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Radio Times

22 August 1965

ISBN: 978 1408 467336

Radio Times,
11 July 1965


Series SEVEN
episodes one to thirteen
‘If you liked The Navy Lark on radio, you will no doubt enjoy
this new comedy series too, although the visual image does
not always come up to the imagined one I find. The surprising
thing is that the BBC allowed independent television to put on
this television version when they could obviously have done it
Thus wrote Susan Kay of Television Today (23 July 1964)
reviewing the debut episode of Rediffusion’s sitcom HMS
Paradise following its broadcast across the commercial ITV
television network on Thursday 16 July. She enthused about
members of the cast and, while noting that the programme
‘suffered considerably from poor quality filming’, declared that
it was ‘on the whole […] good comedy entertainment.’ However, it was HMS Paradise that was
keeping The Navy Lark off the air as far as the BBC Light Programme was concerned. Because
of a perceived lack of interest in further editions of his radio sitcom, the show’s creator
and writer Lawrie Wyman had offered the format for development by television. After the
BBC Television Service had turned it down, the show found a home with the weekday ITV
franchise for London, Rediffusion, who recorded a pilot in January 1964 and commissioned a
full series. The BBC had quickly dissociated itself from the commercial television venture.
The BBC’s sixth series of The Navy Lark concluded recording and transmission at the end
of January 1964. While by mid-March 1964, Alastair Scott Johnston – who produced The
Navy Lark – was keen to commission a further 13 editions of his radio series to broadcast on
Sundays from 6 September, the BBC Light Entertainment department were less sure about
this until they had seen how HMS Paradise would perform. Furthermore, it appeared that


while HMS Paradise was an active series, Rediffusion were in a position to prevent the BBC
from making new editions of The Navy Lark. Since the ITV broadcaster could not prevent
repeats of existing shows, a series of repeats from the sixth series of The Navy Lark were
instead scheduled from the start of September, and Alastair Scott Johnston focussed on a
new comedy series – One Man’s Meat starring Terry Scott – which would broadcast from the
end of June.
HMS Paradise started its planned 26 week transmission in mid-July and although it was
initially a ratings hit, by early September various ITV stations were dropping it from their
schedules in favour of other programmes in the autumn season. Rediffusion itself attempted
different Thursday night slots, but as the autumn continued few areas of the UK were taking
the show and the final regular episode was taped at the start of October.
On Thursday 1 October, the BBC decided to curtail the Sunday afternoon repeats of
The Navy Lark prematurely on 15 November. However, with HMS Paradise now not being
renewed, the Corporation confirmed on Friday 16 October that The Navy Lark would be
returning. Lawrie Wyman was contracted to write 13 new scripts – with an option on a
further seven – to be recorded later in the year.
One additional HMS Paradise – a variety special made aboard the Royal Navy’s aircraft
carrier HMS Eagle – was recorded on Thursday 26 November. This was screened to a few
regions on Christmas Eve, and a couple of weeks later on Thursday 7 January 1965, HMS
Paradise aired for the last time before being mothballed by Rediffusion.
In the meantime, things had been moving ahead at the BBC. The cast – notably the
show’s three stars of Jon Pertwee, Leslie Phillips and Stephen Murray – had been contracted
in mid-November 1964 to record the 13 shows on Sundays. Since the last run, the stars
had been engaged in various projects: Leslie Phillips had returned to the stage with Boeing
Boeing after being replaced in his sitcom Our Man at St Mark’s by Donald Sinden (mainly
because of Leslie’s real-life divorce), Jon Pertwee had been booked for the West End version
of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum as well as shooting his first Carry On
film (Carry On Cleo), and Stephen Murray’s serious acting career had included The Merchant
of Venice at Oxford. Of the supporting cast, Ronnie Barker had also been carving out a
television career in series such as How To Be an Alien and Bold as Brass. Richard Caldicot –
who had played Captain Turvey in HMS Paradise – was to be back in his more familiar role as


the ill-tempered Captain Povey on the radio series.
The first three new editions of The Navy Lark would be
taped on a weekly basis at 8.30pm from 22 November at
the Playhouse Theatre and then, after a week’s break, two
more shows would be recorded at 3.30pm and 5pm on
20 December at the Paris Studio. The plan was that the
remaining shows from 3 January to 21 February 1965 would
then be recorded back at the Playhouse at 4pm. However,
at this stage there was no indication of when the shows
would actually be broadcast since it was known that HMS
Paradise would be on-air through to January.
As previously, the announcer for the series was the BBC’s
Robin (‘I’m the one who does the early morning programmes and is horribly
chatty with it’) Boyle. Tenniel Evans found himself playing a new regular character, the freshly
appointed Admiral Superintendent of the Dockyard, a far stricter and more sober officer
than his predecessor; the early episodes of the new run would be partially built around the
arrival of this new authority figure and his relationship with Captain Povey as well as the
revelation in the third episode that the Admiral was Murray’s godfather. During the second
episode, the Admiral queried if Povey’s rank had been substantiated – recalling the debate
of the Captain’s appointment in Series Six, Programme 14.
Heather Chasen was not available at all for the first recording, and so Jan Waters featured
in the opening tale as a new character – Povey’s replacement secretary WREN Janet Waters
– who was to become Sub-Lieutenant Leslie Phillips’ latest romantic interest for a couple
of weeks. This was the start of an on-going storyline which would run throughout the new
series in which Mr Phillips’ fiancée WREN Chasen would show her intended that she was not
to be trifled with. Heather Chasen was back from the second recording on 29 November
where she was paid a ‘guest fee’ for her fleeting appearance at the end of the show prior to
her full return the following week. Series regular Michael Bates was also missing from the
first recordings, but was back for the double recording just before Christmas; the second
of these two shows at the Paris saw Michael Bates creating a new character in the form of
Lt Claude Dingle, the immensely irritating upper-class flag lieutenant attached to the new


Admiral Superintendent.
On Tuesday 22 December, the show’s cast were told that the recordings on 3 and 10
January would be scheduled for 8.30pm; the eighth show on 17 January was taped at 4pm
in the afternoon, after which the show settled back to the 8.30pm schedule.
Topical references continued to permeate the series; in the first show, Jan referred to
Goldfinger, the third of the James Bond spy movies which had proved a massive success when
released in September 1964; the second show saw a mention of the movie Carry On Goldfinger
(the latest Carry On film to be released being Cleo in November 1964) and the banter in the
seventh episode also featured numerous other Bond references. In the opening episode, Mr
Phillips claimed to be a personal friend of Dr Richard Beeching, the chairman of British Rail
whose report The Reshaping of British Railways in March 1963 was leading to widespread closure
of the country’s rural rail network.
In the second episode, Jan made reference to characters from the ITV puppet series The
Adventures of Noddy which had run for some years since 1955; this prompted Lt Murray to
refer to Weed from the BBC puppet series Flower Pot Men which had aired from 1952. In
the tenth episode, CPO Pertwee made reference to the characters of Charlie Barlow and
Fancy Smith from the popular BBC police series Z Cars which had been running since 1962,
while later in the same show Povey called for assistance from the amiable Sergeant George
Dixon of Dixon of Dock Green (whose constabulary tales had been running on BBC TV since
1955) or the help of Los Angeles defence attorney Perry Mason (the US legal drama having
reached BBC TV in 1961). The character of Spotty Dog in the children’s marionette series
The Woodentops (part of BBC TV’s Watch with Mother since 1955) caused amusement in the
twelfth episode, while other comments referred to the BBC1 soap opera Compact.
From the fifth episode, a new running gag for Robin Boyle’s opening announcements
was introduced. Following the strong audience response to his request for a 15-sided nut
for his vacuum cleaner in the previous series, this time the announcer complained about a
‘saucy calendar’ featuring 1920s film star Lillian Gish which had been stolen from his office
at Broadcasting House. Robin requested to have replacements sent to him care of the BBC’s
Portland Place.
When it came to the sixth episode, Lawrie Wyman plundered his own back-catalogue and
reworked one of his HMS Paradise scripts – originally entitled What am I Bid for this Lot? – for


the radio series, omitting the later stages of the plot where the
unwanted fleet acquired by CPO Banyard attracted the interest of
various foreign powers.

From the eighth episode, the situation between WREN
Chasen and Sub-Lt Phillips became even more strained, with
Heather ending the engagement and finding a new gentleman
friend in the form of CPO Pertwee (‘Filthy swine!’); this storyline
would occupy the remainder of the run and generate some
of Lawrie Wyman’s best scripts. The twelfth script featured
an appearance from natives of the former British colony of
Potarneyland; these had become increasingly rare since the BBC
Transcription Services had indicated to Alastair Scott Johnston
that editions featuring these stereotypical characters were
unsuitable for sale to overseas stations.

The planned recording of the penultimate show on
Sunday 14 February was cancelled shortly before the taping
session, and so two editions were recorded at the end of
the run on Sunday 21 February at 8.30pm and 9.15pm. On
Thursday 18 February it was also confirmed that these thirteen new programmes would be
broadcast over the summer, running not in its usual Friday evening position but in the new
slot which Alastair Scott Johnston had suggested the previous year – Sunday afternoons.
The programmes would be aired by the Light Programme at 2pm from Sunday 11 July to
Sunday 31 October. Repeats would then follow at 7.31pm on Wednesday nights.
To promote the return of the much-missed series, on Thursday 8 July the Radio Times ran
a small article by Alastair Scott Johnston to reintroduce the ‘chronicle of events aboard HMS
Troutbridge’, along with a photo of the cast. ‘Listeners to the Light Programme will be glad
to know that the new Navy Board are as aware as their late lamented Lordships of the political
hazards of sending HMS Troutbridge to sea, and the Far Eastern situation is as yet uncomplicated
by the arrival of this ship in Far Eastern waters – largely perhaps because Mr Phillips hasn’t
the vaguest idea how far to go,’ wrote the show’s producer. Listeners were promised that
characters such as CPO Pertwee, Lieutenant Murray, Commander Bell and Heather would


all be back, and Alastair indicated elements of the new series – notably Heather falling for
‘another member of the ship’s company’ – plus ‘the lads get sent out in a helicopter, have a brush
with an iron-curtain fishing fleet, go on a hovercraft course, strand the entire Home Fleet in midChannel, go in for limpet mine disposal, and emerge, still afloat, and un-court-martialled. One
wonders why, but there it is.’
The third of the new shows was promoted in the Radio Times by a photograph of Stephen
Murray, while a fortnight later a shot of his co-star Jon Pertwee was similarly featured
for the fifth programme. On Friday 6 August, Assistant Head of Light Entertainment Con
Mahoney wrote to the presentation department and asked for an announcement to be read
after both the fifth show and the tenth show of the run: ‘By the way, some listeners appear
to have thought that Chic Murray, the well-known Scottish comedian, was playing the part of
Lieutenant Queeg in this series. This was not so. The part of Lieutenant Queeg was just one of
the many voices of Ronnie Barker.’ The character of Troutbridge’s incompetent engineering
officer Mr Queeg had been introduced in the middle of the sixth series, with Ronnie Barker’s
impersonation of Chic Murray proving extremely popular.
In its new Sunday afternoon slot, The Navy Lark quickly found a solid and appreciative
audience; the debut edition attained a strong Reaction Index score of 71 and over the early
weeks the audience grew from around 4.7 million to a steady 5.5 million, peaking with
almost six million tuning in for the twelfth episode. The situation between Heather and
Leslie was resolved – to the obvious delight of the studio audience – by the end of the series,
leaving a poignant sign-off for some of the characters as they again departed on leave.
As in 1962, there was to be a special yuletide message from the crew of HMS Troutbridge
to the British Antarctic Survey Team which would be relayed on the Overseas Service. By
then, Alastair Scott Johnston and Lawrie Wyman were having another attempt at hatching
a suitable radio ‘lark’ with a new setting, and when – on Wednesday 29 December 1965 –
Stephen Murray was next contracted to play the punning part of Lt Murray, it wasn’t for The
Navy Lark, but for The Embassy Lark…
Programme notes, episode synopses and cast
The Navy Lark Appreciation Society can be contacted at:
biographies researched and written by Andrew Pixley The Navy Lark Appreciation Society, Honeysuckle Cottages,
Clippings supplied by Steve Arnold
Little Street, Yoxford, Suffolk IP17 3JQ
Web address:


Episode Synopses

The Navy Lark - Series 7
Episodes written by Lawrie Wyman
Incidental music for the series was by Tommy Reilly and James Moody [13]
Announcer: Robin Boyle [13]
Produced by Alastair Scott Johnston
Regular cast unless indicated: Jon Pertwee, Stephen Murray and Leslie Phillips with
Richard Caldicot, Heather Chasen, Ronnie Barker, Tenniel Evans and Michael Bates.
Note: none of the episodes were originally given titles. The ones here have been adopted for
easy reference. Due to the age and, in some cases, the off-air source of these recordings, the
sound quality may at times vary.

Episode ONE: Taking Some Liberties
Broadcast 11 July 1965 (recorded 22 November 1964)
(with Jan Waters; without Heather Chasen and Michael Bates)
‘There’s always a lot of muck flying about when we get back from leave. Who’s going to cop it
this time?’ The crew of Troutbridge reassemble, with Mr Phillips arriving on unicycle to woo
Captain Povey’s new secretary WREN Waters … and an order for the frigate to escort the
barge of the new Admiral Superintendent back to port.

EPISODE TWO: Smugglers in the Solent
Broadcast 18 July 1965 (recorded 29 November 1964)
(with Jan Waters; without Michael Bates)
With the new Admiral Superintendent still furious with Povey, the Captain is asked to loan
HMS Troutbridge to the Customs and Excise to help with patrols to prevent smuggling on
the Isle of Wight … on the same night that Leslie has a date with WREN Waters.

EPISODE THREE: Mr Murray is Victimised


Broadcast 25 July 1965 (recorded 6 December 1964)
(without Michael Bates)
Back from extended leave, WREN Chasen is less than happy about what Mr Phillips has
been doing in her absence. Meanwhile, Povey formulates a new plan to get rid of the
Troutbridge crew by turning them against Lieutenant Murray when the frigate is sent to
locate a drifting yacht.

EPISODE FOUR: The Poveys Move House
Broadcast 1 August 1965 (recorded 20 December 1964)
Piano played by Alan Paul
The Poveys are moving house from 18 Trafalgar Close to 49 Dockland Terrace where Captain Povey
has dreams of his own ‘den’ in the cupboard under the stairs. However, when Povey loses the purse
with his £15 moving money, Lt Murray suggests he hires Pertwee’s Uncle Ebenezer to do the job.

EPISODE FIVE: Captain Povey Reports Sick
Broadcast 8 August 1965 (recorded 20 December 1964)
When Povey comes down with a cold, the Admiral quickly has him sent home ill and arranges for a
replacement. Lt Murray is disturbed when Lt Claude Dingle – the Admiral’s Flag Lieutenant – arrives
aboard Troutbridge to inform him that he will have to take over from Povey…

EPISODE SIX: Admiral Pertwee’s Fleet
Broadcast 15 August 1965 (recorded 3 January 1965)
Pertwee gets a tip-off from Nunkie about the auction of some high-class scrap metal which the
Chief can purchase for a song. ‘Fatso’ Johnson is quickly assigned to clear out a hidey-hole for the
acquisition of Lot 23 by Pertwee Enterprises, but when Lot 23 arrives it is larger than expected…

EPISODE SEVEN: Let Loose With a Chopper
Broadcast 22 August 1965 (recorded 10 January 1965)
When HMS Troutbridge is ordered to sail to Portland as part of a NATO fleet exercise, the
Admiral Superintendent’s plan is that the frigate will be kept well out of the way of the action.
Unfortunately, the crew visit the local air station and are offered a helicopter flight…

EPISODE EIGHT: Making a Right Pig’s Breakfast
Broadcast 29 August 1965 (recorded 17 January 1965)
A registered letter for Leslie shows that Heather has had enough; the package contains his
engagement ring. And WREN Chasen soon finds another man, chatting up CPO Pertwee and
persuading him that he should take her out to the Café Romantica. ‘Filthy swine…’


EPISODE NINE: The Mysterious Pudding Mine
Broadcast 5 September 1965 (recorded 24 January 1965)
As Mr Phillips fumes about Heather’s new beau, CPO Pertwee plans a romantic meal on a budget
and has Johnson hard at work on the food. Meanwhile, Captain Povey hears of a security scare and
a potential threat to Troutbridge from limpet mines…

EPISODE TEN: The Hovercraft Training Course
Broadcast 12 September 1965 (recorded 31 January 1965)
As Pertwee’s romance with Heather continues to blossom, the Chief is amazed when he
discovers that he has apparently been applying for every training course in the Navy … and that
he has been accepted for training as a hovercraft driver.

EPISODE ELEVEN: The Sabotaged Floggle-Toggle-Box
Broadcast 19 September 1965 (recorded 7 February 1965)
Captain Povey receives an urgent call at home from Lt Murray; ‘the lad’ has detected sabotage in
Troutbridge’s floggle-toggle box. While an enquiry is held, all the crew are confined to ship… much
to the delight of Mr Phillips since Pertwee’s dates with Heather are scuppered.

EPISODE TWELVE: The Potarneyland Training Exercise
Broadcast 26 September 1965 (recorded 21 February 1965)
When the Poppadom from Potarneyland arrives for anti-submarine training, the Royal Navy feel it is
prudent not to train the newly independent nation too effectively… and so Mr Phillips is seconded
to the vessel, just as relations between the countries come under strain.

EPISODE THIRTEEN: Going On Leave to Croydon
Broadcast 3 October 1965 (recorded 21 February 1965)
The time has come for Lt Murray to issue travel warrants as the Troutbridge team again depart
on leave. But while Pertwee normally applies to visit the Bahamas, this time he is keen to go to
Croydon… which Mr Phillips soon realises is where Heather’s parents live…


Following BBC Television indicating that they had no interest in a television version of The
Navy Lark in late 1962, Lawrie Wyman had sold the television rights to the The Navy Lark
to Associated-Rediffusion – the London weekday ITV franchise – in summer 1963 at a time
when The Navy Lark had been dropped by the BBC Light Programme in favour of the shortlived spin-off The TV Lark. Since the main stars of the radio series would not be available,
the television version was rechristened HMS Paradise and adopted the original radio series
format of a group of naval miscreants leading an easy life while supposedly manning the
outpost of HMS Osprey (nicknamed HMS Paradise) stationed on the offshore island of
Boonsey (a variation on Boonzey, the name given to the island in the 1959 movie version
of The Navy Lark) near Portland in the English Channel. The producer of the show was to
be Sid Colin, who had co-written the screenplay of the Herbert Wilcox film adaptation of
The Navy Lark and written on radio for Educating Archie. Sid’s television writing career had
included How Do You View? with Terry Thomas, Before Your Very Eyes! with Arthur Askey and
Hip Hip Who Ray with Ted Ray. In 1957, Sid Colin had created the national service sitcom
The Army Game for Granada Television, which had been a major success. More recently, he
had become a producer for Associated-Rediffusion, helming Frank Muir and Denis Norden’s
series How To Be An Alien.
The main characters of the television series would be the unflappable, fishing-obsessed
base commander, Commander Fairweather, the loveable and gullible
Lt Pouter, the rascally old hand CPO Banyard, who would be aided and abetted by the
idiotic Able Seaman Murdoch, and also the island’s main WREN – WREN Amanda – who
would be romantically involved with Pouter. (The names Banyard and Pouter were also
those used for the 1959 movie of The Navy Lark.) The group’s cushy life on the island
would be continually threatened by the ill-tempered Captain Turvey – nicknamed ‘Old
Thunderguts’ – who was based on the mainland.
As well as Lawrie Wyman, the writing team for HMS Paradise would comprise Maurice
Wiltshire and Lewis Schwarz, all writing colleagues of Sid Colin’s on The Army Game since
1959; the pair had been co-writers on The Lance Perceval Show for the BBC, while Maurice
had worked for Spike Milligan, such as Son of Fred, and Lewis had contributed to the nautical
Granada sitcom Mess Mates (which Lawrie Wyman had sent up in Series Four, Programme


10 of The Navy Lark) and the Army Game spin-off Bootsie and Snudge. A technical adviser was
hired on the series in the form of a retired Lieutenant-Commander I N D Cox.
Of the cast, Frank Thornton – who had featured recently on the offbeat BBC TV sketch
show It’s a Square World – was to play Commander Fairweather, TV newcomer Robin Hunter
was cast as Lt Pouter, character actor (and ex-Petty Officer in real life) and Ronald Radd took
the role of CPO Banyard alongside Scots actor Angus Lennie as Murdoch. WREN Amanda
was initially to be played by Jill Curzon who had featured in the BBC sitcom Hugh and I. The
authority figure of Captain Turvey would be played by Richard Caldicot – the only member
of the cast of The Navy Lark to transfer to television – and who would take top billing on
the show. ‘This is the best comedy series with which I have been involved with for a long time,’
commented Sid Colin, ‘Certainly it has a cast of the best group of performers with whom I have
ever worked.’
An unbroadcast pilot episode – It’ll All Come in the Wash by Maurice Wiltshire – was
recorded on Friday 3 January 1964; this carried a caption which explained how it was
‘based on the radio series The Navy Lark’. The plot concerned CPO Banyard attempting to
invent a new washing machine out of naval scrap material, but attracting the unwelcome
attentions of security officer Commander Trickett who came to the island to investigate the
‘top secret’ piece of equipment.
Very soon after the pilot recording, Associated-Rediffusion felt that the production was
successful enough to proceed with a recording of 26 editions of HMS Paradise from April.
However, while Lawrie Wyman kept Alastair Scott Johnston informed of progress on the
series and the BBC producer saw the ITV sitcom as a positive notion, BBC Copyright took
a different view. On Friday 31 January, the BBC contacted A-R, saying ‘While the BBC is not
raising any objection to the proposed television series... this is just to let you know that for
various policy reasons the BBC would not wish any reference to be made either in print or as a
caption or verbally to the association with the sound broadcasting programme The Navy Lark.’
In early March, A-R pointed out that the BBC could not prevent them referring to The Navy
Lark if they wanted to. ‘We have made our point and stated our objection and I am afraid we
must now let the matter drop,’ noted a defeated BBC Copyright department. By the end of
the month, personal discussions between BBC TV executives and the General Manager of
A-R resulted in assurances that there would be no mention of The Navy Lark in connection


with HMS Paradise.
The original director on HMS Paradise was Bill Hitchcock who had worked on series such
as Before Your Very Eyes!, Living It Up and The Dickie Henderson Show, while the designer was
Frank Gillman. For the series, the part of WREN Amanda had been recast with Priscilla Morgan
– who had been appearing in the BBC’s popular Benny Hill series – taking over the role.
Location work on the series saw extensive assistance from the Royal Navy who loaned
vehicles, vessels and helicopters for production from their bases at Portsmouth and
Portland where most of the exterior scenes were filmed. For the episode I Don’t Know The
Name and the Face Escapes Me, filming at the dockyard in Portsmouth included sequences
of WREN Amanda in full bridal gown being rowed out to sea in a small boat to – almost
– marry Lt Pouter. HMS Zest – one of the Navy’s Z-class destroyers – was loaned to the TV
crew for the filming of You’ll Get No Promotion This Side of the Ocean in which AB Murdoch
had tried to impress Doris – his girlfriend – by claiming to be the captain of a frigate.
In The Sea Does Not Want Them, the island draft were to be found adrift at sea in a
lifeboat with no means of propulsion after they got lost at sea on a survival exercise. This
involved a day’s filming in the Solent. ‘The amazing thing is that this was the first time I wasn’t
seasick, even though the water was very choppy,’ said Ronald Radd, ‘There was an awful
moment when we saw the Isle of Wight ferry coming straight at us – and we couldn’t do a thing.
We had a narrow escape.’ Priscilla Morgan also recalled this day of filming: ‘We had no oars,
it was very rough … and we were wet and tired. It got to the point around seven o’clock in the
evening that we were so exhausted we could only giggle. We were supposed to be ill and dying
– but each time the helicopter came over to take the pictures we collapsed in giggles.’
Rediffusion – as the company had been renamed – commenced recordings of HMS Paradise
at Wembley Studios on Fridays from 10 April with Come Out Lieutenant Ross, Whoever You Are
by Maurice Wiltshire. Lawrie Wyman provided the script for the second episode to be recorded,
There is No Excuse for Slipshod Paperwork, which introduced the semi-regular character of the
somewhat remote Commander Shaw, derived very much from the Commander Stanton
character of the early editions of The Navy Lark. Shaw reappeared in the third episode to
be recorded, Lawrie Wyman’s Captain, Art Thou Sleeping There Above?, which saw a guest
appearance from Clive Dunn, the husband of Priscilla Morgan. The pilot episode – It’ll All Come
Out in the Wash – was remade as the fourth show, with Cameron Hall reprising his role of the


Admiral from the original recording.
Joining the cast for Don’t Fire That Man, He’s Loaded by Lawrie Wyman – in which CPO
Banyard attempted to smuggle brandy in empty shell cases – was Ambrosine Phillpotts as the
over-bearing Mrs Turvey; the actress felt very much at home on the series in this semi-regular
character since she came from a naval family, her father being the captain of HMS Warspite at
the Battle of Jutland. Lawrie Wyman’s script for An Officer and a Gentleman featured elements
of his earlier script for The Navy Lark (Series Six Programme 7) in which Pertwee’s attempts to
advance to the commissioned ranks had involved elocution lessons; there were now similar tips
in etiquette from Fairweather and Pouter to help Banyard achieve a similar advancement so that
he could marry the Rear-Admiral’s widow.
With 12 episodes of the show taped, a strike by technicians at ITV caused the scheduled
recording of Thar’s Gold in Them Thar Holes (in which Banyard and Murdoch found an ancient
map pointing towards the legend of half a million pounds being hidden on Boonsey)
planned for Friday 3 July had to be deferred. This also meant that HMS Paradise’s planned
start date of Thursday 9 July was deferred by a week to allow the delayed run of Our Man at
St Mark’s (now starring Donald Sinden who had replaced Leslie Phillips) to conclude.
In Which We Serve a Drop of the Hard Stuff by Lawrie Wyman concerned CPO Banyard
mixing a particularly potent punch for a party on Boonsey. ‘Actually, I’ve only made punch
once in my life,’ admitted Ronald Radd, ‘It was while I was in America [starring on Broadway in
My Fair Lady], and I was giving a party. I followed the instructions to the letter – but the effect
was disastrous. The stuff was so foul that we had to go out to an all-night drug store and buy a
couple of bottles of Scotch.’
‘The Admiralty has seen some of the recordings we have made and given them its full blessing,’
announced Sid Colin proudly as his new series was promoted to the public. HMS Paradise
debuted across the whole ITV network at 7.30pm on Thursday 16 July 1964. The series initially
proved rather popular. 4.1 million households tuned in for Come Out Lieutenant Ross, Whoever
You Are which meant it scraped into bottom place of the Television Audience Measurement
(TAM) ratings for the week of most watched programmes. The following week, An Officer and
a Gentleman reached nineteenth position with 4.3 million homes, and then The Sea Does Not
Want Them reached
4.4 million homes and seventeenth place. The audience size grew to 4.5 million for I Don’t


Know the Name and the Face Escapes Me which ranked
nineteenth, and then both It’ll All Come Out in the Wash and
Call Me Madam and I’ll Punch You on the Nose attracted 4.6
million homes apiece in eighteenth and twentieth positions
in the TV charts respectively.
From early July, John Plant worked on various episodes
as designer. At the end of the month, Bill Turner – whose
previous work included Our Man at St Mark’s – handled
some of the episodes of the series in place of Bill Hitchcock.
His first episode, Having a Wonderful Time – Glad You’re Not
Here, concerned Banyard turning Number 3 Diving School
on Boonsey into a holiday camp, which was then visited
by an inquisitive Mrs Turvey who brought her husband
with her. ‘I was doing a quick change against one of the flats,’
commented Ambrosine Phillpotts of the episode’s production. ‘I didn’t realise it,
but I’d chosen a spot right in the range of a plate of porridge which Richard Caldicot had to throw
at Angus Lennie. It landed all over my underwear… but I just had to put on my clothes over it and
get on with my next scene.’
Lawrie Wyman’s script You Have Been Listening to Radio Paradise required more location
filming out in the channel for the script in which the crew set up a pirate radio station
aboard a Motor Fishing Vessel (MFV) which had been loaned by the Navy for an afternoon’s
filming with shooting from a helicopter. Angus Lennie – who suffered from seasickness
– was delighted to be left ashore for these sequences which were rather uncomfortable
for the cast. ‘It was a blazing hot afternoon and one of the scenes we needed was of the vessel
apparently completely deserted,’ explained Bill Hitchcock, ‘The cast had to spend a lot of their
time packed like sardines into the tiny cabins while we filmed from overhead. They didn’t enjoy
it very much.’ Following this, Mutiny on the Boonsey by Maurice Wiltshire built on the real-life
1789 events which inspired the 1962 movie Mutiny on the Bounty. When Turvey caught
Pouter and Amanda in a clinch, he forbade fraternisation between sailors and WRENs on
Boonsey which caused the lovelorn lieutenant to see himself as Fletcher Christian and
his captain as Captain Bligh in an episode which had seen the cast clad in eighteenth


century garb for location filming (the notion of characters
playing historical versions of themselves had been previously
employed on The Navy Lark by Lawrie Wyman). In How to Try
in Business Without Really Succeeding by Lewis Schwarz, the
cast got to play variations of their usual characters in a story
about CPO Banyard not signing on but going to work in the
city… only to encounter a bank manager who looked like
Turvey, a clerk resembling Murdoch, and them working in a
large store where the manager looked like Fairweather and
the awkward customers seemed to be Pouter and Amanda.
However, with the sixth episode on Thursday 20 August,
Teledu Cymru in Wales replaced HMS Paradise with local programmes.
Then on Thursday 10 September, Television Wales and the West (TWW) also dropped
the series in favour of the American sitcom Father of the Bride; by now HMS Paradise was
vanishing from the national ratings charts. The following week, Rediffusion moved the
series back to 7pm, the slot in which it continued to be relayed to the other regions. The
broadcast of Thursday 1 October was then not taken by Tyne-Tees, Southern or Anglia.
Two of the last three episodes recorded in September were directed by Ronald Marriott
who had handled editions of the A-R sitcom For the Love of Mike; these were Hail Lieutenant
Hathaway – And Farewell (originally entitled The New Lieutenant) and This Side Up – Use
No Hooks (originally entitled New Year’s Eve). Bill Hitchcock returned for the twenty-fifth
and final regular recording, The Great Brain Robbery (originally entitled The Computer)
which was taped on Friday 2 October 1964 and saw Murdoch and Banyard planning to
upset a temperamental new electronic brain called TUTSI (Truscott’s Universal Technology
Synchronising Integrator) installed by an eccentric professor in the Chief’s stores. The cast
also appeared on an edition of Radio Luxembourg’s Pop Around programme from Earl’s
Court during September/October.
On air, the schedules for HMS Paradise were descending into chaos. ATV swapped
the show to late night on Tuesdays for Tuesday 6 October, taking editions in advance
of Rediffusion. The London station switched the show back to 7.30pm on Thursday 8
October, and Mutiny on the Boonsey was also taken by Granada, Westward, Channel, Border,


Grampian, Scottish and Ulster. However, the next week, Rediffusion pulled the show back
to 6.55pm which meant that it was dropped by Grampian and Border, although Anglia
and Southern had resumed transmission. ATV pulled the series back from late night to run
later episodes early on weekday evenings at the end of October after which HMS Paradise
vanished from the Midlands. Meanwhile, the Thursday broadcast from London was now
swapped back to 7.30pm again and also relayed to Tyne Tees, TWW and Teledu Cymru,
while Granada aired the show at 6.05pm.
The final edition of HMS Paradise was a 55 minute Christmas Special recorded after three
days’ rehearsal in the hangar of the aircraft carrier HMS Eagle in Portsmouth on Thursday 26
November. John P Hamilton took over as director for this variety special which featured musical
numbers from Julie Rogers, Val Doonican and The Ladybirds as well as performances from the
Malcolm Clare Dancers and the Alan Braden Band in between comedy routines from the familiar
characters from Boonsey. This major Outside Broadcast special had taken months of planning in
conjunction with Captain Derek Empson and was taped in front of 2,500 servicemen and officers
plus their wives and girlfriends. Four days later, HMS Eagle sailed for the Far East, although a film
recording of the finished show was flown out to the aircraft carrier so that the crew could enjoy
the programme as well on Christmas Eve when Rediffusion would be relaying it to other ITV
Meanwhile, from Thursday 29 October the transmission from London settled down at
6.30pm for the rest of the run; during November, some weeks it was taken by TWW as well,
some weeks by Granada in the earlier slot, and some weeks by no other regions at all. From
Thursday 10 December, Westward and Channel rejoined the feed but at 7.30pm, with a
couple of episodes around Christmas taken by Scottish at 8.25pm the same night.
HMS Paradise Meets HMS Eagle was screened on Christmas Eve at 7.30pm to viewers of
Rediffusion, Grampian, Southern, Westward and Channel, and a couple of weeks later on
Thursday 7 January 1965, HMS Paradise aired for the last time as the disreputable crew of
HMS Osprey signed off for the last time … leaving the way open for The Navy Lark to return
to BBC Radio.


Episode Synopses

HMS Paradise
Music composed and conducted by Malcolm Lockyer.
Designed by Frank Gillman [1-8,9,11,16,18-19,20-21,24-25], John Plant [10,12-15,17],
Sylva Nadolny [22].
Technical Adviser: Lt Cmdr I N D Cox, RN (Retd). Produced by Sid Colin
Regular cast unless indicated: Richard Caldicot (Captain Turvey), Frank Thornton
(Commander Fairweather), Robin Hunter (Lt Pouter) and Ronald Radd (CPO Banyard) with
Priscilla Morgan (Amanda), Angus Lennie (Able Seaman Murdoch).
In the following listing, transmission order and primary dates are given as per Rediffusion
(London) with earlier transmissions noted where known.

PILOT: It’ll All Come Out in the Wash
Unbroadcast (recorded 3 January 1964)
Written by Maurice Wiltshire.
with Jill Curzon (Amanda), Cameron Hall (Admiral), Robert Perceval (Trickett), Lionel Wheeler
(Guard); without Priscilla Morgan.

EPISODE ONE: Captain, Art Thou Sleeping There Above?
Rediffusion Broadcast 16 July 1964, 7.30pm (recorded 23 April 1964)
Written by Lawrie Wyman. Directed by Bill Hitchcock
with Graham Crowden (Cmdr Shaw), Clive Dunn (Tugboat Captain).
TV Times synopsis: Cmdr Fairweather takes a sail down memory lane and can’t find his way back.

EPISODE TWO: Come Out Lieutenant Ross, Whoever You Are
Rediffusion Broadcast 23 July 1964, 7.30pm (recorded 10 April 1964)
Written by Lawrie Wyman and Maurice Wiltshire. Directed by Bill Hitchcock.
TV Times synopsis: An agricultural disaster on the mainland and Capt Turvey finds himself
hunting a very elusive officer.

EPISODE THREE: An Officer and a Gentleman
Rediffusion Broadcast 30 July 1964, 7.30pm (recorded 29 May 1964)
Written by Lawrie Wyman. Directed by Bill Hitchcock
with Graham Crowden (Cmdr Shaw), Howard Lang (Cmdr Bell), Michael Arden (CPO Hawkins).
TV Times synopsis: Chief Petty Officer Banyard discovers there is more to being an officer than
wearing a flat hat and signing your own leave papers.

EPISODE FOUR: The Sea Does Not Want Them
Rediffusion Broadcast 6 August 1964, 7.30pm (recorded 19 June 1964)
Written by Lewis Schwarz. Directed by Bill Hitchcock.
TV Times synopsis: Ye gentlemen of England,/That live at home in ease,/Ah, little do you think
upon/The dangers of the seas.

EPISODE FIVE: I Don’t Know The Name and the Face Escapes Me
Rediffusion Broadcast 13 August 1964, 7.30pm (recorded 15 May 1964)
Written by Maurice Wiltshire. Directed by Bill Hitchcock.
with Arthur Hewlett (Mr Bassett).
TV Times synopsis: Lt Pouter is suddenly menaced by marriage, but with CPO Banyard’s help he
discovers ‘Love will find a Way Out’.

EPISODE SIX: It’ll All Come Out in the Wash
Rediffusion Broadcast 20 August 1964, 7.30pm (recorded 1 May 1964)
Written by Maurice Wiltshire. Directed by Bill Hitchcock.
with Ernest Clark (Cmdr Trickett), Cameron Hall (Admiral).
TV Times synopsis: “If it moves, salute it; if it doesn’t move paint it – and if you’ve never seen it before in
your life, put a guard on it!” ... old naval saying.


EPISODE SEVEN: You’ll Get No Promotion This Side of the Ocean
Rediffusion Broadcast 27 August 1964, 7.30pm (recorded 5 June 1964)
Written by Lawrie Wyman. Directed by Bill Hitchcock.
with June Barry (Doris), Archie Duncan (Cmdr Bellamy), Edward Brooks (Lt Gibson), Pat Coombs (Mrs
Wigg); without Richard Caldicot.
TV Times synopsis: AB Murdoch tries to win a fair lady with a do-it-yourself promotion kit.

EPISODE EIGHT: Call Me Madam and I’ll Punch You on the Nose
Rediffusion Broadcast 3 September 1964, 7.30pm (recorded 26 June 1964)
Written by Maurice Wiltshire. Directed by Bill Hitchcock.
with Barbara Hicks (FO Purseglove), Wendy Richard (Genevieve), Barbara Bermel
(Wren Wilkinson), Sheree Winton (Third Wren), Kerry Neal (Fourth Wren), Martine Beswick (Fifth
Wren), Janette Bradbury (Sixth Wren); without Ronald Radd, Angus Lennie.
TV Times synopsis: In which Lt Pouter doth suffer a sea change into something rich and strange.

EPISODE NINE: Don’t Fire That Man, He’s Loaded
Rediffusion Broadcast 10 September 1964, 7.30pm (recorded 8 May 1964)
Written by Lawrie Wyman. Directed by Bill Hitchcock.
with Ambrosine Phillpotts (Mrs Turvey), Graham Crowden (Cdr Shaw); without Priscilla Morgan.
TV Times synopsis: Capt Turvey adds a shell to his souvenir collection and the island draft try to
get it back before it explodes.

EPISODE TEN: You Have Been Listening to Radio Paradise
Rediffusion Broadcast 17 September 1964, 7pm (recorded 14 August 1964)
Written by Lawrie Wyman. Directed by Bill Hitchcock.
with Graham Crowden (Cdr Shaw), Geoffrey Hibbert (Mr Busby), David Harford (Rating).
TV Times synopsis: A little bit of what Captain Turvey fancies doesn’t do anyone any good.


EPISODE ELEVEN: And a Happy Bastille Day To You Too
Rediffusion Broadcast 24 September 1964, 7pm (recorded 12 June 1964)
Written by Maurice Wiltshire. Directed by Bill Hitchcock.
with John Bluthal (Gus), Dickie Owen (Sid), George Tovey (Milkman), Hedley Colson
(Det-Insp. Hogg).
TV Times synopsis: ‘You can twist French history as much as you like – but for Drake’s sake, never mess about
with their perishing geography.’ So says CPO Banyard, RN, during a lecture to fellow prisoners.

EPISODE TWELVE: In Which We Serve a Drop of the Hard Stuff
Rediffusion Broadcast 1 October 1964, 7pm (recorded 10 July 1964)
Written by Lawrie Wyman. Directed by Bill Hitchcock.
with Cameron Hall (Admiral), Ambrosine Phillpotts (Mrs Turvey), Donald Hewlett (Commander Brent),
Brian Oulton (Surgeon Lt Tibby), Janet Bruce (Mrs Admiral), Sheree Winton (Fiona).
TV Times synopsis: Banyard’s Patent Punch gets the party going.

EPISODE THIRTEEN: Mutiny on the Boonsey
Rediffusion Broadcast 8 October 1964, 7.30pm (recorded 21 August 1964)
First Broadcast 6 October 1964, 11.30pm (ATV Midlands)
Written by Maurice Wiltshire. Directed by Bill Turner.
with Gertan Klauber (Native Chief ).
TV Times synopsis: To avenge himself on Captain Turvey, Lt Pouter goes back 200 years in history
and finds that he might just as well have stayed at home.

EPISODE FOURTEEN: Having a Wonderful Time – Glad You’re Not Here
Rediffusion Broadcast 15 October 1964, 7.30pm (recorded 24 July 1964)
First Broadcast: 13 October 1964, 9.45pm (ATV Midlands)
Written by Maurice Wiltshire. Directed by Bill Turner.
with Ambrosine Phillpotts (Mrs Turvey), Ray Browne (Naval Provost Marshall); without Priscilla
TV Times synopsis: CPO Banyard opens a holiday camp and discovers that the English take their
miseries as sadly as they take their pleasures.


EPISODE FIFTEEN: Anybody Wanna Buy an Island?
Rediffusion Broadcast 22 October 1964, 7.30pm (recorded 31 July 1964)
Written by Maurice Wiltshire. Directed by Bill Turner.
with Robert Dorning (Charlesworth), Hugh Latimer (Polegate), Victor Platt (Crabbe), Kenneth
Midwood (Admiral), Eunice Black (Miss Franklin), Lionel Wheeler (Rating).
TV Times synopsis: Chief Petty Officer Banyard puts in a take-over bid for Boonsey and starts a
panic in the city.

EPISODE SIXTEEN: Thar’s Gold in Them Thar Holes
Rediffusion Broadcast 29 October 1964, 6.30pm (recorded 17 July 1964)
First Broadcast 20 October 1964 (ATV Midlands)
Written by Maurice Wiltshire. Directed by Bill Hitchcock.
with Patrick Troughton (Capt Ahab Rudlow).
TV Times synopsis: Captain Ahab Rudlow – sea rover, free trader and gentleman alcoholic – buries
a treasure chest in 1761. Just over two hundred years later, CPO Banyard goes down with a nasty
dose of gold fever!

EPISODE SEVENTEEN: ’Twas On The Good Ship Venus
Rediffusion Broadcast 5 November 1964, 7.30pm (recorded 7 August 1964)
First Broadcast 21 October 1964, 6.30pm (ATV Midlands)
Written by Lewis Schwarz. Directed by Bill Hitchcock.
with John Roden (Wilson).
TV Times synopsis: There are more things in Heaven and Earth than are dreamed of in the Manual
of Navigation.

EPISODE EIGHTEEN: Our Man on Boonsey
Rediffusion Broadcast 12 November 1964, 6.30pm (recorded 22 May 1964)
First Broadcast 22 October 1964 (ATV Midlands)
Written by Maurice Wiltshire and David Climie. Directed by Bill Hitchcock.
with Graham Crowden (Cmdr Shaw), Jacqueline Jones (WPO Bond), Brian Rawlinson
(AB Simkins).
TV Times synopsis: When Captain Turvey stoops to conquer, there’s nobody who stoops lower.


EPISODE NINETEEN: There is No Excuse for Slipshod Paperwork
Rediffusion Broadcast 19 November 1964, 6.30pm (recorded 14 April 1964)
First Broadcast 23 October 1964 (ATV Midlands)
Written by Lawrie Wyman. Directed by Bill Hitchcock.
with Graham Crowden (Cmdr Shaw), Joe Ritchie (AB Fletcher), Barry Henderson (AB Henderson),
Cardew Robinson (Cousin Albert), Frank Seton (Rating).
TV Times synopsis: The dreaded Captain Turvey becomes the new Captain of the Dockyard at
Portland; the Boonsey Island establishment try him on for size and find he doesn’t fit.

EPISODE TWENTY: What am I Bid for this Lot?
Rediffusion Broadcast 26 November 1964, 6.30pm (recorded 11 September 1964)
First Broadcast 26 October 1964 (ATV Midlands)
Written by Lawrie Wyman. Directed by Bill Hitchcock.
with John Warner (Mr Turnball), Alister Williamson (Mr Higgins), Malcolm Knight (Mr Todhunter), Paul
Bogdan (Russian Admiral), Edmundo Otero (Cuban Delegate), Dean Francis (Indian Delegate), James
Goei (Chinese Delegate).
TV Times synopsis: For once, CPO Banyard ends up with far, far more than he bargained for.

EPISODE TWENTY-ONE: How to Try in Business Without Really Succeeding
Rediffusion Broadcast 3 December 1964, 6.30pm (recorded 4 September 1964)
First Broadcast 27 October 1964, 6.30pm (ATV Midlands)
Written by Lewis Schwarz. Directed by Bill Hitchcock.
TV Times synopsis: CPO Banyard discovers that a bowler hat and twenty years of fiddling before
the mast are not qualifications for a civilian career.

EPISODE TWENTY-TWO: Let That Be a Four-Minute Warning to You
Rediffusion Broadcast 10 December 1964, 6.30pm (recorded 28 August 1964)
First Broadcast 28 October 1964, 6.30pm (ATV Midlands)
Written by Maurice Wiltshire. Directed by Bill Hitchcock.
TV Times synopsis: Captain Turvey is lecturing the island draft on what to do if the bomb drops,
when all of a sudden…


EPISODE TWENTY-THREE: Hail Lieutenant Hathaway – and Farewell
Rediffusion Broadcast 17 December 1964, 6.30pm (recorded 18 September 1964)
First Broadcast 29 October 1964, 6.30pm (ATV Midlands)
Written by Maurice Wiltshire. Directed by Ronald Marriott.
with Andrew Downie (Lieutenant Hathaway).
TV Times synopsis: Lieutenant Superman Hathaway sent by Captain Turvey to scourge the island
draft discovers that Queen’s Regulations is a closed book on Boonsey.

Rediffusion Broadcast 24 December 1964, 7.30pm (recorded 26 November 1964)
Written by Maurice Wiltshire and Lewis Schwarz. Directed by John P Hamilton
Music Director: Alan Braden
with Julie Rogers, Val Doonican, The Ladybirds
An hour long variety show which joins the regulars of Naval comedy series HMS Paradise with other
artists on board aircraft carrier HMS Eagle in Plymouth, to provide Christmas entertainment.

EPISODE TWENTY-FIVE: This Side Up – Use No Hooks
Rediffusion Broadcast 31 December 1964, 6.30pm (recorded 25 September 1964)
First Broadcast 31 December 1964, 6.05pm (Granada)
Written by Maurice Wiltshire. Directed by Ronald Marriott
TV Times synopsis: To help Able Seaman Murdoch get home for Hogmanay the island draft have
to box clever.

EPISODE TWENTY-SIX: The Great Brain Robbery
Rediffusion Broadcast 7 January 1965, 6.30pm (recorded 2 October 1964)
First Broadcast 30 October 1964 (ATV Midlands)
Written by Lewis Schwarz. Directed by Bill Hitchcock.
With Stanley Unwin (Professor).
TV Times synopsis: If Lieutenant Pouter and Able Seaman Murdoch can become geniuses what
does that make the rest of the Navy?


Lawrie Wyman
Rather than serve in the Royal Navy, Lawrie Wyman was actually a lance-corporal
in the Army. After the war, he started writing comedy for radio and television with
shows like Happy Go Lucky and The Lighter Side. Teaming up with Len Fincham, he
wrote for Morecambe and Wise, and Jimmy Jewel and Ben Warriss. Concurrent with
The Navy Lark he wrote So I’ll Tell You and The Motor Way, and he transferred The Navy
Lark to TV as HMS Paradise. On radio he also wrote The Embassy Lark, The Big Business
Lark and Just the Job, the latter with his new co-writer, George Evans, with whom he
collaborated on scripts for Bless This House, Love Thy Neighbour and Carry On Dick.

Stephen Murray
Stephen Murray was born in Lincolnshire in September 1912, and he made
his professional acting debut in Much Ado About Nothing in Stratford in
1933. After working at Birmingham Rep, Westminster Theatre and at
the Old Vic, Stephen was commissioned as an Army officer during the
war. After 1945, Murray returned to the theatre and focused initially on
directing, touring Europe with his controversial interpretation of King
Lear. On stage, Stephen appeared in On the Rocks, School for Scandal and
Six Characters in Search of an Author, although his favourite performance
was as George in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? in Edinburgh in 1965. On
television, he starred in plays such as Thunder Rock and Marriage Lines. Stephen
died in April 1983 at the age of 70.


Jon Pertwee
The son of playwright Roland Pertwee, Jon was born John Devon Roland
Pertwee in Chelsea in July 1919. A keen performer, he trained at RADA in
the 1930s and was soon in demand on stage for his versatile character
work. After wartime Naval service, Jon entered radio by accident
where his vocal talents made him a star in The Waterlogged Spa and
Up the Pole amongst others. His film career included movies like
Murder at the Windmill, Will Any Gentleman? and several of the Carry
On... films while on television he was best known as the third Doctor
Who, scarecrow Worzel Gummidge and as the host of Whodunnit?
A showman all his life, Jon died in New York in May 1996.

Leslie Phillips
Despite his famous well-bred ladies’ man image, Leslie Phillips was born
in the working class environs of Tottenham in April 1924. A child actor at
the Italia Conti School, he made his debut in Peter Pan at the Palladium.
Picking up his cultured tones from officers in the Durham Light Infantry,
Leslie appeared in comedy movies including The Smallest Show on Earth,
early Carry On... films and taking over the Doctor series. On television,
he starred in Our Man at St Marks and Casanova ’73 while his film work
includes Out of Africa and Empire of the Sun. Awarded an OBE in 1998, he
achieved acclaim with his one-man show On the Whole Life’s Been Pretty Good.
In 2007 he was nominated for a Bafta for his role in the film Venus and was awarded
a CBE in the 2008 New Year’s Honours List.


Richard Caldicot
Born October 1908 in London, Richard Caldicot enjoyed a long acting career,
often playing irritable authority figures. In demand in both comic and
serious roles, his movies included The Million Pound Note, Room at the Top
and The VIPs, while on television he was seen in If the Crown Fits, Moody in
..., Steptoe and Son, Pet Pals, The Beverly Hillbillies, Vanity Fair, Coronation
Street, Fawlty Towers, Minder, Bergerac, Lord Peter Wimsey and Casualty. He
was the only cast member of The Navy Lark to appear in the short-lived
television version, HMS Paradise, and on radio he also featured in The
Motorway Men. Working to the end of his life, Richard died in October 1995.

Ronnie Barker
Born September 1929 in Bedford, Ronnie Barker trained as an architect and
worked in a bank before following his true vocation as an entertainer.
With a great deal of stage experience including work at the Oxford
Playhouse, he made his television and radio debuts in the mid-1950s
with I’m Not Bothered and Floggits respectively, and gave support
in British comedy films. The Frost Report gave him TV fame. Acting
– and writing under various pen-names – Barker’s TV work has
included The Ronnie Barker Playhouse, Frost on Sunday, Hark at Barker,
The Two Ronnies, His Lordship Entertains, Porridge, Open All Hours, Going
Straight, The Magnificent Evans and Clarence. Awarded the OBE for services to
entertainment, he died in 2005.


Michael Bates
Born in December 1920 in Jhansi in what was British India, Michael Bates was
versed in many languages and dialects which made him much in demand
as a character actor. Entering films in the 1940s he appeared in I’m All Right
Jack, Bedazzled, Oh! What a Lovely War, A Clockwork Orange and No Sex Please
– We’re British amongst others. On television, his first starring sitcom was
Turnbull’s Finest Half-Hour, followed rapidly by the role of Cyril Blamire in Last
of the Summer Wine. Diagnosed with cancer in 1975, Michael continued to
work, appearing as Rangi Ran in It Ain’t Half Hot Mum through to his death in
January 1978.

Tenniel Evans
Born in May 1926 in Nairobi, Welshman Tenniel Evans spent his
childhood in Kenya before settling in England. His great uncle was
the illustrator Sir John Tenniel and his great-great aunt was Marian
Evans (George Eliot). On television, he has appeared in series such as
The Plane Makers, Budgie, War and Peace, The Fall and Rise of Reginald
Perrin, Yes Minister, The Citadel, Inspector Morse, Casualty and Heartbeat,
as well as featuring regularly in Shine on Harvey Moon, The Two of
Us and One by One. Tenniel has performed on stage across England in
everything from Shakespeare to modern drama. Before his death in June
2009, Tenniel spent his later years as a clergyman, writing an autobiography
about his childhood called Don’t Walk in the Long Grass.


Heather Chasen
Born July 1927 in Singapore, Heather Chasen and her mother escaped
on the last ship to leave before the Japanese occupation. Training
at RADA, she did a lot of stage work including a tour with Frankie
Howerd in Hotel Paradiso, appearing with Dame Sybil Thorndyke in
Call Me Jackie and receiving a Tony nomination as the New York lead
of A Severed Head. On television she appeared as Caroline Kerr in The
Newcomers and as Valerie Pollard in Crossroads. On stage, she has
enjoyed seasons at Chichester, done open-air Shakespeare at Regent’s
Park and appeared in The Mountain Women at the Royal Court.