Educated Evans

1957 | United Kingdom

Based on an Edgar Wallace created character this 1957/8 sitcom starred Charlie Chester (Cheerful Charlie your Chin-up Boy Chester) as the popular Cockney racing tipster 'Educated' Evans, who ducked and dived through the back streets and public houses of London all the while trying to stay one step ahead of the law, especially from Detective-Sergeant Miller (Jack Melford), who was not averse to a bet or two himself. 

Evans had first appeared on the big screen in a now missing 1936 movie of the same name starring one of British music hall's best remembered stars; Max Miller. Chester and Miller were very similar in style, they were physically alike, dressed the same way and even had similar signing off songs. The similarity was too close for comfort as far as Miller was concerned and he turned up at one of Chester's performances with his solicitor to take notes. However, after a long standing period of ill-feeling the two comedians made it up and even appeared together in a shared top of the bill. 

In the original movie Evans (Miller) is asked by a nouveau riche couple to train a racehorse they have bought in the hope it will help them win the acceptance of high society. Evans doesn't own a stable, so the horse has to live with him and his two lodgers in an urban mews. Despite its less than ideal training environment, the horse turns out to have a natural talent. The TV series ran for two seasons. Patricia Hayes co-starred.

Published on December 9th, 2018. Written by Laurence Marcus for Television Heaven.