All to often when talking about that golden age of comedy (1970’s) some great ITV gems get forgotten about.
Romany Jones is one such example. Created by Ronald Chesney and Ronald Wolfe of On The Buses fame and produced by London Weekend Television for ITV, the series was intended as a vehicle for James Beck (of Dad’s Army fame), but sadly he passed away in 1973 shortly after filming a second series.
Despite the tragic loss of James Beck the show ran for 4 series and 27 episodes between 1972 and 1975. Two of the show’s characters, Wally and Lily Briggs, went on a year later in 1976 to star in a spin off series ‘Yus, My Dear’
The plot revolves around two couples living side by side under strained circumstances on a run down caravan site. Bert Jones is skint, recently married and reduced to living with his new wife in a pokey caravan until their circumstances improve. The neighbours are Wally and Lily Briggs whose circumstances are not much different. Unfortunately Bert’s general laziness and workshy philosophy ensure that day when things improve will be a long time coming, earning him grief from Betty on an ongoing basis.
After the tragic death of James Beck in 1973 the characters of Bert and Betty were written out for series 3 and replaced with two new characters Jeremy and Susan Crichton-Jones who stayed with the show until it ended in 1975
Arthur Mullard – Wally Briggs
Queenie Watts – Lily Briggs
James Beck – Bert Jones (series 1 and 2)
Jo Rowbottom – Betty Jones (series 1 and 2)
Kevin Brennan – Mr Gibson (series 1 and 2)
Jonathan Cecil – Jeremy Crichton-Jones (series 3 and 4)
Maureen Sweeney – Susan Crichton-Jones (series 3 and 4)
Created By: Ronald Chesney and Ronald Wolfe
Ronald Chesney and Ronald Wolfe
Original Transmission Dates: 15th February 1972 – 11thJuly 1975