Monday Montage

What’s happening, what’s on and what’s interesting this week …

David Letterman is one of the most-nominated people in Emmy history and now the former late night staple receives the 2017 Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. Join Bill Murray, Paul Shaffer, Jimmy Kimmel, Steve Martin and more as they honor the award-winning comedian on David Letterman: The Mark Twain Prize – tonight at 8 on UNC-TV.

A year after the celebrated anchor’s death, Gwen Ifill’s alma mater is naming a school after her. Continue reading

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Downton Downtown?

Downton Abbey is coming back! Well, sort of. The show isn’t returning but an exhibition based on the beloved series opens in New York next week for a limited engagement. Then the exhibit makes its way across the US, maybe even to your town (I’ve not seen any tour dates but fingers crossed it will come to North Carolina).

Here’s a description based on Masterpiece promotion:

The first-ever fully immersive Downton Abbey experience is coming stateside! Downton Abbey: The Exhibition will make its US debut in New York City on Saturday Nov. 18, before traveling throughout the US. Tickets are now available to purchase at www.downtonexhibition.com. Continue reading

Where Do I Know That Actor?

Once again, Midsomer Murders presents a few notable and noticeable guest stars. Arguably not A-list celebs but that’s the fun, isn’t it – seeing that face and asking yourself, “Where do I know that actor?”

Saturday night’s episode (“The Glitch” part one) saw Barnaby and Jones investigating the Bucketman of Midsomer. It also featured a trio of actors you may recognize from elsewhere.

First, there was Shaughan Seymour who portrayed Norman Wayland-Smith. The veteran actor has appeared in numerous Masterpiece Theatre offerings. He was Lewis Eliot in Strangers and Brothers (1985), Benedict Bligh in After the War (1989), Lord Hollingford in Wives and Daughters (2001) and the Judge in The Jury (2003).

Next, Philip Jackson played garage boss Daniel Snape. Although Jackson has appeared in numerous guest roles (DCI Banks, Death in Paradise, Foyle’s War, Murder Most Horrid, to name a few), he will be best known for the role of Inspector Japp on Agatha Christie’s Poirot. Continue reading

Remembering Siegfried

I have just heard news of the death of Robert Hardy. Sadly, this is not current news as the beloved English actor passed away in early August. However, for whatever reason, I missed the notice. Still, I wanted to mention it because Hardy has had a long presence on UNC-TV.

Robert Hardy was born Timothy Sydney Robert Hardy in 1925 and he enjoyed a long career in theatre, film and television. The veteran performer may be best known to international audiences for his role as Cornelius Fudge in the Harry Potter film series but public broadcasting viewers will perhaps remember him most fondly as veterinarian Siegfried Farnon on the series All Creatures Great And Small, adapted from the books by James Herriot.

Aside from memorable guest appearances on many familiar programs (Lewis, Foyle’s War, MI-5, Inspector Morse, The Duchess of Duke Street), Hardy has also played roles on several series seen on Masterpiece including Elizabeth R (Robert Dudley), Winston Churchill: The Wilderness Years (Winston Churchill), Northanger Abbey (General Tilney), Middlemarch (Mr. Brooke) and Little Dorrit (Tite Barnacle [Sr]). He was also appointed a Commander of the British Empire in the 1981 Birthday Honours.

Robert Hardy died on August 3 at the age of 91.

Where Do I Know That Actor?

Fans of Masterpiece have a full slate these days as Sunday nights offer a triple play of this PBS staple. Capping off the evening is a new series titled The Collection chronicling the French fashion scene in post-war Paris. Several actors who’ve appeared in this program should be familiar to UNC-TV and Masterpiece viewers. Let’s meet a few.

Richard Coyle, who plays fashion entrepreneur Paul Sabine, has been seen in a couple of Masterpiece Theatre presentations around the turn of the century. In 2001, he was Mr. Coxe on Wives & Daughters and the following year he was Michael Cass on Othello.

Frances de la Tour portrays Sabine family matriarch Yvette Sabine. She’s probably best known for playing Violet on the sitcom Vicious but way back in the early 1980s, de la Tour played Maud in Flickers on Masterpiece Theatre. Continue reading

Where Do I Know That Actor?

If you turned on Midsomer Murders on Saturday night (“Secrets and Spies” part one) you saw DCI Barnaby encounter a family of former espionage agents. You also caught sight of several familiar faces you may have recognized from other British programming we’ve aired on UNC-TV. Let’s see who’s who, shall we?

Veteran actor Benjamin Whitrow played eccentric, retired spymaster Sir Malcolm Frazer. His decades-long career (which sadly ended a few weeks ago when he passed away at 80) boasted guest roles in dozens of shows (Wolf Hall, Doc Martin, The Pallisers, Danger UXB, Poirot and Partners in Crime, just to name a few) but he had larger roles in a few Masterpiece Theatre presentations – he was Bailiff Francis la Palotte on Island at War and Thomas Boleyn on Henry VIII.

Peter Davison played Sir Malcolm’s son, Nicky Frazer. He should be immediately known for two roles – that of veterinarian Tristan Farnon on All Creatures Great and Small and that of the fifth Doctor on Doctor Who. However, he too has appeared in a bevy of other roles. Going back to the late 1970s, Davison was Tom Holland on the Masterpiece Theatre series Love for Lydia. In the 1980s, he played Margery Allingham’s gentleman detective Albert Campion on Mystery! In the late 1990s, he portrayed Joseph Lockwood on a Masterpiece adaptation of Wuthering Heights. About that time, Davison played Inspector Christmas on the Diana Rigg vehicle The Mrs. Bradley Mysteries. More recently, he starred as Dr. Bill Shore on the delightful fish-out-of-water series Distant Shores. Continue reading