1982 | United Kingdom

Jane was originally a comic strip created and drawn by Norman Pett for the London edition of the Daily Mirror and appeared from 5 December 1932 to 10 October 1959. Originally entitled 'Jane's Journal, the Diary of a Bright Young Thing,' the saucy strip featured the misadventures of a hapless heroine who had a disconcerting habit of losing her outer garments until she had to struggle through her various escapades in nothing much more than her underwear. After the Second World War broke out the young lass (modelled it is said on Pett's wife) shed even more of her clothes until she was virtually naked. Rather than cause any public outcry this was greeted with great enthusiasm as it was seen as a morale booster for British soldiers posted - or about to be posted abroad. In 1945 King Features attempted to syndicate Jane strips in the United States, but, the amount of nudity was too much for American audiences and the attempt ceased in 1946. 

Actress Christabel Leighton-Porter (also claimed to have been the model for the character) toured the music halls with a striptease-act as Jane, and later she played in the movie 'The Adventures of Jane', which came out in 1949. The adventures of Jane were revived in 1982 by the BBC and starred a pre-Dempsey and Makepeace Glynis Barber who had previously appeared on the popular science fiction series Blake's 7 playing Soolin in the final series. Each adventure lasted around ten minutes and inventively mixed live action with animated backgrounds which were screened on consecutive weekday nights with an omnibus edition at the weekend. Two years later Jane returned again for another five episodes entitled Jane in the Desert.

Published on December 24th, 2018. Written by Laurence Marcus for Television Heaven.