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30 June 1939
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30 June 1939
John Fortune (born John Wood; 30 June 1939) is a British satirist, comedian writer and actor, best known for his work with John Bird and Rory Bremner on the TV series Bremner, Bird and Fortune. He was educated at Bristol Cathedral Choir School and King's College, Cambridge, where he was to meet and form a lasting friendship with John Bird.
Fortune was born in Bristol. His early career included contributions to Peter Cook's Establishment Club team, which included Eleanor Bron and John Bird in 1962. Fortune and Bird also worked together on the TV show A Series of Birds in 1967, and Fortune and Bron wrote and performed a series of sketches for TV in Where Was Spring in 1969. In 1971, with John Wells, he published the comedy classic A Melon for Ecstasy, about a man who consummates his love affair with a tree.
He appeared with Peter Sellers in a Barclays Bank advertisement in 1980 shortly before Sellers' death; the infamous Monty Casino ads.
Along with writing several series for the BBC, in 1982 he appeared in an episode of the BBC situation comedy Yes Minister as an army officer who brings the minister's attention to British-made weapons getting into the hands of terrorists.
In 1999, Fortune starred with Warren Mitchell and Ken Campbell in 'Art' at Wyndham's Theatre in London's West End. He has also appeared in the films Maybe Baby and Saving Grace, and had a guest part in the sitcom Joking Apart.
Arguably the most notable example of his work with John Bird is their series of satirical sketches The Long Johns, in which one of the Johns interviews the other in the guise of a senior figure such as a politician, businessman or government consultant, in one episode which they were two of the very first to predict the Financial crisis of 2007–2010 during an episode of The South Bank Show broadcast on 14 October 2007. In these sketches the 'expert' is invariably named "George Parr" (after the English cricketer, rather than the US politician).