, El C.I.D., set in Spain. The series was serious rather than comedy-based, and co-starred Alfred Molina in the first two series and Amanda Redman in the third. The series was created by Clapperboard presenter Chris Kelly.

In 1993, Bird starred as Professor Plum in the fourth series of Cluedo.

Bird starred as John Fuller-Carp, a barrister, in the BBC radio and television sitcom, Chambers. He also stars in the BBC Radio 4 and BBC Two series Absolute Power with Stephen Fry. Bird has also guest-starred in a number of television series, an example being the Jonathan Creek episode The Three Gamblers, in which he plays a police inspector.

He is well known in the UK for his work with John Fortune and Rory Bremner in Bremner, Bird and Fortune, which has won several awards. In a famous series of sketches with John Fortune, The Long Johns, one of the Johns interviews the other in the guise of a senior figure such as a politician, businessman or government consultant. In one of these sketches ("The Last Laugh"), which was recorded for The South Bank Show and broadcast on 14 October 2007, they were credited with being one of the first to predict the seriousness of the financial crisis of 2007–2010.[3][4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ others
  2. ^ Milligan, Spike; Shand, Neil (1983). The Melting Pot. London: Robson Books. introductory pages. ISBN 0-86051-195-2. 
  3. ^ "The Marx Renaissance". 
  4. ^ "The Last Laugh: John Bird and John Fortune Reviews". 

Further reading[edit]

  • Bird, John and Fortune, John (1996). The Long Johns. London: Hutchinson. ISBN 0-09-180216-4. 

External links[edit]