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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...



Wednesday, 20 February 2008 14:43

Michael Hurst

Having played Iolaus, the side-kick to Hercules, Michael is also a terrific director! ...


Co-founder of Auckland’s Watershed Theatre, Michael Hurst was born in Lancashire and emigrated to New Zealand with his family at the age of seven.

After acting and directing at school, Michael was accepted into a two-year training programme at Christchurch’s Court Theatre before joining Auckland’s Theatre Corporate.

On television he appeared in two episodes of The Ray Bradbury Theatre before taking the role of Iolaus in Hercules and the Amazon Women. When the TV movies spawned the series Hercules: The Legendary Journeys he stayed on as Hercules’ loyal sidekick.

On the show Michael played variations of the character as, after sacrificing himself, Iolaus is inhabited by the demon Dahak, then appears as a cowardly double from the Netherworld before his eventual resurrection.

He also played the dancing Widow Twanky, under the pseudonym Edith Sidebottom, and writer Paul Robert Coyle, in the contemporary episode Yes, Virginia, There Is a Hercules. With the spin-off show Xena: Warrior Princess filming concurrently, Michael appeared as Iolaus in cross-over episodes and took on dual roles of Nigel and Charon in You Are There.

From the third year Michael directed the first of six episodes, including Faith, the show in which Iolaus dies. He also stepped behind the camera for a further six episodes of Xena: Warrior Princess, in particular A Day in the Life which has a three minute, single camera take of Xena and Gabrielle bathing together.

He directed the pilot for Amazon High, written by Robert G. Tapert. When it failed to be picked up the footage was recycled into the Xena: Warrior Princess episode Lifeblood.

After appearing as Captain Nardo da Vinci in Jack of All Trades starring Bruce Campbell, he directed the episode The Morning After, and was recently reunited with Kevin Sorbo in the Andromeda episode The Knight, Death and the Devil.

After directing the television movie, Love Mussel, Michael played Riff-Raff in a theatrical run of The Rocky Horror Show in New Zealand.

He has appeared at the Cult TV Festival in the UK twice, in 2001 and 2003.


Wednesday, 20 February 2008 14:40

John Leeson

The voice of K9, who played both Pasco and Toise in Blake's 7 ...


John Leeson's career as an actor of over forty years has spanned the West End, film, and television of all kinds.

His work in TV space adventure and fantasy includes Blake's 7 (Pasco in "Mission to Destiny" and Toise in "Gambit") and Doctor Who, as the voice of K9 (1977-1979 and 1980-1981), the faithful and smart robotic dog. He has been delighted to rejoin Elisabeth Sladen to reprise the character in the current series episode "School Reunion", and we are looking forward to reuniting the two of them at this year’s Cult TV Festival (subject to work and personal commitments).

John also voiced K9 in 1981's pilot K9 and Company (1981) and has reprised the character in several Big Finish audio adventures, including "Zagreus" and the "Gallifrey" series. Leeson's vocal contributions to Doctor Who also include other characters in the stories “The Invisible Enemy” and "Remembrance of the Daleks".

John’s other television appearances include Bugs, Dad’s Army, Jigsaw, Sorry!, 'Allo 'Allo!, Take Three Girls, Rings On Their Fingers, My Wife Next Door, The Barretts of Wimpole Street, Tucker’s Luck, Crown Court, Crossroads, The Bill, 1998's Vanity Fair, Longitude, Doctors, and he was the original Bungle in Rainbow. In 1995 he appeared in BBV's Doctor Who spin-off production Downtime, playing a disc jockey.

John has also set questions for Mastermind, and was co-author (with Anthony Marriott) of stage comedies "Under The Bench" and "Nipped In the Bud", and the drama "What'll The Neighbours Say?". He was also the co-scriptwriter for pilot sit-coms We Never Closed and Roland and Julie.

John is progressively touring his one-man show "A Dog’s Life", an engaging backstage glimpse of his professional career and his later association with Doctor Who (he was also seen on-screen as the character Dugeen during the serial "The Power of Kroll"). Beyond his theatre and TV work John is also a fully accredited wine educator, and he is a deputy chairman of his local magistrates' bench.


Wednesday, 20 February 2008 14:39

James Morrison

Bill Buchanan from 24 and McQueen from Space: Above and Beyond ...


James Morrison began his professional acting career as a clown and wire walker for the Carson and Barnes Wild Animal Circus in the mid-1970s, and served his theatrical apprenticeship with the Alaska Repertory Theatre during its 1977-79 seasons. Since then, he has appeared at the McCarter Theatre, the La Jolla Playhouse, the Mark Taper Forum, the LA Stage Company, The Jupiter Theatre, The Old Globe, and The Pasadena Playhouse with such renowned directors as Emily Mann, Des McAnuff, Jack O'Brien, Charles Nelson Reilly, Jose Quintero and Harry Mastrogeorge.

James is currently starring in 24, as Head of CTU Bill Buchanan, alongside Keifer Sutherland’s Jack Bauer. He was also Lt Col Tyrus Cassius ‘TC’ McQueen in Space: Above and Beyond, and has appeared in Six Feet Under, The West Wing, Frasier, CSI: Miami, Millennium, LA Law, Quantum Leap, Brooklyn South, Prey, Nash Bridges, The X-Files, The Others, Freedom, The Division, JAG, 10-8, NCIS, Cold Case, and was Kingston Nickson in Point Pleasant.

James has appeared on the big screen in the films “Catch Me If You Can”, “The One”, “Desert Cross”, “Falling Down”, “Shadow of Doubt”, “Abilene”, “Wilderness Survival for Girls” and “Jarhead”.

He directed his first film, “Parking”, in 1996. Based on his play, “Parking” was produced by his wife, Riad Galayini. “Parking” has screened at Slamdance (receiving the Audience Choice Award for Best Short Film); the Palm Springs International Film Festival; the Portland, Cleveland, Sedona, and Albany Film Festivals; the Taos Talking Picture Festival, Austin's South By Southwest Festival; New York's New Directors/New Films Festival presented by Lincoln Centre at the Museum of Modern Art; the South Beach Film Festival in Miami; the Central Florida Film Festival (winning third place in the narrative film award); the Los Angeles Independent Film Festival; the Montreal World Festival; The Festival of US Shorts in Brisbane, Australia; Ireland's Cork International Film Festival; the St. Louis Film Festival; and The Philadelphia Festival of World Cinema. “Parking” also aired on the Sundance channel.

In December 1997 James and Riad completed their second short film, “Nude Descending”, which won the George Melies Award at the 1998 Taos Talking Picture Festival. In 2000 “Nude Descending” was selected for special recognition by the reelshort.com New Short Film Directors Showcase and Universal Studios at the Hitchcock International Director's Series presented by the American Cinematheque.

James can be heard in the BBC radio production of “Julius Caesar” and seen in the American Playhouse production of Ibsen's An Enemy of the People. He also appears in Ruby McCollum and Rainmaker, radio dramas for American National Public Radio.

James is a recipient of the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Performance and three Drama-Logue Awards. He appeared in the London premiere of Emily Mann's “Still Life” at the West End's Donmar Warehouse and the Riverside Studios after a stint in The Edinburgh Festival at the venerable Traverse Theatre, where the production received a Fringe First Award. In addition to being a Lecture Fellow at Bournemouth University School of Media in the UK, James is certified to teach Hatha yoga by the White Lotus Foundation in Santa Barbara and teaches at L.A.'s oldest studio, The Centre for Yoga.

A member of the Dramatists Guild and the Ensemble Studio Theatre, his plays have been seen at The Sundance Institute, The Ensemble Studio Theatre, The Playwrights' Centre of Minneapolis, LA Theatre Works, The MET Theatre, City Theatre in Miami, The Two Parts Theatre Company, The Classical Theatre Lab, The Road Theatre, The Mojo Ensemble, The Wooden O, and the Salt Lake Acting Company where James has directed several plays including those by Sam Shepard, John Robinson, Larry Shue, and Beth Henley.

Born in Bountiful, Utah and raised in Alaska, James lives in Los Angeles with Riad and son Seamus. Scheduled to be a guest at Cult TV 2007, unfortunately due to last minute changes of schedules for the filming of that year's season of 24 meant he was not able to join us.

You can find out more about James Morrison at his official website at www.jpmorrison.com.


Wednesday, 20 February 2008 14:37

Carol Cleveland

Amongst many other roles, Carol IS the "Monty Python girl" ...


A Londoner at birth, Carol Cleveland moved to America at the age of five only to return to the UK shores in 1960 to study at RADA.

Starting with guest roles in The Saint, and the adventure series The Sentimental Agent, Carol frequently appeared in many of the ITC series. In fact in two productions; ‘The Sitting Pigeon’ episode of Man In A Suitcase, and ‘For the Girl Who has Everything’ episode of Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) she even wore the same dress. As one of the guests invited to The Hellfire Club, she appeared in the infamous episode of The Avengers, ‘A Touch of Brimstone.’

More famously, Carol became known as ‘the Python Girl’ after appearing in Monty Python’s Flying Circus, a role that led to her inclusion in all of the Python films, stage shows and recordings.

Other television work includes guest appearances in the sitcoms Are You Being Served? and Only Fools and Horses, About Face, The Two Ronnies and Land of Hope and Gloria. Although predominantly known for her light comedy, Carol considers some of her best TV work was as Leigh Mervish in Michael J Bird’s drama, The Lotus Eaters, set amongst the expat community on the island of Crete.

With a film career that has included roles in Moon Zero Two, Vampira and The Return of the Pink Panther, on stage, Carol has played leading roles in Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, and Lenny at London’s Criterion Theatre. With twenty national tours to her credit, including runs of Not Now Darling, Miss Julie, as well as a far East tour of Two and Two Make Sex. More recently she appeared in The Front Page at the Festival Theatre, Chichester.

Carol has written her own one-woman show, Pom Poms Up, a wry, autobiographical, look at the glamour business. First performed at the Brighton Festival and later, onboard the QE2. Lucky attendees to the 1996 Cult TV Festival were delighted to be treated to extracts from the show as part of that year’s cabaret.

Carol was also a guest at the Cult TV Festival in the UK in 1995 and 2002.


Wednesday, 20 February 2008 14:36

Brian Croucher

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 14:35

Bonnie Langford

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 14:34

Zebra 3

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 14:07

Teryl Rothery

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 14:06

Sylvia Anderson

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 14:04

Suzy Bennett

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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