|Born||John Francis Junkin
29 January 1930
Ealing, Middlesex, England, UK
|Died||7 March 2006
Florence Nightingale House, Stoke Mandeville, Buckinghamshire, England, UK
|Cause of death||Lung cancer, emphysema and asthma|
|Residence||Wendover, Buckinghamshire, England|
|Occupation||Radio and television performer, writer|
In 1960 Junkin joined Joan Littlewood's Stratford East Theatre Workshop, and played the lead in the original production of Sparrers Can't Sing. A few years later he joined the Royal Court Theatre company and was the foil to Tony Hancock in some of Hancock's last work for British television. He played a diverse range of roles on the small screen; however he is best remembered for his comedy roles, and his appearances as a television quiz master. Worldwide filmgoers will remember him best for playing "Shake", the assistant to Norman Rossington, in the Beatles film A Hard Day's Night. In comedy roles, Junkin was rarely short of work, on account of his outstanding ability to play the stony-faced symbol of low level, petty-minded and unquestioning authority, whether the army sergeant, police constable or site foreman.
One of his rare leading roles was in the BBC series The Rough with the Smooth, in which he and Tim Brooke-Taylor played comedy writers (with both actors contributing scripts to the series as well). He also hosted his own afternoon television series in the mid-1970s. Entitled simply Junkin, it was produced by Southern Television for the ITV network.
Junkin lived in Wendover, Buckinghamshire, where he was a popular regular at the Red Lion pub. He married Jenny Claybourn in 1977 and had one daughter. He died on 7 March 2006 in the Florence Nightingale House, Stoke Mandeville, several miles from his home. He had been suffering from lung cancer, emphysema and asthma. His life and work were honoured at the British Academy Television Awards in 2006.
- The Plane Makers, drama series set in an aircraft factory, 1962–65
- Marty, a comedy television series with Marty Feldman, Tim Brooke-Taylor and Roland MacLeod.
- The Blackpool Show a 1966 series with Tony Hancock.
- The Goodies
- The Sweeney
- The Professionals (series 5 episode 8 as Mr Hollis)
- Inspector Morse
- The Avengers
- Crosswits (quiz panelist)
- Odd One Out (voiceover)
- Mr Bean
- Ask No Questions
- Picking Up The Pieces
- The Thing About Vince
- The Sins
- Macready and Daughter
- Coronation Street (as a short-lived boyfriend of Elsie Tanner)
- EastEnders (2001–02) as Ernie Johnson