1 9 8 1 (UK)
21 x 30 minute episodes
Simon Bognor (David Horovitch) was a crisis-prone Special Investigator for the Board of Trade. The grand-sounding title masked the fact that he was obliged to spend his time prying into industrial chicanery and import-related intrigue, bringing him up against “villains” who were more penny-pinching than megalomaniacal.
During the course of his television adventures, he came across swindling monks, poison pen-wielding journalists and a hushed-up mysterious death in the world of show poodles.
Joanna McCallum costarred as Bognor’s wife Monica, and Ewan Roberts as his Board of Trade superior, Parkinson.
An impressive line-up of guest stars included Patrick Troughton, Richard Hurndall, Anthony Jackson, Annette Badland, Robin Bailey, Elizabeth Spriggs, John Le Mesurier, Richard Vernon, Charlotte Cornwell and Glynis Barber.
Despite being popular (occasional flashes of female semi-nudity didn’t harm its chances of success with a younger audience,) the show – which was played mainly for laughs – fell victim to a regime change at Thames Television.
Bognor was based on the novels by Tim Heald.