Wednesday 6 February 2013

Sheila Fearn

Sheila Fearn: 

A little bit of glamour now, of the wholesome British sort. The lovely Sheila Fearn, who managed to embody both confident sexiness and a down-to-earth mix of good humour and common sense. This impression probably stems largely from two of her best-known roles; as Terry Collier's sister Audrey in 'The Likely Lads' and as the witty and unaffected Anne Fourmile in 'George & Mildred'.

Other golden-era TV appearances include 'The Avengers', 'Z-Cars', 'Adam Adamant Lives', and even an episode of ' The Beverly Hilbillies' where they come to live in an English castle (it's one of the colour series from 1967, I don't know if it ever aired in the UK). She never seemed to hit the big time on the cinema screen, but her few minor roles are in some interesting films, such as 'Billy Liar' (1963), 'Catch Us If You Can' (1965), and an unusually unsympathetic turn as Kevin's mother in 'Time Bandits' (1981) alongside stalwart David Daker. In later years she showed up as Timothy's would-be girlfriend in the depressing Ronnie Corbett TV comedy 'Sorry!' (see also Roy Holder), but faded from sight in the '80s.

At one point, her Wikipedia entry contained a suggestion that her career was brought to an abrupt halt by injury in a serious accident, much as her 'George & Mildred' co-star Norman Eshley's was, although hers was described as a (rather unlikely-sounding) mountaineering fall. This may have been some sort of unedited wiki-mischief, as currently it just says that she retired from acting in 1988.  

Either way, I hope she is in good health these days, and hopefully there might be more acting work in Sheila Fearn's future.            

'The Likely Lads'
'The Avengers' - Murdersville  
'Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads?'
'George and Mildred'

Sheila Fearn - imdb

Friday 1 February 2013

Michael Troughton


Michael Troughton in 'The New Statesman' Stephen Fry, Rik Mayall
Michael Troughton as Piers Fletcher-Dervish
  Michael Troughton: 

Chunky and clean-cut in appearance, he's the son of the second Dr Who, Patrick Troughton. Young Michael has little of the eccentricity and brooding intensity of his late father, but he is certainly a very accomplished character actor. He has dovetailed neatly into a collection of roles, usually cast in a naturally affable middle-class mould. He was Piers Fletcher-Dervish, the idiotic sidekick to Rik Mayall's monstrous Alan B'Stard in 'The New Statesman', a part which didn't really give him a lot of room to be anything other than the utterly dim foil to Mayall's showboating. Before that he had a more sympathetic sidekick role in 'Minder' as DC Mellish, forever at the elbow of Arthur Daley's would-be nemesis, DS Rycott.        

Popular, comfortable comedies have used his talents on a number of occasions, for example, 'Goodnight Sweetheart', '2 point 4 Children', 'The Detectives' with Jasper Carrott and Robert Powell, and 'My Family'. He's also done a bit of TV drama, ranging from 'Testament of Youth' and 'Strangers and Brothers' to 'Blakes 7', 'Boon' and 'Cat's Eyes'. Seemed to be in demand for kids' shows too, particularly in the '80s, so those of a certain age might remember him from the likes of 'Graham's Gang' and 'Woof!'.   

'Dorothy L Sayers Mysteries: Have His Carcase'

DC Taff Jones (Michael Povey) and DC Mellish in 'Minder'

Update: Nice to see him pop up in the 2014 Christmas episode of Dr Who. A nice nod to his old man's Whovian legacy.

Michael Troughton - imdb