Mark Gatiss

A member of The League of Gentlemen, Mark has also played in Doctor Who ...

 

Best known as one quarter of the comedy team The League of Gentlemen which started life on the London Fringe before transferring to radio, television and the stage, Mark Gatiss has also been heavily involved in post-television Doctor Who.

Along with penning several Doctor Who novels he has written and appeared in new audio adventures from Big Finish Productions as well as The Zero Imperative, The Ghosts of Winterborne, Unnatural Selection and The Devil of Winterborne for BBV Video Productions.

The interviewer in Bidding Adieu, a video documentary of Sylvester McCoy filming the Doctor Who television movie in Canada, in 1999 he appeared as The Doctor and various other characters in the specially recorded interstitial sequences for the BBC's Doctor Who Night.

As well as the multiple inhabitants of Royston Vasey in The League of Gentlemen, Mark has appeared in Spaced, Dr. Terrible's House of Horrible and In the Red.

He played the police inspector in Drop Dead, the first episode of the updated Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) starring Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer, and co-wrote with Jeremy Dyson, Two Can Play at That Game, the final episode of the second season.

In 2002 he appeared in The Cicerones, co-written and directed by Jeremy Dyson, provided voices for the animated Comic Relief film The Legend of the Lost Tribe, featuring Robbie the Reindeer, and has recently finished filming Sex Lives of the Potato Men.

 

June Hudson

Top flight costume designer for the BBC, ITC and others ...

 

Known for bringing her work in on budget and always giving good value, June Hudson has worked for the BBC as a costume designer on sitcoms, science fiction dramas and soap operas.

As a wardrobe supervisor she worked on Johnny Speight's comedy Till Death Us Do Part starring Warren Mitchell as the opinionated Alf Garnett. Rising to the position of costume designer, Ruth dressed Leonard Rossiter and the staff of Sunshine Desserts for David Nobbs' The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin.

For Blake's 7, June followed producer David Maloney's instructions to create a look as colourful and spectacular as her budget would allow. Making costumes that suited the individual character's personalities, her designs subconsciously supported the series' Robin Hood theme. For Jacqueline Pearce's Servelan, June decided the character would always wear white, like Marilyn Monroe.

In 1978 June worked on Doctor Who after producer John Nathan-Turner decided to smarten up the long-running series' costuming which had become a hit-and-miss affair. Admiring June’s work, he requested she be assigned full time to Doctor Who.

Though the department head refused to agree to his request, she was allowed to alternate on the production with fellow costume designer Amy Roberts.

Working on such stylised shows, June worked closely with the make-up designers and sometimes the set designers to achieve the best results for the human characters and the aliens and monsters. One of her first tasks was to redesign Tom Baker's costume, originally been envisaged by James Acheson. Realising Baker's personality was tied up with the existing look, June decided to adapt the costume rather than create a wholly new outfit. Under her aegis, she introduced the deep burgundy overcoat and suggested the big collar incorporating the question marks.

Coming back down to earth once her stint on Doctor Who was over, June was the costume designer on the soap opera EastEnders when it launched in 1985. Most recently June redesigned Tom Baker's costume for the Radio Times cover celebrating the 40th Anniversary of Doctor Who.

 

Jonathan Ruffle

Ruling the air waves as a writer and producer ...

 

After graduating from St Catharine's College, Cambridge with an MA in Law, Jonathan Ruffle joined the BBC World Service as a Studio Manager before moving to BBC Radio 1 to became an entertainment producer.

Known as Happening Boy on "Steve Wright in the Afternoon", which introduced the American zoo-format to UK radio, he played the character The Pervy as well co-creating Dr Fish Filleter. In 1989 he won a Sony Gold Award for following in the footsteps of Phileas Fogg by attempting to travel "Around the World in 80 Days" with Simon Bates.

Switching stations, he produced the Radio 4 documentary "The Romans in Britain" and the award-winning drama "Bomber". For the Radio 2 adaptation of Nicholas Monsarrat's "The Cruel Sea" starring Donald Sinden and Philip Madoc, he crossed the Atlantic on a cargo ship, recording the sounds of the winds and waves to create the right sound effects.

While contributing to "Excess Baggage" as a travel reporter, he was the Commissioning Executive for BBC Entertainment's "The Millennium" in 1999. After producing radio commercials and reporting from the 2000 Cannes Film Festival for LBC he returned to Radio 4 to produce the comedies "Wheeler's Fortunes" and "Wheeler's Wonders" which documented the life of Creighton Wheeler, a talented everyman afflicted with Splicer's Disease which removed whole phrases from his speech, making him appear to sound badly edited.

A charity producer for Comic Relief in 1991, and produced the award-winning Channel 4 documentary Edward VIII: The Traitor King. A consultant on the Discovery Channel documentary Wings and the BBC drama Night Flight, he produced the documentary Bomber for GB Films. Having written for BBC Radio comedies, he scripted numerous documentaries for Channel 4, Carlton and Five, and contributed to Never Mind the Buzzcocks as a gag writer.

As well as writing "Battle of Britain at the Barbican" for the RAF Benevolent Fund in 2000, he has been involved in producing numerous Air Shows and events including the History in Action re-enactments for English Heritage the Royal International Air Tattoos.

 

Julie Stevens

From The Avengers to Play Away, Julie Stevens is a familiar Cult TV face ...

 

Following the departure of Ian Hendry after the first year of The Avengers, three new companions were appointed to partner John Steed, who had now taken centre stage, before it was decided who would be the permanent replacement.

Although Honor Blackman's Cathy Gale would eventually take the coveted role, for six episodes Patrick Macnee was partnered with the platinum blonde night-club singer Venus Smith, played by Julie Stevens.

Best known as a children's television presenter, she hosted The Sunday Break, ABC Weekend Television's religious programme for teenagers, during the early 1960s and ITV's Sunday 'Family Hour' which featured the seven-part Pathfinders in Space and its two sequels, devised by The Avengers and Doctor Who creator Sydney Newman.

Between 1966 and 1979 Julie was a regular on Play School, which catered for the pre-school audience, and its companion show, Play Away from 1975 and 1979. In 1972 she played alongside Johnny Ball and Derek Griffiths in Cabbages and Kings, taking part in the historical comedy sketches the series was based around.

As an actress Julie appeared in episodes of Z Cars, Not For Women Only and The Dick Emery Show. For three years she played Rosemary Pilgrim in the ATV sitcom Girls About Town, and appeared in the cinema as Gloria, the slave girl, in Carry on Cleo.

Having spent many years as Harry Secombe's personal manager she recently returned to acting with an appearance in the hospital drama Holby City.

 

Joe McGrath

A serious producer of the best in British comedy ...

 

Born in Glasgow in 1930, Joe McGrath’s credentials as a writer, producer and director in British film and television comedy are almost second to none.

Beginning as a producer on Michael Bentine’s surreal sketch show It’s a Square World, he co-wrote and directed the television play Justin Thyme starring Leonard Rossiter and produced the first of two BBC shows for the Soviet Union’s leading comedian Arkady Raikin, and the short-lived sitcom The Big Noise which starred Bob Monkhouse as brash pop disc jockey.

In 1965 he produced and contributed material to the first series of the classic Not Only... But Also starring Peter Cook and Dudley Moore. After producing East of Howerd which filmed Frankie Howerd entertaining British forces in Malaysia, Joe directed The Goon Show for Thames Television. A recording of Peter Sellers, Spike Milligan and Harry Secombe performing The Tale of Men’s Shirts, the programme was deemed unsuccessful and scuppered plans to transfer the classic radio comedy to television.

He produced Spike Milligan’s surrealistic sketch show Oh In Colour and directed the television series Zodiac starring Anouska Hempel and Anton Rodgers. Both director and producer of the sitcom The Losers written by Punch editor Alan Coren and starring Leonard Rossiter as a cockney wrestling promoter, he executive produced and co-wrote Good Night and God Bless with Donald Churchill who played a stand-up comic fronting a television game show.

In a film career that began as one of six directors on the James Bond spoof "Casino Royale", Joe co-wrote and directed "The Magic Christian" with Terry Southern and star Peter Sellers, "The Great McGonagall" with Spike Milligan playing the Scotsman eager to become Poet Laureate and the Sherlock Holmes spoof "The Strange Case of the End of Civilisation as We Know It" with John Cleese and Jack Hobbs.

In recent years Joe co-wrote the book "Now That’s Funny!" with David Bradbury, a collection of interviews with some of the greatest writers of British comedy including Spike Milligan, Ray Galton and Alan Simpson, and John Sullivan.

 

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