A Forgotten Classic – Dear John, 1986

Some people regard Dear John as a forgotten classic as it has not enjoyed the exposure from regular repeats on non terrestrial TV as have some other comedies of the time.

Fourteen episodes of Dear John were made and broadcast over two series and a Christmas special from 17th February 1986 – 21st December 1987.  John Sullivan also wrote a version for American TV entitled Dear John USA, featuring an all American cast.


John is a secondary school teacher whose wife leaves him for his best friend, Mike.  He is thrown out of his home and has to continue paying the mortgage while living in a bedsit. Although John’s wife is manipulative and John the victim, he admits he neglected his wife emotionally.  He feels cut off from his son, to whom he has access only on Sundays.  To widen his social circle he joins a singles club.

The programme follows John as he goes about rebuilding his life.  Much of the comedy comes from his meetings at the 1-2-1 club.

The 1-2-1 club is ran by the rather fruity Louise.  Here he meets up with a bunch of assorted misfits each with their own problems.  Despite their various differences the members of 1-2-1 club forge friendships and support each other through their respective lives with hilarious consequences.


Sadly these clips are not the best but they do give you a feel for the show.






Ralph Bates
Belinda Lang
Peter Denyer
Peter Blake
Rachel Bell


Channel: BBC1
Written By: John Sullivan
Original Transmission Dates: 17th February 1986 – 21st December 1987



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