Newsletter Summer 2011

Nick Courtney’s Memorial

Nick Courtney working with me in Doctor Who

Nick Courtney working with me in Doctor Who

Last Friday I went up to London for The Brigadier’s memorial service at St Paul’s Church in Covent Garden. It’s known as the actor’s church. Nick Courtney loved the old place.

There was a terrific turnout – about 300 people at 3pm for a Friday matinee is pretty impressive. I hope God was pleased with such a big house. Nick’s son Philip spoke beautifully of his love for Nick. John Levene came over from the US and read a poem and seemed very happy to be there. He and Nick had a wonderful double act. Songs were sung, praises were sung and poems read with passion. In between on video screens we were treated to lovely images of Nick’s life. How handsome he was. Then towards the end a beautiful girl sang “La Vie en Rose” and there was scarcely a dry eye in the front stalls where I was crouched. I know that Nick was loved but it was so touching to hear the stories.

As we filed out I saw a new version of the TARDIS in the churchyard. It was rather circular and so would not be mistaken for a portaloo. David Tennant came and caused a sensation as he posed for pictures in front of the new TARDIS. Dear Terrance Dicks was there and two loyal supporters from the Stamp Centre, Steven Scott and his bosun, Eddie, but I was terribly pressed for time and had to hurry for a quick pint and a train.

Of course, Lis Sladen’s recent unexpected death was on many minds. I got home for 7pm tired but happy that all had gone so well.

More BBC and Big Finish Audios

I recorded another script for BBC AudioGO on Thursday. Susan Jameson was in great form as Mrs. Wibbsey and our visiting star of the day was a wonderfully, funny atmospheric actor who was a great asset to the cast. All will be revealed in due course! There were also several child actors who seemed very cheerful.

Since my last newsletter, I have also done more recordings for Big Finish. I’m really enjoying working for them and with pals from my Doctor Who days. Big Finish have found a wonderful studio close to where I live so there’s no stress getting there. Here are a couple of pictures taken during one of the last sessions.

"Have a jelly baby" A break from recording with Louise Jameson. © David Richardson, Big Finish

“Have a jelly baby”
A break from recording with Louise Jameson.
© David Richardson, Big Finish

A break from recording with John Leeson  © David Richardson, Big Finish

A break from recording with John Leeson
© David Richardson, Big Finish

Life with Poppy

Me and my devoted fan. Picture © Sue Jerrard

Me and my devoted fan.
Picture © Sue Jerrard

Even if I have to catch the early train to London for work, I’m out with the dog before I go. Down in the woods last week at 4.20am, Poppy was surprised to be out so early but soon settled down to some serious sniffing. We crossed the bridge into the wildwood and discovered one of my wigwams has slipped a couple of feet and tilted over.

I suppose the different branches dry and contract at different speeds and this causes leaning. So I have started to carry branches to another part of the woods and do a flatter arrangement between the old coppiced sweet chestnuts. Poppy loves to tug at the branches as I drag them and on slippery ground I have to be very careful not to allow myself to be pulled down.

I have found a beautiful nest with one blue egg. The nest is dissolving in the dampness and is obviously abandoned. It was in a very vulnerable place. Such a pity, because I have a a few acres of private woodland which is a paradise for birds and hedgehogs. But the wild creatures do as they please without advice from me. So I consulted a neighbour, about encouraging these little creatures. But he tells me that the ones you buy from a pet shop cannot survive life in the wild. I’ll get in touch with a hedgehog sanctuary.

Picture © Sue Jerrard

Picture © Sue Jerrard

The ripening fruit on the trees reminds me that autumn is not all that far away. In fact, as far as I’m concerned, it has already arrived. Considering my great age I’m delighted to report that my speed on a steam iron is not at all bad. I can still do ten shirts an hour!

New pictures in my gallery

And finally, we were delighted when ITV contacted us to say they had found some more pictures in their archives. There are some additional ones of me in Cluedo and some black and white shots of me as Hasan in the film The Curse of King Tut’s Tomb made in 1980. Here are a couple of them, but follow the link to the ITV section in my gallery to see the rest.

© Picture courtesy of ITV

I played Hasan in the 1980 film, The Curse of King Tut’s Tomb © Picture courtesy of ITV

Cluedo © Picture courtesy of ITV

Cluedo © Picture courtesy of ITV

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