Farewell Patrick McGoohan, “There’s Only One Number Six”


No disrespect to Bobby Moore, Tony Adams, Ian Botham or Steve Waugh but Patrick McGoohan lays claim to be the Greatest of all Number Six’s.

RIP Patrick McGoohan, the man who created and starred in the poppiest non-pop television series in history. I think you know what I mean. From The Prisoner’s opening credits with its stirring Ron Grainer theme, McGoohan’s distinctive yacht-casual attire, to the Portmeirion setting, everything about the series was underwritten with Style. Part James Bond adventure and part Kafkaesque nightmare, set in rural north Wales with wafts of breeze from Swinging London.

Those of us of a certain age recall the frisson of excitement with the news that The Prisoner was to be repeated in the mid 1980s. It hadn’t been shown for around a decade. I had vague memories of having seen the odd episode, of seeing a big gossamer bubble chasing a man on a deserted beach. It was weird, that much I did know. So, for a few weeks social events had to be reworked around the hour-long episodes. It was cerebral. It was innovative. It has stood the test of time.

An influence on seemingly everyone from The Clash to Supergrass to Iron Maiden, here’s Ed Ball and co with the 1983 classic I Helped Patrick McGoohan Escape followed by a Top 6 hats-off to the number 6 in pop history.

1. Midnight to 6 Man – The Pretty Things

2. (Get Your Kicks on) Route 66 – Rolling Stones or check out Chuck Berry’s version too

3. If 6 was 9 – The Jimi Hendrix Experience

4. The 6 Teens – The Sweet

5. 6 – Mansun

6. Big 6 – Judge Dread – Parental Discretion Advised, it’s a bit blue!


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