John Bird (actor)
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22 November 1936 |
Bulwell, Nottingham, England, United Kingdom
|Occupation||Actor, comedian, satirist|
Early life 
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. He was educated at King's College, Cambridge (where he was to first 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 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 
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.
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.
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.
Further reading 
- John Bird at the Internet Movie Database
- Bird and Fortune: A Life in Television BAFTA filmed event, March 2009