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Star Profiles

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

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Wednesday, 20 February 2008

From Travis Mark II in Blake's 7 to Ted Hills in Eastenders ...

 

Brian Croucher was born in Surrey and now lives in Kent. He worked as an apprentice in the printing trade and as a redcoat for Butlins before training at LAMDA. He is married to Christina Balit and they have two children, Sean and Billie.

He played the second incarnation of Travis in Blake's 7, and featured as Borg in Doctor Who "The Robots of Death". He has been involved in an extensive range of other television work including Wycliffe, Casualty, The Quatermass Conclusion, Out, The Famous Five, The XYY Man, Warship, The Professionals, Softly Softly, Minder, Out, The Gentle Touch, Dempsey & Makepeace, The New Avengers, CATS Eyes, Father Brown, Dixon of Dock Green, Callan, Public Eye, Detectives II; A Skirt Through History, The Young Ones, Bottom, Blood Money, Shoestring, The Chinese Detective, Hideaway, The Collectors, Hold the Back Page, Edge of Darkness, Grange Hill, Rockcliffe’s Babies, Bread, A Small Problem, Natural Lies, King and Castle, Letty, The Upper Hand, Hot House, Hammer House of Horror, The Last Days of Pompeii, The Hanged Man, Treasure Island, The Lenny Henry Show, The Deadly Game, Stick with me Kid, Over the Rainbow, Full Stretch, Shopping, Lovejoy, Birds of a Feather, and Noel’s House Party.

His most recent roles were in Doctors, an episode of The Bill (bringing his total to seven – he first featured in 1985), and as Prosymnos in Gory Greek Gods. Brian also had a spell of soap stardom playing Ted Hills in EastEnders, although he was also in the very early days of Crossroads as Johnny Keller.

He has also been involved in several spin-offs from his work on Doctor Who and Blake's 7. In 1994 he reunited with former co-star Jan Chappell to headline in the direct-to-video production "Shakedown: Return of The Sontarans", which was directed by Kevin Davies. In 2001 he was involved in the Kaldor City audio play "Occam's Razor" which is set in the same fictional Universe as his Doctor Who Story "The Robots of Death".

His film credits include "Shopping", "From the Island", "A Nightingale Sang", "Oliver", "Made", "Oh Lucky Man", "The Set Up", "Dreamhouse", "Take it or Leave It", "Underworld" and most recently "I'll Sleep when I’m Dead" starring Clive Owen, Malcolm McDowell and Charlotte Rampling.

His numerous theatre credits include "Paddywack", "Bare", "Fantasy Bonds", "Catch Me If You Can", "Barnaby and the Old Boys" (including West End), "Major Barbara" (at the National Theatre), "Dick Turpin", "Inside Out", "The Provok’d Wife", "Class Enemy", "Christie in Love", "Edward Bond Trilogy", "Duck Song", and "Find Your Way Home". His most recent roles have been playing Fagin in Lionel Bart’s "Oliver" at the Marlowe, Canterbury; Stalin in David Pinner’s "Lenin in Love" at the New End, Hampstead; and Raynor in the UK tour of "Snakes and Ladders".

Brian has also appeared in several pantos, most recently as Fleshcreep in "Jack and the Beanstalk" (Harlequin, Redhill); as Alderman Fitzwarren and the Sultan of Morocco in "Dick Whittington" (Palace Theatre, Redditch); and the Emperor of China in "Aladdin" (Dacorum Pavilion, Hemel Hempstead). Brian also hosted "Croucher's Back" – an evening with Brian as part of the Wandsworth Festival at the Grace Theatre, Battersea.

Radio work includes "Everyone Says You Are", "Anything Legal" and "The Detectives", as well as numerous voice-overs and adverts.

Brian also has many directorial credits, including: Hampstead New Theatre – "Adams Apple"; Soho Poly Theatre Club – "Parkers Knoll"; "A Treat"; "Moonlight"; "The Heather and A Curse"; Round House Theatre – "Scenes from Soweto"; Etcetera Theatre, London – "Parachuting Lemmings"; Lyric Theatre, Belfast – "The Comedians"; Edinburgh Festival and London – "Tristram Shandy"; Earl’s Court, London – "Anything, Woman in Upturned Skirt" (by Brian’s wife, Christina Balit); Grace Theatre, Battersea – "Swingers"; SE England tour and Grace Theatre, Battersea, London – "Crystal Clear"; and Old Red Lion, London – "Danny and the Deep Blue Sea".

 

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Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Creating a song and dance from Just William to Doctor Who and beyond ...

 

Born Bonita Melody Lysette Langford, by the age of six Bonnie Langford had won the television talent contest Opportunity Knocks and gained her Equity membership.

Before training at the Italia Conti stage school, she made her West End debut in a musical adaptation of Gone With the Wind and played in a production of Gypsy that transferred to Broadway.

A co-presenter on Junior Showtime, in 1977, she appeared in ITV’s children’s drama Just William. Adapted from the books by Richmal Crompton, and starring Adrian Bannatt as the grubby William Brown, Bonnie played the lisping Violet-Elizabeth Bott who threatened to "scweam and scweam and scweam until I’m thick."

Moving into light entertainment she presented The Hot Shoe Show with Wayne Sleep, and the children’s morning show Saturday Starship. Continuing to make guest appearances in numerous variety shows in 1986 she took on the role of Melanie Bush, in Doctor Who.

Appearing in the final two stories of "The Trial of a Time Lord", she continued as the Doctor’s companion through the show’s twenty-fourth season following the character’s regeneration from Colin Baker to Sylvester McCoy until surrendering the role to Sophie Aldred’s Ace.

Reprising the character in five Big Finish New Doctor Who Audio Adventures, including the Unbound drama "He Jests at Scars...", opposite Michael Jayston’s Valeyard, she appeared on the 40th Anniversary story Zagreus whose cast includes Peter Davison and Paul McGann along with numerous past companions.

Between earlier film roles in "Bugsy Malone" and "Wombling Free", and television guest appearances in Goodnight Sweetheart and "Noel Coward’s Family Album", adapted for Tonight at 8.30, Bonnie continued her long career in theatre.

After playing Rumpleteaser in the original cast of "Cats", she has taken roles in "The Pirates of Penzance", "Me and My Girl" and "Peter Pan: The Musical", and toured in musicals such as "42nd Street" and "Oklahoma!"

 

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Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Joining Antonio "Huggy Bear" Fargas at the Cult TV Weekender in 2007 was a Red Ford Torino just like you see in the Starsky and Hutch television series ...

 

With thousands of pounds invested (and that's just in petrol!), this car is loaded with features that will blow your mind. Included is air suspension, a 351 Windsor engine with holy carb conversion and a flowmaster exhaust system to give the grunt. The Torino is complete with flashing lights, siren, and a loud speaker to shout abuse at on-lookers.

The car joined Antonio Fargas at the Cult TV Weekender 2007, and you were able to take the opportunity to get your picture taken with the Torino and Huggy Bear himself!

For more information on this vehicle, why not visit its website at www.zebra3uk.com.

 

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Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Farscape and "Living Daylights" actress ...

 

Virginia was nominated in June 2000 for 'Best Supporting Actress' on television by the 26th Annual Saturn Awards of America. In 2001, her status was escalated following her nomination for a LOGIE (The Australian equivalent of an Emmy award) as 'Best Actress'.

Born in Sydney, Virginia divided her early years between her home town and London. She has just spent 3 years on the award-winning series Farscape where she played Pa'u Zotoh Zhaan.

Her career escalated following her big screen debut with Mel Gibson in Mad Max 2: Road Warrior, where she portrayed "Warrior Woman". Since then, Virginia has appeared with numerous international stars, including George C Scott in Mussolini, Timothy Dalton in The Living Daylights (directed by fellow Cult TV 2002 guest John Glen), and Christopher Atkins in Signal One.

On the small screen, Virginia played Gillian in Home and Away, Leigh Templar in Prisoner Cell Block H, Queen Una in Roar, Beth Travers in Neighbours, and Danielle in the 1988 TV series of Mission: Impossible. She has also featured in Pacific Drive, Flipper, Paradise Beach, E Street, Dolphin Cove, Flesh and Blood, Crazy Like A Fox, Vietnam, Big Deal, and the 1986 one-off special Timeslip.

You can discover more about Virginia at her website, www.virginia-hey.com.

 

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Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Prolific in the Star Trek universes ...

 

 

With a career that has spanned the stage and screen, in recent years Vaughn Armstrong has become best known for the multiple roles he played in the continuing Star Trek franchise.

Originally auditioned for the role of Will Riker, Vaughn has so far played eleven characters from eight different races in Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Voyager and Star Trek: Enterprise where he regularly appears as Admiral Forrest.

Starting off as Karris in Heart of Glory, the first of three Klingon roles that also included Korath in the Star Trek: The Experience exhibit, he has played the Cardassians Seskal and Danar, a Vidiian, a Hirogen, a Romulan, a Kreetassan, and the former Borg drone Two of Nine.

After attending the US International University Centre for Performing Arts in San Diego and was offered a place in the National Shakespeare Company before being drafted. Stationed in Vietnam he used his free time to build and run his first theatre, and upon his return was named NCO in charge of Fort Carson’s Little Theatre in Colorado.

An actor, writer, director and producer for the stage, Vaughn began his television career in the late-1970s with guest roles on Wonder Woman and A Man Called Sloane starring Robert Conrad. Mixing theatre, film and television he continued with appearances in Remington Steele, Scarecrow and Mrs. King and the Quantum Leap episode It’s a Wonderful Leap set in 1958.

Along with appearances in The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and The West Wing, Vaughn played the leader of Nightwatch, plotting to take over the space station, in Babylon 5 and the presidential front-runner in an episode of Seven Days.

With film credits including Clear and Present Danger and Triumphs of a Man Called Horse, Vaughn also composed the music for In Time of Need. When he isn’t treading the boards or infront of a camera Vaughn spends his time with his wife and teenage children in Los Angeles.

 

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Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Broadcaster and author ...

 

A writer and broadcaster, Tony Currie has worked in and written about radio, television and the recording business for thirty-five years.

His varied career has taken him from the seventh-floor heights of the Independent Television Commission, for whom he was Controller of Programmes (Cable), to the lower decks of shipborne Radio Northsea International; from a twelve year stint as Scottish Television's senior announcer and newscaster to a year hosting the Europe Top 40 on Ukranian state radio, in spite of being beaten nearly to death by the Mafia in Kiev!

A regular contributor to almost every media paper from TV Times to the Times Educational Supplement, his books include The Concise History of British Television and his recent The Radio Times Story. Tony has been on the staff of BBC Scotland for the last eight years, doing all manner of things from reading the news on the radio to choosing the music for late night transmissions of CEEFAX pages.

He also produces records for his own label, and as a "hobby" (he gets bored easily) he runs a radio station - www.radiosix.com - playing music by unsigned bands to listeners in nearly 70 countries on the Internet and via high power shortwave transmitters in Italy.

 

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Wednesday, 20 February 2008

A writer and regular visitor to TV sets around the globe ...

 

Having originally trained as a school teacher, Thomasina’s desire to watch plays for free led to her working for the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-On-Avon before embarking as a cabin crew-member for British Airways.

After travelling the world for seven years, she crossed the airwaves as a presenter and co-producer for BBC Radio Sussex and BBC South Today. Enjoying a spell working in BBC Children’s television, Thomasina gave up her job to have children of her own.

Following her love of cult television she turned to writing and began contributing to Starburst magazine. Writing for most of the genre magazines in the UK and USA, including Cult Times, TV Zone, Dreamwatch, SFX and Sci-Fi Universe, Thomasina regularly contributes to the Sky Customer Magazine and several daily newspapers.

She has written several books on popular television shows including three volumes of Stargate SG-1: The Illustrated Companion and The High Guard Handbook, a guide to the first two seasons of Andromeda. A huge fan of Stargate SG-1, Thomasina was delighted when MGM asked her to be associate producer on the extras included in the SG-1 DVD releases. She also produced the pilot for a sci-fi entertainment programme for Sky One

 

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Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Star of Stargate SG-1 and Profit ...

 

Teryl plays Doctor Janet Fraiser in Stargate SG-1, the Medical Officer at the Cheyenne Mountain Facility. Frasier's skill and compassion are needed when facing the incredible cases brought to her by the SG teams.

A Vancouver native, Teryl Rothery always knew she wanted to be an entertainer. She began her career as a dancer, age 13, performing in her first musical, "Bye Bye Birdie". Her role in "Annie Get Your Gun" earned her a Most Outstanding Performer award with her theatre company.

Teryl has been working in the television and Film industry for many years. She has appeared in "The X Files" (episode "Excelceus Dei"), "Profit", "First Wave", "The Outer Limits", "The Commish", "Robin's Hoods", "MANTIS", and "Cobra". Teryl has used her voice talents on many cartoon series including "Re-Boot" (as Pixel), "ExoSquad" and was Kodachi ('Black Rose') in "Ranma 1/2" (aka "Ranma Nibunoichi").

On the big screen, she has been in "Masterminds" with Patrick Stewart, "Exhuming Mr Rice" with David Bowie and "Best in Show" with Spinal Tap's Christopher Guest. Other film credits include "Urban Safari", "Andre" and "Exquisite Tenderness". She has appeared in the TV movies "Who Killed my Daughter?", "Deceived by Trust", "Tailhook", "For the Love of Nancy" "and The Man Who Wouldn't Die".

She has recently been featured in J Michael Straczynski's new series "Jeremiah", playing the mother of Luke Perry's character.

Off stage and screen, Teryl enjoys walking, riding and roller blading. You can find out more about her at her own official website, www.terylrothery.com.

 

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Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Co-producer, creator and writer of shows like Thunderbirds and UFO ...

 

Before becoming the UK Original Programming representative for HBO, the American cable channel, Sylvia Anderson was responsible for creating programmes that enriched the childhood of generations.

A graduate of the LSE, she began her television career as a 'Girl Friday' for the company Polytechnic. When directors Gerry Anderson and Arthur Provis broke away to form AP Films, Sylvia joined them in their new venture.

First producing The Adventures of Twizzle, Torchy the Battery Boy and the western Four Feather Falls, the company then struck a deal with Lew Grade and ITC.

After working on continuity during the making of Supercar, Sylvia began writing scripts and voicing characters, and her contribution to the shows grew from strength to strength.

Starting with Fireball XL5, Sylvia co-created all the series produced between 1962 and 1975, with the exception of The Protectors. Writing or co-writing the first episode for each, at the very least, she voiced numerous characters including Fireball XL5’s Doctor Venus, Melody Angel in Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons, and most famously Lady Penelope Creighton-Ward from Thunderbirds, who was modelled on her likeness.

From Stingray through to Joe 90 and The Secret Service, Sylvia created and visualised all the marionette characters. Having co-written and produced both Thunderbirds movies, the company moved into live action with the feature "Doppelganger" (aka "Journey to the Far Side of the Sun") which she co-created, co-wrote and produced.

With UFO, Sylvia designed the costumes and had a hand in casting the roles, and also produced the first series of Space: 1999. As well as being involved in the visual style of both series, the shift from marionettes to actors meant she could push for a greater emphasis on characterisation.

The publication of "Yes M’Lady" back in 1991 gave Sylvia's first personal account of her years making Thunderbirds and the other classic APF and Century 21 series, helping to emphasise not just Sylvia’s overlooked contribution to the series, but those of the production crews on the various shows as well.

A celebrity guest at the Cult TV Festivals in 1998 and 2001, Sylvia has a new book out called "MY FAB YEARS". This is a large coffee table book (think the size of a box set of 12” vinyl records in format), it features a host of previously unpublished and rare photographs from the days of APF and Century 21, as well as bringing the entire story of all the series she was involved with up to date.

 

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Wednesday, 20 February 2008

The award-winning comedienne joined us for Cult TV's 2007 Sunday Night Cabaret ...

 

Suzy is known as the “Devonshire Blonde Bombshell” (apparently) and is a fledgling comedienne. Currently working full time at a top London tourist attraction (clue: she gets to grope Johnny Depp every day, and he can’t run away!), she is looking to pursue comedy on a more permanent basis.

She won the Funny Women Awards 2006 and subsequently had a lot of press coverage including being featured as one of the “Top 10 Up and Coming London comics” in ‘Time Out’, ‘The Stage’ and, er, The London Lite!

Suzy has appeared on stage with Jo Brand and Jan Ravens, featured on a comedy podcast on ‘The Sun’ website, and recently had a guest spot in the Plymouth leg of Jimmy Carr’s Gag Reflex tour, as well as featuring on his Comedy Idol DVD as a finalist … she hates to brag, but she did, so there!

Suzy was also featured on the BBC’s The One Show in an item about breaking into professional comedy, along with another budding talent, Nick Pettigrew. Both acts were filmed for two days and given the opportunity to perform alongside established acts and be paid for their efforts. Suzy was also flown down to London from Edinburgh to discuss her experience live on the couch with the programme’s presenter, Adrian Childs.

Suzy joined us at the Cult TV Weekender in 2007 to spice up our Sunday Night Cabaret – following in the footsteps of such luminaries as Norman Lovett, Mitch Benn and Carol Cleveland!

 

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Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Writer and researcher ...

 

After graduating from Goldsmiths' College, University of London, Steven Paul Davies joined Virgin Radio, becoming the youngest ever news presenter on national radio in the UK. He is the author of "Alex Cox: Film Anarchist" and "A-Z Cult Films and Filmmakers" and the co-author of "Brat Pack: Confidential" (all published by Batsford).

Steven's book, "The Prisoner Handbook", published by MacMillan has been described as "a fantastic guide to an amazing television series" ("The Guardian") and Patrick McGoohan's co-star Alexis Kanner recently wrote - "It amazes me how Davies the things he knows! Reading 'The Prisoner Handbook' was like reliving my time spent on the original series. I loved it!"

His book 'Get Carter and Beyond: The Cinema of Mike Hodges' was published in 2002.

 

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Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Acclaimed screenwriter and author ...

 

Stephen is a novelist, screenwriter and director, specialising in contemporary suspense, and was born in Salford, Lancashire.

Initially working for Yorkshire and Granada TV, Stephen's aim was always to be a TV Drama Director. During his early years in the business, he wrote a number of radio plays and having gained confidence from these, soon his first novel "Chimera". After writing several "Saturday Night Theatres" for BBC Radio 4, his first TV work was the Doctor Who serial, "Warrior's Gate" in Tom Baker's final season. He later contributed "Terminus" during Peter Davison's second year in the title role.

As his career progressed from the mid 1980s onwards, he released a novel a year with all of them optioned for film and TV adaptation. "Chimera" was adapted initially for Radio and then as a successful four part ITV series.

Stephen was involved in "Bugs", writing 10 of the 30 episodes and acting as a script consultant on the second and third seasons. He also adapted and directed a version of his novel "Oktober" for ITV starring Stephen Tomkinson, as well as helping set up Yorkshire TV's short lived horror anthology series "Chillers".

More recently he contributed "The Kingdom of Bones" to the second series of "Murder Rooms - The Dark Beginnings of Sherlock Holmes", starring Ian Richardson.

For further information, visit Stephen's website at http://www.stephengallagher.com/

 

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Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Voice of Scott Tracy, and associate of James Bond ...

 

From providing the voice of Thunderbird 1 pilot, Scott Tracy, in all 32 episodes of Thunderbirds and both feature films, Shane Rimmer has been one of the most prolific contributors to the series of Gerry and Sylvia Anderson.

In addition to lending his voice to their next series, Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons, Joe 90 and The Secret Service he also wrote a number of the scripts for the shows.

Following different roles in three episodes of UFO, he scripted and appeared in The Protectors as well as writing and starring in the episode Zeke's Blues.

He wrote the story and voiced the character John for the Supermarionation pilot, The Investigator, then appeared as Alan Carter's co-pilot, Kelly, in the Space: 1999 episode Space Brain.

After playing Lieutenant Chuck Brogan in the pilot Space Police, which acted as the forerunner to Space Precinct, he voiced the animated lead in the private eye parody, Dick Spanner.

Outside of the Anderson shows, Shane Rimmer has guest-starred in such shows as Doctor Who, Danger Man and The Persuaders!. He played the American Secretary of State in the drama A Very British Coup along with roles in Dennis Potter's Lipstick on Your Collar and the American miniseries Oppenheimer and Space.

Among numerous film roles, Shane Rimmer has appeared in the Bond movies You Only Live Twice, Diamonds are Forever and The Spy Who Loved Me, the blackly comic Dr Strangelove and Whoops Apocalypse, Ghandi, Reds and the recent Spy Game.

His official website can be found at www.shanerimmer.com.

 

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Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Star of Garrison's Gorillas, Planet of the Apes, and Land of the Lost joined us for Cult TV 2007 ...

 

Ron Harper starred as Lt Craig Garrison in Garrison’s Gorillas in 1967, a single season series about a group of commandos recruited from jail to use their assembled special skills against the Nazis in WWII. With their headquarters in a sleepy corner of England, they often found themselves all across Europe and behind enemy lines.

Two of his other best known roles were as astronaut Alan Virdon in Planet of the Apes, the spin-off TV series from the movie franchise, and as Uncle Jack in the third season of Land of the Lost.

Ron was born in Turtle Creek, Pennsylvania, a small town just east of Pittsburgh. He won an academic scholarship to Princeton University after becoming valedictorian of his senior class.

At Princeton he appeared in a number of plays and musical comedies during two seasons of performances with the Princeton University Players. Following his graduation, Ron turned down a fellowship to the Harvard Law School and headed to New York to study with Lee Strasberg.

After appearing in such production as “Studio One” and “The Armstrong Theatre”, Ron enlisted in the US Navy. Subsequently, he returned to New York where he appeared on Broadway in “Night Circus” and “Sweet Bird of Youth”. He toured the country in the latter production as Paul Newman's understudy.

His first television appearance was in Tales of Wells Fargo in 1960. Other roles soon followed, including 87th Precinct, The Deputy, The Tall Man, Laramie, and Wagon Train.

He was as a regular on Wendy and Me in 1964 - which starred George Burns as an apartment block owner – Ron played Jeff Conway, the airline pilot husband of Wendy (Connie Stevens), who were two of the building’s tenants - and The Jean Arthur Show in 1966, in which he played Paul, the lawyer son of Patricia Marshall (played by the star, Jean Arthur).

Ron can also be seen in such shows as The Big Valley, Cannon, Love American Style, Another World, Mike Hammer (1984), Remington Steele, Beverly Hills 90210, Melrose Place, Night Man, Boy Meets World, Walker Texas Ranger, and The West Wing.

Film roles include “Below Utopia”, “The Odd Couple II”, “Pearl Harbor”, “Venomous” and “Touched”.

We were delighted that Ron agreed to join us exclusively in the UK for the Cult TV Weekender 2007, to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Garrison’s Gorillas.

 

 

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Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Co-found of '6 of 1' - The Prisoner Appreciation Society ...

 

Roger Goodman founded "Six of One" in 1976, the long running appreciation society dedicated to Patrick McGoohan's enigmatic TV series, The Prisoner.

In 1979 he interviewed McGoohan on the last day of his filming The Hard Way in Ireland. Initially released in an edited format on cassette in 1981, it was subsequently reissued in full on CD in 2002. This landmark conversation between McGoohan and Goodman has long been regarded as the best Patrick Mcgoohan interview ever.

In 1982 Roger organised McGoohan's only ever personal appearance amongst his fans at the recording of the TV show Greatest Hits 1968. During the mid -1980s he discussed "The Prisoner" as Ludovic Kennedy's guest on Did You See? and appeared with McGoohan, George Markstein, David Tomblin, and Jack Shampan in the Channel 4 Documentary Six Into One: The Prisoner File.

Roger retired from Six of One in 1985, but emerged in 2000 as the founder of PRIZBIZ (www.priz.biz). Projects include Prisoner related recordings, publications, roadshows, seminars, and rousers. Most recently he assisted with material on the Carlton Prisoner 35th Anniversary DVD.

Originally from Herefordshire, he now lives in North Wales, not too far from Portmerion, the location for much of The Prisoner's 1966 and 1967 filming.

 

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Wednesday, 20 February 2008

The true star of the series Lost in Space joined us for the 2007 Cult TV Weekender ...

 

Ten years ago, in the year 1997, a covert space mission that for some reason has fallen off the radar of contemporary history, saw the ultimate mechanical assistant, so much the definite article that he is now only know as “Robot”, hurled off into deep space.

The goal was to explore Alpha Centauri, colonising a planet there on what was anticipated to be a five year mission. He was accompanied by the Robinson Family – John, Maureen, Judy, Penny and Will, as well as pilot Don West, and reluctant stowaway Doctor Zachary Smith. The first three years of this quest were catalogued in a reality series called Lost In Space - for some reason the programme has been wrongly remembered as a fictional show from producer Irwin Allen!

Seven feet tall, and unhappy about being constantly described as a ‘bubble-headed booby’ by Doctor Smith, his gargantuan intellect meant that it was the Robot, and the Robot alone, who a decade later has managed to find his way back to Earth.

The temporal displacement saw Robot appear unexpectedly in Slough, and Cult TV Production Team member Mark Withall was one of the first people to encounter it as it looked for supplies of “3 in 1” oil in the local branch of B&Q. Reluctant to make a fuss, Mark managed to persuade Robot that the ideal location to reveal its escapades of the last few years would be at the 2007 Cult TV Festival Weekender.

Following a full refit, thanks to the boys at “Hi-Q”, Robot was ‘pressing the metal’ with Cult TV attendees across the weekend at Heythrop Park!

 

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Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Carrying On his career as a serious expert on comedy ...

 

Robert has written a library of best-selling books on the stars and history of British comedy including The Complete Sid James, The Carry On Companion, The Monty Python Encyclopedia, The Complete Terry-Thomas, Steptoe and Son, Benny Hill - Merry Master of Mirth, Last of the Summer Wine - The Finest Vintage, The Complete Frankie Howerd and Fawlty Towers - Fully Booked.

Terry Jones has said that "I learnt more about the Pythons from reading his book than from being one!" Jim Dale considers him "a one man encyclopedia of the very best of British comedy" while Phil Collins believes his "knowledge of English comedy is formidable."

His book The Complete Goodies was launched at a sell-out event at the National Film Theatre with Tim Brooke-Taylor, Graeme Garden and Bill Oddie. Later Robert interviewed The League of Gentlemen, Jeremy Dyson, Mark Gatiss, Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith, at another NFT hit. A regular guest broadcaster on radio and television, he has made appearances in such shows as What's A Carry On?, Top Ten: Comedy Records, Will the Real Basil Fawlty Please Stand Up?, Legends: Terry-Thomas and even several cameo roles in Last of the Summer Wine.

A prolific comedy consultant he was a judge at the 2004 British Animation Awards. Robert has also moderated over thirty DVD audio commentaries working with such comedy favourites as Leslie Phillips, Norman Wisdom, Brian Murphy, Jack Douglas and June Whitfield. His first commissioned script, the Big Finish Doctor Who adventure Medicinal Purposes starring Cult TV 2004 guest Colin Baker, was released in August 2003.

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Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Apollo from the original Battlestar Galactica (as well as a cameo in the reimagined one!) and known from a whole host of other shows ...

 

Born in Santa Monica, California, Richard Hatch had no aspirations to become an actor. Though curious about the performers he saw in high school plays, his dream was to compete as a pole vaulter in the Olympics.

Going nowhere during his college years, Richard enrolled in an oral interpretation class where, though shy and introverted, he found his voice, and after graduating joined a Los Angeles repertory company.

He began his television career playing Philip Brent in the soap opera All My Children. After guest roles in Cannon, Kung Fu, Hawaii Five-O, and The Waltons he starred as Inspector Dan Robbins in the final year of The Streets of San Francisco.

He played Harmon Farinella in Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, retitled Forever Fernwood after the show’s star left, and Steven Slade in the daytime serial Santa Barbara. Taking the recurring role as Dean Caldwell in Dynasty, he guest-starred in episodes of Murder, She Wrote, TJ Hooker and MacGyver.

With roles in numerous television movies, including The Hustler of Muscle Beach and Prisoners of the Lost Universe, Richard appeared on the big screen as Lee Chan Jr opposite Peter Ustinov and Angie Dickinson in Charlie Chan and the Curse of the Dragon Queen. Further movie roles include Delta Force Leader Brett Haskell in Delta Force Commando II: Priority Red One and Colonel Nelson in Iron Thunder.

Best known for playing Captain Apollo in Battlestar Galactica, which earned him a Golden Globe nomination, Richard has campaigned to see the show return to television. In 1999 he self-financed a three-minute trailer for Battlestar Galactica: The Second Coming, based on his novels Warhawk and Armageddon, to generate interest in a new series.

During the past decade, Richard began lecturing on such topics as overcoming fear, and success strategies for business and life. Having formed Su-Shann Productions in 1980 to create workshops and seminars dedicated to help people maximise their potential, he created the Breakthrough Success Bootcamps to inspire people to a higher level of fulfilment.

Further details at the official RICHARD HATCH website.

 

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Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Media consultants who work with prisoners, persuaders, saints and sinners ...

 

Directors of Popco, a media consultancy specialising in classic television, music and film, since the company’s formation in 2001 Robert Fairclough and Mike Kenwood, along with fellow director Jaz Wiseman, have been involved in producing CDs, books and DVD packages.

Having received universal critical acclaim for their 1998 book Fags, Slags, Blags & Jags: The Sweeney, co-written with George Williams, which analysed Ian Kennedy Martin’s seminal police drama, the pair were commissioned to write Sweeney! The Official Companion which contains exclusive interviews with many of the series’ cast and crew including Ted Childs, Dennis Waterman and Garfield Morgan. In addition they put together the best-selling original soundtrack album Shut It! The Music of The Sweeney for the Sanctuary Records Group.

Alone, Rob has written The Prisoner: The Official Guide to the Classic TV Series, described in one of many critical notices as the definiive, and most authoritative study of Patrick McGoohan’s classic series. He also acted as consultant on Carlton Visual’s special 35th Anniversary The Prisoner DVD release which featured the first commercial release of the alternate edit of the episode Arrival.

Jaz co-produced the special features for the DVD boxsets of The Persuaders!, Space: 1999 and UFO for TF1 in France. He also produced the DVD extras and commentaries for boxsets of Minder, Department S and The Saint for Umbrella Entertainment in Australia.

More recently the company has had a hand in producing the newly released DVD/magazine partwork Inspector Morse: The Complete Collection.

For more information, check out their website: www.pop-co.com

 

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Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Writer who's worked from Gangsters to Doctor Who ...

 

Born in Liverpool, Philip is an experienced television writer who is probably best known for creating the ground breaking "Cult" series Gangsters which ran for two series following a successful "Play For Today" in 1975 and is just coming out on DVD.

Such is the longevity of this series it has been shown at the National Film Theatre as part of a season of significant TV films.

Philip has also contributed to many other well known TV series including Hetty Wainthrop Investigates, Shoestring, Virtual Murder, Star Cops, The Good Guys, Crossroads, Thirty Minute Theatre, New Scotland Yard, The Bill and two Doctor Who stories namely "Vengeance on Varos" and Parts 5 - 8 of "The Trial of A Timelord", both of which featured the villainous slug-like "Sil".

A third story featuring the return of "Sil" along with the "Ice Warriors" was scheduled for the ultimately postponed season 22 of Doctor Who in 1985, although Philip did complete a novelisation of this story based on his draft scripts.

Philip has also worked as a Writer, Producer and Director in Radio Drama for the BBC and was voted Best Director at the New York Radio Festival in, 1990.Other work includes the film "Valentina" and his plays have been performed at, amongst other venues, The National Theatre London, The Royal Court and Liverpool Playhouse.

As well as novelising his two televised "Doctor Who" novels he also wrote a "Choose Your Own Adventure" book and two novels based on Gangsters.

 

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Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Gene Hunt himself from Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes joined us for the Cult TV Festival Weekender 2007, and is back with us for our new event, CINEOLOGY 2010 ...

 

Philip has been a regular face on British television for many years. He was Phil in Roger Roger, Gunner Hobbs in Hornblower, James 'Mack' Mackintosh in Clocking Off, DCI William Bell in State of Play and DCI David Driscoll in Vincent.

Other guest roles on television series include Drop The Dead Donkey, Bergerac, The Detectives, Heartbeat, Blue Heaven, Love Hurts, Soldier Soldier, Silent Witness, Wycliffe, The Vice, and Sharpe’s Justice.

TV movies have included “Murder Being Done Once”, “Last Rights”, “The Stepfather”, “Byron”, “Lloyd and Hill”, “The Hunt”, “The Walk”, “True Love”, “The Other Boleyn Girl”, “Frontiers”, “Loved Up”, “Have Your Cake And Eat It”, the mini-series Island at War and 1998’s Vanity Fair. He was also the narrator of the Jamie Oliver Jamie’s Chef series.

Then came Life on Mars. As Gene Hunt, he created the ultimate cult anti-hero. In between times he has courted the big screen, too. In “Calendar Girls” he had one of only two decent male roles. “ID” was a police drama made in 1995, and “Tuesday” saw him again star alongside John Simm, which is a study of the battle between law and anarchy. Other films have included “The Perfect Blue”, “Kingdom of Heaven” and “London Kills Me”.

Philip was seen in Cranford, the BBC costume drama, plus ITV's short-run vampire series Demons, but of most note was the return of DCI Gene Hunt, this time coping with the world of the 1980s in Ashes to Ashes, this time set in London and now on its third and final season.

Philip is married to the actress Beth Goddard, living in London with their two daughters.

You can find out more about Philip's career at his official website, www.philip-glenister.com.

We were delighted that Philip agreed to come and join us for the 2007 Cult TV Festival Weekender in his first ever convention appearance, and even more thrilled that, subject to work commitments, he will be back with us for our new live venture, CINEOLOGY 2010, happening in September at the Pontin's Pakefield Resort near Lowestoft on the east coast of England.

 

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Wednesday, 20 February 2008

The man who was Avon continues to act prolifically ...

 

Best known for playing the glacial computer genius Kerr Avon in Blake’s 7, Paul Darrow defined the amoral antihero. Motivated by personal gain and lacking true revolutionary zeal, Avon became increasingly paranoid after taking over as leader following the disappearance of the fanatical Blake.

Trained at RADA like his Blake’s 7 compatriot Gareth Thomas, Paul Darrow has worked extensively in all aspects of the entertainment industry.

Beginning his television career playing Mr. Verity in the hospital drama Emergency-Ward 10, Paul’s links with Cult TV series go back to a guest appearance in The Saint episode The Gadic Collection. Since then he has played two roles in Doctor Who, appearing first as Captain Hawkins to Jon Pertwee’s Doctor in The Silurians, then as Tekker to Colin Baker’s Time Lord in the adventure Timelash.

Along with guest appearances in a wide range of comedies and dramas, he played the Sheriff of Nottingham in The Legend of Robin Hood, Oliver Bridewell in the psychological drama Maelstrom and George Parnell in Making News.

More recently he appeared as The Ghoul Master in Sky TV’s Goulashed, Gusset in The Gruesome Grannies of Gobshot Hall and C.D., the owner of a downmarket hotel, in Rob Grant’s surreal comedy The Strangerers.

A presenter of 2001’s Ghostwatch Live, which included mixed-media web-casts, Paul has since recorded the voices for numerous computer games. As a writer he has produced scripts and short stories, and written the novel Avon: A Terrible Aspect.

Having acted with most of Britain's leading repertory companies, including four seasons with the Bristol Old Vic, Paul has enjoyed an equally prolific career on stage. Amongst his numerous theatrical credits he has appeared as Jimmy Porter in Look Back in Anger, Elvis Presley in Are You Lonesome Tonight? and Captain Vimes in an adaptation of Terry Prachett’s Guards! Guards!

Paul had a cameo role in the James Bond film "Die Another Day", and at one time had been involved in the planned Blake’s 7 revival.

 

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Wednesday, 20 February 2008

The actor who played Andrew Forbes in The Tomorrow People joined us at Cult TV in 2007 ...

 

Nigel’s first acting job was for Southern TV in 1974 in Follow that Dog – he played Peter alongside Norman Rossington and Patsy Rowlands.

He also starred alongside Michael Palin in the Ripping Yarns story “The Curse of the Claw” (he was ‘Young Kevin’). Also during this period he starred in Roger Price’s You Can’t Be Serious, Rocking Horse Winner, When Santa Rode the Prairie for the BBC, with Willy Rushton and Victor Spinetti, and HTV’s Westway in 1976, set in a commune and also starring Sarah Sutton and Dean Lawrence.

Nigel joined the cast of The Tomorrow People at the age of 12, in Season Seven as Andrew Forbes, and stayed until the end of the series in 1979. His stories included “Castle of Fear”, “Achilles Heal”, “The Living Skins” and “War of The Empires”.

In the years that followed, Nigel embarked on following his passion of music and learned to play guitar and established his own band, Aerial Device.

Nigel has not completely given up his thirst for acting - he has continued to be an extra on my many television series including Strange (as seen on BBC 1 and SCI FI), and playing a CGI character in the children series Dinotopia.

 

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Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Reservoir Dog who secured Vengeance Unlimited ...

 

Best-known as the cop-torturing wiseguy Mister Blond in Quentin Tarantino's critically acclaimed film Reservoir Dogs versatile movie actor Michael Madsen made his name with the television audience starring in Vengeance Unlimited.

Madsen, who fans might also recognize from his role as Susan Sarandon's sympathetic boyfriend in Thelma and Louise, has acquired numerous other film credits. Some of his roles are as diverse as the movies in which he appears, ranging from family oriented films like "Free Willy" and its sequel "Free Willy 2: The Adventure", as well as the Western epic "Wyatt Earp", and the fantasy baseball flick "The Natural". Other films include "Species", "Species II", "The Maker", "Donnie Brasco", Mulholland Falls", "The Fly", "Man With A Gun", "The Winner", "The Getaway", "The Doors", "The End Of Innocence", "Fatal Instinct", and "Racing With The Moon".

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Wednesday, 20 February 2008

From The Valeyard to Colonel Mustard ...

 

Michael Jayston, as fans of Doctor Who will know, played the character of 'The Valeyard' in Colin Baker's final season, who was in fact the final regeneration of The Doctor himself!

Michael is well known both on-screen and through his voiceover work. He played Ernest Bristow in several episodes of The Darling Buds of May, and was Colonel Mustard in the UK 1991 version of Cluedo. Other series we have seen him in include "UFO", "Tales of the Unexpected", "CATS Eyes", "Press Gang", "Callan", "Casualty", "Heartbeat", "Quiller", "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy", "Crazy Like A Fox", "A Bit of A Do", "Haggard", "The Bill", "Outside Edge", "The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes", "The Edwardians", "Holby City" and what was expected to be the last ever episode of "Only Fools and Horses" in 1996.

He appeared in the 1997 mini-series "20,000 Leagues Under The Sea", and has worked in many period pieces, including 1968's "A Midsummer Night's Dream", 1970's "Cromwell", 1971's "Nicholas and Alexandra", 1973's "The Merchant of Venice", 1973's "Jane Eyre", 1975's "King Lear", and 1988's "Macbeth".

Big screen appearances include "The Internecine Project", "Zulu Dawn", and "Highlander III: The Sorcerer".

 

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