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Late Night Line Up-profile of Johnny Speight




3 days previously, Till Death us do Part Series 4 started, series 3 was in 1968. So what better than do the documentary on it's shows writer, the great Johnny Speight, Britains finest scriptwriter. So what had Speight been doing since 1968: He'd done two short specials of Till Death us do Part, in August 1968 he continued to work against racism in an award winning play "If there weren't any blacks, we'd have to invent them", in 1969 he did an episode of the Wednesday play. Speight was becoming such a big name, he did a 50 minute sketch show Staring Eric Sykes called "Spate of Speight", also in 1969 his controversial comedy show "Curry and Chips" starring Spike Milligan and Eric Sykes started and ended. In 1971, the American version of Till Death us do Part, "All in the Family" started, that would prove massive in the States and at the start of 1972 he wrote another comedy series called "Them", so he was busy.
The documentary told Speight's story. How he lived in poverty in London's East End. His father once opened up a sweet shop in there front room, but the council was quick to come and close it down. Because he had done so well at writing, he went from poverty to Rolls Royce's and big houses. We heard Speights political views. He was, like me, very left wing and then he spoke of all the troubles he had in writing, due to people misunderstanding satire. He spoke of a Vicar writing to him complaining about his comedy show "Them" about two tramps. The Vicar said "I find it awful that you are laughing at people in this low state of humanity" so Speight's reply was "I agree with you, tramps shouldn't be laughed at, so what are you doing about it. You don't highlight things by pretending they don't exist



comes on plain dvd in plastic wallet not available commercially