John Wells (satirist)

John Wells (Satirist)

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John Wells (satirist)

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John Wells (17 November 1936–11 January 1998) was an English actor, writer and satirist, educated at Eastbourne College and St Edmund Hall, Oxford. The son of a clergyman, he was born in Ashford, Kent and died in Sussex.

Wells started in cabaret at Oxford and began his television career as a writer on That Was The Week That Was, the 1960s weekly satire show that launched the careers of David Frost and Millicent Martin, among others, and also appeared in the television programme Not So Much a Programme, More a Way of Life, as well as in The Secret Policeman's Other Ball. Besides making cameo appearances in films such as Casino Royale (1967), television dramas like Casanova (1987), and comedy shows like Yes Minister, he also wrote television scripts and screenplays, notably Princess Caraboo (1994).

In 1971, with John Fortune, he published the comedy classic A Melon for Ecstasy, about a man who consummates his love affair with a tree. Wells played the headmaster of the boys' school in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (1979).

Wells was one of the original contributors to the satirical magazine Private Eye and especially to Mrs Wilson's Diary, the long-running spoof journal of the wife of Prime Minister Harold Wilson. From 1979 he repeated that success with Dear Bill, a series of letters (co-written with Richard Ingrams) supposedly sent by Denis Thatcher, husband of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, to Bill Deedes. Wells developed the feature into a stage farce, Anyone for Denis?,...
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