Wednesday Trivia Question

On the series As Time Goes By, what was the name of Lionel’s memoir? Continue reading

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Where Do I Know That Actor?

Fans of the Father Brown on The Explorer Channel may have spotted a few familiar faces in the most recent adventure. The episode in question (“The Daughters Of Jerusalem”) follows the prying padre pulling a bit of a Rear Window while nursing a broken leg. It’s enjoyable, as always, but a few of the guest stars have been seen before on other shows we’ve aired. Let’s list them.

First, Clare Higgins played Dinah Fortescue. Higgins has been seen on several Masterpiece series. Going way back, she was Miss Kitty Bennet in a 1980 version of Pride & Prejudice. A few years later, she was Christine Manson on The Citadel, Rachel Lucas in After The War and she even popped up on Downton Abbey for a couple of episodes as a Mrs. Bartlett.

Next, Annette Badland portrayed Judith Bunyan. Badland is a veteran actress who has been seen in several series UNC-TV has aired throughout the decades. She was Charlotte in Bergerac, Cook in A Little Princess (which aired on the marvelous children’s anthology series WonderWorks), Chertsey Cook in a Masterpiece Theatre adaptation of Oliver Twist (circa 2001) and a character named Margaret Blaine on a few episodes of Doctor Who.

Finally, the Father Brown mystery featured a character named Vera Thimble played by Janet Henfrey. Henfrey has made guest appearances in everything from Doctor Who to Wolf Hall. However, you may best recognize her as the dour and Shipping Forecast obsessed Mrs. Bale from the Britcom As Time Goes By.

Got a face you can’t place from one of the plethora of programs UNC-TV airs from the UK? Email me at sparkymac@unctv.org and I’ll try to help out.

There Is Nothing Like a Dame

It’s Dame Judi Dench’s birthday! She’s a Hollywood A-lister these days but UNC-TV viewers will always remember her fondly as Jean on As Time Goes By or Laura in A Fine Romance. Plus she’s been in Masterpiece presentations like Cranford, Henry V, Mrs. Brown and Middlemarch, so it’s fair to say she’s been a public television staple throughout the years. That’s why I want to wish the fantastic Judi Dench a glorious and happy birthday! Now blow out your Oscar and have a slice of cake, dear.

Where Do I Know That Actor?

Fans of Miss Marple may have caught Part One of A Murder Is Announced Saturday night on UNC-EX. The 3-part mystery was first broadcast in 1985 and features several familiar faces UNC-TV viewers would better know from other shows. See if you spotted them all.

First, we have the delightful Samantha Bond who plays Julia Simmons. She’s shown up on UNC-TV a lot lately so it almost seems unfair to even point her out any more. Nonetheless, Samantha Bond is Lady Rosamund Painswick in Downton Abbey (the Earl of Grantham’s sister), Women’s Institute leader Frances Barden in Home Fires and Auntie Angela in the sitcom Outnumbered. She was also Peter Davison’s wife, Lisa Shore, on the series Distant Shores.

Next up, it’s Kevin Whately. I could play coy and point out he popped up once on the Britcom You Must Be The Husband (or something equally obscure) but he is immediately recognizable from one source and one source only – his portrayal of Robert Lewis on both Inspector Morse and the spin-off/sequel Lewis. By the way, in A Murder Is Announced, Whately plays Detective Sergeant Fletcher. Perhaps it’s this role that initially got him the Lewis part. Continue reading

Where Do I Know That Actor?

I hope you caught Saturday night’s episode of Doctor Who on UNC-TV. The episode – titled “Voyage of the Damned” – aired originally in the UK as the Christmas Special in 2007 and featured several guest stars that are definitely familiar to UNC-TV viewers.

Let’s start with Geoffrey Palmer, who played Captain Hardaker, commander of a luxury space liner called the Titanic. Palmer is no stranger to UNC-TV, having acted in roles big and small for decades. Britcom-wise, he was Lionel Hardcastle in As Time Goes By, Donald Fairchild in Executive Stress, Ben Parkinson in Butterflies, Leo Bannister in The Last Song, and Jimmy Anderson in The Fall And Rise Of Reginald Perrin. On Masterpiece Theatre, he was Mr. Burton in Christobel, Major General Sir Robert Godolphinin in After The War, Henry Ponsonby in Her Majesty, Mrs. Brown, Robert Crane in Reckless: The Sequel, and Sir Marmaduke Rowley in He Knew He Was Right. I could go on but let me just finish with his guest starring roles in a couple of original Doctor Who serials (“The Mutants” and “The Silurians”).

Next, we have Mr. Copper, as played by Clive Swift. Among other things, he was Roy in The Old Guys and Reverend Brewer in Born & Bred. However, I think it’s safe to say most will know him as Hyacinth Bucket’s much put-upon husband Richard in Keeping Up Appearances. He, too, had a guest spot on an original Doctor Who serial (“Revelation of the Daleks”).

Some of the other actors might be recognizable from parts here and there but these were the big two. Of course, the major guest star of “Voyage of the Damned” was singer Kylie Minogue but she hasn’t been in any show UNC-TV has aired. Or so you might think. I barely remembered myself but Kylie Minogue did make a cameo appearance (as herself) in an episode of The Vicar Of Dibley.

Doctor Who “Voyage of the Damned” encores Thursday at noon and Saturday at 4 on UNC-MX.

Got a face you can’t place from one of the plethora of programs UNC-TV airs from the UK? Email me at sparkymac@unctv.org and I’ll try to help out.

Where Do I Know That Actor?

I hope you caught last night’s Wolf Hall. If so, the episode had a blink-and-you’d-miss-it cameo by a face that should be familiar to many UNC-TV viewers.

About 12 minutes in (barely the slightest of spoilers here), when Cromwell is interviewing a few powerful enemies, a Lady Margaret Pole is questioned. Lady Margaret is portrayed by Janet Henfrey, an actress who has made guest appearances in everything from Doctor Who to Father Brown. Well, it’s been about ten years since she played the character, but you may best recognize her as the dour and Shipping Forecast obsessed Mrs. Bale from the Britcom As Time Goes By. Did you spot her?

Episode four of Wolf Hall on Masterpiece encores Tuesday at 10pm on UNC-MX and Saturday at 3am on UNC-TV. It is also currently available on our web site.

Got a face you can’t place from one of the plethora of programs UNC-TV airs from the UK? Email me at sparkymac@unctv.org and I’ll try to help out.