John Howard Davies

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John Howard Davies
John Howard Davies.jpg
Born March 9, 1939 in Paddington, London, England
Died August 22, 2011 in Blewbury, Oxfordshire, England from cancer
Notable Roles Monty Python's Flying Circus: Producer
Fawlty Towers: Producer, Director
Mr. Bean: Producer, Director
Notable Episodes Fawlty Towers: 1x02 - The Builders
Mr. Bean: 1x01 - Mr. Bean
Awards 1 BAFTA TV Award

John Howard Davies is a British director, producer and TV executive best known for his work on such classic British comedies as Monty Python's Flying Circus, Fawlty Towers and Mr. Bean.



John Howard Davies was born on March 9, 1939 in London. Like Ron Howard in America, Davies was a child actor who became better known as an adult as a director and producer.

The son of TV writer Jack Davies, as a towheaded, cow-eyed boy, young John Howard easily found work in the Our Gang shorts and several other roles. But his first feature film would be his most famous: The title role in legendary director David Lean's 1948 classic adaptation of Charles Dickens's Oliver Twist.

After he grew to adulthood, Davies tried his hand at a number of professions, including salesman and city clerk, before he entered his father's profession of television. He started at the BBC as a production assistant in 1966, but his first work as a director would come later that year with a four-part storyline on the popular science-fiction series Doctor Who. But he rose still higher very quickly, and the majority of his work was comedy. Within three years, he would make television history when he would become one of the director/producers responsible for the launch of the classic series Monty Python's Flying Circus. After leaving Monty Python's Flying Circus, he also produced another beloved BBC comedy, The Goodies.

In 1975, he first took the executive chair when he became Managing Director of EMI Television Productions. But before one year was out, he was back at the BBC as a producer, where he directed and produced the first season of the British all-time classic Fawlty Towers. In 1978, he was named Head of Comedy, and four years later was again promoted to Head of Light Entertainment.

His heart still lay in comedy, however, so in 1985, he again left the BBC, this time to work at ITV, best known for The Benny Hill Show and little else in comedy, as a producer. By 1987, he was again an executive serving as the Head of Light Entertainment at ITV, where he oversaw the end of The Benny Hill Show and the start of Mr. Bean.

In more recent years, he has once again returned to the BBC, where he produced and directed on series such as The Vicar of Dibley.


Starring Roles

Series Role Year(s) Season(s)
Laughter in the House: The Story of British Sitcom Himself 1999 1

Guest Starring Roles

Series Role Episode Airdate
William Tell Karl 1x05 - The Prisoner October 13, 1958
William Tell Bruno 1x12 - The Bear December 1, 1958
Comedy Connections Himself 2x04 - The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin July 19, 2004
Comedy Connections Himself 3x01 - Monty Python's Flying Circus February 21, 2005
Comedy Connections Himself 3x06 - Not the Nine O'Clock News March 28, 2005
Comedy Connections Himself 4x05 - To the Manor Born April 10, 2006

Specials and Made-for-TV Movies

Title Role Airdate Series/Banner
The Not the Nine O'Clock News Story Himself July 17, 1999
Felicity Kendal: A Passage from India Himself July 29, 2001
Who Got Benny's Millions? Himself August 13, 2002
Alec Guinness: A Secret Man Himself December 29, 2003
Fawlty Towers @ 30 Himself August 27, 2005
The Ultimate Sitcom Himself January 2, 2006

Talk, News and Game Show Appearances


Staff Director

Series Year(s) Season(s)
Misleading Cases 1967-1971 1 2 3
All Gas and Gaiters 1968-1971 3 4 5
The World of Beachcomber 1968-1969 1 2
The Edwardians 1972 1
Steptoe and Son 1972 7
War and Peace (1972) 1972 1
Fawlty Towers 1975 1
All in Good Faith 1985-1987 1 2
We'll Think of Something 1986 1
Executive Stress 1986-1987 1 2
Andy Capp 1988 1
No Job for a Lady 1990-1992 1 2 3
Hope It Rains 1991-1992 1 2
Law and Disorder 1994 1

Episode Director

Series Episode Airdate
Doctor Who 4x07 - The Macra Terror March 11, 1967
Oh in Colour 1x04 - Episode Four October 20, 1970
Oh in Colour 1x05 - Episode Five October 27, 1970
The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin 1x01 - Hippopotamus September 8, 1976
The Other One 1x01 - Episode One November 11, 1977
Mr. Bean 1x01 - Mr. Bean (pilot) January 1, 1990
Mr. Bean 1x02 - The Return of Mr. Bean November 5, 1990
Mr. Bean 1x03 - The Curse of Mr. Bean December 30, 1990
The Vicar of Dibley 1x07 - The Easter Bunny April 8, 1996
The Bill 17x74 - Judas Kiss December 7, 2001

Specials and Made-for-TV Movies Directed

Title Airdate Series/Banner
Danton October 21, 1970 Biography
A Married Man July 10, 1983
Kim May 16, 1984
Sleeping Murder January 11, 1987 Miss Marple


Television Series

Series Year(s) Title Season(s)
Misleading Cases 1967-1971 Producer 1 2 3
The World of Beachcomber 1968 Producer 1
All Gas and Gaiters 1968-1971 Producer 3 4 5
As Good Cooks Go 1969-1970 Producer 1
The Very Merry Widow 1969 Producer 3
Monty Python's Flying Circus 1969 Producer 1
Oh in Colour 1970 Producer 1
The Goodies 1970-1972 Producer 1 2
Steptoe and Son 1972 Producer 7
No Strings 1974 Producer 1
The Good Life 1975-1978 Producer 1 2 3 4
Fawlty Towers 1975 Producer 1
The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin 1976 Producer 1
The Other One 1977 Producer 1
All in Good Faith 1985-1987 Producer 1 2
We'll Think of Something 1986 Producer 1
Executive Stress 1986-1987 Producer 1 2
Andy Capp 1988 Producer 1
Mr. Bean 1990 Producer 1
No Job for a Lady 1990-1992 Producer 1 2 3
Hope It Rains 1991-1992 Producer 1 2
After Henry 1992 Executive Producer 4
Law and Disorder 1994 Producer 1

Specials and Made-for-TV Movies Produced

Title Producer Title Airdate Series/Banner
A Married Man Producer July 10, 1983
Parrot Sketch Not Included: Twenty Years of Monty Python Producer (original series) November 18, 1989 Monty Python

Awards and Accolades


(7 Nominations / 1 Win)

  • Nominated: Best Light Entertainment (1969)
Monty Python's Flying Circus
  • Won: Best Situation Comedy (1975)
Fawlty Towers
  • Nominated: Best Situation Comedy (1975)
The Good Life
  • Nominated: Best Situation Comedy (1976)
The Good Life
  • Nominated: Best Situation Comedy (1977)
The Good Life
  • Nominated: Best Light Entertainment Programme (1990)
Mr. Bean
  • Nominated: Best Comedy (Programme or Series) (1991)
Mr. Bean