Today's Birthdays

one click shows all of today's celebrity birthdays

Browse All Birthdays

43,625    Actors
27,931    Actresses
4,867    Composers
7,058    Directors
842    Footballers
221    Racing drivers
925    Singers
9,111    Writers

Get FamousLikeMe on your website
One line of code gets FamousLikeMe on your website. Find out more.

Subscribe to Daily updates

Add to Google

privacy policy

Famous Like Me > Writer > S > Johnny Speight

Profile of Johnny Speight on Famous Like Me

Name: Johnny Speight  
Also Know As:
Date of Birth: 2nd June 1920
Place of Birth: Canning Town, London, England, UK
Profession: Writer
From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia

Johnny Speight (June 2, 1920 - July 5, 1998), was a TV scriptwriter of many classic British sitcoms. His most famous creation was the controversial bigot Alf Garnett, and although many of his shows contain the themes of racism and sexism, they are regarded as classics.

Life and Career

Speight was born in Canning Town, London, England and began contributing scripts to comedy shows in 1955, starting with Great Scott - It's Maynard!. His first major series was Sykes And A... (1961), which starred Eric Sykes, Hattie Jacques and Richard Wattis. (see Sykes). Speight was one of many great writing talents on that series which also included the star Sykes, John Antrobus and Spike Milligan.

In 1965, Speight created the series Till Death Us Do Part featuring Warren Mitchell as Alf Garnett, a right-wing working class figure with a chip on his shoulder and an angry word on everything. Garnett became one of the most memorable characters in British TV history, despite being such an appalling character. The series also starred Dandy Nichols as his long-suffering wife Else. The 1971 US sitcom All In The Family was based on this series.

1969 saw the premiere of Curry and Chips, an equally controversial sitcom from LWT for the ITV channel. Despite the apparent anti political correctness, Speight's intention - like Till Death Do Us Part was to highlight discrimination, not promote it. It was a cast of stereotypes, featuring Spike Milligan as blacked-up 'Paki Paddy' Kevin O'Grady, Eric Sykes as a liberal, Kenny Lynch as black, anti-Pakistani and Norman Rossington and Geoffrey Hughes as racist Liverpudlians. (Some people would have objected to the use of blacked-up white actors to play Asian characters, particularly Spike Milligan's parody of an Asian, whatever the writer's subjective intentions.)

Speight's next major series was 1975's For Richer...For Poorer which featured Harry H Corbett as a left-wing answer to Alf Garnett. After a brief return of Till Death Do Us Part on ITV in 1981 as Till Death..., Alf Garnett returned with a vengeance on the BBC's In Sickness And In Health which ran from 1985 to 1992.

In 1998 Johnny Speight died of cancer, and LWT put forward a series of specials featuring Warren Mitchell as Alf Garnett, giving his thoughts on a variety of subjects. The programmes were originally shelved by ITV controller David Liddiment.

TV Writing Credits

  • Great Scott - It's Maynard! (1955)
  • Evans Abode (1956)
  • Frankie Howerd (1956)
  • The Dickie Valentine Show (1956)
  • Two's Company (1956)
  • Early To Braden (1957)
  • That's Life, Says Max Wall (1957)
  • The Arthur Haynes Show (1957)
  • Frankie Howerd In... (1958)
  • The April 8th Show (Seven Days Early) (1958)
  • The Cyril Fletcher Show (1959)
  • Ladies And Gentle-Men (1960)
  • Sykes And A... (1960)
  • That Was The Week That Was (1962)
  • Shamrot (1963)
  • The Graham Stark Show (1964)
  • Till Death Us Do Part (1965)
  • To Lucifer - A Son (1967)
  • Curry And Chips (1969)
  • Spate Of Speight (1969)
  • All In The Family (1971)
  • Them (1972)
  • Frankie Howerd In Ulster (1973)
  • Francis Howerd In Concert (1974)
  • Marty Back Together Again (1974)
  • For Richer...For Poorer (1975)
  • The Mike Reid Show (1976)
  • Spooner's Patch (1979)
  • The Tea Ladies (1979)
  • The Thoughts Of Chairman Alf At Christmas (1980)
  • Till Death... (1981)
  • The Lady Is A Tramp (1983)
  • In Sickness And In Health (1985)
  • Carrott Confidential (1987)
  • The Nineteenth Hole (1989)
  • A Word With Alf (1997)
  • An Audience With Alf Garnett (1997)
  • The Thoughts Of Chairman Alf (1998)

This content from Wikipedia is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Johnny Speight