All in A Tiswas: John Gorman interview, 2nd May 2020

One of the main four of Imperial Phase Tiswas, Liverpool’s very own John Gorman may not have put himself out there that much, but he certainly threw in a lot of character. PC Plod, Smello, The Masked Poet and many others could be served up at a moment’s notice from this genuinely zany writer and performer.


This is a very long interview, but every minute is glorious. We start with John’s early years as a comedy/music performer, which caught the attraction of Tiswas’s production team. He was drafted into the show during its time as a midlands-only affair, which was tricky as he lived in Suffolk where the regional ITV station had never broadcast the show!

John Gorman became an integral part of Tiswas, contributing a huge amount of ideas and his own songwriting and musical talents. Where would we be without The Bucket Of Water Song? He describes the Tiswas ethic as being part of a huge gang where everybody got along with each other. Of course, we touch on the live tour which saw some hairy moments when a tough biker gang decided to join in with the soaking mayhem.

Even after the end of Tiswas, John stuck with Chris Tarrant, helping form the late night version, O.T.T., and having a hand in the successor, Saturday Stayback. John also wrote for Chris’s Capital Radio show to much critical acclaim. He also kept up the messy slapstick on Children’s ITV with the anarchic Tyne Tees show How Dare You!, with Tiswas’s Clive Webb.

This is an amazing interview with plenty of insights, and John isn’t just generous with his time, he even agrees to give away Tiswas memorabilia for our fundraising efforts! Oh, and you’ll notice the presence of Tom Bright on the stream, who patiently waited for his time to be interviewed. John has a lovely little chat with him too.