1 9 7 7 – 1 9 8 6 (UK)
42 x 30 minute episodes
After quitting the cycle of medical comedies which began with Doctor In The House, Barry Evans spent several years in the theatre where the rewards were more spiritual than monetary.
In debt and on the dole, he approached Thames Television, telling them: “I’m still around, I’m still alive and I would appreciate it if you would consider me for some sort of work”.
The result was Mind Your Language, a low-brow comedy in which he starred as lively but put-upon Jeremy Brown, a teacher of English to a night school class of assorted stereotyped foreigners, including amorous French girl Danielle Favre (Francoise Pascal), humourless German Anna Schmidt (Jacki Harding) and Italian romeo Giovanni Cupello (George Camiller).
Misunderstandings and abuse were rife, leading to constant aggression and turning the naive, inoffensive Brown into a quivering, frustrated wreck.
Miss Courtney (Zara Nutley) was the dragon-like principal who had the knack of entering the classroom at just the wrong moment, and Sid (Tommy Godfrey) was the Cockney caretaker, later replaced by Henshaw (Harry Littlewood).
The likeable cast served up sizeable portions of ancient and uncomplicated schoolboy humour, presented with an absolute lack of pretension, which made the programme a big hit in 1970s’ weekend schedules.
It ran for three series, was briefly revived in the mid-Eighties, and, apparently, even spawned a live stage show in Blackpool.
Barry Evans died in 1997 after spending the last years of his life as a Leicestershire taxi driver.