Another familiar face, equally often seen with a villainous sneer as with a cheerful grin. Michael Cochrane's expressive mouth and narrow eyes, combined with his suave manner, have seen him cast in a range of upper-class roles over the years. Seemingly able to convincingly embody the quick-tempered brooding bully or the likeable silly ass, he has appeared in a long list of popular British TV dramas over the years, from 'The Pallisers' in the early '70s, to its modern counterpart 'Downton Abbey'.
In an episode of the dogfight drama 'Wings' from 1977
After 'The Pallisers', another early success came with the popular WW1 drama 'Wings' following the early days of the Royal Flying Corps, in which he played young officer Charles Gaylion. Throughout the '80s and beyond, he was ubiquitous in quality TV drama such as 'The Life & Times Of David Lloyd George', 'The Citadel', 'The Far Pavilions', 'Nancherrow', and 'Holy Flying Circus' in which he played Malcolm Muggeridge. Cult TV fans will clock him in two 'Doctor Who' stories from the '80s - and Radio 4 stalwarts will know his voice as that of permanently exasperated country gent Oliver Sterling from 'The Archers'.
|Well played Doctor! As a cricketing aristo congratulating Peter Davison |
in the 1982 'Doctor Who' story 'Black Orchid'
|More 'Doctor Who'. Proposing to blow Sylveste McCoy's head off |
with an elephant gun in the 1989 story 'Ghost Light'
More lightweight fare includes 'Jonathan Creek', 'Spooks', 'Pie In The Sky' and a briefcase-full of police procedurals, whodunnits and courtroom dramas. The comedy strand is a decently varied collection stretching from 'The Two Ronnies', 'Shelley' and 'To The Manor Born' to 'Keeping Up Appearances', the Ardal O'Hanlon sitcom 'Big Bad World' and even an episode of 'Love Thy Neighbour'.
As the ever-unpleasant Sir Henry Simmerson in 'Sharpe'
Movie work has been regular, but there isn't a career-defining role among his appearances in 'Escape To Victory' (1981), 'Return Of The Soldier' (1982) and 'Iron Lady' (2011), or a host of forgettable titles like 'Ascendancy' (1983), 'Real Life'(1984), spy spoof 'Number One Gun' (1991) and the Val Kilmer take on 'The Saint' (1997).
His most recent recognition has come through 'Downton Abbey' in which he plays the enthusiastically Anglican village vicar, Reverend Travis.