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Join us for the latest on the best in extraordinary fictional television and film from the past, present and future, and analysis on its cultural impacts.

Find out about the amazing facts in fiction, and discover the truth about what's really going on in the World around us...



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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".


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!"


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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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