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DVDs, Books, Broadcast TV and Merchandise all come under the gaze of our expert reviewers.

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Blu-Ray (228)

The latest winner in the format wars, we look at both television and movies that are hitting the shelves in this pristine new technology.

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Books (11)

Essential reading materials reviewed so that you can assemble the library most suited to your interests.

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Broadcast (2)

The latest transmissions on terrestrial and digital television channels across the panet, and what we think of them.

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Cult Movies on DVD (292)

All the best in Cult Movies released onto DVD

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Events (21)

Places to go and people to see, and here we find out whether it was worth it or not!

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Handbags Before Dawn (8)

Contentious opinions on all matters television - from schedulers to the programmes themselves, the continuity errors to the highs and lows of what actually makes it to the screen.

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Interviews (10)

Interviews with stars and programme makers from various CULT TV universes.

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Merchandise (8)

Collectables of all shapes and sizes reviewed and rated

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Star Profiles (153)

Background information and career history of cult celebrities from in front of and behind the camera.

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TV DVDs (280)

The latest titles from TV series and TV specials range to hit the shelves and online stores

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Wednesday, 20 February 2008

A writer whose work includes voyages into the Blake's 7, Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica universes joined us at Cult TV in 2007 ...


James Swallow is an author, scriptwriter and journalist.

His writing includes the Sundowners series of ‘steampunk’ Westerns (“Ghost Town”, “Underworld”, “Iron Dragon” and “Showdown”), “Jade Dragon”, “The Butterfly Effect”, and fiction in the worlds of Doctor Who (“Peacemaker”, “Dalek Empire”, “Destination Prague”, “Snapshots”), Star Trek (“Distant Shores”, “The Sky’s The Limit”, “Shards and Shadows”, “Day of the Vipers”), Stargate (“Halcyon”, “Relativity”), 2000AD (“Eclipse”, “Whiteout”, “Blood Relative”) and Warhammer 40,000 (“The Flight of the Eisenstein”, “Faith & Fire”, “Deus Encarmine”, “Deus Sanguinius”, “What Price Victory”).

His short fiction appears in “Inferno!”, “Stargate: The Official Magazine” and several anthologies, including “Silent Night”, “Something Changed” and “Collected Works”. His non-fiction work features the critically acclaimed “Dark Eye: The Films of David Fincher”, and he was a contributing writer on “Game Writing: Narrative Skills for Videogames”.

Jim's other credits include writing for the television series Star Trek: Voyager – he remains the only British writer to have worked on a Star Trek television show – and radio drama for Doctor Who, Blake’s 7, Judge Dredd and Space: 1889. In the videogames industry, he has written for several high-profile projects, including Battlestar Galactica, the “Killzone” series, Star Trek: Invasion and Maelstrom.

We were delighted that Jim agreed to join us for the 2007 Cult TV Weekender in Oxfordshire.


Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Scott Jordan from The Fantastic Journey and Peter Preston in Star Trek joined us for Cult TV in 2007 ...


Ike Eisenmann (who is now known as Iake Eissinmann) was born in 1962 in Houston, Texas. His first acting role was as a guest star in Gunsmoke in 1972, and he would play two further parts on this show in 1973 and 1974. Other early appearances included episodes of Mannix, Kung Fu, Emergency!, S.W.A.T. and Doc Elliot.

It was in 1975 that he made a huge impact, with Disney's “Escape to Witch Mountain”, where he played Tony Malone, a role he was to reprise in the 1978 sequel “Return to Witch Mountain”. Ike starred alongside screen icons Ray Milland, Donald Pleasence, Christopher Lee and Bette Davis in these films

There were three other roles for Ike within The Wonderful World of Disney, with him featuring in “The Sky’s The Limit”, “Kit Carson and The Mountain Men” and “Shadow of Fear”.

Star Trek fans will know that Ike featured in “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan” as Peter Preston, Mr Scott’s ill-fated nephew.

He was also one of the stars of the cult television series The Fantastic Journey, playing Scott Jordan, in what has become a fondly-remembered series that also featured Jared Martin (‘Harrison Blackwood’ from the TV series version of War of the Worlds), the stunning Katie Saylor, and cult icon Roddy McDowell.

Other TV roles have included Doctors’ Hospital, Little House on the Prairie, Police Woman, Eight Is Enough, CHiPs, The New Adventures of Wonder Woman, Fantasy Island, The Jeffersons, TJ Hooker, Enos, Buchanan High and Voyagers!. He was also the voice of Cub Jones in Ring Raiders, as well as Nick in Challenge of The GoBots, and provided various voices for Dino Riders.

TV movies featuring Ike include ”My Dad Lives in a Downtown Hotel”, “The Kansas City Massacre”, “The Amazing Cosmic Awareness of Duffy Moon”, “Banjo Hackett: Roamin’ Free”, “The Winged Colt”, “The Bastard”, “Devil Dog: The Hound of Hell”, “The Revenge of the Savage Bees”, “A Special Gift”, “Dreams Don’t Die”, and the 1978 TV mini-series of “Black Beauty”.

Other big screen movie appearances include “The Sky’s The Limit”, “The Formula”, “Cross Creek”, " Tom and Huck" and “Some Kind of Wonderful”.

Though acting is no longer his primary vocation, Ike is still involved in the film and TV industry. Since 1987, he has moved behind the camera and is primarily a producer, sound designer and vocal performer, working on such films as “Man of the House”, “While You Were Sleeping”, “Powder”, “American Beauty”, “Shrek”, and “Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion”.

One of Ike's recent projects has been “The Blair Witch Mountain Project”, a spoof of the “Blair Witch Project”, and “Tugger”, an animated children's cartoon, as well as providing a commentary for the DVD release of the "Witch Mountain" films.

Ike met and married his wife, Alex, in 1993. She is a writer from Palm Springs, California, and worked with Ike on the script and production of a short film called “Single Family Dwelling”, which premiered in 1999.

Ike is currently in production behind the scenes on several major projects and operates as Chief Executive at Mighty Mojo Studios. Some of Ike's upcoming credits include directing the "Mystery of ..." children's series to be released in the Summer of 2007, Co-Producer of "Cartoon Explosions", and Director/Co-Producer on "Finder's Keepers", an animated feature to be released in 2008. You can find out more by visiting the Mighty Mojo Studios website at www.mightymojostudios.com.

Ike has always liked Science Fiction. You can find out more about him and his career at THE OFFICIAL IKE EISENMANN WEBSITE.

We were delighted that Ike agreed to join us for the Cult TV Festival Weekender in 2007.


Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Jessica in the TV series Logan's Run and Louisa von Trapp in "The Sound of Music" joined us for Cult TV 2007 ...


Heather Menzies Urich starred in the Cult TV series Logan’s Run as Jessica – the series was a follow-on from the movie of the same name.

Born in Toronto, Canada, Heather moved to California via Florida at the age of 11. Insisting on attending acting school, she enrolled at the Falcon Studio’s University of the Arts in Hollywood. Her first professional role was at the age of 13 in an episode of My Three Sons. Directly after that Heather auditioned for and won the role of 'Louisa von Trapp' in “The Sound of Music”.

Heather then appeared in the epic drama “Hawaii”, again with Julie Andrews, and at the age of 16, travelled across the country to star in the Broadway play “We have always lived in the Castle” with Shirley Knight. The production opened at the National Theater in Washington DC and enjoyed a lengthy run at the Ethel Barrymore Theater in New York City. Subsequent movie roles included “How Sweet It Is”, “Hail, Hero!”, “Red, White and Busted”, and an uncredited role in 1969 version of “The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes”.

Heather guest starred in many television series throughout the 1970s and 1980s and did several television pilots (The Keegans and Man in the Middle) and movies for television including “Tail Gunner Joe” with Peter Boyle and “The James Dean Story” with Michael Brandon and Amy Irving. She starred in the popular cult favourite “Sssssss” with Strother Martin and Dirk Benedict, as Kristina Stoner, the mad scientist’s loyal daughter.

Following Logan’s Run, Heather co-starred in the cult movie “Piranha” with Bradford Dillman, as well as the 1979 TV movie version of Captain America with Reb Brown as the hero.

Among the numerous TV shows Heather did guest appearances on are Alias Smith and Jones, The Farmer's Daughter, Dragnet, Marcus Welby, M.D., The High Chaparral, To Rome With Love, The Love Boat, TJ Hooker, Bonanza, S.W.A.T., The Bob Newhart Show, Barnaby Jones, Gavilan and Love, American Style.

Heather met her late husband, Robert Urich, acting with him in a Libby’s Corned Beef Hash Commercial. Heather guest starred in many series with Robert over the years, including three episodes of Vega$ and one of Spenser: For Hire. She had a small role in the SF thriller "Endangered Species" alongside him in 1982.

The couple co-starred in theatrical productions including “The Hasty Heart”, a production at the Burt Reynolds Playhouse in Jupiter, Florida. The play achieved substantial acclaim including a run at the Kennedy Center for the Arts in Washington DC with President and Mrs Ronald Reagan in attendance.

Heather lives in Los Angeles with her three children - Ryan, Emily and Alison. She works tirelessly with the Urich Fund for Sarcoma Research at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center.

We were delighted that Heather agreed to join us for her first ever UK convention appearance, at the Cult TV Festival Weekender in 2007.


Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Co-creator and writer of T-Bag, and writer and producer of The Tomorrow People joined us for Cult TV 2007 courtesy of Fantom Films ...


Grant was born in Motherwell, Scotland. His first important achievement came at the age of 18 when he co-wrote, produced and directed an epic-scale period fantasy film, "Jack Snell". Hailed by the Glasgow Evening Times as a triumph it received screenings at the Glasgow Film Theatre.

Originally intending to pursue a career as a director, Grant gained a place on the three-year Actors’ Course at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, graduating with a Diploma in Dramatic Art and the Award for Special Merit in Acting. It was here that Grant formed a writer/performer double act with Alex Bartlette. Together they won the BBC Muriel Finlayson Award for Scriptwriting – an interest which they had developed during their time at Drama School.

For the following six or seven years, Grant balanced his career as a busy actor with occasional writing commissions.

He starred in the BBC TV 13-part prime time drama, Jury - a performance which won him much praise. Grant also landed the title role in Mick Gold’s film biopic of "Egon Schiele", playing alongside David Suchet. There followed seasons at the Glasgow Citizens’ Theatre, the Lyric Theatre Hammersmith, Leicester Haymarket Theatre and Northcott Theatre, Exeter - where as well as appearing in "Hamlet" and Thomas Hardy’s "The Dynasts", Grant also composed and performed the music.

A production of his Comedy Musical "A Buckskin Bag of Gold" was mounted at the Exeter Northcott Theatre. He performed opposite Kenneth Branagh in Julian Mitchell’s play "Francis" at the Greenwich Theatre, London, then joined The Royal Shakespeare Company for one year, appearing in Terry Hands’ production of "Troilus and Cressida" and Solzhenitsyn’s "The Love Girl and The Innocent".

After that he worked for a while on the London Fringe, winning rave reviews in numerous Shakespeare comedy roles – Puck, Biondello, and Launcelot Gobbo.

As a writer, Grant’s earliest success (aged just 22) was a one-hour play produced by Tom Kinninmont for BBC Radio 4 - a comedy called "Moonlight and Aspirins", it starred Miriam Margolyes, Rupert Frazer and David Hayman.

He then contributed material to a TV sketch show, which led him to collaborate with Children’s TV writer Lee Pressman. Together they created and wrote all 94 episodes of the cult kids’ comedy T-Bag. One of ITV’s most popular shows of the 1980s, it ran for almost a decade. Pressman and Cathro went on to create a run of original and hugely successful children’s TV series – a diverse body of work including long-running sitcoms (Spatz, Mike & Angelo, Cone Zone) SF action/adventure (Delta Wave, The Tomorrow People) and popular family dramas. Their 100-minute film screenplay "B&B", starring Kevin Whately, Jan Ravens, Joanna Kanska, Katy Murphy and Ian McNeice, met with great critical acclaim and won them a Writers' Guild of Great Britain Award.

Grant went on to appear as an actor in a succession of mainstream television dramas including Taggart and Love Hurts - starring Zoe Wannamaker and Adam Faith.

In the late 1990s, Grant re-established his writer/performer relationship with Alex Bartlette. Together they wrote a film adaptation of William Shakespeare’s "Romeo & Juliet" for Channel 4 and co-wrote a further five series of ITV’s longest-running children’s sitcom Mike & Angelo.

Grant and Alex wrote, co-produced and starred in a 60-minute SF comedy "The Light Fantastic" alongside Peter Capaldi and Phillida Law. They also wrote scripts for the multi award-winning hit Microsoap (Disney/BBC), ITV’s family-drama series Snap, and the pop-band comedy Star Street.

In 2003 Grant Cathro and Alex Bartlette wrote all the scripts and starred in their own late-night comedy series "Something Or Other", which aired on BBC Radio 4.

With an astounding 350-plus scripts to his credit, Grant has been working as a solo writer for the past two or three years. Grant is currently Head Writer of Genie In The House, a 52-episode fantasy sitcom which has quickly established itself as one of Nickeodeon’s top-rated shows.

Also in 2007 Grant has been commissioned by Trudie Styler of Xingu Films to write a feature film screenplay based on Joshua Doder’s book "A Dog Called Grk".

Grant appeared at the 2007 Cult TV Festival Weekender courtesy of Fantom Films, to celebrate their release of the T-Bag Reunion DVD.


Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Tabatha in T-Bag and Jean in Budgie joined us at Cult TV 2007 courtesy of Fantom Films ...


Georgina Hale is am iconic actress, having appeared in numerous films including many directed by Ken Russell ("Mahler" and "The Devils", as well as in-joke cameos in "Lisztomania" and "Valentino"). Add to these her performance in the Twiggy musical "The Boyfriend" (alongside Glenda Jackson) and her reputation for superb performances was sealed.

She first came to national recognition in the TV series Budgie, playing the leading role of Jean, alongside Adam Faith’s title character. Before that, her TV career began with a small part in a BBC Wednesday Play in 1966, “Way Off Beat”, which led on to guest roles in such series as Special Branch, Public Eye, Detective, Virgin of the Secret Service and Menace.

Other subsequent TV series appearances have included the starring role of Tabatha Bag in T-Bag, Daisy K in the 1988 Doctor Who story “The Happiness Patrol”, plus The Protectors, One Foot In The Grave, Upstairs, Downstairs, Yes, Honestly, Minder, Hammer House of Horror, Murder Most Horrid, Boon, The Lady Killers, Casualty, The Detectives, The Bill, Murder Investigation Team, Emmerdale, and the 1976 TV movie “Voyage of the Damned”.

Georgina won the BAFTA for Outstanding Newcomer for her role as Alma Mahler in Ken Russell’s "Mahler" in 1975. Other films during her career include "Sweeney 2" (1978), "The World is Full of Married Men" (1979), "The Watcher In The Woods" (1980), "McVicar" (1980), "Castaway" (1986), "Beyond Bedlam" (1993), "Preaching to the Perverted" (1997), "Photo Finish" (2003), and Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont" (2005).

The film “Butley” (1976), was written by Simon Gray, and Georgina continued her connection with this writer, performing in many of his stage plays, which were filmed and shown on TV, such as "Only Make Believe", "Electra", "Plaintiffs And Defendants", "Two Sundays" and "The Seagull".

She has had many theatre roles over the years, many of them for the Glasgow Citizens Company such as "Mourning Becomes Electra" (1991), "The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore" (1994), "Britannicus" (2002) and "The Cherry Orchard" (2002). Other plays include "Life Support" (1997, The Aldwych, London), "The Guardsman" (2000, National Tour) and "Semi-Monde" (2001, The Lyric Theatre, London).

Georgina appeared at the Cult TV Festival Weekender 2007 courtesy of Fantom Films, to celebrate the release of their T-Bag Reunion DVD.


Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Researcher and writer ...


Gareth Owen graduated from Bangor University in 1994 with a Honours Degree in Applied Physics. He wondered what he might do ... perhaps some top job in nuclear research, or become an academic postulating mind boggling theories. But no, instead he took the next logical step and entered the film industry. Doesn't everyone?

After organising British Film Day in April 1994 at Pinewood, within two months of graduation the studio was to become his new home from home.

He set up a small production company, and served as Executive Producer on acclaimed comedy (i.e., no one ever saw it) A Fistful Of Fingers. He has since found greater success in writing. In 2000 his official history of Pinewood Studios, The Pinewood Story, was published. It was swiftly followed by a biography of special effects genius Albert J Luxford The Gimmick Man, and Roger Moore's career biography, fittingly entitled Roger Moore: His Films And Career. A couple of other projects are underway, along with writing for industry periodical British Film & TV Production Magazine.

He considers himself an expert on all things James Bond and can bore for England on British comedy films.


Wednesday, 20 February 2008

The principal female voice artiste in Captain Scarlet, presenter of Finding Out and co-star of The District Nurse...


Liz Morgan was the principal female voice artist for Captain Scarlet and The Mysterons, lending her vocal talents to the French ‘Destiny Angel’ and resident Sloane ‘Rhapsody Angel’, as well as ‘Harmony Angel’ in early stories, before Lian Shin took on the role a dozen episodes into production. Liz also voiced Dorina Cordova in the Joe 90 episode “Viva Cordova”.

At the time of the production of Captain Scarlet, Liz was the presenter of ITV schools programme Finding Out. She starred in The Old Devils for BBC Wales, was District Nurse Joanna in two seasons of ITV’s We Are Seven, Mrs Prosser-Davies in The District Nurse, and Joyce in the LWT comedy The Two of Us.

Other guest roles include Public Eye, The Wednesday Play, Dad’s Army, The Dick Emery Show, Dixon of Dock Green, Softly Softly, The Befrienders, Are You Being Served?, Terry and June, Angels, Fair Ground, Maybury, Mapp & Lucia, and Hetty Wainthropp Investigates.

Other television productions include the TV movie “Headhunters” and the mini series Ransom For A Pretty Girl and To Have And To Hold.

Liz appeared in a story from The Magnificent Six and a Half – “A Good Deed In Time”, a children’s cinema series from Harry Booth (who would go on to use some of the cast and the same style of production for Here Come The Double Deckers!), as well as “Ballet Shoes” alongside Angela Thorne and Barbara Lott, and appeared briefly as Christina in “Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed”.

Liz continues to take on various roles, including radio comedy and dramas, theatre and TV, including new animations Captain Sabertooth, and Snow Children.

Liz was born in Llanelli and has performed at the National Theatre and provincial venues, notably the Sherman Theatre Cardiff and Theatre Clwyd, plus several tours in the USA with her own one-woman plays. She has worked extensively in radio, particularly with the BBC Radio Drama Company, and recorded “Under Milk Wood” with Sir Anthony Hopkins. Recently she played Caitlin in a new play about Dylan Thomas at the Dylan Thomas Festival in Swansea.

She has written 26 performed plays for BBC Radio 4, several short stories and four television plays, and wrote and appeared in the 1994 sit-com pilot Sisters Three. A regular contributor to magazines and newspapers, she is now working on a sequel to her book, “Can We Afford The Bidet?” (Queen Anne Press), a guide to setting up a house in France. Her first novel “The Girl On The Promenade”, was published in 2003.

A devoted Francophile, she spends half the year at her home in the South of France, easily recognisable by the Welsh flag 'Y Ddraig Goch', which flutters from the balcony.


Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Lofty in It Ain't Half Hot, Mum ...


Don Estelle was born in Manchester, and spent his early years there until, during World War II, he was evacuated to Darwen, near Blackburn, Lancashire. It was here that the young Don found his voice as a boy soprano at Holy Trinity Church (known today as St Peter's, Darwen). He was lucky enough to have the guidance and tuition of the prominent church musician, Sydney Nicholson.

The end of the war found Don back in Manchester, where he continued his valuable church experience at St Mary's Church, Crumpsall. The choir master and organist Mr Middleton continued Sydney Nicholson's sterling work by helping Don to maintain his musical studies which were given a further boost when he met Mrs Vaughan-Williams, a relative of the great composer, who taught him voice training for some years. This solid basis inspired the confidence required for Don to continue with an artistic career.

His first stage experience was with a local charity group, The Manchester Kentucky Minstrels. This led to a solo career on the North of England Club circuit - a renowned tough circuit for any aspiring artiste - during which time he met Windsor Davies. They teamed up to together with a double act, and played all the top clubs and theatres thoughout the UK for the next four years.

Don's short physical stature was to deny him the lead in romantic roles. Thus, he turned to comedy as a way to have his talent as a singer noticed. He was fortunate to meet Arthur Lowe at Granada TV who suggested he contact David Croft, the producer of the BBC's Dad's Army. Don was asked to play a Pickford's removal man delivering a 13 pounder naval gun to the Platoon, and from there the comedy career had started. When David Croft and Jimmy Perry went on to develop the series It Ain't Half Hot Mum their natural choice for the role of Gunner "Lofty" Sugden was Don Estelle.

The programme ran for eight years and brought the release, by EMI, of a cast album of the show. The ensuing single 'Whispering Grass', featuring Don and Windsor Davies soared to Number 1 in the BBC charts and remained in the hit parade for three months. To date it has sold well over one million copies. Don and Windsor's album Sing Lofty, also on the EMI label, sold over 80,000 copies and made the top ten, re-released on the 'Music for Pleasure' label it has sold a further 250,000 copies making it one of EMI's top twenty selling regular albums.

Never an artiste to rest on his laurels he continued to perform regularly around the world, from the UK to New Zealand, Australia and beyond. In 1999 he launched his autobiography 'Thoughts of a Gemini,' and started another recording venture, a reworking on CD of the classic Laurel and Hardy movie song 'Trail of the Lonesome Pine' featuring Rochdale's very own Liberal personality Sir Cyril Smith. TV audiences also saw Don the actor in his cameo role in the award winning series The League of Gentlemen.

Don died in August 2003, aged 70. He had been a guest, and star of the cabaret, at Cult TV 2002. Further information about him can be found at his website www.donestelle.co.uk


Wednesday, 20 February 2008

The actor behind Starbuck and Face, and a guest at Cult TV 2002...


Dirk Benedict was born on 1st March 1945, in Helena, Montana, Dirk Niewoehner grew up in White Sulphur Springs. With no cinemas or television, he learnt to hunt, fish and enjoy sport, particularly American football. He was elected to the All-State Football team in his senior year at High School, in addition to having his own Dixieland Dance band (he played the trombone).

Gaining a football scholarship to Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington, he got acting bug by accident. He was dared by his friends to audition for the spring musical Showboat and landed the lead role, Gaylord Ravenal. He fell in love with the stage and, once he graduated with a degree in music, decided to pursue an acting career. He underwent a two year course at Meadowbrook Theatre in Detroit, under John Fernald, who had been the Principal at RADA for 15 years. As soon as he finished the course, he was offered a job in Fernald's Repertory Company, and the next few years were taken up with various Repertory gigs, filling in with other plays and musicals when he was between seasons.

Dirk's stage career took him to New York and inevitably Broadway. Shortly after arriving he landed a role in Abelard and Heloise, playing opposite Keith Michel and Diana Rigg. He also played the lead in Butterflies Are Free, with the late Gloria Swanson playing his mother. Their mother/son relationship developed off the stage too, and Ms Swanson shared her dietary secrets for health and long life with him.

Once Butterflies Are Free finished on Broadway, Dirk accepted an offer to do the play in Hawaii, with Barbara Rush. Whilst there, he had a guest role in Hawaii Five-O - his first TV role. Shortly afterwards he was given the role of Gil Foley, the lead in Aaron Spelling's Chopper One, which was cancelled after one season.

He then left the acting profession for nearly three years. During this time he fought his own private battle, with prostate cancer. He treated this with a macrobiotic diet, a regime that he still follows to this day.

On his return to acting, he toured the East Coast in Li'l Abner with Lucy Arnaz, and in 1978 Glen Larson offered him the starring role of Starbuck in Battlestar Galactica. This propelled him into the spotlight and from there he progressed to his other well-known role, Templeton "The Faceman" Peck in The A Team, which ran from 1983-87.

Dirk has had several guest appearances on television, including, Hammer House of Mystery and Suspense, Murder, She Wrote, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Charlie's Angels, Baywatch, The Love Boat, "mazing Stories, Walker - Texas Ranger and Hotel, to name but a few.

His film career started in 1972 with Georgia, Georgia, where he starred alongside the late Diana Sands. His next film was a psycho-thriller, SSSSS, in which he was turned into a king cobra. He followed this, in 1974, with W, in which he had a starring role opposite Twiggy, in her first American film. Since then, he has starred in numerous films including, Alaska, Shadow Force, Underground Aces, Trenchcoat in Paradise, Blue Tornadoes, Abduction of Innocence, Scruples, Mark of the Devil, and Zork, Grand Inquisitor. He also directed Christina's Dream (1994).

In addition to acting and directing, Dirk is a renowned author. His first book, Confessions of a Kamikaze Cowboy, published in 1991, chronicles his journey from Montana to Hollywood, including his fight with cancer. His second book And Then We Went Fishing is the true story of becoming, and losing, a Father. His third book, Montana Memoirs: Notes from a Dangerous Wordsmith, will be a collection of short stories covering his childhood in Montana. He has also written two original stage plays, Puppy Dog Tales and Acting Becomes Her, as well as several screenplays. He has directed his own screenplay, in Cahoots.

Dirk lives in Montana with his two sons, George and Roland, and he maintains that the greatest role he has ever played is that of "Dad".

Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Programme consultant and writer ...


Spending his formative years working in a variety of odd jobs to gather the varied experiences essential to a creative writer, since 1979 Dick Fiddy has devoted his professional career to television.

As a researcher and archivist he was responsible for the Channel 4 specials The A to Z of TV and 1001 Nights of TV and was a consultant and writer for the 13-part series TV Heaven.

Contributing sketches to Not the Nine O’Clock News, and Spitting Image, he was one of four writers on the Channel 4 sitcom Little Armadillos. In partnership with Mark Wallington he created The Ballad of Johnny Vanguard and the six-part All Night Long.

After writing and developing an audio/visual history of British television for the BFI’s Museum of the Moving Image he has been a consultant programmer for the National Film Theatre, collaborating on their seasons of classic film and television.

One of the founders of Primetime: The Television Magazine, Dick has written numerous books including So You’re the Famous Simon Templar, Television: An Introductory Guide to its History, and Missing, Believed Wiped which details the programmes missing from British television archives.

He is currently writing a book about Television in the 1960s.


Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Victoria Waterfield from Doctor Who and Norma Baker from Danger UXB ...


A companion to Patrick Troughton’s Doctor from 1967 to 1968, Deborah had set her sights on becoming a dentist but turned to stage school instead, only to leave after three weeks, unhappy with what she was being taught.

Born into a theatrical family, her first onscreen role was in the William Tell episode “The Spider”, and from 1957 to 1958 she played Sally, the niece of the invisible Peter Brady in HG Wells’ Invisible Man. She later landed the title role in the 1965 BBC Wednesday play “Alice”, which brought her to the attention of Doctor Who producer Innes Lloyd - recognition which would eventually lead to the role of Victoria Waterfield.

Deborah had originally auditioned for the part of Polly a year earlier but lost out to Anneke Wills. After the forthright and extrovert Polly, Victoria was designed to be the classic Victorian-style heroine; innocent and scared witless of just abut everything that moved, relying of the Doctor and Frazer Hines’ Jamie for protection. She first appeared in “The Evil of The Daleks”, and after her mortally wounded father asks The Doctor to take care of her, joined in his adventures until “Fury from the Deep” where her trademark scream was effective in killing the parasitic seaweed creatures.

Deborah made a brief appearance in “Dimensions in Time”, paired with Jon Pertwee, and returned to play Victoria in “Downtime”, Reeltime Pictures’ 1995 direct-to-video drama, starring alongside Nicholas Courtney, Elisabeth Sladen and her actor-father Jack Watling, who she had also played the role with in “The Abominable Snowmen” and “The Web of Fear”.

Other television roles have included The Power Game (“Later Via Rome”), Out of the Unknown, The Newcomers, Arthur of the Britons, Lillie, Danger UXB, Rising Damp, Accident and Doctor in Charge, while her film work includes “Take Me High” with Cliff Richard and “That’ll Be the Day” with David Essex.

Deborah has also had a distinguished career on the stage as well - her most recent theatre credits range from playing Mrs Alving in Ibsen’s “Ghosts”, to Beverly in “Abigail’s Party”.

Deborah last joined us for a Cult TV Festival in 1997, and we were delighted that she agreed to return for our final live event in 2007. She appeared courtesy of Fantom Films.


Wednesday, 20 February 2008

We profile the creator of Dad's Army ...


Born in Poole, Dorset to a theatrical family he was educated at Arnold House, St John’s Wood; Durleston Court, Swanage; and Rugby School. During World War II he served in The Royal Artillery and Dorset Regiment in North Africa, India and Singapore. He was on Montgomery’s staff at the War Office, and eventually rose to the rank of Major.

After the war he appeared in Repertory theatre and a West End Musical. In 1952 he collaborated with Ian Carmichael and Ted Kavenagh on a new TV series, and commenced a partnership with Cyril Ornadel writing the music and lyrics for the Ciceley Courtnedge musical “Star MakerE He wrote a number of shows for the London Palladium and many light entertainment spectaculars for the BBC.

In 1954 he joined Rediffusion Television as Head of Light Entertainment Script Department. In 1959 he assisted with the setting up of Tyne Tees Television. He then joined the BBC and produced and directed such programmes as The Benny Hill Show, The Dick Emery Show, Hugh and I, Beggar My Neighbour, Steptoe and Son, Till Death Us Do Part, Tales of Lazy Acre and Up Pompeii.

He then started situation comedy writing with co-author Jimmy Perry, commencing with the legendary Dad’s Army, followed by It Ain’t Half Hot Mum and Hi De Hi. With Jeremy Lloyd he wrote Are You Being Served, Come Back Mrs Noah and Oh Happy Band. As well as writing he also produced and directed all of the above.

In 1982 he co-wrote, again with Jeremy Lloyd, and produced Allo Allo. This ran for some ninety episodes and also had a record-breaking theatre run at The Prince of Wales Theatre and the London Palladium. You Rang M’Lord followed, co-written with Jimmy Perry, which pioneered the 50 minute situation comedy. Most recently David co-wrote Oh Doctor Beeching with Richard Spendlove.

David has also produced and directed television in Australia for Channel 7 and Los Angeles for CBS and Paramount. In 1978 he was awarded the O.B.E. for services to television and in 1982 the Desmond Davies award for his outstanding contribution to the industry.


Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Red Dwarf's Cat creates a song and dance ...


If you have ever wondered what would happen to your moggy if it was left to evolve on a spaceship for three million years, then Cat, played by Danny John-Jules in Red Dwarf, supplies the answer.

Supremely cool but ever-so vain, Danny also played Cat’s highly memorable and completely opposite alter-ego in the episode "Back to Reality", Dwaine Dibbly.

Danny has been busy recently on TV, playing Ed Ross in the BBC sit-com The Crouches, Milton Wordsworth, a member of a family of library-inhabiting magicians in The Story Makers, and the role of Leon in Casualty.

For the big screen he played Asad in Blade II, and the part of Paul in the acclaimed short film Sleep.

Other roles over the years include Barrington in Maid Marian and her Merry Men, Byron Lucifer in "The Living Stones", a story from the 1990s version of The Tomorrow People, an episode of The Bill, and the part of Barfly Jack in Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. You can also see him as one of the partygoers in the 1991 movie London Kills Me.

As a boy, he appeared as an extra in the hard-hitting drama Scum. His singing and dancing career includes appearances on The Hot Shoe Show, as well as the West End musicals Cats, Starlight Express and Soul Train. He toured America with Wham, was a Doo-Wop Street Singer at a bus stop in the 1986 version of Little Shop of Horrors, and a voice of two of the Fireys in Labyrinth. He also sang backing vocals on "Chilly Down", one of the David Bowie tracks on the Labyrinth soundtrack.

Danny recorded a CD single of "Tongue-Tied", a song from the Red Dwarf series, which was credited to The Cat, and reached the Top 20 in 1995. It also features his rendition of the theme to the series.

Danny's nephew, Alexander John Jules, played Lister as a baby in the “Ouroboros” episode of Red Dwarf.


Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Babylon 5, Relic Hunter, NYPD Blue, Claudia's very versatile ...


Claudia Christian is most famous to Cult TV appreciators as Commander Susan Ivanova in Babylon 5.

An actress, author, musician, singer and most recently a director ("Heartbreak Cafe"), she continues to expand her horizons. She's recently been seen on E4's Freaks and Geeks as 'Gloria Haverchuck', and voiced 'Helga Sinclair' in the animated smash hit movie Atlantis. She's also featured in recent episodes of Relic Hunter and NYPD Blue. Claudia has also been a series regular in BERRENGERS (as 'Melody Hughes'), and BLACKE'S MAGIC (as 'Laurie'). She has guest-starred on a huge selection of TV series, including "Hunter", "The A Team", "Dallas", "T J Hooker", "Falcon Crest", "Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer", "Riptide", "Jake and The Fatman", "It's Garry Shandling's Show", "Quantum Leap", "Matlock", "Murder, She Wrote", "L. A. Law", "Dark Justice", "Space Rangers", "Columbo", "Kelly Kelly", "Webster", "The Highwayman", "Total Security" and "Highlander".

Big screen roles include "Hexed", "Maniac Cop 2", "The Hidden", "Mad About You", "A Gnome Named Gnorm", "Never on Tuesday", "Snide and Prejudice", "Love and Sex", "True Rights", "Substiture 3", "Running Home", "LAncelot Guardian of Time", "Thick & Thin", "Strays", "The Dark Backward", "The Haunting of Hell House", and the soon to be released "Half Past Dead".

One of Claudia's many passions is music. She wrote both the lyrics and the music for her first CD, "Taboo", which she co-produced with Michael Jay (of Celine Dion fame). She has produced and sings on two additional albums, "Claudia Squared" and the jazz and blues orientated "Trying to Forget". Her long awaited fourth CD, "Once Upon a Time", has her working again with her "Babylon 5" co-star Bill Mumy, and recent winners of the John Lennon Song writing award, Share and Bam Ross. Always expanding her musical horizons, she recently recorded the soundtrack for the Sci-Fi Musical "Area 51".

As an author, Claudia has written a series of children's books entitled "The Misadventures of Miss Emma Bradford".

Always one to explore new technology, Claudia stars in the Internet series "Love Bytes" (which just been picked up by ilive.com), a sit-com about a dating service that actually gets viewers dates. Her voice can also be heard as the character "DeWinter" in Westwood Studio's live-action internet on line game entitled "Earth and Beyond", and she's the lead voice in "The Summoner 2" for PlayStation. Claudia narrated the five part mini series for VH-1 titled "Below the Waist: Men, Women and Music", and was hand-picked by Jaguar as the voice to represent their range of cars. She recently starred in the offbeat comedy Starhyke.


Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Morris O'Brian from 24 ...


Carlo Rota is one of the most engaging characters on the Emmy Award winning hit drama series 24. He plays Morris O’Brian, CTU analyst and ex-husband of Mary Lynn Rajskub’s Chloe O’Brian.

Carlo is certainly well-traveled - he was born in London and grew up in Italy, Hong Kong, the Philippines, the Bahamas and Canada. He recently made the move from Canada to Los Angeles to advance his acting career in the United States. We are delighted to announce that he will be adding Oxfordshire to his list of places visited, as he joins us in October for the Cult TV Weekender, subject to work commitments.

Carlo’s father, an internationally renowned chef, instilled in him a passion for fine cuisine. This influenced him to co-create, host and direct The Great Canadian Food Show on Canada’s Food Network. This hugely popular documentary styled show ran for five seasons and earned Rota a nomination for the prestigious James Beard Award for Excellence in Culinary Journalism.

Cult television audiences will recall him from his five seasons as Mick Schtoppel on five and SCI FI UK’s La Femme Nikita. The Executive Producer of the show, Joel Surnow, created that role specifically for him, and then moved along to create Carlo’s role on 24.

In Canada, Carlo also stars in the critically acclaimed CBC situation comedy Little Mosque on the Prairie, playing Lebanese-Canadian construction contractor Yasir Hamoudi. He also played Brunet in the long-running investment banking drama Traders, and Albert in At The Hotel, a drama-comedy-musical series set in an illustrious Montreal hotel, known for its favorable treatment of struggling artists, both also for CBC. He played Gardner Vance in the American restaging of Queer as Folk, Sergi Borodin in the “Village of the Lost” episode of Adventure Inc (this was recently seen on UK satellite’s Zone Thriller channel) and he had a trio of roles in Relic Hunter.

Other TV guest roles have included episodes of Matrix (the 1993 TV series), Counterstrike, Street Legal, TekWar, Kung Fu: The Legend Continues, Forever Knight, Viper, The Sentinel, Highlander: The Raven, Total Recall: The Series, Earth: Final Conflict, PSI Factor, Doc, Black Harbour, Veritas: The Quest, Street Time, and Show Me Yours. He also features in four episodes of A Nero Wolfe Mystery.

On the big screen , Carlo has featured in “The Boondock Saints”, “Mission to Mars”, “Maximum Risk”, “The Wrong Guy”, “Global Heresy”, “Horsie’s Retreat” and “Cake”.

Carlo’s TV movies include “Down Came A Blackbird”, “Naked City: Justice With A Bullet”, “The Last Witness”, “Murder In A Small Town”, “Bonanno: A Godfather’s Story”, “Catch A Falling Star”, “Anne of Green Gables: The Continuing Story”, “Trapped In A Purple Haze”, “Phantom of the Megaplex”, “Recipe for Murder”, “A Colder Kind of Death” and “Rough Air: Danger on Flight 534”.

Carlo’s interests include trivia, motorcycles, and learning to embrace the California lifestyle! Originally anticipated to be joining in the fun at the Cult TV Festival 2007, unfortunately schedule changes meant he needed to be in Los Angeles to shoot 24 and then fly up to Toronto to work on a project of Othello with the CBC.


Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Star man from Lexx ...


Brian was born and raised in Newfoundland, Canada. Selected theatre credits include the role of Bobby in 'Cheatin Hearts,' Theseus in 'A Midsummer Night's Dream,' and Fleet in the Trinity Festival's 'Black Stick Tales.'

Brian plays Stanley Tweedle, bumbling nebbish and former revolutionary, in the dark science fiction comedy series Lexx. Stanley was an utterly unexceptional low-grade security guard in the Divine Order, the 20,000-planet empire ruled by the malevolent Divine Shadow.

However, he had a history of covert resistance, but his involvement with the rebellion was very counterproductive, eventually putting the greatest weapon ever created, the Lexx, into a galactic tyrant's hands.

Brian has also appeared as the recurring character Mister Dean in Chris Carter's Millennium, as Milo Grunbacher in The Beachcombers, plus CBC Television's long running Revue (1987-93), as well as co-starring in the award-winning Salter Street Production George's Island.

Brian also wrote and starred as Captain Joe, the First Wise Fisherman, Vincent, Good Lifer Number 2, Ron and the Third Logger in the Canadian Movie 'Joey' in 1982. Other films include 'Secret Nation,' 'Norman's Awesome Experience' (aka 'A Switch In Time'), 'John and the Missus,' 'Culture Shock' and 'The Adventures of Faustus Bidgood.'

Downey is also a talented musician, with skills at guitar (acoustic and electric), electric bass and harmonica, in both straight and blues styles.


Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Star of Primeval and The Armstrong and Miller Show joined us for the 2007 Cult TV Festival Weekender...


Ben Miller is one of the stars of the new ITV1 Science Fiction series Primeval, where he plays the disbelieving senior Home Office official Sir James Lester.

Ben was midway through a PhD in Physics at Cambridge University, when he met Alexander Armstrong, who was also studying there, and neither have looked back since getting involved with the Footlights comedy club.

Ben was soon getting television roles, appearing in an episode of Murder Most Horrid, “He Died A Death”, as PC Watkins, and as a Client in the Jack Docherty comedy Mr Don and Mr George. He was also in The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles episode “Palestine, October 1917”, playing a ‘French Officer’ amongst a cast that also included Colin Baker, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Terrance Hardiman and Daniel Craig! He also featured in Smith and Jones, Jerry Sadowitz, Paul Merton – The Series and French & Saunders.

Other roles around that time included a turn in the Casualty episode “Trials and Tribulations” as Daniel Murdoch, and Marty in the mini-series “Look at the State We’re In” which also featured John Cleese, Hugh Laurie, Rik Mayall, Dawn French and Robert Hardy, amongst a great many others. In 1995, with John Collins, he wrote the TV movie “Sardines”, where he played Simon alongside a cast including Alexander Armstrong, Jack Docherty and Griff Rhys-Jones.

Moving back to the tale of the comedy duo of Armstrong and Miller, after four years of touring pubs and underground comedy clubs they got a break on Saturday Live in 1996 as the Euro-Rock duo “Strijka”.

They were nominated for the Perrier Award that year, and were soon after commissioned to produce The Armstrong and Miller Show. Receiving its first transmission on the UK’s Paramount Channel in February 1997, and co-funded by Channel 4, three further series were made for Channel 4, one later in 1997, and then in 1999 and 2001.

The duo had their own radio show, “Armstrong and Miller” on BBC Radio 4 in 1998, which featured many of the sketches and characters from their TV series. A second show, “Children's Hour with Armstrong and Miller” aired later the same year on Radio 4, featuring their journalist characters Craig Children (Miller) and Martin Bain-Jones (Armstrong) as hosts of a spoof cultural review.

Ben co-wrote “MindGym”, winner of the first BAFTA Interactive Entertainment Award for comedy in 1998, with Tim Wright and Adam Gee. Meanwhile Armstrong and Miller both appeared in supporting roles in the highwayman comedy-drama “Plunkett And McLean” in 1999, playing Winterburn and Dixon.

Ben appeared in the television films “Passion Killers”, a comedy-drama about an agency that exposed cheating spouses, “Coming Soon”, a three-part comedy-drama about an improvisational theatre group, and played Gavin in the hilarious “Hunting Venus”, a spoof comedy drama about a former new romantic pop band being forced to reform, that included cameos by Gary Numan, Tony Hadley, Phil Oakey, Simon Le Bon and Jools Holland.

Ben lined up alongside Ray Winstone and Robert Carlyle in the comedy drama “There's Only One Jimmy Grimble”, played small time criminal Colin in Steve Coogan’s “The Parole Officer”, as well as the hotel concierge in Jez Butterworth's “Birthday Girl”.

He was also Rowan Atkinson's sidekick 'Bough’ in spy spoof “Johnny English”, as well as featuring in “The Actors” as Clive, alongside Michael Caine and Michael Gambon, and played Soren in “The Prince and Me” with Julia Stiles (Nicky in “The Bourne Identity”), James Fox and Miranda Richardson.

Ben played the unlucky groom, Howard, for two series of The Worst Week of My Life alongside long-time friend Sarah Alexander. He has also appeared in Doc Martin as Stewart James, The Book Group as Martin Logan, and Dr Terrible’s House of Horrible as Rebenor.

Over the years, he has also featured on Have I Got News For You, Space Cadets, The 11 O’Clock Show, Not A Lot Of People Know That, Never Mind The Buzzcocks and 8 Out Of 10 Cats. He even presented a season of cult film company Troma’s films for Bravo!

TV movie-wise, Ben played Edmund Bickleigh in “Malice Aforethought”, Basil Blake in “Marple – The Body In The Library”, and Roland Moxley-Nemesis in “Jeffrey Archer – The Truth”. Later this year, and from the collective pen of Robin Ince and Carolyn Wilson, Ben will be starring as Mr Jonathan in “Razzle Dazzle – A Journey Into Dance”.

Ben was also the voice of ITV Digital’s ‘Monkey’ character alongside Johnny Vegas, which is now the PG Tips monkey character in the same set-up. He also now works behind the camera as a director, and took the helm of the first episode of Steve Coogan's Saxondale. He is currently recording a new series of The Armstrong And Miller Show for Hattrick Productions.

Having now written, produced and directed as well as acted, Ben was once asked which of the four disciplines he enjoyed the most. He replied: “Whichever one I'm doing at the time! I try and vary it a bit. And I feel I learn a lot about acting when I'm directing, and vice versa. I just love being involved in things that I think are good, whatever capacity it's in”.

We were delighted that Ben agreed to join us for the 2007 Cult TV Festival Weekender.


Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Scriptwriter on Doctor Who and Script Executive on the new audio Blake's 7 adventures joined us at Cult TV 2007 courtesy of B7 Media...


Ben Aaronovitch is a writer whose first work for television was the critically acclaimed Doctor Who story "Remembrance of the Daleks" from the Sylvester McCoy era of the series.

He had been put in touch with Andrew Cartmel by a BBC script editor, Caroline Oulton, and he produced a story idea called "Nightfall" on spec, before being commissioned for the Dalek story. Ben also scripted "Battlefield" for the 26th season of the show.

Ben has gone on to write for Casualty and also wrote, with Cartmel, an initial script for the 1989 Doctor Who stage play "The Ultimate Adventure". He also scripted 13 episodes of the BSB series Jupiter Moon, and has written several novels in Virgin Publishing's "Doctor Who: The New Adventures" range and a new Bernice Summerfield novel for Big Finish Productions.

Other credits include five's Dark Knight, a fantasy retelling of the classic Ivanhoe tales.

He is the son of economist Dr Sam Aaronovitch, and the younger brother of actor Owen Aaronovitch and British journalist David Aaronovitch.

He is currently Script Executive on the re-imagining of Blake's 7, and is hard at work on a novel based on the 1960s TV series The Prisoner.

Ben appeared at the Cult TV Festival Weekender 2007 courtesy of B7 Media, the producers of the brand new Blake’s 7 audio dramas that you can currently hear at the SCI FI Channel’s website.



Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Huggy Bear in the original Starsky and Hutch...


The status of Antonio Fargas is legendary. Since his initiation into the world of film at the age of fourteen, when his exceptional interpretative skills led to a role in Shirley Clarke's "The Cool World", he has been noted for the unforgettable characters he creates, most famously through his role as the incorrigible and loveable Huggy Bear in Starsky & Hutch.

Whether perfecting outrageously comedic characters as in Robert Downey's "Putney Swope" and Keenan Ivory Wayan's "I'm Going to Git You Sucka", or chilling the audience through a convincing rendition of a 90-year old witchdoctor, as in the Broadway play "The Great White Hope", Antonio's performances have generated a near endless array of enthusiastic acclaim from some of the industry's most respected critics of film, television and stage.

Antonio's television credits include starring, recurrent and guest roles on Miami Vice, MacGyver, Charlie’s Angels, Vega$, The Love Boat, G vs E, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Hardcastle and McCormick, Kojak, Police Woman, Kolchak – The Night Stalker, Sanford and Son, Ironside, All My Children, Martin, L.A. Heat, Kaz, Police Story, CHiPs, The Bill Cosby Show, Eve, The District, Homeboys In Outer Space, Holby City, Fastlane.The Simpsons, and most recently Everybody Hates Chris.

His list of Movies Of The Week includes back-door pilot "Huggy Bear and The Turkey", "Denmark Veresy", "Huckleberry Finn", "Ambush Murder" and "Ali – An American Legend".

His film credits include "Osmosis Jones", "Shaft", "Car Wash', "Cleopatra Jones", "Pretty Baby", "Next Stop, Greenwich Village", "Le Bell Anglaise", "Whore", "Conrack", "The Howling VI" and "The Borrower", amongst many others.

Antonio's stage career is most extensive with appearances both on and off Broadway, these include Melvin Von Peeples' "Ain't Supposed to Die a Natural Death", the on-Broadway production of "The Great White Hope", North Carolina Repertory's "The Contract", Stage West's "The Rainmaker" and "The Emperor Jones", and numerous other productions.

He is also a partner in his own production company, and they currently have a television series in development for a UK TV network. Antonio is currently partnering with a number of other artists in a tribute to urban art forms, the focus of his tribute is a twelve city tour of "Calling All Saints", a gospel musical stage play about the threats to marriage and family.

His commitment to theatre is further exemplified by his position on the boards of Rhode Island's Langton Hughes Centre for the Arts, and the Martin Luther King Center of Newport. He is Chairman of the Board of the Mount Vernon Open Case Theatre, and Honorary Board Chair on the Progressive Symphony's Academy of the Arts, an organization by Maestra Yvetter Devereaux.

Antonio was unable to join us as anticipated due to scheduling conflicts in 2006, but he cleared his diary for our Appreciation Weekend in 2007, and wowed his fans in person, with a red Ford Torino in tow!

Check out more on Antonio at his very own website, www.antoniofargas.com.


Wednesday, 20 February 2008

From Crossroads to Monarch of the Glen ...


Angus Lennie was born in Glasgow, and is best remembered for playing chef Shughie McFee in the original Crossroads (first appearing onscreen in 1972 as a Travel Agent), although his career before and after that gig has been renowned.

An episode of The Saint (1963's 'The Fellow Traveller') saw him play MacTavish, and he can be seen in the Doctor Who story 'The Ice Warriors', playing Storr in 1967 (He would return to the series in 1975 for the Tom Baker story "Terror of the Zygons", playing Angus McRanald). In 1964 he featured in the series HMS Paradise as Able Seaman Murdoch.

He can be seen in the movies Tunes of Glory (an orderly room clerk alongside Sir John Mills and Alec Guinness), The Great Escape (Flying Officer Archibald 'The Mole' Ives alongside Steve McQueen), and 633 Squadron (playing Flying Officer 'Hoppy' Hopkinson). He even provided the voice for Hamish Great in One of Our Dinosaurs Is Missing as well as appearing in Oh What A Lovely War and The Zany Adventures of Robin Hood.

On television, he has appeared in Rumpole of the Bailey, Lovejoy, Game On, Hale and Pace, Hannay, The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe, Parahandy, Doom Castle, The Stanley Baxter Show, Dad, The Les Dennis Show, The Bobby Davro Show, Justice, Keeping Up Appearances, The Upper Hand and All Night Long. He played John MacColl in the 1978 mini-series of Kidnapped, and was Curtis in the 1980 BBC Shakespeare adaption of The Taming of the Shrew. He has also been seen in Monarch of the Glen.

In terms of theatre work he undertook Rep seasons at Bath, Birmingham, Dundee, Farnham, Westcliff and Surrey. Other stage highlights include Dear Brutus and A Midsummer Night's Dream at Nottingham Playhouse, a Far East and Gulf tour of Lloyd George Knew My Father, The Three Estates at the Edinburgh and Walsall Festivals, plus several pantomimes.

Angus left Crossroads in 1981, but he is still recognised all over the world from the role: a doorman at the Barclays Bank branch in Paris once greeted him with "Bonjour, Monsieur Shughie"!



Wednesday, 20 February 2008

He was with us to announce the continuing adventures of Blake's 7 in 1999, and Andrew made a return visit in 2007 as Producer of the brand new audio adventures of the series...


Andrew was a former Creative Director at BBC Worldwide, and in that role was a key architect in defining the editorial and commercial strategy for exploiting BBC interactive content globally.

He was a Writer, Producer and Executive Producer on a range of cross-media projects, including the UKTV simulcast event Haunted (short-listed for the Montreux e-Rose), Dig Egypt, The Old Grey Whistle Test and Tomorrow’s World+.

Other credits include documentaries Echoes of the Past (for the UK History channel), Barcelona Burnout (Men and Motors) and Secrets of the Paranormal.

He was the UK Producer of the critically acclaimed feature film "Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont" that starred Joan Plowright, Anna Massey, Robert Lang, Rupert Friend and Zoe Tapper.

As co-founder of B7 Media, he most recently produced and directed the SCI FI Channel audio drama series based on the cult SF series Blake’s 7, starring Daniela Nardini (This Life), Derek Riddell (No Angels) and Colin Salmon (Keen Eddie, Hex, Bad Girls, and was Charles Robinson in a trio of James Bond movies, "Tomorrow Never Dies", "The World Is Not Enough" and "Die Another Day").

We were delighted to welcome Andrew back to the Cult TV Festival Weekender 2007 after eight years away. Goodness, how things changed in that time!

You can catch the brand new Blake’s 7 audio dramas right now at the SCI FI Channel’s website.


Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Stu Riley from Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea joined in the Cult TV fun in 2007...


Allan Hunt comes came into a family already blessed with acting talent. His Aunt, Marsha Hunt, was a well known movie actress of the 1940s and 1950s.

Allan Trained at the Pasadena Playhouse, The American Conservatory Theatre, The Seattle Repertory, and earned a degree at UCLA in journalism. He started acting as a youngster, initially appearing regularly as the boyfriend of Shelly Fabares in the series The Donna Reed Show. Other roles around this time included The Munsters, Gunsmoke, Dr Kildare, Slattery’s People, Karen, and Perry Mason.

He was then picked by Irwin Allen for Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, but he voluntarily cut his own 'voyage' short, at the end of season two, when he enlisted in the Marine Corps - knowing that he might soon be drafted with the events that were going on in Vietnam. Irwin Allen promised to keep the role of Stu Riley for Allan when he completed his duties in the Marines, however Voyage was cancelled before he could return to the show. While in the services, he worked on USO shows, lending his musical and theatrical talents to entertain his fellow troops.

Returning home after his tour of duty, he resumed his acting career, guest starring in many favourite shows including General Hospital, Quincy, Centennial, Ironside, Barnaby Jones, Owen Marshall: Counselor at Law, The Young and the Restless, and Police Story. He also featured in the 1979 TV movies Mandrake and The Ordeal of Patty Hearst.

Allan has continued to work in the industry, appearing in the recent The New Love Boat and Charmed, and on stage in the annual production of “A Christmas Carol”, with the likes of Anne Lockhart and Walter Koenig, and starring in a recent production of “The Music Man” as Harold Hill.

Allan is a full time teacher of Theatre at the Oak Park High School, in Oak Park, California, where he teaches drama, directs and supervises theatrical and musical productions, and works with the students, showing them an aspect of the industry that few High School students have the opportunity to see.

We were delighted that Allan agreed to join us at the Cult TV Festival Weekender 2007 in an exclusive UK appearance – his first this side of the Atlantic in almost a decade.



Wednesday, 20 February 2008

The sound designer and voice of Zen in the new Blake's 7 audio adventures joined us in October 2007 for the Cult TV Weekender courtesy of B7 Media...


Alistair Lock is the sound designer and the voice of Zen in the new Blake's 7 audio adventures.

He demonstrated a talent for the audio medium at an early age, spending most of his childhood playing with tape recorders, as well as honing his keen interest in music and theatre.

Having acquired a thorough education in radio production, Alistair went on to greater things, working as producer, sound designer and actor for Audio Visuals, which came out with a number of independent Doctor Who stories after the television series went off the air. At the same time, Alistair also developed an interest in Blake's 7, working with Alan Stevens to produce the behind-the-scenes documentary “Travis: The Final Act”, and two spin-off radio plays set in the Blake's 7 universe, “The Mark of Kane” and “The Logic of Empire”.

More recently, Alistair has done music, acting and production work for BBV's Doctor Who spin-off audio plays, notably "Republica" and "Prosperity Island", as well as their videos, including "The Airzone Solution", "More than a Messiah" and the "Autons" series. He also did post-production work on the well-received UNIT video story, "Downtime".

He has supplied theme music for a number of Science Fiction conventions, including his famous remix of Madonna's "Open Your Heart" with the Doctor Who theme for Panopticon, and produced a number of plays of his own. Alistair is probably best known, however, for his astounding work on Big Finish Productions' series of officially-licensed Doctor Who audio plays, which more than one reviewer has described as "cinematic". He also worked on the "Kaldor City" series of audio plays, giving them their distinct ambience of sophistication and menace

Alistair is a well-respected audio professional who is a very capable actor and director, all adding to his expertise in sound design and music. He has come a long way from the days when post-production was a difficult and cumbersome task involving yards of reel-to-reel tape and four track cassette recorders to the present world of sophisticated computers and surround sound.

Alistair appeared at the Cult TV Festival Weekender 2007 courtesy of B7 Media, the producers of the brand new Blake’s 7 audio dramas that you can currently hear at the SCI FI Channel’s website.


Wednesday, 20 February 2008

One of the members of the special effects team on Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlet, and UFO joined us for the Cult TV Weekender 2007...


Born in 1947, Alan was influenced by the cinema he saw throughout his childhood. During the 1950s space adventure films such as “Flash Gordon”, which were shown at Saturday Morning Cinema, encouraged him to pursue his childhood dream of working within the film industry.

His early interest in photography also found him in the role of official photographer to West Ham United Football Club, travelling with the legendary Bobby Moore and Geoff Hurst on a weekly basis, for some years, around the UK.

In 1966, at the age of only 19, he became the youngest member of the elite special effects team, working under the supervision of Oscar-winning effects director Derek Meddings, at Century 21 Studios.

Alan worked on over 100 children’s television programmes including the classic Thunderbirds series, Captain Scarlet, Joe 90 and UFO.

Whilst working at the Studios he continued his passion for photography, casually capturing behind the scenes moments on the special effects film stages. His unique collection of photographs and untold stories from the Studio floor have now been published - for the first time in forty years - in a new hardback book “Century 21 FX - Unseen Untold” - see www.thunderbirdsbook.com for details.

Today Alan is still working as a professional photographer in his own business. We were delighted that he agreed to join us for the 2007 Cult TV Weekender.

Wednesday, 20 February 2008
L-J "Gadget Girl" Rich has become one of the faces of digital television. Some of you may recognise her from her days at BID-UP.TV, the live auction TV channel. She moved on from there to short-lived live music and current affairs station WHEREITS.AT. Now, she's turning up on the trio of SIMPLY SHOPPING channels, plus QVC, and most recently on the AUCTION WORLD station.

L-J comes from a musical background, playing the piano from the tender age of 3 years old. She won a scholarship to the Royal College of Music at 11, continued her studies at Oxford and went on to become a sound engineer for Pete Waterman. She toured the USA in a rock 'n' roll band, still gigs occasionally and writes her own songs.

Nowadays Laura-Jane combines her musical talent with a love of all things technological as well as being a confirmed Science Fiction fan (the more explosions, the better!). L-J also enjoys training in acrobatic tumbling and playing the piano - upside down!

For more information, visit her website at www.laurajanerich.com

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