1 9 6 6 – 1 9 7 0 (UK)
37 x 30 minute episodes
Harry Worth, like many early TV stars, started out in variety theatre. Originally a ventriloquist, he supported Laurel and Hardy on their visits to the UK during the early 1950s and it was during these tours that the Hollywood duo suggested he ditch the dummy and become a stand-up comedian.
The resulting stage persona – bumbling and always slightly out of sync with the world – also became the basis for his small screen career.
His first TV series, The Trouble with Harry (BBC, 1960), cast the bespectacled Worth as a would-be novelist, doomed to fail. However, it was his second series, Here’s Harry (BBC, 1960-65), that established his popularity and cast the mould for the remainder of his TV career.
The show’s weekly premise was to pitch Worth up against some form of petty authority and watch the fallout. This generally highlighted Worth’s inability to make himself understood while passport officers, doctors or postmen grew ever more infuriated by his failure to manage a comprehensible conversation.
Worth’s bewildered but cheerful character proved a huge hit and in acknowledgement of his popularity Here’s Harry was renamed Harry Worth midway through its ten-year run. The premise, however, remained unchanged.
The show is best remembered not for its plots but for its novel opening title sequence, in which the star used his reflection in a Manchester shop window to create an optical illusion with his arm and leg which made him appear to be floating in mid-air.
It became a national craze, with people copying Worth outside department stores across the country.
A Soldier’s Farewell | Night Train to Nowhere | To Be Called For | Move Man Move | Where There’s Brass | The Gas Man Goeth | The Undesirable Alien | Tails You Lose | It’s in the Bag | An Epic in the Sand | Two to One Bar | What Ails You? | Deputation from Lower Cludworth | King of the Road | Four’s a Crush | Feet First | Melancholics Anonymous | Tax and the Single Man | A Policeman’s Lot | Private Pimpernel | Money to Burn | Last in Line | Wheel of Misfortune | James Bond: Where Are You? | Match of the Day | Another One Behind | Going, Going, Gone | Only Four Can Play | Nothing But the Truth | Border Incident | A Man’s Best Friend | One for the Road | No Place Like Home | Just the Job | Anyone for Golf? | I Will, I Will | Where There’s a Will