Where Do I Know That Actor?

Fans of Midsomer Murders may have noticed a bevy of special guest stars on the most recent episodes. Saturday night’s two-part mystery (“Death In Chorus”) featured a handful of actors you may know from shows seen on UNC-TV’s airwaves in the past. Let’s see how many you noticed.

We’ll start with Patrick Drury who played Connor Simpson in the episode. His acting credits and public broadcasting association go back to the 1970s since his first imdb.comcredit is listed as “Courier” in I, Claudius. Drury has since been seen on Masterpiece Theatre as Montagu Corry in Disraeli and as Ian Ruby Smith in The Politician’s Wife.

Annabelle Apsion, who portrayed Ellen Barker, has guest starred in several series of note (My Uncle SilasThe Mrs Bradley MysteriesMI-5Foyle’s War) but she’s probably best known as Jennifer Cardew in Doc Martin or Violet Buckle on Call The Midwife. Continue reading


Where Do I Know That Actor?

Death In Paradise (season five) is currently airing Saturday nights on UNC-TV. Kris Marshall stars as DI Humphrey Goodman in this wonderful fish-out-of-water procedural series. One of the great things about the program is the constant influx of weekly guest stars.

This week’s episode (“The Blood Red Sea”) saw Goodman’s island team investigating the death of a treasure hunter. There were also a few faces that might be familiar to viewers of British fare on UNC-TV. Let’s see if you spotted them.

Lorcan Cranitch was Tosh Walker, the leader of a Marine Salvage team in search of a rare treasure. The Irish actor may be best known for playing Sean Dillon on the series Ballykissangel. Going back a bit more, Cranitch played Timothy Healy on the Masterpiece Theatre presentation Parnell & the Englishwoman. Continue reading

Where Do I Know That Actor? (Paddington Edition)

Occasionally, I like to veer away slightly from UNC-TV programming to tackle a feature film that’s heavy with appearances by faces familiar to public broadcasting viewers. As such: Paddington 2. Now, I haven’t seen the film but it’s got a 100% score on Rotten Tomatoes (which is pretty impressive) and the cast is rife with actors from many of our favorite shows. Let’s get into it, shall we?

We’ll start with Paddington himself. Actually the titular bear from deepest, darkest Peru is computer generated but the character is voiced by Ben Whishaw. Fans of Shakespeare may remember him as King Richard in Richard II on The Hollow Crown.

Next up: the Browns, Paddington’s adoptive family. Parents Henry and Mary are played by Hugh Bonneville and Sally Hawkins, respectively. Bonneville is best known as Robert Crawley, Earl of Grantham, on Downton Abbey. Hawkins was Anne Eliot on Persuasion, a 2007 Masterpiece adaptation of the Jane Austen novel. Continue reading

Where Do I Know That Actor?

This week’s Death In Paradise featured a trio of guests worthy of mention.

In the episode (“Lost Identity”), DI Goodman receives a little help from his visiting Aunt Mary, played by Wendy Craig. Craig was most recently seen as Aunt Juley in The Forsyte Saga (UNC-EX aired the series within the last few years) however a generation of UNC-TV viewers may best remember her as dissatisfied housewife Ria Parkinson in the bittersweet sitcom Butterflies. Continue reading

Where Do I Know That Actor?

Midsomer Murders again? Of course! If you don’t know by now that guest starring in this series seems to be a must for any UK acting CV, then you haven’t been paying attention!

Saturday night’s episode (“The Great and the Good”) saw Barnaby and Jones searching for a killer in Badger’s Drift, uncovering jealous rivals, ruthless social climbers and a cottage with secrets along the way. There were also several guest stars of note. Let’s see if you spotted them.

Nancy Carroll played schoolteacher Connie Bishop. Carroll is well familiar to anyone who watches Father Brown since she’s Lady Felicia on that show. She was also Mary Collins on the recent Masterpiece series Prime Suspect: Tennison. Continue reading

Where Do I Know That Actor?

If you’re a fan of Midsomer Murders, I hope you know that UNC-TV is now presenting two episodes of the fan favorite every Saturday night (one at 8pm and one at 9pm). That means you don’t have to wait a whole week to discover whodunit – just stay tuned.

And speaking of Midsomer Murders, if you caught Saturday’s two-parter (“The Creeper”) then you saw DCI Barnaby out to catch a highly skilled cat burglar. You may also have spied quite a few special guest stars that may have been recognizable from other shows we’ve broadcast. Let’s see who’s who.

Paul Shelley portrayed Chief Constable Richard Lovell. The veteran actor has guested in dozens of series over the decades (Blake’s 7 and Inspector Morse, for example) but I think if you know him it’s from one of several roles. Shelley played Fred Simcox on Paradise Postponed, a 1980s Masterpiece Theatre series. He was also Persuasion on the classic Peter Davison Doctor Who serial “Four To Doomsday” and was Duncan on a Great Performances presentation of Macbeth (starring Patrick Stewart). Continue reading

Where Do I Know That Actor?

Once again, this week’s Midsomer Murders did not disappoint, featuring a half dozen actors who might be familiar to viewers from other roles. In the episode (part one of “Small Mercies”), Barnaby investigated a murder in a miniature world. He also encountered the following guest stars of note.

David Ryall played caretaker Bob Moss. The veteran actor passed away in 2014 (the Midsomer Murders episode in question originally aired in 2009) but his career spanned five decades. Most recently, he was Grandad on the Britcom Outnumbered. About fifteen years ago, he appeared on the Masterpiece Theatre presentation Bertie & Elizabeth as Winston Churchill. Ryall also appeared on a few other Masterpiece offerings: he portrayed Oscar Bream in Prime Suspect, Sir Bruce Bullerby in the UK House of Cards trilogy, Wurme in The Secret Agent and Bretherton in Love for Lydia. Going back to the late 1970s, Ryall played Billy Buzzle on the situation comedy Bless Me Father. Continue reading