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Mike And Bernie (ITV 1971-1972, Mike Winters, Bernie Winters)

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Mike and Bernie ITV 1971

Popular comedy double act Mike and Bernie Winters (real life brothers) played an unpopular comedy double in this self titled, short lived sitcom. The pair had been trying out longer scripted pieces in their various sketch shows so this seemed like a natural progression. The series, scripted by Vince Powell and Harry Driver, was probably a little too broad and slapsticky and Mike and Bernie were not natural actors so it didn’t quite work.

Each episode saw the pair looking for variety work and getting involved in various misadventures. In the first episode they failed an audition with one of London’s top variety agents and in another their support for Chelsea football club (including appearances from real life players Ron Harris, Peter Osgood and Charlie Cooke) goes a little too far.

The supporting casts were good though and featured appearances from the likes of Sam Kidd, Roy Barraclough, Billy Dainty, Peter Jones, David Hamilton and Bill Pertwee.

Scriptwriters Powell and Driver had a very successful partnership until Driver’s untimely death in 1973. Their hits included Never Mind the Quality, Feel the Width, Nearest and Dearest, Love Thy Neighbour and For the Love of Ada. Driver developed Polio when he was 27 and spent 18 months in an iron lung and then was confined to a wheelchair. He was only 42 when he died. Powell continued with just as much success as a solo writer with Spring and Autumn and Mind Your Language.

production details
UK / ITV – Thames / 6×25 minute episodes / Broadcast 14 December 1971 – 18 January 1972

Writers: Vince Powell, Harry Driver / Producer and Director: Stuart Allen

cast
Mike Winters as Mike
Bernie Winters as Bernie

THE EPISODES
1. HOW TO LOSE FRIENDS AND GO OFF PEOPLE (14 Dec 1971)
2. AM I MY BROTHER’S KEEPER (21 Dec 1971)
3. TO RUSSIA WITH LOVE (28 Dec 1971)
4. THE ROAR OF THE CROWD, THE SMELL OF THE LINIMENT (4 Jan 1971)
5. A LITTLE BIT ON THE SIDE (11 Jan 1972)
6. THE DOG IT WAS THAT DIED (18 Jan 1972)