Gordon Ostlere, who has died aged 95, was a real-life doctor until 1952, when he left medical practice so that his alter ego, Richard Gordon, could pursue what he considered the more congenial occupation of writing. That year Doctor in the House, the first of Gordon’s breezily good-humoured series of stories with a medical setting, appeared, with a film adaptation following two years later.
The movie was a great success, making a star of Dirk Bogarde as Simon Sparrow, the hapless medical student with matinee idol good looks. He is the innocent who falls in with three already established students at St Swithin’s hospital (Kenneth More, Donald Sinden and Donald Houston), devoted to dating, drinking and sport. Authority came in the form of the fearsome chief surgeon, Sir Lancelot Spratt, realised