Thursday 2 April 2009

Mr Pourgourides

Mr Pourgourides was never destined for fame and fortune. When I knew him he was already well into his forties, had lost most of the hair on his head, and his belly was bulging comfortably over the top of his trousers. His sense of dress is best described as modest - a light grey sports jacket, pale shirt and non-descript tie with black trousers. All had seen better days, but still had a few years of limp life left in them. As I remember he was affable enough...good humoured most of the time, but with a grumpiness provoked by a classroom full of teenagers determined to see how far they could push him before he snapped. In less pc times, his thick mediteranean accent encouraged us to claim we couldn't understand half of what he said.

Mr Pourgourides did succeed in getting me a grade A in maths at 'o' level. Something I'm still pleased with as numbers are not something that much inspire me. So he was clearly a good teacher judging by the results. And if his name ever crops up when I'm with old school friends, he is remembered and talked about affectionately.

Mr Pourgourides has surprisingly had his fifteen minutes of fame.

This week's Horizon on the BBC featured the overrated (in my opinion - although he did once have a decent routine about Dad Pants) comic actor Alan Davies attempting to be re-inspired about maths, having found the subject too much to bare at school. To make his point, he returned to Bancroft's - a place that as far as I know he has never had a good word to say about - why the school let him back in, I have no idea. And indeed he didn't this time either, making the point that he remembers being excellent at sums at primary school. Personally I can't remember much about anything that I did at primary school other than enjoying British Bulldog in the playground. So the problem with Alan's maths seems to have started with Bancrofts and more particularly under the tutelage of Mr Pourgourides, whose name he brings up on a number of occasions.

So if you've got five minutes, catch up with Horizon on only have to watch the first five minutes to see Bancroft's, but in truth the whole programme is worth a viewing. But keep in mind, that if put to a vote, I suspect Mr Pourgourides would achieve favourable recognition as a maths teacher of note.


  1. A friend of mine went to university with Alan Davies.

    She confirmed my opinion of him as an arse.

  2. anyone who could have got me through maths o level grade A would have been more than a miracle worker. I got a C and it is still the grade I am most thrilled with because I found it some damned hard.
    Who is Alan Davies- is that other fellow in the clip? Am I being completely ignorant here? I dont watch much tv


There's only one thing worse than being commented on...not commented on