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Brush Strokes
Genre Sitcom
Starring Karl Howman
Gary Waldhorn
Mike Walling
Howard Lew Lewis
Opening theme Because of You
Dexys Midnight Runners
Country of origin  United Kingdom
Language(s) English
No. of seasons 5
No. of episodes 40
Production
Running time 29 mins approx.
Broadcast
Original channel BBC 1
Original run 1 September 1986 – 7 April 1991

Brush Strokes was an Esmonde and Larbey sitcom set in South London and depicting the (mostly) amorous adventures of a good-looking, wisecracking house painter, Jacko (Karl Howman).

Gary Waldhorn (later to star in The Vicar of Dibley) played Lionel Bainbridge, Jacko's boss. Elizabeth Counsell played his wife, Veronica, who naturally had a crush on Jacko. The Bainbridges had a daughter called Lesley, who was Jacko's girlfriend at the start of series one. She was played by two actresses during the life of the show: Kim Thomson in the first two series and Erika Hoffman from series three onward. Jacko worked alongside his brother-in-law, Eric (Mike Walling), who was married to Jacko's sister Jean (Nicky Croydon).

Jackie Lye played Sandra, the secretary at work who became Jacko's fiancée in series two (although the wedding never happened). Other familiar faces that have appeared in episodes include Janine Duvitski, Tracie Bennett and Pippa Haywood.

The show is remembered by many for the slow off-the-mark pub landlord, Elmo Putney (Howard Lew Lewis) who ran the pub where Jacko and friends took their lunch breaks. In later episodes, Jacko unsuccessfully started his own company, "Splosh", and Elmo became a rich man after his dog discovered opals in Australia. Elmo bought Jacko's failing company and turned it into a wine bar, where everything was decorated in pink. Jacko returned to Bainbridge's, where Veronica was now in charge after Lionel's death.

The theme song "Because of You" was written and performed by Dexys Midnight Runners. Released as a single in November 1986, it reached number 13 in the UK singles chart.

Brush Strokes was broadcast on BBC television from 1986 to 1991. There were 40 episodes spread over 5 series.

Jacko and Elmo also appeared in the first ever 1989 Comic Relief show on BBC1 as a pair of murderous psychopaths. Howard Lew Lewis also appeared with Erika Hoffman in the 1988 Hat Trick Productions comedy series for Channel 4, Chelmsford 123, where the two played "Blag" and "Gargamadua" respectively. Lewis' character in Chelmsford 123 was virtually identical to his character in Brush Strokes.

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