Vince Powell

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Vince Powell
Born Vincent Smith
(1928-08-06)6 August 1928
Miles Platting, Manchester, England, United Kingdom
Died 13 July 2009(2009-07-13) (aged 80)
Guildford, Surrey, England, United Kingdom
Occupation Scriptwriter
Nationality British
Period 1960–1996
Genre Television
Notable works

Here's Harry (1960–1965)

Pardon the Expression (1965–1966)
George and the Dragon (1966–1968)
Never Mind the Quality Feel the Width (1967–1971)
Best of Enemies (1968–1969)
Nearest and Dearest (1968–1973)
Two in Clover (1969–1970)
For the Love of Ada (1970–1971)
Bless This House (1971–1976)
Love Thy Neighbour (1972–1976)
Spring and Autumn (1972–1976)
The Wackers (1975)
Rule Britannia! (1975)
My Son Reuben (1975)
Odd Man Out (1977)
Mind Your Language (1977–1979, 1986)
Young at Heart (1980–1982)
Never the Twain (1981–1991)
Bottle Boys (1984–1985)
Slinger's Day (1986–1987)
Cilla's Celebration (1993)
For Better Or For Worse (Radio 2, 1993–1996)

Vince Powell[1] (6 August 1928 – 13 July 2009) was a British television writer.

Powell was born as Vincent Smith to Roman Catholic parents in Miles Platting, Manchester. When he was five, his mother died; two years later, his father remarried. Powell was best known as a British sitcom creator and television writer, active at ITV from the mid-1960s.

With his writing partner, Harry Driver (1931–1973), Powell created and wrote 11 sitcoms for ITV in an eight-year period, including the successful shows Bless This House and Love Thy Neighbour, though other writers contributed scripts to both series. The latter programme, according to The Times, was "intended to debunk racial stereotypes but came to be widely condemned for doing exactly the opposite. ... Powell and Driver were not racists, they merely tried to poke fun at racial bigotry in an era before political correctness would have made such a show impossible."[2]

Other popular series created and written by them for ITV include:

  • George and the Dragon (1966–68), starring Sid James and Peggy Mount as chauffeur and housekeeper to John Le Mesurier
  • Never Mind the Quality, Feel the Width (1967–71), set in the London rag trade, featuring an ethnically mis-matched pair of tailors, the Jewish Manny Cohen (John Bluthal) and the Irish-Catholic Patrick Kelly (Joe Lynch)
  • For the Love of Ada (1970–71), in which Irene Handl and Wilfred Pickles played romantically involved pensioners

After Driver's death, Powell created Mind Your Language (1977–79, 1986). He also penned a number of scripts for the popular 1980s sitcom Never the Twain (1981–91) starring Windsor Davies and Donald Sinden, also for Thames Television, writing all of the final episodes from 1989 to 1991. Plus he wrote 3 series (20 episodes) of the Radio 2 sitcom For Better Or For Worse, starring Gorden Kaye and Su Pollard, between 1993 and 1996.

Powell contributed material to the Cilla Black vehicles Blind Date (224 episodes) and Surprise, Surprise (130 episodes).[3] He published his autobiography, From Rags to Gags, in 2008.

Powell died aged 80 in Guildford, Surrey. His first marriage ended in divorce; as did his second marriage, to Judi Smith. His third marriage, to Geraldine Moore ended when he died. He had a son from his second marriage, and a son and daughter from his third.

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