Sunday 27 July 2014

John Owens

John Owens:

It seems that lanky, long-chinned actor John Owens has appeared in a lot of my favourite TV programmes over the years, but has always somehow flown just under my recognition radar. Looking at his resumé on the ever-useful imdb website, I notice that he has had a lot of no-name roles that suggest the fringes of extra-dom; 'waiter', 'salesman', 'man in cupboard', 'jumble donor' and quite often 'vicar'. This does him little justice. 

'Oh Crikey!' It's Rik's favourite TV show in 'The Young Ones'

He's in one of the most classic of 'Doctor Who' stories for a start, 'The Daemons' from 1971 (see picture at top of page), as well as classic serials 'Nicholas Nickleby' and 'Sense and Sensibility', period dramas like 'To Serve Them All My Days', 'The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes' and 'The Monocled Mutineer'. You might also catch a glimpse of him in lots of popular early-evening stuff like 'Lovejoy', 'Shoestring', 'The Professionals' and 'Reilly Ace of Spies'.   

One of several vicar roles, this one in the gentle police sitcom 'Rosie'

Plenty of comedy too. He was a regular on
 'The Dick Emery Show' and 'The Two Ronnies' (in fact, he works the slightly weak visual punchline of the famous 'four candles' sketch) plus a sprinkling of sitcoms that includes 'Terry & June', 'Whatever Happened to the The Likely Lads', 'Please Sir', 'Potter', 'Rosie' and 'Rings On Their Fingers'. And some of the more whimsical and sophisticated '70s and '80s offerings, such as 'Fairly Secret Army', 'Mister Pye' and 'Mapp & Lucia', before brushing with alternative comedy, satire and dark humour via 'The Young Ones', 'Time Trumpet', 'Look Around You' (as Teddy Clarke, leader of the vegetable orchestra) and 'Nighty Night'. 

Trying to sell insurance to Hyacinth in 'Keeping Up Appearances' 

Not too much cinema work. But he's in 'Oh! What a Lovely War' (1969), 'An American Werewolf In London' (1981), and 'From Hell' (2001).

As a gangland gunman in 'Clegg' aka 'The Bullet Machine' (1970) 

John Owens- imdb


  1. This guy is great, yet despite plugging away since the mid 60s still gets roles entitled "server". Well spotted for this site.

  2. great moment in The Two Ronnies when he slides across the floor and goes a bit too far and appears to actually hurt himself