It’s quite amazing how different people can have virtually the same idea at different times, or so it seems!
Some years ago, around 1980-81, a friend and I were interested in script writing. Thinking of a storyline, I suggested writing a sit-com for Bernie Winters who, following the departure of his brother Mike, had been using a St Bernard dog called Schnorbitz as his partner.
I decided Bernie and his older sister Marge would live in a high-rise block of flats in the East End of London. He would win the football pools, eight hundred and fifty grand, which shows how long ago the idea came about.
Bernie and his sister would move from the East End to live in a large old country manor house, previously owned by the local squire of the small Norfolk market town, Dufton. There’d be stabling for 20 ‘unters and he would look forward to blending in with local country life. He would acquire the ongoing assistance of the local poacher-odd-jobman called Warris, rather Warris would acquire him.
Warris would teach Bernie to ride using a saddle thrown over a 5-bar gate, as well as show him how to chop logs using a golf stance and swing etc. The idea was sent to the BBC but rejected. You can imagine my surprise when Green Green Grass of Home appeared on our TV screens twenty odd years later!
Another idea sent to the BBC was for a documentary series titled Six of the Best, which outlined the WWII exploits, daring and courage of six people who were relatively unknown to the general public. Again I received a rejection slip, advising that if anything of a similar nature appeared it had nothing to do with my suggestion.
Not only did a ‘similar nature’ documentary appear but a book also accompanied the series. One of the characters featured was Lt Colonel Paddy Blair Mayne DSO & 3 Bars which I must admit amazed me, as very very few people had even heard of Paddy Mayne let alone knew of his wartime exploits as second in command to David Stirling, the leader of the SAS.