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Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Alan Gilbey and David Freedman are writers and cartoonists, with shows like Aaagh! It's The Mr Hell Show! and Bounty Hamster amongst their credits ...


Formed in 1995 from the partnership of Alan Gilbey and David Freedman, Peafur Productions have co-created, produced and supervised a number of animated series of their own as well as developing shows in conjunction with other companies.

Writers as well as cartoonists, they have developed and written series for The Disney Channel, Jim Henson Productions, Nelvana, Universal Pictures and Fox Television.

Successfully steering shows from bible, through sample scripts, to full series commission, projects they have scripted have won BAFTAs, Royal Television Society awards and a British Animation Award.

After acting as script consultants on the first series of Bob and Margaret, based on the 1994 Oscar-winning short, Bob and Margaret, made by Alison Snowden and David Fine, they wrote the screenplay for Hibbert Ralph Entertainment’s The First Snow of Winter, collaborated on the 13-episode Rex the Runt with the show’s creator for Bristol’s Aardman Animation, and Cosgrove Hall Film’s Foxbusters for Cosgrove Hall Films. Their recent projects include BBC2's Aaagh! It's The Mr Hell Show! which won Canada’s Leo Award for Best Animated Series and was was nominated for Best Direction at the International Animated Film Society’s Annie Awards, and CITV’s Bounty Hamster, produced in collaboration with Silver Fox Films.

To find out more about Alan Gilbey and David Freedman, visit their website www.Peafur.com and the Bounty Hamster fansite at www.geocities.com/ bountyhamster1


Wednesday, 20 February 2008

From Upstairs, Downstairs to Doctor Who, The House of Elliot to The Saint ...


Jean Marsh is an actress best known for creating the television series Upstairs, Downstairs (with Dame Eileen Atkins) and for portraying housemaid Rose Buck in the same series, a role that brought her an Emmy Award. Jean and Eileen also co-created The House of Eliott for the BBC.

Jean became interested in the acting world while taking dancing and mime classes. A spell in charm school and some work as a model led to employment in repertory theatre. Her first film was "Tales of Hoffman" when she was just 17. Jean then spent three years in America, appearing in Sir John Geilgud's Broadway production of "Much Ado About Nothing" and taking numerous guest slots in TV series, including an episode of the original Twilight Zone.

Returning to London, she was soon to appear in Doctor Who alongside William Hartnell. Her first role in the series was as Princess Joanna in "The Crusade", which was followed by the iconic character of Sara Kingdom in "The Daleks' Master Plan". She returned to the series in the Sylvester McCoy era, as Morgaine in "Battlefield".

Uncredited for her appearance as Marc Antony's wife Octavia in 1963's "Cleopatra", she then attracted much attention for roles such as Mrs Rochester in the 1971 TV movie version "Jane Eyre", and Monica Barling in Hitchcock's "Frenzy" (1972). After nearly 20 years in the business, Jean received the award of "Most Outstanding New Actress” in 1972.

Seen as a guest star in many a Cult TV series, she has appeared in episodes of The Saint (four stories – "The Scales of Justice", "Escape Route", "The Imprudent Politician" and "The Good Medicine"), Department S ("The Perfect Operation"), UFO ("Exposed"), The Persuaders! ("Five Miles To Midnight"), Danger Man ("Name, Date and Place"), Gideon’s Way ("A Perfect Crime" and "The Night Lifers"), Adam Adamant Lives! ("Face In A Mirror"), The Third Man, I Spy, The Wonderful World of Disney, The Befrienders, The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes, The Waltons, Trapper John MD, Tales from the Darkside, Murder, She Wrote, The All New Alexei Sayle Show, Dangerfield, Kavanagh QC, Ghosthunter, Holby City, Doctors, the 1990s revival of The Tomorrow People, the TV series version of 9 to 5, and the TV movie "Goliath Awaits".

Other roles on the big screen include the likes of "The Eagle Has Landed" (1976), "The Changeling" (1980), "Return to Oz” (1985) and "Willow" (1988).

Jean nominated Medecins Sans Frontieres as the chosen charity for the 2006 Cult TV Festival.


Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Actor, Stunt Co-ordinator and double for Patrick McGoohan in The Prisoner ...


After serving in the Parachute Regiment during the war, Frank Maher worked as a stuntman and actor on many of the ITC action adventure shows. An expert in all forms of fighting, he became a master at crashing cars, falling from great heights and leaping through windows.

A stunt man on The Avengers, he played roles in three episodes opposite Honor Blackman. When Diana Rigg took over as Steed's assistant he appeared as Nicholls in You Have Just Been Murdered, ultimately impaled on a scythe by Emma Peel.

After working on Man in a Suitcase he acted as the stunt co-ordinator for both Department S and Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased).

As well as Roger Moore’s stunt double in The Saint, he played Kraft in The Paper Chase and Rip Savage in the two-part story The Fiction Makers. Two years later he doubled for Moore a second time in The Persuaders!, and appeared in the episode The Man in the Middle.

Forging a long association with Patrick McGoohan after being his stunt double in Danger Man, Frank teamed up with the actor for The Prisoner.

As stunt director on the series, responsible for the action sequences and choreographed fight scenes, he played Number Six in the episode The Schizoid Man and appeared as a Gunman in Living in Harmony.

When he retired from stunt work, after working on Doctor Who and Blake’s 7, Frank spent his time writing adventure novels.

Frank died peacefully in July 2007.


Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Frankie Abbott from Please, Sir! and The Fenn Street Gang ...


David Barry came to televisual fame in the 1970s, when he starred as Frankie Abbott, the mummy's boy who thinks he's a hardcase, in the sitcoms Please, Sir! (a US version was known as Welcome Back Kotter) and The Fenn Street Gang. At this time he wrote his first broadcast TV script, and in the 1980s wrote regularly for the sitcom Keep It in the Family (US version: Too Close for Comfort), and also played a leading role in the feature film of "George and Mildred".

David was born and brought up in north Wales. At the age of 12 he worked as an actor, and his first stage appearance was at Theatre Royal, Windsor in "Life With Father", the longest running Broadway play. In the late 1950s he made a film with Tyrone Power, "Abandon Ship", then toured Europe with Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh in Peter Brook’s production of "Titus Andronicus", the most prestigious post-war tour, and one of the first to visit the Iron Curtain countries. As a teenager, he appeared in countless TV productions, including playing the part of Ginger in the first commercial television series of Just William.

He has enjoyed working in the theatre, in plays such as "Under Milk Wood", "Forget-Me-Not Lane", "Funny Money", and more recently in David Mamet's "Duck Variations". He has also played in 25 Christmas pantomimes, and these days usually plays the Dame.!

During the 1990s, he was very involved both as an actor and writer in producing diversity training workshops in public sector organisations, and wrote a full-length play "What Goes Around", which ran for a limited season in London theatres.

More recently he has turned to book writing, and his first novel, "Each Man Kills", was published in November 2002. It is located in Wales, and reached Number 8 in the Welsh bestseller list. He has also created and is writing an internet soap, "Careless Talk", located in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, the town in which he now lives. Visit www.carelesstalksoap.btinternet.co.uk to access the stories, and there are links on his website to his book at the publisher and at Amazon.

David has recently published his autobiography, "Flashback", which is also available at Amazon and most booksellers. We were delighted that David joined us for the Cult TV Festival in 2006.


Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Award winning Director of the likes of Doctor Who, Hex, Bugs and Highlander, and co-creator of As If ...

Brian Grant has directed many a show that is considered a Cult TV series. You'll see his name on the credits of such programmes as Highlander – The Raven, The Hitch-hiker, She-Wolf of London, Mann and Machine, Red Shoe Diaries, Bugs, Second Noah, Lucy Sullivan Is Getting Married, Clocking Off, Queen of Swords, Love Bytes and Sky One's horror hit Hex.

He was the Co-Creator, Executive Producer and one of the Directors of Channel 4's As If, the tale of the lives and loves of six teenagers, set against the background of London in the 21st century that ran for four seasons. He also served as Producer and Director for the short-run American restaging of the series for the UPN network. Recently he has turned his attention to directing an episode of the new regeneration of Doctor Who, namely 'The Long Game'.

Brian started his TV and film career in the 1970s as a television cameraman. He worked on hundreds of productions, covering everything from drama to sport, light entertainment to news and current affairs. Projects included Edward the Seventh, The Strauss Family, Anthony and Cleopatra, Sapphire and Steel, Hamlet and The Muppet Show. He also shot a number of documentaries.

In 1979 he formed a production company with producer Scott Millaney. This led to him directing over 200 music videos for acts such as Whitney Houston, Rod Stewart, Tina Turner, Duran Duran, The Rolling Stones, Olivia Newton John, Queen, Dolly Parton, David Bowie, Aretha Franklyn, Liza Minelli, Elton John, Donna Summer, Sheena Easton, Jodey Whatley, The Bee Gees, Stevie Nicks, The Moody Blues, Spandau Ballet and Peter Gabriel (including 'Shock The Monkey'). He won many prestigious awards including the first Music Video Grammy for Olivia Newton John's 'Let's Get Physical'.

Brian has directed over 30 commercials, including ones for Chrysler, Pepsi, Sharp and Ford. Millaney Grant Productions eventually became MGMM Productions when directors Russell Mulcahy and David Mallet joined in 1984. The company grew and formed Initial Films with Eric Fellner, and produced a number of feature films including "Sid & Nancy", "A Kiss Before Dying", "The Rachel Papers" and "Hidden Agenda".

In true Hitchcock style, Brian has taken a couple of cameos in films he has directed - watch out for him as a Chef in "The Immortals" and a man outside a phonebox in "Bloodlines: Legacy of a Lord".

His most recent cinematic outing was directing the stars of Smack The Pony in a spoof of Xena-esque adventures, "Gladiatress". He has just wrapped production on series two of Hex, screening on Sky One from October 2005.

Brian was a guest at the Cult TV Festival 2005.


Wednesday, 20 February 2008

From Bergerac to Margaret The Slitheen in the new Doctor Who, here's an excellent actress who joined the fun at Cult TV 2005 ...


Annette’s breakthrough television performance was as Charlotte in the early seasons of Bergerac, although the performance more recent Cult TV audiences will have latched on to was her role as Margaret Blaine, one of the Slitheen, in three episodes of the new series of Doctor Who.

She has also become very recognisable from her role as Brawdie Henshall in the BBC’s Cutting It, and has a role in the new movie "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory".

This year she also featured in Coronation Street as Thelma Clegg, and as Pauline in the Russell T Davies adaption of Casanova. Guest roles over the years have include 2.4 Children (as Dawn in one of a couple of episodes that included the Star Trek homage "Beam Me Up, Scotty"), Shoestring, The Gentle Touch, Nanny, Minder, Frank Stubbs Promotes, You Must Be The Husband, Love Hurts, The Demon Headmaster, Holby City, Doctors, The Bill, Judge John Deed, Twisted Tales, and several episodes of The Worst Witch (as Mrs Tapioca).

An early TV appearance was as a Tap Dancing Pupil in The Naked Civil Servant, and she later appeared in the mini-series Lace and Lace II, as well as the critically acclaimed The Old Men At The Zoo. She starred as Christine in the series Trouble and Strife, Willow in Making Out (alongside Keith Allen) and as Dolly Buckle in Blackhearts In Battersea. She played Shine in Archer’s Goon, and featured as a Nurse in Inside Victor Lewis-Smith.

Film credits include "Jabberwocky", "Beyond Bedlam", "Twenty Four Seven", "Little Voice", "Honest", "Beautiful People", "Club Le Monde", and the voice of Elsa in "Valiant". She also starred alongside Patrick Stewart as Mrs Fezziwig in the 1999 adaption of "A Christmas Carol".

Annette Badland was kindly sponsored by the League Of The Non-Aligned (LOTNA) when she appeared at Cult TV 2005.


Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Exploring the reality of television science fiction ...


Born in Birmingham of dual British and American nationality, Andrew O'Day spent his childhood in Washington DC, Oxford and Milton Keynes. A firm Doctor Who fan after the transmission of BBC2's "The Five Faces of Doctor Who" season in the Autumn of 1981 and Longleat's "20 Years Of A Time Lord" Convention two years later, he edited the fanzine "Doctor Who Times", then "Sci-Fi Times".

Studying at William Shatner's Alma Mater, McGill University in Montreal where the Students' Union building was named after him, Andrew met Forbes March who was staying in the same Hall of Residence. Best known for playing Jesse Kilman in Mutant X, Forbes helped him get a job researching aspects of culture for The Professor's Page in the Halifax newspaper "The Chronicle Herald".

Awarded a BA in English Literature from McGill, Andrew returned to Oxford to take an MA in Text and Performance Studies at King's College, London in association with the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. One of his instructors at RADA was Gregory de Polnay, best known to Doctor Who fans for his role as D84 in the highly acclaimed 1977 story "The Robots Of Death" starring Tom Baker.

Andrew has since completed a PhD thesis at Royal Holloway, University of London on science fiction television. Entitled "Borderline Discourses: Meta-Textuality in Television Science Fiction", the thesis provides a thorough investigation of reflection on genre, ideology, and narrative structure in The Twilight Zone, Star Trek, Doctor Who and Douglas Adams' The Hitch-Hiker's Guide To The Galaxy.


He has also co-written the book Terry Nation, with Dr Jonathan Bignell, Reader in Television and Film and Director of the Centre for Television Studies at the University of Reading. Published by Manchester University Press in 2004, the book focuses primarily on Nation's science fiction work for Doctor Who, Survivors, in which civilisation is decimated by a deadly viral strain, and Blake's 7.


Wednesday, 20 February 2008

The star of The Adventures of Sir Lancelot and Doctor Who ...


William Russell has been part of the film and TV world since 1940, when he had an uncredited role as a Field Judge in the film "God Gave Him A Dog" (aka "The Biscuit Eater"). An early television role as the star of St Ives, based on the book by Robert Louis Stevenson, led to him gaining the leading role in ITC/Sapphire Films' The Adventures of Sir Lancelot, all 30 episodes of which are about to be released by Network DVD.

Other early TV appearances included Sword of Freedom, Assignment Foreign Legion, Triton, Suspense, and the 1963 adaptation of Jane Eyre. Over the years, he has also adopted the stage names of Russell Enoch and Enoch Russell.

It was in 1963 that he took on the other role that most Cult TV fans associate him with – that of schoolteacher Ian Chesterton in Doctor Who, a part that he played from until 1965.

He has been a regular face on television ever since, appearing in series such as The Professionals, Black Adder (as the Duke of Winchester), Shoestring, Strangers, Van der Valk, Father Brown, Disraeli, David Copperfield, Nicholas Nickelby, Boon and Heartbeat. He even spent a year in Coronation Street in 1992, playing Ted Sullivan, who married Rita Fairclough before meeting his demise!

His film credits include "The Gift Horse", "Malta Story", "Appointment in London", "Intimate Relations", "They Who Dare", "The Saint Returns", "Always a Bride", "One Good Turn", "Above Us the Waves", "The Gay Dog", "The Man Who Never Was", "The Big Chance", "Breakaway", "Blind Spot", "Duellists", "Deathwatch", and "Mark Gertler". He played Sorren in "The Great Escape" and was the Eighth Elder in the first Christopher Reeve "Superman" movie.

William held a senior post in actors’ union Equity for a time. He has considerable theatrical experience, having been part of the Old Vic, the Royal Shakespeare Company, and the National Theatre, and has toured the likes of Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Ireland, Sweden and Romania.

We were delighted that William agreed to join us for Cult TV 2005.


Wednesday, 20 February 2008

The original Colonel Tigh from Galactica, and Sugarman in Bilko ...


Terry Carter is best remembered for his roles as Colonel Tigh in the original Battlestar Galactica, and Joe Broadhurst in McCloud (working up from a Sergeant in the first episode, through to being Police Chief in the 1989 reunion TV movie).

Terry has had a multi-faceted career, often portraying police officers and military personnel. He became one of the privates – Sugarman - in Sergeant Bilko's platoon in Phil Silvers Show in 1955. That role saw him as one of the few African-Americans appearing on TV in the USA at the time. He went on to be seen in episodes of The Big Story, Playhouse 90, Naked City, Breaking Point, Dr Kildare, Combat! and The Defenders. He was also a star of the 1957 Hallmark Television Playhouse segment "The Green Pastures", alongside Harry Baird (Mark Bradley in UFO).

He became a newsreader for WBZ-TV in Boston from 1965 to 1968, seeing him gain the status of being the world's first black news anchor. Later he worked as a commercial spokesman for Standard Oil.

He then returned to television with roles in series such as The Bold Ones: The New Doctors, Mannix, Bracken’s World, and The Most Deadly Game.

His familiarity to television audiences has been cemented with roles in The Six Million Dollar Man, Search, The Jeffersons, Falcon Crest, The Fall Guy, Mr Belvedere, 227, The Highwayman and One West Waikiki.

Film work has included "Foxy Brown", "Brother on the Run" (aka "Man on the Run"), "Benji", "Abby", and Hamilton (a movie that was turned into a TV series, in which Terry played Texas Slim).

Terry has also been a director and producer – he produced the segment "A Duke Named Ellington" for American Masters - and we were delighted to welcome Terry to his first Cult TV Festival in 2006, where "A Duke Named Ellington" received a screening.

And if you want to find out more about Terry, why not visit his official website at www.terry-carter.net.


Our thanks to Marcel Damen for providing some additional information for this biography.


Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Professor Clifford Jones from Doctor Who and Max in Blake's 7 ...


Stewart is well remembered for his role as Professor Clifford Jones in the Doctor Who story "The Green Death", directed by Michael E Briant in the Jon Pertwee era of the series. Stewart's other notable Cult TV appearance was in the Season Three episode of Blake's 7 - "Deathwatch", as Max.

Over the years, he has been a regular face across many television series – he was Doctor Dawson in Brookside, and Doug Keele Grange Hill, as well as having roles in The Troubleshooters, Dick Turpin - "The Pursuit", Shoestring (3 episodes), Public Eye (two 1975 episodes as Martins), Secret Army, The Enigma Files, Airline, The Gentle Touch, Casualty, Silent Witness, Crocodile Shoes, Emmerdale, The Bill, The Brian Conley Show, The House of Elliott, Days That Shook The World, The Brief, Sherlock Holmes and the case of the Silk Stocking, Nanny, Murder in Mind, a 1994 Jackanory – "Who Stole A Bloater?", and even Noel's House Party.

His film credits include "Brannigan" (with John Wayne), "To Sir With Love", "4D Special Agents", "Steptoe and Son Ride Again", "Burke and Hare", "The Ghoul", "The Confessional", "Chromophobia", "Ivanhoe" (1982, directed by Douglas Camfield) and "Lord Peter Wimsey – Strong Poison".

Stage tours have included "Deathtrap", 2Separation", "Under Milk Wood", "Conduct Unbecoming", and "Macbeth" and "The Importance of Being Earnest", both which he directed himself.

Stewart plays the guitar, and enjoys horse riding, swimming and cricket. We were delighted to be able to entertain him at the 2006 Cult TV Festival.


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