Dear John (BBC-1 1986-1987, Ralph Bates, Belinda Lang)

In Sitcom Dear John divorced schoolteacher John Lacey joins the 1-2-1 encounter group where he meets a motley collection of characters. John’s estranged wife is the overbearing Wendy and the couple have a you son Toby (played by real life son of star Ralph Bates).

John is struggling to cope with the single life in his bedsit (still paying the mortgage on the family home too) and thinks the 1-2-1 group would help him – he’s wrong of course!

Fellow members of the group include:
Kate (Belinda Lang), a three-time divorcee who has problems maintaining relationships
Kirk St Moritz (Peter Blake), a flamboyant and boastful man who favours white suits and “gold” jewellery
Ralph (Peter Denyer), a rather slow-witted, geeky character
Sylvia (Lucinda Curtis), a nervous divorcee with an irritating laugh
The club is run by Louise (Rachel Bell), a divorcee who seems to be obsessed with other people’s sex lives (“Were there any sexual problems?”).

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Remade for the US where like The Office it notched many more episodes than it’s UK parent.

production details
UK / BBC One / 13×30 minute episodes 1×45 minute episodes / Broadcast 17 February 1986 – 21 December 1987

Writer: John Sullivan / Producer: Ray Butt / Theme sung by Paul Nicholas

RALPH BATES as John Lacey
PETER BLAKE as Kirk St Moritz
PETER DENYER as Ralph Dring
RACHEL BELL as Louise Williams
JEAN CHALLIS as Mrs Arnott
IRENE PRADOR as Mrs Lemenski
LUCINDA CURTIS as Sylvia Watkins
KEVIN LLOYD as Ricky Fortune (1987)

Alastair James is the editor in chief for Memorable TV. He has been involved in media since his university days. Alastair is passionate about television, and some of his favourite shows include Line of Duty, Luther and Traitors. He is always on the lookout for hot new shows, and is always keen to share his knowledge with others.