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The Magnificent Evans, The (BBC-1 1984, Ronnie Barker, Sharon Morgan)

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This 1984 sitcom from the pen of the masterful Roy Clarke (creator of Open All Hours) stars the legendary Ronnie Barker as the flambouyant Welsh photographer Plantagenet Evans (who describes himself as “genius, photographer and man of letters”).

Over the top and driven by lust Evans is a brilliant creation brought to life splendidly by Barker. Besides sex one of Evans other main motivations is making money and he also deals in dodgy antiques (in fact he is also the local franchise holder of Scandinavian log stoves!) Writer Clarke is brilliant at getting into the heart of small town life and he here travels a similar road as his brilliant Last of the Summer Wine; Evans himself is busy scandalising the chapel area with his live in lover Rachel, parading around the town like a strutting peacock, giving forth from his open top vintage car like a modern day Bertrand Russell.

Very funny and proves once again what a talent the much missed Barker was, Plantagenet Evans was probably the least likable character he played on TV but he brings such a joi de vivre to the role that you just can’t help liking the fellow.

production details
UK / BBC1 / 6×30 minutes / 13 September – 11 October 1984 Thursdays at 8.00pm

Writer: Roy Clarke
Producer and Director: Sydney Lotterby

cast
Ronnie Barker as Plantagenet Evans
Denys Graham
Howard Lew Lewis
Myfanwy Talog as Bron
Sharon Morgan as Rachel
Dyfed Thomas as Home Rule O’Toole
Dickie Arnold as Willie

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