Home Television Comedy Brush Strokes

Brush Strokes

1 9 8 6 – 1 9 9 1 (UK)
40 x 30 minute episodes

An Esmonde and Larbey sitcom set in south London depicting the amorous adventures of a good-looking, wisecracking house painter, Jacko.

He was a sort of Alfie-type on the surface: a seemingly happy-go-lucky, uncomplicated womaniser, but part of Jacko’s charm was his sincerity and tendency to genuinely fall for the women he pursued. He appeared to love most women, and not simply in the sexual sense.

At work, his boss was the hard-to-please Lionel, who was thankfully ignorant of the fact that his daughter Lesley was one of Jacko’s conquests.

When Lionel died, his wife Veronica took over the business and our hero found his working life more pleasant. Jacko’s prime romance was with the firm’s secretary Sandra, to whom he became engaged.

Brush Strokes was a serial comedy and at the end of the second series the writers introduced a real soap-like cliff-hanger when Jacko, about to be married to Sandra, turned to his best man Eric, as the bride walked down the aisle, and whispered, “I think I’ve made a terrible mistake”. The couple didn’t marry but went on honeymoon regardless.

The main action in Brush Strokes was split between the decorating agency where Jacko worked, the house he shared with his sister Jean and her husband (Jacko’s friend and work colleague Eric) and – in later episodes – Elmo’s Wine Bar, a garish, gaudy, tasteless establishment run by the equally garish, gaudy and tasteless Elmo.

As the series progressed viewers saw less of the flippant devil-may-care side of Jacko and more of his melancholic quality as he found himself becoming a lone single guy, his friends and acquaintances all gradually pairing off.

Never fully losing his emotional naivety, Jacko nevertheless matured through his experiences. The character proved very popular, especially with women viewers, and provided a breakthrough for the actor Karl Howman.

Karl Howman

Mike Walling

Nicky Croydon

Jackie Lye
Elmo Putney

Howard Lew Lewis
Lionel Bainbridge 

Gary Waldhorn
Veronica Bainbridge 

Elizabeth Counsell
Lesley Bainbridge 

Kim Thompson (1)
Erika Hoffman (2)