Top positive review
11 people found this helpful
on 27 June 2011
It pleases me to see 'Romany Jones' on D.V.D. at last. It was Ronald Wolfe and Ronald Chesney's first comedy series since 'On The Buses', and while it never rivalled that show in terms of popularity, nevertheless was a solid hit that ran to four series. The late James Beck ( 'Walker' from 'Dad's Army' ) starred as 'Bert Jones', a good for nothing layabout who lives in a ramshackle caravan with his new wife, Betty ( the lovely Jo Rowbottom ). Their neighbours are thick-as-two-planks 'Wally Briggs' ( Arthur Mullard ) and his nagging wife 'Lil' ( Queenie Watts ).
Surprisingly, only two of the first series' episodes are actually by Wolfe and Chesney. The rest were by Jon Watkins ( who'd also worked on 'Bless This House' ), Jonathan Lynn and George Layton ( from 'Doctor In The House' ), and Chris Boucher ( later to work on 'Dr.Who' and 'Blake's 7' ). The scripts are not particularly brilliant - usually revolving around Bert's attempts to get rich without doing any work - but the cast keeps it together. That catchy Roger Whitaker theme will be in your head for days afterwards!
Shortly after recording a second season, Beck died of peritonitis. A new young couple - played by Jonathan Cecil and Gay Soper - moved into the Jones' caravan. Unlike the common as muck Bert and Betty, Jeremy Crichton-Jones and wife Susan were ever so posh, providing a nice contrast with the Briggs.
Don't buy this expecting another 'Dad's Army', its light years from that show in terms of scripts and acting. But by I.T.V. standards of the time, its pretty good.