John Bird (actor)

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John Bird (born 22 November 1936) is an English satirist, actor and comedian.


Early life

Born in Bulwell, Nottingham, England, Bird briefly joined the Socialist Party of Great Britain, while still at school.[1] He was educated at King's College, Cambridge (where he was to first meet John Fortune), he became well-known during the television satire boom of the 1960s, appearing in That Was The Week That Was, the title of which was coined by Bird. Bird was intended by Ned Sherrin for Frost's role in the series, but was committed elsewhere. He also appeared in the television programmes Not So Much a Programme, More a Way of Life, A Very Peculiar Practice and My Father Knew Lloyd George, as well as in The Secret Policeman's Other Ball.

Acting career

Bird played Raymond, a nervous, stuttering boy in Dennis Potter's play Blue Remembered Hills, in 1979.

He has also acted straight and comic roles in several television series and in films such as Dick Turpin, Help!, Jabberwocky, The Seven-Per-Cent Solution and Yellow Pages.

During the 1970s, when Idi Amin was at the height of his infamy, Bird starred on a popular recording (The Collected Broadcasts of Idi Amin) based on Alan Coren's anti-Idi Punch columns.

He played the Director of the British National Theatre in an episode of the BBC situation comedy Yes, Prime Minister broadcast in 1988 and appeared as a newspaper editor in the political drama To Play the King in 1993.

From 1990 to 1992, Bird starred in eighteen episodes of the television detective series, El C.I.D., set in Spain. The series was serious rather than comedy-based, and co-starred Alfred Molina in the first two series and Amanda Redman in the third. The series was created by Clapperboard presenter Chris Kelly.

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