I WAS sad to hear of the death of James Ellis aged 82 years, the actor who played Bert Lynch in Z-Cars during the 1960s and 1970s.
He was a fantastic actor and a joy to watch and when Walsall's very own Frank Windsor, who played Detective Sergeant John Watt in Z-Cars, was in a scene with James, then it certainly brought the series alive; it suddenly dawned on the audience why Z-Cars was such a popular BBC TV drama. Frank was a pupil of Queen Mary's Grammar School.
The themes of the show could be light-hearted, serious and dark, and it dealt with the real life issues of Britain in a brave and enlightened manner. Often the stories were shown to an audience that had for years been brought up on the coziness of Dixon of Dock Green and PC 49. The series became the 'Daddy' of all TV Cop shows, eventually earning itself a spin-off drama called Softly Softly. We have James Ellis and Walsall's Frank Windsor and all the others involved in the series to thank for that ground- breaking period in TV programming.
I was always under the impression James Ellis settled and lived in the Black Country in Dudley for a time, am I correct? Best wishes.