Monday, April 3

Official: Someone is more obsessed with Bergerac than me!
I thought I was obsessed with Bergerac, I mean, when I was a student I built my life around Bergerac repeats on BBC One. Get up at 1, have a bath, some toast, watch Bergerac, then go to the library. In fact I'd even go as far to say that John Nettles was partially responsible for my good grades. And Bergerac would be one of my specialist subjects were I ever a contestant on Mastermind (sadly I'm not allowed!).

However, this was before I knew about Jersey-born comedian Will Smith. I was aware of him of course. People had dropped into conversation about how they had heard his routine about growing up in Jersey whilst Bergerac was being filmed and about how much he liked the programme. Sure, sure I thought - just a publicity stunt, how much can he REALLY be into Bergerac.

Then I read his online biog:


An extravagant claim no doubt, but could Smith back this up? Short of going to see him in standup and issuing a challenge, I wasn't sure.

Then I found a letter he had written to the BBC trying to get Bergerac released on DVD:

Dear Commissioning Editor of BBC Products,

I write with incredulity at the news that there are currently no plans to release Bergerac on dvd. I urge you to reconsider your decision or at least explain your incomprehensible stance that consigns one of the brightest jewels in the BBC’s crown to the dustbin of obscurity whilst simultaneously polishing for display and sale some of the many turds that have clogged up the airwaves to the point where my set-top box feels more like a septic tank.

For example,

Bread – sitcom featuring loveable Scouse family on dole. A lack of work ethic is not loveable.

‘Allo ‘Allo – astonishing for the feat of making the actual war seem funnier.

Rosemary and Thyme – two gardening detectives. Hang your head. Shame on you. Surely you must be feeling the lure of the revolver in the top drawer.

Spooks – this is like watching John Le Carre being made to stand behind a camel with the runs. I don’t want my spies to be young, sexy, and appealing to the maximum demographic. I won’t broken men in raincoats making a dash for the Russo-Finnish border in a clapped out Lada.

On top of that we have the added insult of a full release of Lovejoy. John Nettles may not have ended the show as the lean panther he was at the beginning, but he never grew a mullet or wore a jeans, T-shirt, boot and blazer combo that made Ian MacShane look like the manager of a Rod Stewart tribute act.

Whilst I can and have videoed all but two of the Bergerac repeats on UK Gold, I would like the opportunity to watch them in remastered digital quality without ad breaks but with a commentary from members of the cast and crew. This would help verify many of the obscurer locations which would make the publication of my book Bergerac: A Location Guide a possibility. In addition, I have yet to see repeated any of the many Christmas specials, which are films in their own right.

Frankly this is like telling a devout Muslim, “Sorry pal, Mecca’s closed for the foreseeable.”

I look forward to hearing your explanation.

Yours sincerely,

William Smith

P.S. If you fob me off with a standard reply I shall come at you like a lost King of Gondor with a reforged sword.

P.P.S. Not literally, your life is not in danger…yet.

P.P.S.S. The “yet” was a joke. I don’t even have a sword. I do eye them up in Forbidden Planet, but according to the security guard you’d have to sharpen them up anyway, they have to sell them dull and blunt by law.

P.P.P.S.S. I feel we’re getting off the point and don’t want to end this letter on a sour note. Though we be enemies we can respect each other for our valour and determination in battle. Like Jim Bergerac and the jewel thief Phillippa Vale.

P.P.P.S.S.S. I am not suggesting that there is any sexual frissance between us. I don’t even know what you look like…yet.

But then if you read through the correspondance, you get this slightly disturbing, but very very funny video (requires quicktime).

OK - Confirmed - this man is more obsessed with Bergerac than me...