Eccentric, jovial, avuncular HTV West continuity announcer and programme presenter on both HTV West and HTV Wales who also found fame on the national ITV network, first as the presenter of one of the many incarnations of Mr and Mrs, and, secondly as Nancy Kominsky’s eager assistant in HTV West’s almost cult-status Paint Along with Nancy. Locally, he was well known for his Tinker and Taylor children’s slots. The Mr and Mrs programme went on to be produced by Tyne Tees Television, and, most famously, Border Television, when the host was Derek Batey.
Former colleague Guy Thomas told us: “Alan was the most popular and best-loved television personality in Wales and the west of England, establishing himself as a versatile, all round entertainer and he was admired as much by his colleagues as by the large audiences he won for the television programmes in which he appeared.
“After working in his family’s Cardiff electricity business and seeing active Navy service in the Mediterranean war zone he began entertaining in amateur variety bills, turning professional by appearing all over the country in pantomimes and music halls, including London’s West End. He joined TWW as an announcer in 1959. His popularity started to rise with an afternoon 10-minute slot for children which he shared with a glove puppet (a kind of not too distant relation of Sooty) for a birthday greetings show called Tinker and Taylor. TWW had a large audience for television quiz shows, most of them the idea of the Canadian TV personality Roy Ward Dickson. Alan became the ideal host for these shows, starting with Three Little Words, Try for Ten and the blockbuster of them all, Mr and Mrs, which ran year after year. It is probably true to say it was the most popular programme series TWW transmitted, rarely missing the number 1 spot in the ratings.
“For HTV, Alan began a series of programmes in which he learned to paint (his interest was already there) called ‘Painting With Nancy’ and the demand for the return of ‘Mr And Mrs’ was so great, the company, which had dismissed the idea of repeating their predecessor’s liking for the quiz show format, bowed to the inevitable. The success was repeated and HTV also brought back, again with Alan, ‘Try For Ten’. In 1982 Alan retired to open an antique shop in Bath and then went to live in Spain where he died in 1997.”
Video Clips on the Internet
Here we present a selection of video clips featuring Alan which we found on social media sites or have made available from our own archive. The clips are presented here for additional reference. Inclusion of a video does not constitute an endorsement of the hosting site/channel/user. If you find any broken links below or are aware of an additional clip(s) which you believe may be a useful addition to this profile, please get in touch with us via our Contact page.