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Veteran comedy writer, Vince Powell - once the king of the TV sit-coms, and famous for blockbuster TV shows, like 'Never Mind The Quality, Feel The Width', and 'Nearest And Dearest' - is furious that the funny-business, typical of writers of his genre, has been given the elbow, by today's new breed of TV executive.

Many comedy writers, he says - admittedly, the 'old and bold' - are complaining that Ageism, and quasi-American, youth culture targeting, has resulted in them, and their ideas, being 'ditched' by the big corporate networks, when it comes to programme commissioning.

The material they are writing - today, he says - is just as good, as it ever was...but the networks shun it, for the above reasons.

In the outcome, says Vince, sit-coms - as we used to know them - have become extinct...and yet, the public are still crying-out to view this kind of typically 'British' broad comedy.

If any proof of this were needed, you just have to look at the record viewing figures, on Cable and Satellite, for shows, like 'Dad's Army', 'Nearest And Dearest', etc., not to mention the repeats of old sit-coms, on principal networks, like the BBC.

Note: Vince - who based 'Never Mind The Quality, Feel The Width', on the tailoring business, run by his Catholic Father, and Jewish partner, in Manchester - was among the first members of the 'Coronation Street' writing team, and he wrote the first, of an eight-series sit-com, in Manchester, for Harry Worth.

He's written and devised, literally scores of sit-coms, films and plays, and has worked with the cream of comedy talent, in Television, Radio and the Cinema, including Benny Hill, Tommy Cooper, Cilla Black, Wilfred Pickles, and Sir John Mills.

Not bad for a local lad, who started out in the Manchester Rag Trade, before tracking down Eric Morecambe, and landing his first job, as a gag-writer, for the zany pair, in the mid-1950s.


See Also: Gerry George's Memories pages

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