1 9 7 8 – 1 9 8 0 (UK)
14 x 30 minute episodes
After 30 years as a double act with his brother Mike, Bernie Winters struck out on his own in this new series from Thames Television. Well, not quite alone, as he was accompanied by his St Bernard, Schnorbitz, at the beginning and end of every show.
Any doubts about whether he could manage on his own were dispelled as Bernie appeared in a series of comedy sketches, joined by guest stars including Bill Pertwee, Bob Todd, June Whitfield, Alfie Bass, Hugh Paddick, Geoffrey Bayldon, Joan Collins, Diana Dors, Victor Spinetti and Bill Treacher.
Never over-ambitious, Bernie bumbled his way through the sketches with gleeful good humour.
Scriptwriters Johnnie Mortimer, Brian Cooke, Eric Merriman and Barry Cryer provided plenty of laughs and director Leon Thau wisely avoided aiming too high, content to allow Bernie Winters’ likeable nature to take over.
Not all the sketches were wildly funny but very few missed the mark and the result was friendly family entertainment.
Bernie Winters died on 4 May 1991, aged 60. He survived a massive cancer operation in December 1990 and played in a six-week run of a pantomime at Christmas, but had a relapse in March.