Francie and Josie

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The Adventures of Francie and Josie
Created by Rikki Fulton and Jack Milroy
Starring Clement Ashby
Glen Michael
Ethel Scott
Country of origin Scotland
No. of episodes 32
Production
Running time 25 minutes
Release
Original network Scottish Television
Original release 26 October 1962 – 15 August 1965

Francie and Josie was a double act performed by Scottish comedians Jack Milroy as Francie and Rikki Fulton (of Scotch and Wry) as Josie. from 1958 - 1990's.

History[edit]

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 they refined the concept.[1] Often there would be a sketch from Francie alone and a sketch from Josie alone and then the two 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 a hit, being broadcast by Anglia, Border Television, Grampian Television, Tyne Tees and UTV, and resulted in the pair appearing at the opening of many British Relay TV rental shops. The first shop they opened, in Airdrie, caused such mayhem that crowds smashed the shop windows.[1]

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.

Episodes[edit]

Over its course 32 episodes were created between 1962 and 1965. No series was made in 1964 due to technician strike, but series 1 and 2 were repeated instead.

Series 1: 1962[edit]

The first series consisted of reworkings of the original stage scripts [2]

  • 26/10/62 "The Errant Knights"
  • 02/11/62 "The TV Fans"
  • 09/11/62 "The Souvenir Hunters"
  • 16/11/62 "The Penpal"
  • 23/11/62 "The Donors"
  • 30/11/62 "The Patriots"

Series 2: 1963[edit]

  • 18/09/63 - "The Guinea Pigs"
  • 25/09/63 - "The Princess"
  • 02/10/63 - "The So'jers"
  • 09/10/63 - "The Holiday"
  • 16/10/63 - "The Rivals"
  • 23/10/63 - "The Nightclub"
  • 30/10/63 - "The Banditos"
  • 06/11/63 - "The Stamp Collectors"
  • 13/11/63 - "The Housewarming"
  • 20/11/63 - "The Matchmakers"
  • 27/11/63 - "The Wallet"
  • 11/12/63 - "The Glesca Gallants"
  • 31/12/63 - "The Odd Job"

Series 3: 1965[edit]

  • 2 February 1965 - "The Good Deed"
  • 9 February 1965 - "The Decoy"
  • 16 February 1965 - "The Birds"
  • 23 February 1965 - "The Stowaways"
  • 2 March 1965 - "The Volunteers"
  • 9 March 1965 - "The Legacy"
  • 16 March 1965 - "The Toff"
  • 11 July 1965 - "The Luck o' the ...?"
  • 18 July 1965 - "The Meat in the Sandwich"
  • 25 July 1965 - "The Lovebirds"
  • 1 August 1965 - "Licence to Kill"
  • 8 August 1965 - "The Arty Crafty Brigade"
  • 15 August 1965 - "Song Makers"

No copies of The Adventures of Francie and Josie are known to have survived. Much of Scottish Television's early output was wiped, and recorded over, a common practice in the television industry at the time.#.[3] There's hope that an audio or video copy that was recorded during transmissions still exist.

Characters[edit]

  • Francie McKenzie — Francie is seen as the less intelligent one of the pair but overrules Josie 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 things he laughs at are usually not funny. Example: Josie: "I couldnae get a hud o' that Chinese waiter, ye know, the one wi' the funny walk." (Walk/Wok)[1]
  • Josie Tierney — 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 — 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 — Glen Michael played many parts on the show, including Josie's cousin when Jack Milroy was ill.
  • Pen-pal: - The original sketches would start with an appearance by Francie's unnamed American pen-pal (called "Teenager" in the scripts), who referred to the duo as "Francis and Joseph" and puzzled over the Glaswegian slang in his letters. She was played by Fulton's wife, Ethel Scott.

Revivals[edit]

After success of the television series, the duo returned to the stage. Fulton suggested that he take over as scriptwriter as Mars was moving on to America. The latter agreed and gave Fulton licence to write the scripts.[2]

Two revival shows were recorded at the King's Theatre, Glasgow, reuniting Fulton and Milroy; Francie and Josie (1989), which was broadcast on BBC Scotland, and The Farewell Performance (1996), which was direct-to-video.

In 2015 a show called Francie & Josie: The Return toured Scotland starring Liam Dolan as Francie and Johnny Mac as Josie (credited as playing Milroy and Fulton, respectively).[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Fulton, Rikki (1999). Is It that time already?. p. 284. ISBN 9781902927022. 
  2. ^ a b Marshall, Muriel (July 2008). "Stagedoor". Scottish Music Hall Society. Retrieved 20 April 2016. 
  3. ^ Ferguson, Brian (17 October 2013). "Francie and Josie among BFI lost Scots TV episodes". The Scotsman. Retrieved 20 April 2016. 
  4. ^ Maclean, Pauline (17 February 2015). "Stage Show Tribute to Francie and Josie comedy act". BBC. Retrieved 20 April 2016.