Raymond Allen (scriptwriter)

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Raymond Allen
Born March 1940 (age 77)[1]
Ryde, Isle of Wight, UK
Occupation Screenwriter and playwright
Period 1971–1978
Genre Comedy

Raymond Allen (born 15 March 1940 in Ryde, Isle of Wight)[1] is a British television writer and playwright best known for creating the 1970s BBC sitcom Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em.

Early life[edit]

He attended Ryde Secondary Modern School on the Isle of Wight, where he started to want to write. When he left school, he started out as a cub reporter for the old Isle of Wight Times at the age of 16. After service in the RAF, he returned to the Island and took low-paying menial jobs washing dishes in hotels and cleaning at Shanklin's Regal Cinema, so that with some financial help from his parents, he could continue to write.

He wrote around 40 serious plays – and was knocked back with 40 serious rejections – before turning "in desperation" to comedy sketch writing. His first sit-com was rejected by ITV, but he had another sit-com script already written, which he sent to the BBC which was Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em. His one-off script was bought by the BBC – who instantly asked him to write six more. Two more series followed. He also contributed writing to 9 episodes of The Little and Large Show.[1]

Subsequently Allen sold some one-off plays, but found his one sitcom success had cast too big a shadow over any new ones he tried.[2]

Writing credits[edit]

Production Notes Broadcaster
Dave Allen at Large
  • "Episode #1.1" (1971)
BBC1
Some Matters of Little Consequence
  • 1 episode (1971)
BBC2
Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em
  • 22 episodes (1973–1975, 1978)
BBC1
Comedy Playhouse
  • "The Dobson Doughnut" (1974)
BBC1
The Little and Large Show
  • 9 episodes (1978)
BBC1

Personal life[edit]

Allen lives in Ryde (on the Isle of Wight), no more than a mile from where he was born.[2] He is a regular at the Wight Writers Group, and attends writers' weekends. He has been working on a stage play for a couple of years, but is not currently writing for television. From time to time he still gets asked to talk about the series. He married his fiancée Nancy on 23rd May 2017.[3]

In 2016 Allen again joined forces with Michael Crawford and Michelle Dotrice for a special Some Mothers' Do Ave 'em for Sport Relief. Frank and Betty returned after nearly 40 years, with Michael doing all his own stunts at the age of 74. The special also featured other celebrities including Sir Paul McCartney, Jenson Button and Gemma Arteton as a grown up Jessica Spencer. Allen contributed with some of the dialogue for this special one off.

Raymond is in the process of writing his memoirs.[citation needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Raymond Allen". imdb.com. Retrieved 17 April 2017. 
  2. ^ a b McCarrick, Jackie (January–February 2006). "Raymond Allen was the creative skill behind Frank Spencer" (PDF). Island News (2). Shanklin, Isle of Wight. pp. 10–11. Retrieved 2 April 2016. 
  3. ^ Robertson, Peter (18 March 2016). "Writer Raymond Allen reflects on Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em Success". Island Echo. Archived from the original on 2 April 2016. Retrieved 2 April 2016.