Jim Hitchmough - the creator and writer
Jim Hitchmough was universally acclaimed as a kind, modest man with a mischievous love of live.
Born on 1 September 1934, his first career was as a teacher in his native Liverpool. He then took to the sea, and eventually became lecturer and head of the navigation department at Riversdale College in Liverpool.
At a Liverpool Everyman Theatre workshop he wrote a ten-minute comedy piece about a shy birdwatcher and a lively girl which he was encouraged to develop into a successful stage play and eventually a Granada TV series - "Watching". This won the British Comedy Award for Best ITV Sitcom 1993.
Jim wrote a book which was the basically a novel/expansion of the first series of "Watching". It was most likely written before the adaptation into a TV series as some of the jokes etc. in the series are explained in far more detail in the book. It was published by Bantam books in 1990.
Jim's writing could be described as prolific.
He contributed sketches to the BBC comedy sketch show "Not The Nine O'Clock News" (one of which was that ten minute piece).
In addition to winning an Emmy for his BBC Screen One play The Bullion Boys, Jim also wrote for Albion Market, Brookside, and in August 1996, Coronation Street.
As the writer of all 56 episodes of "Watching", his scripts were full of dialogue and had almost twice the number of words than that of most half hour sitcoms (but then Brenda really did have a lot to say and Malcolm would never tell you something in one word if it was possible to tell you in 20 and confuse you into forgetting the original request along the way).
Jim embraced the quick sharp wit and cynicism that encompasses a scouse and used it to great effect in his scripts. However he also knew that underneath that outer layer is usually a genuine nice good caring person, the obligatory "rough diamond". Meet Brenda. However not all liverpudlian's exude such a trademark demeanor. Some simply don't have that outwardly protective nature. Meet Malcom.
Sadly Jim died of a brain tumor in May 1997.
We have much to thank that he gave us such a wonderful show. A show for which he will forever be fondly remembered.
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