diamond geezer

 Sunday, March 20, 2005

The diamond geezer tribute to David Jason

Britain's most well-loved comedy actor returns to our television screens tonight in another award-winning role of genius. David Jason stars in Diamond Geezer (ITV1 9pm) as an old lag who masterminds an audacious jewel robbery from the comfort of his cosy prison cell. It's sure to be a two hour drama masterpiece, adored by the non-demanding Sunday night audience, and if we're really lucky a heartwarming series will follow. Because, if there's one thing thing you can never accuse lovable rogue David Jason of, it's typecasting.

1940: Born David John White in Edmonton, son of Arthur (a Billingsgate fish porter) and Olwen (a charlady).
1955: Leaves school to work as an apprentice mechanic. Joins amateur dramatic company.
1965: First professional acting role, in a Noel Coward play for Bromley Rep (replacing his brother Arthur who leaves to take an acting role in Z Cars).
1967: TV debut alongside Michael Palin, Eric Idle and Terry Jones in Do Not Adjust Your Set (a forerunner of Monty Python's Flying Circus).
1969: Jason (briefly) plays a gardener in Crossroads (surely the pinnacle of his career).
1973: Ronnie Barker makes a series of seven one-off comedy dramas for the BBC, and invites Jason to play bumbling shop assistant Granville in Open All Hours. Another of the seven dramas later becomes Porridge, in which Jason is cast as elderly inmate Blanco.
1976: Open All Hours is turned into a much-loved series, which will be used to plug the gaps in early evening BBC schedules for several years to come.
1981: Jason makes his debut as lovable rogue Del Boy Trotter in the seminal Peckham-based sitcom, Only Fools and Horses. Sales of Reliant Robins soar.
1981: Immortalised as the voice of DangerMouse in DangerMouse.
1987: Wins BAFTA for portrayal of grumpy college porter Skullion in Porterhouse Blue.
1988: Immortalised as the voice of Count Duckula in Count Duckula.
1989: Plays bluff Yorkshire businessman Ted Simcock in David Nobbs' A Bit Of A Do
1991: ITV offers Jason the 'perfick' role of Pop Larkin in The Darling Buds of May, thereby making him the first old codger in the life of Catherine Zeta-Jones.
1992: ITV realises that Inspector Morse can't go on forever, so Jason is drafted in to play a grumpy detective in A Touch Of Frost (which proceeds to go on forever).
1999: The BBC shows the comedy clip of Del Boy falling through the Only Fools and Horses bar for the 500th time.
2002: Jason writes and stars in The Quest, a homely nostalgic drama for ITV.
2003: Awarded a BAFTA Fellowship for being the most much-loved actor in the history of television, ever.
2005: Right up-to date with prison drama Diamond Geezer which, if nothing else, will bring Googlers flooding to this page by mistake.

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