Where Just Good Friends stars are now – sad deaths, career U-turn and EastEnders

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Just Good Friends was one of the many programmes by John Sullivan, who also wrote Only Fools and Horses and Citizen Smith.

Just Good Friends aired on the BBC from 1983-1986 and starred Jan Francis and Paul Nicholas as Penny and Vince, two former lovers who accidently meet again five years.

The series followed the characters in their will they-won't they friendship, with millions of viewers tuning in to watch the 1984 Christmas special that looked back on how Penny and Vince originally met.

We look back on the cast of Just Good Friends, their careers and where they are now.

Paul Nicholas – Vincent Pinner

Paul Nicholas starred as Vincent Pinner in Just Good Friends, and also sang the show's theme song of the same name.

Prior to Just Good Friends, he had already appeared in stage productions including Andrew Lloyd Webber's Cats, had a UK top 10 hit with the song 'Dancing with the captain' in 1976 and starred in films including Tommy in 1975 and the 1974 film Stardust, alongside David Essex and Adam Faith.

In 1987, he narrated the children's tv series The Adventures of Spot the Dog and starred in the series Close to Home in 1989, as vet James Shephard

He has since played a variety of roles in programmes including Holby City, The Bill and Doctors, and from 2015 – 2016, he played the character Gavin Sullivan in BBC Soap EastEnders.

Jan Francis – Penny Warrender

Jan Francis starred as Penny Warrender, the former fiancé of Vince Pinner.

Prior to playing Penny Warrender, Francis had starred as Diana Barry in the tv mini series Anne of Green Gables in 1972 and in programmes including Minder and Tales of the Unexpected.

After Just Good Friends, Francis starred in the series Stay Lucky alongside Dennis Waterman from 1989-1991.

She has also played a variety of roles in programmes including Casualty, EastEnders, New Tricks, Heartbeat, My Family and Where the Heart is.

Francis most recently starred in the tv mini series Next of Kin on ITV, as Elspeth in 2018.

Sylvia Kay – Daphne Warrender

Sylvia Kay played Penny's mother Daphne Warrender in the comedy series.

Her long acting career included starring in the 1957 tv series The Adventures of Robin Hood, The Avengers in 1968 and as Beryl in Z-Cars in 1971.

After Just Good Friends, Kay starred in programmes including Jeeves and Wooster as Mrs Trotter in 1993 and Dalziel and Pascoe as Mary Soper and Ellie's Mother in 1996 – 1997.

In the 1990s, she completed her studies in psychology, qualifying as a psychotherapist. She then began working in London and Hertfordshire.

Kay sadly died on January 18 2019, aged 82.

John Ringham – Norman Warrender

John Ringham starred as Penny's father, Norman Warrender, who was a wine merchant in the programme.

Prior to Just Good Friends, he had starred in programmes including the 1970s television series of Poldark as the character Henshawe and episodes of Doctor Who, alongside actors William Hartnell and Jon Pertwee.

He also starred in programmes including Taggart as Gordon Latham-Brown in 1986, Doctor Lacey in the Darling Buds of May in 1991 and had roles in series such as The Bill, Birds of a Feather and Terry and June.

His last television roles were in the series Wallander, and an episode of Doctors as character Max Wickham in 2008.

Ringham sadly died on October 20 2008, aged 80.

Colette Gleeson – Elaine

Colette Gleeson played Penny's colleague Elaine at the advertising agency in the show.

Her acting roles have included Caris in the 1980 Doctor Who story Meglos, opposite Tom Baker's fourth Doctor, and as Marie Massinet in Crossroads from 1967-1968.

The Internet Movie Database lists Just Good Friends as Gleeson's last television role.

Gleeson has also performed on stage in theatre productions at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre and Globe Theatre.

Ann Lynn – Rita Pinner

Ann Lynn played Rita Pinner, mum to Vince and his younger brother, Cliff, played by Adam French, and husband to Les, played by Shaun Curry.

Prior to Just Good Friends, she had already had a long acting career on stage and screen, starring in television series such as 1974's King Lear as Regan, as Emmie in Z-Cars in 1968 and as Rose Mellors in Minder in 1979.

When the series ended, Lynn starred in EastEnders as Mrs.Wallace in episodes during 1991 and 1994 and as Ellie in The Bill in 1994.

Her last television role was as Audrey Turner in the Only Fools and Horses episode 'Time on our hands' in 1996.

Lynn sadly died last year on August 30 2020, aged 86.

  • BBC

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