Dear John (UK TV series)

For the American sitcom of the same name, see Dear John (U.S. TV series).
Dear John
Genre Situation comedy
Written by John Sullivan
Starring Ralph Bates
Belinda Lang
Peter Denyer
Peter Blake
Rachel Bell
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 2
No. of episodes 14
Running time 30 minutes
Original network BBC1
Original release 17 February 1986 
21 December 1987

Dear John was a British sitcom, written by John Sullivan. Two series and a special were broadcast between 1986 and 1987.

This sitcom's title refers to letters - known as "Dear John" letters - from girls to their boyfriends breaking off a relationship. John discovers in the opening episode that his wife is leaving him for a friend, and he is forced to find lodgings. In desperation, he attends the 1-2-1 Singles Club and finds other members mostly social misfits.

In 1988, an American adaptation of Dear John was produced by Paramount for the NBC network. That series lasted for four seasons.


Major characters

Eric claims to John in private that Kirk represents all he aspires to and that he has other personae -suggesting Eric has become a persona he presents to his mother, just as Kirk is the persona he presents to the 1-2-1 Club - while Kirk explains Eric in public as an undercover version of Kirk and his mother as his controller in disguise. In the final episode, Eric is returning with Kirk's dry-cleaned outfit when he sees his friends about to be beaten by Hells Angels. In a homage to Superman films, he retreats into the pub toilet and (after the Superman theme is played) emerges as Kirk. Kirk beats up the Hells Angels. Eric has a fascination with "Tiger" Kate, whom he insults and who insults him back, although he claims that under the surface he is "kind of fond of her" (in reality he is totally smitten with her) and tries to get John to organise a date for him.

Minor characters

Episode list

All episodes thirty minutes, apart from episode 2.7, which was a 50-minute Christmas special.

Episode # Title Original airdate
1.1"A Singular Man"17 February 1986 (1986-02-17)
1.2"In The Club"24 February 1986 (1986-02-24)
1.3"Death"3 March 1986 (1986-03-03)
1.4"The Party"10 March 1986 (1986-03-10)
1.5"Toby"17 March 1986 (1986-03-17)
1.6"The Fourteen Year Itch"24 March 1986 (1986-03-24)
1.7"Under Cover"31 March 1986 (1986-03-31)
2.1"A New Member"7 September 1987 (1987-09-07)
2.2"Confidence"14 September 1987 (1987-09-14)
2.3"Problems With Toby"21 September 1987 (1987-09-21)
2.4"Sanctuary"28 September 1987 (1987-09-28)
2.5"Torquay"5 October 1987 (1987-10-05)
2.6"Once Bitten"12 October 1987 (1987-10-12)
2.7"Kate Returns"21 December 1987 (1987-12-21)

Title music

The title music was composed by John Sullivan, who was also writer of the series. The theme tune was arranged by Ronnie Hazlehurst who was a composer for many BBC sitcoms. Joan Baxter provided the vocals to the song.


Dear John appeared on video in 1998, three cassettes with both series and the Christmas special, under Playback Entertainment.

Acorn Media UK released both series of Dear John on DVD in the UK in 2010. The first episode is shorter than the one originally broadcast on BBC1 as contractual edits have been made, namely the removal of Beatles music during and at the end of the episode. Interestingly the subtitles still show 'Day Tripper' being played as John enters the community hall and acknowledges some men dressed in Fab Four suits, but the music playing is actually muzak. And at the end John and Kate have an exchange where they discuss whether they will return the following week. Beatles music can be heard and silhouettes seen in an upper window of the centre. This scene has been totally removed.

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