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Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Graphics designer and DVD author ...


Now the owner of the multi-media, audio-visual design company Dysfunction Group, Mark Spencer began his career as a singer.

Working as a session musician, studio engineer and producer for artists such as Robert Plant, Duran Duran, Alexander O'Neal and Spike Milligan, Mark eventually swapped one role in the music business for another, designing album covers for artists as diverse as Jon Bon Jovi, Andrea Bocelli and Metallica.

Having done the odd bit of acting, his interpretation of Frank-N-Furter, the sweet transsexual from Transylvania, in Richard O'Brien's The Rocky Horror Show is considered second only to Tim Curry.

In 2001, Mark worked on the Ghostwatch Live event filmed on location at the Tower of London. Hosted by Paul Darrow and Babylon 5's Claudia Christian, he designed the Ghostwatch website and graphics, and wrote the incidental music.

Authoring DVDs, the Dyfunction Group's credits include the recent releases of cult favourites Monkey and The Water Margin. At present the company is continuing their work authoring the four box-sets of Terry Nation's science fiction drama Blake’s 7.

Mark recently shot behind-the-scenes stills for the upcoming Mirror Mask. Directed by Dave McKean from a story by Neil Gaiman, the film stars Marion and Geoff’s Rob Brydon and Gina McKee from Our Friends in the North.


Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Network has just released the first ever DVD featuring early 1980s icon Metal Mickey. A Saturday teatime favourite during its run from 1980 – 1983, 39 episodes were made – and here we have, to savour, the first season of eight episodes.

Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Author, comedy trainer, comedian and expert ...


As comedy trainer, comedian and expert, Marc has been a writer on numerous TV and Radio series including Weekending, The News Huddlines, Spitting Image, Arnold Brown, Craig Charles, Frankie’s On… (with Frankie Howerd), Bobby Davro and The Russ Abbott Show.

Marc’s stand-up comedy career began at the notorious Tunnel Palladium in Greenwich under the dubious tutelage of the late Malcolm Hardee. He rose through the ranks, becoming a finalist in the first Hackney Variety New Act of the Year Awards and a regular at the Comedy Store, Banana Cabaret, King’s Head and numerous venues nationwide. In 1990 he wrote and starred in his own ITV special – EuroComedy, which was soon followed by a BBC Radio 4 Series “Marc Blake’s Whining For England”.

He performed at the first Comic relief at Richmond Theatre and at the Birmingham Hippodrome in “Full Steam A-Hudd”. He won Sky TV’s Star Search and has appeared on Weapons of Mass Distraction (ITV), The Test (Granada), The James Whale Show (Granada), After the News (TVS), Five’s Company (five), Good Morning (GMTV), “The Judy Spiers Show” (BBC Radio 2), “Loose Ends” (BBC Radio 4), “The Simon Fanshawe Show” (LBC), “The Fred Macaulay Show” (BBC Scotland) as well as London Live, Talk Radio, Viva, BBC Three Counties, BBC Radio Shropshire and BBC Radio Birmingham. He has also been a guest, reviewer, and comedy expert on numerous shows for BBC Radio London. For reasons best known to himself he was also once a contestant on Watercolour Challenge (ITV).

In 2002, he produced ten hours of radio programming at the Riverside Studios, including two new half hours of recorded comedy written by himself – a broken comedy show, “Hawking’s Half Hour”, and a sit-com “Victor and Albert”.

He returned to performing comedy in 2003 with a brand new character act – “Helmut, the German Comedian”. This became a full length show, “Helmut’s Half Hour”, performed at Edinburgh in 2004. This show later appeared at the Leicester Comedy Festival and at the Jersey Arts Centre. Marc returned to the Edinburgh Fringe in 2005 with his new show – “Manners”.

Marc began teaching comedy and situation comedy writing at adult education level at London’s City University in 1994. Past students include Catherine Tate, Jenny Colgan, Renton Skinner (Perrier Nominee) and numerous others. He expanded this teaching to further courses at Kensington and Chelsea College in 2003.

Marc has published three comic novels to great acclaim. He has also authored many other books as well as publishing short stories (“Mammoth Book of Crime”, “Girls Night Out”, “Boy’s Night In”) and has written for the Evening Standard, The Express and The Mail.

He was comedy tutor at the Mu-lan Chinese Theatre Studios in 1999 - a series of workshops which resulted in their show Frying Circus and the subsequent TV pilot. He has taught regular comedy training courses with Pepperstock Productions, Comedy People and The Comedy School between 2001 and 2005, as well as seminars and conferences at Bath University, Millfield School, Lancaster University and a series of courses throughout the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2005.

We were delighted that Marc agreed to join us the 2007 Cult TV Festival Weekender. You can find out more about him at his website, www.marcblake.net.


Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Co-creator and writer of T-Bag, and writer and producer of The Tomorrow People joins us in October courtesy of Fantom Films ...


Lee Pressman’s writing career began with contributions to to two long-running Children’s television programmes - Rainbow and Play Away.

However, Lee’s breakthrough success came with the creation of T-Bag. Running from 1985 to 1992, this series spanned many incarnations, including “Wonders in Letterland” (1985), “T-Bag Strikes Again” (1986), “T-Bag Bounces Back” (1987), “Turn on to T-Bag” (1988), “T-Bag’s Christmas Cracker” (1988), “T-Bag and the Revenge of the T-Set” (1989), “T-Bag’s Christmas Carol” (1989), “T-Bag and the Pearls of Wisdom” (1990), “T-Bag’s Christmas Ding Dong” (1990), “T-Bag and the Rings of Olympus” (1991), “T-Bag’s Christmas Turkey” (1991), “Take Off with T-Bag” (1992), and “T-Bag and the Sunstories of Montezuma” (1992).

During this time he also worked on the series Mike & Angelo, running for almost ten years, and three series of the children’s sit-com Spatz.

He was also a writer and producer of the 1992-1995 re-imagined version of The Tomorrow People. After completing work on that series, Lee worked on Cone Zone (1995), Delta Wave (1996), Children’s Ward (1997-1998), Polterguests (1999), and Crossroads (2001).

Recently, Lee has been involved with a lot of animation projects, including scripts for Shaun The Sheep (the “Wallace and Gromit” TV spin-off) for Aardman Animation, as well as Bob The Builder, The Secret Show and Frankenstein’s Cat.

Lee has written three plays for BBC Radio 4 – “Bird of Paradise” (all about Dr Crippen), “Harp Goes to Leningrad” (about Harpo Marx’s 1933 to Russia), and a dramatised short story, “My Beautiful Lambretta”.

Lee is currently writing Genie in the House alongside Grant Cathro for Nickelodeon.

Lee 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

Helga Geerhart from 'Allo, 'Allo ...


Kim played Helga Geerhart in all 96 episodes of 'Allo, 'Allo, as well as in the 'Allo, 'Allo stage show which toured the UK, Australia and New Zealand and had five seasons in the West End.

Other TV performances have include Roz Fenton in Casualty and Lotte Laudrup in The Brittas Empire as well as roles in Miss Jones and Sons, The Kelly Monteith Show, The Pedler, Comedy Playhouse and 15 Storeys High. She is currently playing Ms Rawlinson in Grange Hill.

Kim’s early career included performances at the Chichester Festival Theatre, Harrogate, The Bristol Old Vic and the Redgrave Theatre, Farnham playing Rita in "Billy Liar", Margaret in "Much Ado About Nothing", Sorrel in "Hayfever", Doonyasha in "The Cherry Orchard", Alice Hobson in "Hobson’s Choice", Shaw's "St Joan", Mary Yellen in "Jamaica Inn" and Alys in "Abelard and Heloise".

She co-produced the West End thriller "Double Dutch" which toured nationally. Kim followed this with a New Zealand tour playing Jacqueline in "Don't Dress For Dinner", which she subsequently played for a year in the West End. She then returned to New Zealand for four months to play the leading role of Josie in "Steaming". She toured the Far and Middle East with "Move Over Mrs Markham" and "The Maintenance Man".

Other UK tours include "My Fat Friend", "Beauty And The Beast", "My Mother Said I Never Should", "Relatively Speaking", "Table Manners", "Bedside Manners", "Killing Time", "Stepping Out", and "Hayfever". Directing credits include "A Jovial Crew", "Comedy of Errors", "Henry V" and "The Cherry Orchard".

Kim is a co-founder and director of the production company Quinton Arts, and we were delighted when she joined us in Hemsby for Cult TV 2006.


Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Producer and animator responsible for many projects linked to Doctor Who, Blake's 7 and The Hitch-Hiker's Guide To The Galaxy ...


Kevin Davies began his career as an animator, working on the BAFTA award-winning graphic sequences for The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and Blake’s 7 before designing the titles for Gerry Anderson’s Terrahawks. After joining the special effects team for Disney Animation’s Who Framed Roger Rabbit he worked on Spitting Image, the Warner Brothers feature Space Jam, and Event Horizon.

His writing and directing career began with The Making of the Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, which included new scenes for the characters and cast, the BBC1 documentary Doctor Who: Thirty Years in the Tardis and Dalekmania which covered the feature films starring Peter Cushing in the 1960s. Since then he has directed Shakedown, two episodes of Sky One’s drama Space Island One and the live-action segments for the Sci-Fi Channel’s manga-influenced Archangel Thunderbird.

Acting as a consultant on the Omnibus tribute to Douglas Adams, he directed both his own short tribute for the Sci-Fi Channel and new segments for the DVD release of The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, as well as producing the on-screen captions which detail the creation of the show.

After the inclusion of his short spoof, Unit Recruitment Film, on the DVD release of Doctor Who Spearhead from Space, and his interview with writer Nigel Kneale on the Quatermass DVD, he has produced the documentaries and extras to accompany each boxset of Blake’s 7 and prepared documentaries for the classic sitcom Dad’s Army.

Kevin has recently been working on the documentary for the brand new audio adventures of Blake's 7 from B7 Productions, as well as a documentary concerning the new radio series of the classic Douglas Adams story "Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency" (starring Harry Enfield, Olivia Colman, Andrew Sachs and Billy Boyd). We were delighted that Kevin came back to Cult TV in 2007.


Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Star of Farscape, Adam-12, and Galactica 1980 - amongst a host of others - joined us for Cult TV in 2007 ...


Kent was born in downtown Los Angeles, California, and grew up in the San Gabriel Valley town of Baldwin Park, California. At the age of 12 he got a job at Brackett Field Airport in La Verne, California with the help of a family friend. Unable to be legally paid at that age, he instead was given flying lessons in exchange for his work. For the next five years Kent worked weekends and summers at the airport.

Kent starred on the football team at Baldwin Park High School. After graduation, he attended Citrus Junior College and then accepted a football scholarship to the University of Utah. It was during this time that perhaps the two most important events in Kent’s young life occurred.

A friend asked Kent if he would like to participate in a touch football game. This was no ordinary game, as Kent would be playing on a team captained by Ricky Nelson, and none other than Elvis Presley would lead the opposing squad. As a result of this game, Kent began a friendship with Ricky that quickly led to his first acting job on The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet. Kent soon became a regular on the show, and would appear as part of America’s favourite family for the next five years. Kent began to take acting seriously, and finally made the decision to pursue a career as an actor. During this time he worked on a mulitude of films and television shows doing bits, background and stunts.

The next big moment in Kent’s life took place on 14 July, 1962. This was the day that he married his high school sweetheart, Cynthia Lee Doty.

While working on The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, Kent was asked to screen test at Universal Studios for a long term contract. While waiting for the studio to sign him, he continued working on other shows including several of Elvis Presley’s films – “Viva Las Vegas”, “Girl Happy”, “Kissin’ Cousins”, and “Roustabout”.

In November 1965, Universal put Kent under contract and immediately sent him to work. He appeared in shows such as McHale’s Navy, Ironside, The Outsider, Run for your Life and The Men from Shiloh as well as several appearances on Jack Webb’s Dragnet. It was these appearances that led to Kent being case as one the stars in Adam-12, playing Officer James A 'Jim' Reed alongside co-star Martin Milner. A worldwide phenomenon, the show aired from 1968-1975, clocking up 174 episodes, and the character even crossed over into a trio of episodes of the series Emergency!. Around this time he appeared as himself in Rowan and Martin’s Laugh In and The Dean Martin Comedy Hour

Appearing on a top rated television show offered Kent many tremendous opportunities. Among his favourites was being a guest at the Indianapolis 500 and being trackside for the race itself. A lifelong racing fan, this was a special moment for Kent and led to his continued involvement in the sport. He has competed as a driver in automobile races such as the annual Toyota Pro Celebrity Challenge in Long Beach, California, and Watkins Glen, New York. He has also competed in several professional racing series in the Sports Car Club of America and IMSA, in such events as the 12 Hours of Sebring. Another great moment was when legendary film director John Ford, who was a big fan of the show, visited the Adam-12 set. Being able to sit with the great director and hear his wonderful stories and fond memories was an incredible thrill for Kent, who grew up admiring Ford’s films.

After Adam-12, Kent played guest roles on Marcus Welby M.D and Black Sheep Squadron before landing another series gig – this time as Captain Troy alongside Barry Van Dyke in Galactica 1980.

Another starring role, this time alongside David Soul, was as Alan McWhirter in the 1989 series UNSUB, all about an expert FBI forensic team that investigates serial murderers and other unsolved violent crimes – very much a forerunner of the CSI franchise.

Kent has also appeared in recurring roles in Seaquest 2032 (as Commander Scott Keller), Renegade (as Marshal Jack Hendricks), Silk Stalkings (as DA Craig Alexander), and Pacific Blue (as Brolin Jorgenson)

He has also become well-known as Jack Crighton in Farscape - a role than spanned for whole of the series, as well as having a couple of roles in JAG.

Other television credits include The Love Boat, Monsters, MacGyver, Private Eye, The Highwayman, J.J. Starbuck, 21 Jump Street, Murder, She Wrote, Dark Skies, Lawless, and Diagnosis Murder.

Movies for television include “Dragnet 66”, “Shadow Over Elveron”, “Jigsaw”, “Breakout”, “Beg, Borrow or Steal”, “Telethon”, “Pine Canyon is Burning”, “For Heaven’s Sake”, “Dark Justice”, “Accidental Meeting” and “Nashville Beat” - a pilot for The Nashville Network, which Kent Executive Produced and Co-Created.

Kent’s film appearances include “The Young Warriors”, “Did you Hear the One about the Travelling Saleslady?”, “Airplane II: The Sequel”, “Predator II”, “Illicit Behaviour”, and “Return of the Living Dead III: Ashes”.

His last legitimate theatre appearance was on the famous Kenley Circuit in “Tunnel of Love” with Martin Milner. He has just completed roles in the movies “Run Ronnie Run”, “Megiddo: The Omega Code 2”, and stars with Erin Gray in “Woman’s Story”.

For ten years, Kent was a member of the Celebrity All Stars Basketball team that played throughout Southern California to help raise money to support various charities.

Kent has also worked for his fellow actors, having served on The Screen Actor’s Guild’s Board of Directors, as well as serving four years as its first Vice President. He chaired the Children’s Committee, which helped fashion protections for child performers throughout the world. In 1999, Kent received the prestigious Ralph Morgan Award, named after The Screen Actors Guild’s first President, which is given by SAG members to honour another member’s devotion to the cause of actors.

In 2000, Kent and Martin Milner received The Jack Webb Award, given by the LA Police Historical Society for their support of the LAPD and the community it serves.

Kent and Cynthia are the proud parents of daughters Kristen, and Megan, an actress, and their son, Michael. Kent continues to work, and still looks forward to the next great role or adventure to add to an already illustrious career and life.

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


Wednesday, 20 February 2008

A regular guest in The Prisoner ...


Kenneth Griffith was born in Tenby, South Wales. He was the sidekick to Peter Sellers in most of Sellers' early films. He cannot give a precise figure for the number of films he's done, but the estimate is over 80.

Kenneth was well-known from The Prisoner where he appeared in the episodes "The Girl Who Was Death" (as "Schnipps") and "Fall Out" as "The President".

TV Guest Appearances included Danger Man (aka Secret Agent), Lovejoy, Callan, Jane Eyre (1971), The Zany Adventures of Robin Hood (1974), Spyder's Web, Minder, Colditz, Hancock, Some Matters of Little Consequence, Holby City and The Babysitter.

Films included "Love on the Dole" (1941), "The Forest Rangers" (1942), "Blue Murder at St Trinian's" (1958), "A Night to Remember" (1958), "I'm All Right Jack" (1959), "Expresso Bongo" (1960), "The Lion in Winter" (1968 - winner of three Oscars, nominated for four others), "The Assassination Bureau" (1968), "S*P*Y*S" (1974), "The Wild Geese" (1978), "The Sea Wolves" (1980), "Who Dares Wins" (1982 - aka "The Final Option"), "Shaka Zulu" (1987), "Four Weddings and a Funeral" (1994), "The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill but Came Down a Mountain" (1995), and "Very Annie Mary" (2001).

His non-acting interests were in the wrongs done by nations to nations, or nations to individuals. This interest gave him a new career as a producer of contriversial documentaries. He made one about Doctor Ambedkar, the Indian Untouchable leader, and was the President of the International Untouchable Society. He also published books about historical events and people, and was a recognised world authority on the Boer War.

Other documentaries included The Legend of George Rex (about the 200 year old rumour that the the Royal Family are not the rightful heirs to the British throne), Zola Budd: The Girl who Didn't Run (on the persecution of the athlete), The Public's Right To Know (the prevention of a film about Baden Powell and the supression of the "Michael Collins" movie), Hang Out Your Brightest Colours (the life and times of the Irish patriot Michael Collins), Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death (the causes of the American War of Independence), Bus to Bosworth (Henry Tudor's march from Mill Bay to Bosworth Field), and The Man on the Rock (Napoleon's final years spent on St Helena).

He was a strong supporter of Welsh Rugby Football (Union), and was often invited as a guest to their games. The Tony Hancock Appreciation Society had Kenneth among its honorary members, and he was also a member of Peter O'Toole's cricket club. BBC Wales produced a TV biography of Kenneth called The Tenby Poisoner.

Kenneth died at his London home in June 2006, aged 84.


Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Jo Grant to Pertwee's Doctor Who ...


Katy Manning is the daughter of sports columnist J L Manning. At the age of eighteen she went to America and was offered a five-year contract with MGM. However, her father insisted that she return to England and study acting there. She trained at the Webber Douglas drama school for a year, then joined a Wolverhampton repertory company and made her debut on TV in 1970 in the series Man at the Top.

She made several commercials before appearing in an episode of Softly Softly. Later in 1970, Barry Letts cast her in the role of new Companion Jo Grant in Doctor Who, and she stayed for three years.

The role was described as follows: "Glamorous young female intelligence agent, newly attached to UNIT. Keen, professional, lots of charm. Works with The Doctor. Needs to be involved with the story in an active way, not just as a screaming heroine or passing The Doctor's test tubes. Not a scientist, but has enough basic background to know what's going on".

Katy was asked at her audition to be frightened of what her character thought was a monster, then to laugh in relief when she finds out it isn't. She has said that since this was very close to her own state of emotions at the time, she didn't have any problem auditioning!

Jo was a new recruit to UNIT who only got the job because her uncle had pulled strings for her. The Brigadier, not sure what to do about her, handed her over to the Doctor, pointing out that all he really needed was someone to hand him his test tubes and tell him how wonderful he is.

Trained in espionage and escapology, like all successful companions, the character draws upon the actress. Jo, while intelligent and resourceful, was somewhat accident-prone, definitely scatter-brained, and tended to act first and think later. It made her an excellent foil for Jon Pertwee's strong, action-hero Doctor, and it is no wonder that Jo's departure is one of the most poignant in the entire series.

Following Doctor Who she presented the BBC crafts programme Serendipity and appeared as Miss Damina in the film Don't Just Lie There, Say Something. She returned to the theatre in West End productions of Why Not Stay for Breakfast, There's a Girl in My Soup, and, with Colin Baker, Odd Man In. In 1975 she made a guest appearance in the series Target (episode "Joanna"). She also appeared in a Yorkshire Television production of Oliver Twist. Other TV roles have included Armchair Theatre, Roses for Me, Z Cars, and Are You Making Money?

Katy eventually moved to Australia where she has appeared in Educating Rita (as Rita), Blithe Spirit, Run for Your Wife, and The Odd Couple. She also wrote the TV series Private Wives, featured in The Magnificent Mellops, and wrote and starred in the television series Don't Call Us. Commericals include Vodafone Australia, and "Lamb Off the Bone" for the Australian Meat Marketing Board.

Recently she has returned to the worlds of Doctor Who, with The Plague Herds of Excelis by Stephen Cole - a Bernice Summerfield audio adventure with Lisa Bowerman, and Excelis Dawns by Paul Magrs - a Big Finish Doctor Who Audio Adventure also starring Peter Davison and Anthony Stewart Head.


Wednesday, 20 February 2008

A true friend to Mr Chapel in Vengeance Unlimited ...


Kathleen York made her breakthough to a cult audience playing K C Griffin in Vengeance Unlimited. A multi-talented performer, Kathleen York's film credits include "Dead Man Can't Dance", "Cries Of Silence", "Dream Lover", "Wild Hearts", "I Love You To Death", "Flashback", "Cold Feet", "Checking Out" and "Winner Takes All".

On television, she had a recurring role on the series Murder One, and guest starred on The Practice. Kathleen also appeared in the telefilms "Nightjohn", "Lies and Lullabies", "Gregory K", "Thompson's Last Run", "Not My Kid", "This Child Is Mine" and "Chase", as well as the mini-series "A Season in Purgatory" and "Naomi And Wynonna: Love Can Build A Bridge".

Other television credits include "Tales From The Crypt", "Northern Lights", "Iceberg" and "The Player". A seasoned Broadway actress, York's theatre credits include "Gemini", "The Real Queen Of Hearts Ain't Even Pretty", "Home", "Bury The Dead", "The Glass Menagerie", "The Effects Of Gamma Rays", "Acme Improv" and "90 Days Without A Man".


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