We're very sorry to report that My Hero and producer and director John Stroud has died aged 54 of a brain tumour.
John, who was also co-founder of Big Bear Films with Marcus Mortimer and is probably best known for his work on the British superhero comedy My Hero, enjoyed a TV career that spanned 30 years, from joining Thames Television as a trainee to setting up the indie in 1996.
Both John and Marcus were keen to use their experience to hothouse new writers, as well as developing projects with more familiar talents and produced six seasons of My Hero, as well as the upcoming BBC circus-based comedy Big Top (due to screen later this year on BBC1) and The Hairy Bikers’ Cookbook, a rare foray into factual fare. (John discovered The Hairy Bikers, brought them to Big Bear and co-produced and/or directed 21 episodes of The Hairy Bikers Cookbook and The Hairy Bikers Ride Again and a special for BBC 2).
A Cambridge Footlights contemporary of Griff Rhys Jones, Jimmy Mulville and Peter Fincham, Stroud’s first TV credits included Rainbow and The Sooty Show, where he notoriously secured an appearance by punk group UK Subs.
John, who is survived by a wife and two children, made his name with Channel 4 sketch show Who Dares Wins, he directed shows such as Spitting Image, Harry Enfield and Chums and the final episode of Minder. He is .
While we were covering production of My Hero om downthetubes - and yes, we know it was one of those shows people either loved or hated and re-casting James Dreyfus as the hero for the final season was a mistake - John was a wonderful supporter of our My Hero micro site, providing valuable background material and more to the making of the show. We're sure he will be much missed.
• You can read our 2005 interview with John here
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