Monday 3 December 2018

Moira Foot

Moira Foot: 

Very tall and slender, with a charmingly toothy smile and an eye-catching embonpoint, Moira Foot is one of the troupe of dollybird actresses who populated the fantasy landscape of the '70s: either the glory days of light entertainment or the nadir of casual universal sexism, depending on your viewpoint. A quick glance at her credits (that will do, Mr Lucas) immediately conjures another age and another set of comedy values from a problematic canon: 'The Benny Hill Show', 'The Dick Emery Show', the movie of 'On The Buses' (1972), 'Are You Being Served?', and 'Doctor At Large'.     

Benny Hill, as 'World Of Sport's Dickie Davies, delivers a line
that almost certainly has something to do with Bristol City.   

Getting the benefit of George Layton's best bedside
manner in 'Doctor At Large'. 
Her father, Alistair Foot, was a comedy writer and one of the authors of the great touchstone of British theatrical farce, 'No Sex Please, We're British', so perhaps it's not surprising that the attractive young actress should find her way into this particular stream of light entertainment. Her first appearances were in the comedies of Ronnie Barker, well-known for his obsession with saucy postcard humour - a genre from which the cartoonishly glamorous Miss Foot seems to have miraculously stepped. She appears as Effie the maid in 'Hark At Barker' and the follow-up 'His Lordship Entertains', in which she is the frequent cause of Lord Rustless's popped monocle.   

Effie the maid has been making (surprise surprise) some dumplings,
in which Ronnie Barker naturally takes a keen interest    
In addition to the comedy shows and skits, there were a few brief, decorative appearances in dramas, such as 'Quiller' and 'The New Avengers', and other oddments, like the sleuth panel game 'Whodunnit' and a made-for-America musical evening with Jackie Gleason and Julie Andrews. 

As Denise of the Resistance in the later episodes of 'Allo Allo'

Her most recent role was in the fifth series of 'Allo Allo' where she turns up as René's childhood sweetheart, now a member of the Resistance. The show was still very popular, even if it had long since exhausted it's original premise, and she gives an enthusiastic performance at what must have been rather a flat point in the programme's long history. 

Ready to impress the driving examiner - if it were anyone
but Dick Emery's Hello Honky Tonks that is... 
Benny Hill sight gag No. 235. Short bald Jackie Wright is the man
forgetting bus queue etiquette next to the statuesque Moira Foot    
That was 1988, seemingly her last TV appearances for the time being, but she'll certainly be seared into the memories of many for her iconic comedy show legacy. She was understandably sought after by those elder statesmen of British vaudeville and nudge-nudge humour, and whether it was humiliating Benny Hill on a disco dance floor or helping young Mr Grace with his tablets, she played the gag. It was another time. 

Moira Foot-imdb


  1. A rather pompous, condescending and judgemental review. As the writer says it was another time, when virtue signalling was not so popular.

  2. Just seen Moira Foot in Grace brothers, made me want to Google her. Quite stunning.