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.
The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. He is currently editor of Star Trek Explorer, published by Titan – his third tour of duty on the title originally titled Star Trek Magazine.
Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Babylon 5 Magazine, and more. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War” and “Dan Dare”.
He’s the writer of “Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies” for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.