John Ammonds

Forename/s: 
John
Family name: 
Ammonds
Work area/craft/role: 
Industry: 
Interview Number: 
336
Interview Date(s): 
15 Aug 1994
31 Aug 1994
Interviewer/s: 
Production Media: 
Duration (mins): 
315
Access restrictions: 

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Biographical

336    JOHN AMMONDS    Interviewer: John P Hamilton        Synopsis

15/08/1994

TAPE 1, SIDE 1

Start to 1945: Royal Signals Germany, about to apply to British Forces Network Hamburg.

TAPE 1, SIDE 2

British Forces Network – Back To Aeolian [Hall], SM amalgamation. Manchester, Morecambe & Wise radio shows. 

Dave Morris radio shows. About to go to TV North 1954.

TAPE 2, SIDE 1

Dave Morris TV. BBC course London, then return to Manchester.

Harry Worth series. Stories: Vince Powell, Harry Driver (police [??])

1960 (Vince and Harry writing Coronation Street)

Tape finishing with Manchester. Backtrack on Manchester situation vis a vis 3 shows in one day with same audience. Ends 1961/62.

TAPE 2, SIDE 2

Harry Worth. Manchester 3 shows, 1 bandcall!

336    JOHN AMMONDS    Interviewer: John P Hamilton    Synopsis

Admin set-up. Barney Coleman. Problems of moving between radio and TV and as producer and remuneration.

Barn Dance – Val Doonican and Val’s first shows. Brian Redhead. Bill Cotton (Jnr) 1965 Manchester – show moved to London. John Ammond commutes. Dave Allen. Domestic problems with disabled wife. Move to London permanently. ABS strike (interruption).

Big success of Doonican. Offer for Morecambe & Wise from ATV. Start of colour first series on BBC2. Views on colour in ITV. 

Beginning of Morecambe & Wise. Green and Hills. Eric’s first heart attack. Green and Hills go, Eddie Braben enters. First show guest Peter Cushing.

TAPE 3, SIDE 1

Details of the classic Morecambe & Wise shows. The Andre Previn classic. Tales of guests Vanessa Redgrave, Glenda Jackson, etc. 1971 Christmas show. 1973/1974. Problems with writing. Into 1973/74 and coming to an end as far as BBC is concerned. Moves on to Mike Yarwood Show (stop for lunch).

 

 

 

336    JOHN AMMONDS    Interviewer: John P Hamilton    Synopsis

TAPE 3, SIDE 2

The Mike Yarwood series. Alan Boyd. Yarwood difficulties. In-between series. The Knokke TV series – Norman Wisdom (1976). 

The MBE, the telegrams etc, the palace and Her Majesty.

Lead up to move to ITV (Thames). More Morecambe & Wise shows and Yarwoods. Director problems. Met son-in-law to-be Alex Shearer through Michael Mills. Bernie Winters shows. Eric Morecambe second  heart attack. 

TAPE 4, SIDE 1

Pick up after Eric Morecambe’s second heart attack. Now at Thames (Teddington). Problems with writers for this ITV revised series. Over-indulged by the head of Light Entertainment but this worked against the ethos of the Morecambe & Wise shows. 

John Ammonds leaves show to care for sick wife but returns to produce Thames TV Mike Yarwood Show but finds that the same over-indulgence had spoiled the artiste. Shows not good as a result so decided to retire. 

Then offered a comedy script consultancy by Alan Boyd at LWT. Worked on Copycats – shows based on multi-cast of impressionists. Wasn’t happy with this so finally gave up and into retirement.