Home Television Comedy Magnificent Evans, The

Magnificent Evans, The

1 9 8 4 (UK)
6 x 30 minute episodes

This short-lived sitcom from 1984 was written by Roy Clarke and starred Ronnie Barker as larger than life photographer Plantagenet Evans, a grandiose, hectoring Scaramouche driven by sordid motive and lust.

Set in rural Wales, the flamboyantly dressed, tactless Evans described himself modestly in his own publicity as a ‘Genius, Photographer and Man of Letters.’

He was ably assisted by his long-suffering fiancée Rachel Harris (Sharon Morgan) although her motive for working so closely with him was mainly to ensure his wandering hands did not wander too far and his wandering eye didn’t wander too wide.

His prying sister Bron (Myfanwy Talog) and brother-in-law Probert (William Thomas), both disapproved strongly of Rachel and Evans living in sin. Whenever questioned about her sleeping arrangements with Evans, Rachel constantly shrieked ”I have my own apartment!”

Evans also had a not-so-handyman and chauffeur called Willie (Dickie Arnold), a toothless idiot who never spoke and was incapable of performing even the simplest of tasks correctly.

When Evans wasn’t at the lens of a camera he could be found dealing in a sideline of wood-burning stoves and antiques of debatable origin.

“I have always wanted to play a Welsh character,” Barker told Radio Times in 1984. “The sound is so attractive and there are so many more things you can say in a Welsh accent. There’s a rich vein of comedy to be tapped there.”

A year after The Magnifcent Evans ended, Barker did one more series of Open All Hours and in 1988 wrote and starred in his final sitcom, Clarence, in which he played a myopic removals man.

Plantagenet Evans
Ronnie Barker
Rachel Harris
Sharon Morgan
Dickie Arnold
Myfanwy Talog
William Thomas
Olwin O’Toole
Dyfed Thomas