Get Carter [1971] 'Shotguns, Coal And Sex' - Original GQ Magazine Article from The 90s

Picture above: Get Carter [1971] Original film poster designed by the Italian artist, Arnaldo Putzu.

The article below is reproduced from GQ Magazine and dates from the 1990s;  possibly the November 1997 edition which contained a special feature on the making of the film, but this is, as yet, unconfirmed.

It's a fascinating article, with several recollections by director, Mike Hodges. Perhaps the one that  stood out most for me was the one connected with Dryderdale Hall, County Durham, which was rented for several scenes in the film. When the crew arrived and were setting up for their first shoot, they found an old  school exercise book with a child's handwriting inside, with the seemingly prophetic message:

"Cain and Abel

Cain and Abel

Cain and Abel

Right Now"

A strange case of fact and fiction blurred. Almost as haunting as the film's soundtrack theme by Roy Budd.

There are some good stills from the film on the official Dryderdale Hall website and on this excellent Get Carter website dedicated entirely to the film, detailed accounts of the locations and related news. 

Picture: Dryderdale Hall, County Durham. Used for filming of several scenes in Get Carter, minus the snow!


Get Carter 'Shotguns, Coal And Sex'

- Original GQ Magazine Article from The 90s

Here is the original GQ article in full, complete with an advert for the Star Wars version of the Monopoly Game and a battery charger by Tandy *batteries not included!



Main Theme 'Carter Takes a Train' by Roy Budd

If you are now in a Get Carter frame of mind, you can listen to the film's main theme, 'Carter Takes a Train' by Roy Budd, below:


You can keep up-to-date with all our latest articles and updates by following us on Facebook and / or Twitter:

Ian Hendry Appreciation Society Facebook Page 


Ian Hendry Tribute - Twitter Page

Until next time,

Neil Hendry
Editor, Official Tribute To Ian Hendry

Further Reading

A detailed account of the life and work of Ian Hendry in the new biography:

Read: 'Send in the Clowns - The Yo Yo Life Of Ian Hendry' by Gabriel Hershman

Send In The Clowns - The Yo Yo Life of Ian Hendry















Nicol Williamson 'Black Sheep' The Authorised Biography By Gabriel Hershman

Picture above: 'Black Sheep' book cover and  Ian Hendry and Nicol Williamson - The Jerusalem File [1972]

Gabriel Hershman's third biography is now set for release on 1st February 2018, published by The History Press.

'Black Sheep - The Authorised Biography Of Nicol Williamson' is a detailed study of the life and work of another gifted character actor, whose career spanned several decades, included many masterful performances, reached great heights but as Gabriel describes him, Nicol was also 'a mysteriously elusive figure'. With his trademark forensic research and numerous interviews, Gabriel has now produced the first official biography of this enigmatic actor.

His previous two books covered the life and work of  Ian Hendry and Albert Finney.

So I was curious. I asked Gabriel to explain why he had chosen Nicol Williamson as his next subject and what were the key similarities and differences between the three actors he has now written about.

The following is Gabriel's response:

Gabriel Hershman - On Nicol Williamson......Ian Hendry and Albert Finney

"Why did I choose Nicol as the third subject of my biography? I had long since decided that I would only write about great actors. (I admit that's all a matter of opinion, of course.) And Ian, Albert Finney and Nicol were all great actors."

I was also attracted to writing about Nicol for a number of reasons. Firstly, no one had ever written his biography before. Secondly, he was a mysteriously elusive figure, a superstar of the late Sixties –especially on the back of his superb stage roles in Hamlet and Inadmissible Evidence – who seemed to vanish from view.

In fact, Nicol never appeared on the London stage between 1978 and 1994 – a 16-year gap that was a tragic omission for British theatregoers. It was clear he was woefully under-used. He should have been a regular on the West End stage or at the National but directors were wary of working with him because he had a 'difficult' reputation. And reputations are very difficult to shift. Of course, Nicol did some fine work on Broadway in the 1980s but his absence from the London stage was keenly felt. So it is that I regret not seeing him on stage. (Whereas, for example, I was fortunate enough to see Finney on stage five times.)

Picture: Nicol Williamson

When I saw a few You Tube clips of Nicol's performance as Bill Maitland in the original 1965 Broadway production of Inadmissible Evidence, I knew I had found my third subject. The pounding passion, the ferocity of the character's self-loathing, the emphasis on raw emotion rather than enunciation – this was not acting as such but, rather, BEING. And I think this is what made Nicol so great. Even with some other reputedly 'great' actors you sense sometimes that they're going through it by rote, almost phoning it in. You see the wheels turning. With Nicol, on the other hand, each performance took you to the brink. He was, in the words of another performer who worked with him, 'paddling for his life'. No wonder Nicol sometimes suffered from exhaustion after bearing the burden of such titanic roles.

I felt that Nicol was sorely underrated and that no one really knew very much about him. Rather as with Ian, what struck me was that so many of his obituaries were totally inadequate, even inaccurate. Everything from his date of birth through to his place of residence was reported wrongly. I simply felt that Nicol deserved better and so I hope my biography has done something to rectify the dearth of coverage, and the misinformation.

I will, however, qualify my tribute to Nicol by saying that I still believe that Ian Hendry was the greatest television actor Britain ever produced. He had a style of acting that was especially suited to the small screen – conveying deep emotion and thoughts with a sometimes quizzical look or a grunt of pained resignation. 'Think it through and it will show' was Ian's tip to other actors and he was simply the best practitioner of his own advice. There was also a special charismatic quality to Ian. Sabine Muir, a great friend of Ian's, once told me that Ian could always lift a room when he entered it. I know exactly what she meant. That's God-given and certainly not something to be learned at drama school!

Going back to Nicol, his style of acting was more bravura than Ian's. Not from a desire to overwhelm as such, but simply to offer more than audiences usually saw. In the words of Nicol's son, Luke, 'he didn't want to dazzle - he wanted to immolate.' Not better or worse – just different. But I would say that both Ian and Nicol were truly great actors. Finney was also a great actor, of course. He also perhaps more of an all-rounder than either Ian or Nicol in that he straddled all mediums equally successfully: films, TV and stage. He was also more durable and less self-destructive and had a more equable temperament. That really helped Finney throughout his career and proof of the old dictum that talent is just one part of the story . . .

But, to conclude, three great actors and, hopefully, three interesting biographies. If these books make you stop and think and appreciate their work a little more, then I will feel I have achieved something.

By Gabriel Hershman

Official Website of Gabriel Hershman : Gabriel Hershman

'Black Sheep - The Authorised Biography Of Nicol Williamson' By Gabriel Hershman is released on 1st February 2018.

Available to order on Amazon or to buy in store at Waterstones, Blackwells and all other good high street bookshops!

Amazon UK [View/ Order] - Black Sheep - The Authorised Biography Of Nicol Williamson



The Jerusalem File [1972]

Fortunately, with the help of Gabriel, we managed to locate a copy of the complete film (albeit with Finnish subtitles!). We've included a couple of the key scenes from the film in this post - which feature Ian Hendry - but If you want to download the full film, you can do so from the link below:

Download (Secure Dropbox File) > The Jerusalem File (1972)

Set in the months following the 6-day-war this is the story of an attempt by young Israelis and Arabs to meet for a free political discussion. Interwoven are a love story, intrigue, strife and killings.

Video: The Jerusalem File (1972) Scene #1 | Donald Pleasence, Ian Hendry, Nicol Wiliamson + Bruce Davison

Much more background on this film, including many stills, in another one of our articles below:

The Jerusalem File ['72]  Ian Hendry, Nicol Williamson, Bruce Davison and Donald Pleasance


'Black Sheep - The Authorised Biography Of Nicol Williamson' By Gabriel Hershman is released on 1st February 2018.

Available to order on Amazon or to buy in store at Waterstones, Blackwells and all other good high street bookshops!

Amazon UK [View/ Order] - Black Sheep - The Authorised Biography Of Nicol Williamson


Thanks to Gabriel for his contribution to this post;  I'm really looking forward to reading this biography and adding it to the Hershman collection!

Until next time,

Neil Hendry
Editor, Official Tribute To Ian Hendry

Further Reading

A detailed account of the life and work of Ian Hendry in the new biography:

Read: 'Send in the Clowns - The Yo Yo Life Of Ian Hendry' by Gabriel Hershman

Send In The Clowns - The Yo Yo Life of Ian Hendry




















Peter Wyngarde - In Memory Of The Man Who Would Be King [ 1926/1927 - 2018]

Picture above: Peter Wyngarde, Jeanette Sterke and Ian Hendry - The Crossfire [1967]

Peter Wyngarde

A couple of years ago, I received an email from Tina Hopkins, Peter Wyngarde's devoted friend and personal assistant.

Peter and Ian worked together back in the 60s, in a television play called The Crossfire which also featured Eric Portman, Jeannette Sterke and Roger Delgado. Set during the Algerian War, it was first broadcast as part of  ITV's Play Of The Week, on  7th February 1967.

And it was that play that first inspired Tina to get in contact with me, some five decades later, to see if I had a copy.

By lucky coincidence, I had been sent a message a year or so earlier, by someone who had found a copy of the play, which included Anglia TV's famous 'knight in armour on horseback' opening.

I was also fortunate to be able to exchange a few emails with Peter. He remembered working with Ian, but could not recall any specific details from the production itself, but was hoping that the recording would help to jog his memory! I made a copy of The Crossfire and posted it off to them both.



Picture: Peter Wyngarde as the iconic Jason King

For someone who was so young at the time, in the early 70s, I didn't realise that I was corresponding with THE Jason King, until a short while after when I read more about his life and career. And what a wonderful, colourful and varied life he has had, including being kept captive in the Lunghua Civilian Assembly Centre - a  Japanese internment camp in Shanghai, during the second world war.

A fellow detainee at that time, was J.G. Ballard, who famously retold the events in the biographically influenced, Empire of the Sun; subsequently made into a film by Steven Spielberg.

In an interview with Tina Hopkins from 2017, Peter reflected on that time in the Japanese interment camp, when still just a young boy. Tina wrote:

"However, when the Japanese forbade prisoners in one block from communicating with those in another, Peter was used as their runner to spread the radio news through the camp. But then one day he was caught by a guard, who broke both his feet with rifle butts to stop him ever running again. He was then thrown into solitary confinement for a month. When he came out, he could barely walk and had to rely on crutches. His feet still show the signs of that beating to this day."

I understand that Peter was still active until relatively recently, appearing at special events and reunions, related to the various shows that he appeared in.

Robert C. contacted me via this website in the Spring of 2017 and mentioned that:

"Hope to meet Peter Wyngarde at Portmerion for The Prisoner's 50th.

If I get the chance that is I will ask him about working on Crossfire with Ian Hendry".

You can watch Peter in the The Crossfire  below:


Video: The Crossfire [Anglia TV - 1967] - Peter Wyngarde, Eric Portman Ian Hendry, Jeanette Sterke.

There follows the original obituary published in The Guardian, on 18th January 2018; followed by an appreciation by Toby Hadoke, also in The Guardian, published on 23rd January 2018.

Peter Wyngarde - Obituary

In 1970, the actor Peter Wyngarde, who has died at what is believed to be the age of 90, was declared Britain’s best-dressed male personality. This was due to his fame as the Zapata-moustached [* see correction at article end, below] , womanising author and sleuth Jason King in the ITV series Department S (1969-70) and the spin-off series Jason King (1971-72).

Wyngarde played King in the manner of a cat walking on tiptoe, with an air of self-satisfaction. By 1971 it was reported that “more babies [had been] christened Jason during the last 12 months than ever before”.

After Department S, Lew Grade informed him that, while his own idea of a hero was Roger Moore, “my wife likes you so we’re going to do another series”.

In that series, Wyngarde’s acting become increasingly mannered. A reputable actor, whose television roles had brought an intriguing hint of decadence, had come to believe his own publicity. Cyril Frankel, director of numerous episodes of Department S and Jason King, recalled: “It got to a point where he wouldn’t accept direction.”

In 1975, he was found guilty of gross indecency in a bus station toilet. Newspapers reported that he was summoned under his real name of Cyril Louis Goldbert. It was doubtless true that this incident damaged his career, but his ego also played a part.

Five years later a tabloid newspaper reported that he was out of work, and “the mop of hair – thinning now – was covered with a flat cap … and he used a tie to hold up his trousers”.

Interviewed by Ray Connolly in 1973, he said: “As a child it was difficult to differentiate sometimes between fact and fantasy.” He insisted that he had been born Peter Paul Wyngarde in 1933. However, JG Ballard, who had endured the Japanese internment camp Lunghua with him, stated in his 2008 memoir Miracles of Life that “Cyril Goldbert, the future Peter Wyngarde, … was four years older than me”; Ballard had been born in 1930.

Ballard recalled him writing on a wall “what he said would be his stage name… Laurence Templeton. A name wonderfully of its time, and far grander than Peter Wyngarde.” But the name that determined Wyngarde’s career was Jason King. And, in the journalist Andrew Billen’s words, “Jason King went from national idol to national joke the day the first narrow lapel was sold in Carnaby Street in 1977.”

Video: Peter Wyngarde and Dennis Price in an episode of Jason King

Wyngarde claimed he had been born in Marseille – though despite evidence pointing to Singapore – and that his French mother, who appears to have been called Marcheritta (nee Ahin), was a racing driver.

His father, who may have been Henry Goldbert, though Peter claimed he was a British diplomat named Wyngarde, divorced her and took custody of him; he was staying with friends in China when the Japanese invaded in 1941. Ballard remembered that he was “very popular with the ladies, distributing the most gallant flattery”.

After liberation, Wyngarde claimed to have read law at Oxford, but there is no record of him having studied there in the postwar years. His first acting credit was as a policeman at the Buxton Playhouse in May 1946, making nonsense of the 1933 birth date he claimed.

He supported Alec Guinness’s Hamlet at the New theatre in London in 1951, then played the soldier Dunois to Siobhán McKenna’s Saint Joan at the Arts in 1954. He appeared opposite Vivien Leigh in Duel of Angels at the Apollo in 1958, and said that the highlight of his career, at the Bristol Old Vic in 1959, had been playing Cyrano de Bergerac.

His burgeoning TV career brought him lead roles as Sydney Carton in A Tale of Two Cities (1957), Long John Silver in The Adventures of Ben Gunn (1958) and the title role in Rupert of Hentzau (1964). His appearance in The Avengers (1966), inducting Diana Rigg into the Hellfire Club, is well remembered.


Picture: Peter Wyngarde in a scene from the film Burn, Witch, Burn, 1962


Picture: Carol Cleveland and Peter Wyngarde in The Avengers, 1966


In The Innocents (1961), he did not have a single word of dialogue; his only film lead was as a psychology professor in a horror film, Night of the Eagle (1962).

Connolly felt there was “an element of mystery about the marriage [to the actor Dorinda Stevens] he says took place when he was 22”; Wyngarde claimed it ended in divorce. In 2007, Donald Spoto’s biography of Alan Bates, Otherwise Engaged, noted that Bates and Wyngarde had been partners for a decade from 1956.

After Wyngarde had filmed Flash Gordon (1980) behind the gold mask of the chief of the secret police, Klytus, his agent, Dennis Selinger, admitted the actor was out of work. “It would be very easy for me to cry in my Campari and say the court case was the reason that TV work has not been flooding in but I don’t think it is true,” Wyngarde reasoned in 1980. To Billen, he averred, “It was the lack of imagination of producers. And if you’re a perfectionist ... producers don’t like it, because they are so mediocre.” In 1982, a bankruptcy hearing found that he was living on social security.

Wyngarde had spoken dismissively to Connolly of “all that naturalistic stuff”. His performance in an episode of the gritty thriller series Bulman (1985) confirmed that the “naturalistic stuff” had rendered his style archaic.

He had no known surviving family.

Peter Wyngarde (Cyril Louis Goldbert), actor, born c. 1926 or 1927; died 15 January 2018

Source: The Guardian

Correction: Jason King/ Peter Wyngarde had a Horseshoe moustache. A Zapata moustache is quite different, named after the Mexican revolutionary, General Emiliano Zapata(1879–1919).


The Guardian subsequently published an appreciation by Toby Hadoke, to rectify a number of omissions:

Appreciation: Peter Wyngarde obituary

The obituary of Peter Wyngarde overlooked a number of the talents and successes of this suave and charismatic performer who never lost his ability to inspire fascination.

Before Jason King he had an early television success as Will Shakespeare (1953) – a taxing part that earned him the admiration of the production’s pioneering producer/director Rudolph Cartier. By 1965, when lured to play the arrogant and dangerous Baron Grüner in an episode of Sherlock Holmes, he had enough clout for the producers to accede to his agent’s stipulation that on foreign sales prints he – uniquely – be inserted into the opening titles and credited alongside the leads Douglas Wilmer and Nigel Stock, both of whom he was also paid considerably more than).

His quirky tastes embraced cult shows which showcased his versatility and zeal – he is glorious in both of his episodes of The Avengers (1966-67) and a cunning and aloof Number Two in The Prisoner (1967). As the religious zealot Timanov in the 1984 Doctor Who story Planet of Fire he imbues a flawed character with a tremendous tragic dignity.

His non-speaking role in the film The Innocents (1961) is no glorified bit part. He is a memorably spooky, spectral presence and gets second billing, a year after his effective turn as a ruthless gang leader in The Siege of Sidney Street.

His extensive theatre work attracted many good notices from the outset and included Shylock and King John, via Jack Pinchwife (The Country Wife) and more than 200 performances as the lead in The King and I (Adelphi theatre and tour, 1973-74). He also directed productions at the Bristol Old Vic and the Yvonne Arnaud theatre, Guildford.

Picture: Peter Wyngarde and Sally Anne Howes, The King and I.  British theatre tour [1973]

In later years he was gracious with fans and a writer of detailed and helpful letters crafted in attractive – if minute – handwriting, generously extolling the virtues of colleagues he admired such as Cartier, Wilfred Lawson and Patrick McGoohan: unpredictable talents all, who should give some clue as to where his sensibilities lay.

A perfectionist, he was doubtless sometimes difficult, but the scandal that dented his career should not overshadow the many fine qualities of a charming, seductive, watchable leading actor with an offbeat streak.

In closing...

My heartfelt condolences go to Tina Hopkins who spent much of her life devoted to Peter. I know she was very close to him and will be feeling a great sense of loss. And to Peter's agent, Thomas Bowington.

Thomas Bowington describes Peter with great affection:

He was one of the most unique, original and creative actors that I have ever seen. As a man, there were few things in life he didn’t know. I sometimes nicknamed him ‘the King’ because he simply knew everything. He was a mentor on everything you can think of, from sports cars to how to make a good cup of tea and how to do a tie and shirt. 

He died at the Chelsea and Westminster hospital [in London], and even then he was saying that you shouldn’t button the upper button on a shirt. As a person he was the most exceptional person I met in my life and a great mentor and teacher.”

Our thoughts and condolences also go to Peter's many friends and fans around the world.

For those wishing to find out more about the life of Peter Wyngarde,  I can really recommend this excellent and authoritative interview from 2017, by Tina Hopkins:

The Ultimate Peter Wyngarde Interview by Tina Hopkins

Until next time,

Neil Hendry
Editor, Official Tribute To Ian Hendry

Further Reading

A detailed account of the life and work of Ian Hendry in the new biography:

Read: 'Send in the Clowns - The Yo Yo Life Of Ian Hendry' by Gabriel Hershman

Send In The Clowns - The Yo Yo Life of Ian Hendry
























Get Carter [1971] 'Eyes Look Like...Piss-Holes In The Snow' - Tony Klinger Reveals The Story Behind THAT Famous Line

Picture above: Michael Caine [as Jack Carter] and Ian Hendry [as Eric Paice] at the races.

Another post containing some more fascinating anecdotes, this time from Tony Klinger who first met Ian Hendry during the filming of Repulsion [1965] and then again, on the set of Get Carter in 1971! Tony is a Film and TV Director and son of the late Michael Klinger, the producer and driving force behind bringing the novel 'Jack's Return Home' by  Ted Lewis to the big screen:

"An uncompromising novel of a brutal half-world of pool halls, massage parlours and teenage pornography, it was memorably adapted into the cult film Get Carter.  The novel starkly portrays a subsection of society living on the borderline between crime and respectability; and was a major influence on the noir school of English crime fiction."

Much more on Tony and Michael below, but first a little background story and some context.

Films And Famous Lines

When I first arrived in Hong Kong to start work, back in 2001, I was introduced to the Directors at my new company. They were a few years older than me, British expats who had already been based there for some time. Two Scotsmen and a Welshman. Dave Allen could probably have told you a joke about that encounter.

When they found out my full name they said:

'Oh, the actor, Ian...'

To their surprise, I mentioned that he was, or had been, my uncle. And the first thing they said to me in reply was:

"Ah yes, we should have guessed....your eyes....they're like piss holes in the snow!"

The history of film is often recalled through the famous lines and passages of dialogue that reminds us of a memorable moment or defines the essence of the story.  They have often entered into the public's subconscious, affectionately recalled at times when events in our own lives, seem to resonate with those that we have seen on the big screen. And perhaps that is one of the reasons that film has become so loved as a medium and remained so popular throughout it's history. At times it can feel like a mirror is being held up to our own lives .

Sometimes, however, it is just a simple case of everyday language being taken and used in a film, to reflect the era and the society in which it is set.

And Get Carter is such a case in point.



Note: This ended up being quite a  long post, as I wanted to include some new information that I've recently discovered about Get Carter, as well as providing some biographical background and anecdotes about Michael Klinger and from Tony Klinger.

But some of you may want to get to the key answers straight away, so here are some quick page jump links that you can use to get to the relevant sections:

Click link to go to: Tony Klinger reveals how THAT line became part of Get Carter

Click link to go to: An explanation of where THAT line originated



Get Carter [1971]  

A year or so ago, I carried out a study of the racecourse scene in Get Carter [1971]. I was intrigued by the cinematography and the way that the tension gradually builds as the scene unfolds.

You can read that article here:

Get Carter - The Racecourse Scene [1971]

But the other factor that drew me to this scene was undoubtedly the dialogue and THAT famous line.

"Do you know, I'd almost forgotten what your eyes look like, they're still the same, piss-holes in the snow."

-  Jack Carter [Michael Caine] to Eric Paice [Ian Hendry]


To really appreciate it, though, I suggest you watch the whole scene to see and hear the build-up and context in which it was delivered:


Video above: The Racecourse Scene - Get Carter [1971]

Dialogue - Script Extract

Jack Carter: So you're doing alright then're making good.

Eric Paice: Making a living.

Jack Carter: Good prospects for advancement is there...a pension?

Ian Hendry Get Carter (1971) 2

Picture: Eric Paice (Ian Hendry) - sunglasses removed!

Then the classic line! Jack Carter slowly removes Eric's sunglasses, hands them back to him and then stares straight into his eyes:

Jack CarterDo you know, I'd almost forgotten what your eyes look like, they're still the same, piss-holes in the snow.

Eric Paice: Still got a sense of humour.

Jack Carter: Yes, I retain that Eric.

Tony Klinger - On His Father, Michael Klinger, Repulsion, Catherine Deneuve, Get Carter And THAT Famous Line

A few weeks back, Tony Klinger, 'dropped by' on the Ian Hendry Appreciation Society Facebook Page and shared a unique insight into the film and THAT  famous line.

TV and film seems to be synonymous with the Klinger family.

His father, Michael Klinger, was the producer and the driving force behind what many regard as the greatest British Gangster film of all time, Get Carter.


Picture [l-r] Mike Hodges [Director], Michael Caine and Michael Klinger [Producer].

Ian Hendry had first met both Michael and Tony a few years earlier, during the filming of Repulsion [1965], directed by Roman Polanski. Tony was just 15 years old at the time.

The Michael Klinger Papers are held by the University of West England. On their website they mention that:

Born in 1920, the son of Polish Jewish immigrants who had settled in London’s Soho, Klinger’s entry into the film industry came via his ownership of two Soho strip clubs, the Nell Gwynne and the Gargoyle - that were used for promotional events such as the Miss Cinema competition and by film impresarios such as James Carreras - and through an alliance with a fellow Jewish entrepreneur Tony Tenser, who worked for a film distribution company, Miracle Films.

Klinger and Tenser were both highly ambitious, but culturally divergent. Characteristically, when Roman Polanski arrived in London and approached the pair to obtain finance having failed elsewhere, it was Klinger who had seen Knife in the Water (1962) and therefore gave him the opportunity, and the creative freedom, to make Repulsion (1965) and the even more outré Cul-de-sac (1966). Although Repulsion in particular had been financially successful, and both films won awards at the Berlin Film Festival that conferred welcome prestige on Tekli, Tenser, always happier to stay with proven box-office material, sex films and period horror, saw Polanski as at best a distraction and at worse a liability. These differences led to the break-up of the partnership in October 1966.

Klinger set up a new company, Avton Films and continued to promote young, talented but unproven directors who were capable of making fresh and challenging features: Peter Collinson’s absurdist/surrealist thriller The Penthouse (1967); Alastair Reid’s Baby Love (1968), another film that focused on a sexually precocious young female, but with an ambitious narrative style that included flashbacks and nightmare sequences; and Mike Hodges’s ambitious and brutal thriller Get Carter (1971). Although Get Carter is now routinely discussed as Hodges’ directorial triumph, it was Klinger who had bought the rights to Ted Lewis’s novel Jack’s Return Home because he sensed its potential to imbue the British crime thriller with the realism and violence of its American counterparts and who had succeeded in raising the finance through MGM-British all before Hodges became involved.

In his excellent interview with Cinema Jam, Tony explained:

"He [his father, Michael Klinger] learned to be a producer on the job and it was this and the many productions of a huge variety of films that culminated in Repulsion and Cul-de-Sac with director Roman Polanski that, as a result gave him the launch pad to become a fantastic international producer, probably the most successful in the country for about fifteen years. My dad and I came into film making from opposite ends and for years there was a general lack of respect for each other. I’d come from the floor of film sets and knew all the technical grades whereas he’d learned the industry totally from the other end. It was only when someone suggested we work together and as a result gained a lot of respect."

Picture: Tony Klinger

Tony Klinger began his career as an Assistant Director on The Avengers TV series. In his interview with Cinema Jam, Tony retells some wonderful tales about his life in show -business and gives some tremendous insights into his father, The following extract is from the interview in Cinema Jam:

"I know I was working on the best and biggest budget show in the world. We were an American show and often ABC executives would come over. The directors on the show were either the greatest coming up like rockets or the veterans on a gentle slope down. People like Peter Yates, Charles Crichton, John Hough, Don Chaffey and Leslie Norman.

My partner, Mike Lytton and I used to borrow equipment from series we were working on at the weekends, well borrow without asking but returning it all in one piece before anyone noticed. I was on The Avengers and he was on Department S or Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased). Without thinking about it we created the best film school in the world. On The Avengers we sometimes had five units shooting to keep up with the broadcast scheduling requirements out of New York. So when someone on staff fell ill, you’d be told to take their place and you either learned what to do really fast or someone would take your slot and you went back down the ranks. It was an incredible experience.

Suddenly from being a third assistant director I could do the odd day as a camera assistant or help out with the sound department which proved invaluable for me later as a film maker. And at nights and weekends, whenever no one was around we would be taking cameras out of the studio and shooting our own tiny films and editing them overnight in the studio cutting rooms. I don’t think anyone ever found out or maybe people just turned a blind eye to our nocturnal activities!"

The following two questions and answers come from the Cinema Jam interview:

How much has the industry changed in terms of securing the kind of deal that got a film like Get Carter made?

"Get Carter still could happen today. It was a medium budget film for its’ day and decisions like that could still be made by a brave executive like Bobby Litman who was then the newly appointed head of MGM Europe and we were lucky to know from his time as an agent. The timeline is impressive. From the day we first had the book, Jack’s Return Home by Ted Lewis in galleys to when the film was first released in cinemas was a total of 37 weeks. It was a classic case of the stars aligning and the perfect storm.

The flat you see in the opening shot in Get Carter was found through a girl I was dating who knew a British gangster who owned the place and was OK with our using it to film in. Euan Lloyd was not the same type of man as my father. That’s not meant to be a critique of Euan but if you read Andrew Spicer’s fine book about dad, The Man Who Got Carter, you’d soon discover their many differences. Michael Klinger was the best Script Editor and Producer and had a tremendous ability to sell. Producers today have become more supplicant in their approach and there were only a handful in my father’s day that had that gift, even less today. It’s no accident that my father made so many fine films when he was left to his own devices. He also could pick talent and nurture it. People financing films today tend to think in terms of the tax deals and soft money being the key to making a film."

Get Carter is the yardstick by which all subsequent British Gangster films are compared. Why do you think it has endured today?

"Attitude. My old man came from Soho, which was a tough area at the time he was growing up in the 1920s. It was effectively a Jewish village, next to an Italian village next to an Irish village, much like New York. Some people said that it would be fine in one area, but if you tried crossing the street to the next area and you would have to fight. My father encountered a lot of gangsters between engineering and Film and at one point, when he ran a nightclub, some gangsters came along demanding protection, but he chased them away. Real gangsters don’t threaten, they just do. When I worked as a projectionist at fifteen, I was being threatened, but this one gangster came up to the guy doing it, whispered something in his ear and the guy’s face turned pale and the trouble stopped. Scorsese has that attitude in Goodfellas and it’s that attitude that has come across in Get Carter. It had never been covered in British Cinema up to that point, although there were examples like Brighton Rock that covered similar ground. Get Carter also touched on Child Pornography and other pornography.

It was shot in Newcastle and I was up there for two weeks. Part of the appeal was Newcastle and how it was, that was exciting and kind of untamed and very different from London. I had the best time while filming our own locations for our documentary, Extremes. But being close to the filming of Get Carter confirmed me as a huge admirer of Michael Caine and a firm fan and friend of director Mike Hodges. When it was first screened on BBC they cut it telling us they were doing the filmmakers a favour. The attitude was the big mistake with the Stallone remake, because that film was about redemption, which is the complete opposite to what the original film was. An interesting footnote to the film is that in the climactic scene, there is a ship in the background. Somebody actually tracked that ship afterwards, it’s entire history right up to four decades later when it was demolished for scrap. That’s what the word fan really means!"


And THAT Famous Line From Get Carter? Tony Klinger Explains How It Came To Be Included In The Script...

As mentioned above, Tony visited the Ian Hendry Appreciation Society Facebook Page and, unprompted, posted this:

"The famous line from my dad's production, "Get Carter" about Ian, "eyes like piss holes in the snow" was the way my grandmother used to describe me, which was then lent to the wonderful script written by my friend Mike Hodges."

So there you have it from the 'horse's mouth'! It was Tony's grandmother who provided the inspiration for what has become the memorable line from the film.

I asked Tony if he remembered Ian and if he had any recollections from being on the set of Repulsion. His answer was candid and made me smile; it seems that he did remember meeting Ian, but at the time his main focus was elsewhere!

"Ian wasn't a good actor, he was, sadly for him, a great actor. That plus his love for a little something to drink and his penchant for speaking his mind, meant he was a triple threat. I'm pretty sure there were "stars" who didn't want to work with him because he'd act them off the screen. But yes I knew and liked him from the set, but in Repulsion I have to admit that even as a kid I only had eyes for Catherine Deneuve!"

I replied:

"Thanks for sharing that, Tony - appreciate your insight. And I can understand how you might have been distracted a bit by Catherine Deneuve! Were you on location for the duration of the filming of Repulsion and Get Carter? And have you written about those experiences and, if so, could you share where? It's quite something to have been on set for two films that both became classics I've come across some good pictures of your Dad on set, this is one of my favourites..."

Picture [l-r]: George Sewell, Michael Klinger, Ian Hendry and Michael Caine.

Tony expanded a little more:

"I am trying to limit my inputs about all the film set experiences I've had on both my own and my dad's productions because, amongst other things, I have to keep some stuff for my own memoirs which I have recently started to write. Suffice it to say I was on the set for a week or so while I was filming my own documentary called Extremes in the same wonderful city of Newcastle. We were very busy having a great time. I was about 19 at the time and was easily distracted. Besides which our financier and distributor and executive producer thought we were in Glasgow. On Repulsion I was about 14 or 15 and was purely a visitor."

I shared a few more picture with Tony; of Ian with his father, Michael. They seemed to get on very well:

Picture [l-r]: Michael Caine, Ian Hendry and Michael Klinger.

Picture [l-r]: George Sewell, Michael Klinger, Ian Hendry and Michale Caine.

Picture: The chairs - Get Carter [1971]

And Tony's closing thoughts to me were:

"Great photos by the way. My dad really liked and appreciated your uncle."


And The Origins Of THAT Line..?

Piss-holes In The Sand [and Rissoles In The Sand!]

I dug a little deeper to try and find out more and it's not quite as straight forward an answer as you might expect. But let's start with Dylan Thomas.

Dylan Thomas [27 October 1914 – 9 November 1953] spent much of his last few years reading his poetry, writing film-scripts and consuming vast quantities of alcohol on lecture tours across the United States. Just before he set off on his last trip across the Atlantic – he died in New York aged 39 – he wrote a comic, caustic account of the U.S. lecture circuit entitled ‘A Visit to America.’ It is from a little-known collection of Thomas’ broadcasts for the BBC called ‘Quite Early One Morning’ and is a gem of a piece.

It was eventually broadcast by the BBC on 30th March 1954, some five months after his death.


"And, in their diaries, more and more do such entries appear as, ‘No way of escape’ or ‘Buffalo!’ or ‘I am beaten,’ until at last they cannot write a word. And, twittering all over, old before their time, with eyes like rissoles in the sand, they are helped up the gangway of the home-bound liner by kind bosom friends (and all kinds and bosoms) who boister them on the back, pick them up again, thrust bottles, sonnets, cigars, addresses, into their pockets, have a farewell party in their cabin, pick them up again, and snickering and yelping, are gone: to wait at the dockside for another boat from Europe and another batch of fresh, green lecturers."

Rissoles in the sand? I was confused.

From Wikipedia:

A rissole (from Latin russeolus, meaning reddish, via  in which "rissoler" means "to [make] redden") is a small croquette, enclosed in pastry or rolled in breadcrumbs, usually baked or deep fried.

So perhaps Dylan Thomas was referring to the eyes as being reddened and dry, as opposed to having any resemblance to pastry?!

Whilst it works in the literary sense, it is clear that it is a euphemism for what Thomas probably wanted to say,  to soften the words, which, after-all, were to be broadcast on the BBC.

Thomas had written a letter several  years earlier [c.1932] which mentioned that:

"I have the villain of a headache, my eyes two piss holes in the sand, my tongue like fish and chip paper...."

So here is a clear reference to a similar phrase, which describes feeling and looking unwell. And piss-holes was used, not rissoles!

What is not clear is whether Thomas had created this phrase himself or whether he was merely repeating one that was in common use at that time. This theme and a theory is is returned to again below.

What is clear, though, is that the quote he used related to sand and not snow.


Piss-holes In The Snow

The first literary reference I could find for a similar phrase, that mentioned snow, was in 'Prince Bart - A Novel Of Our Times' written by Jay Richard Kennedy and published in 1953.

Kennedy writes:

"Like the welcome?" Mills asked. "Isn't worth a pisshole in the snow."

This alludes to value, something being of little worth.

Some have suggested that the phrase may have a military origin. That was certainly the view of one comment I saw on a forum online:

"Piss-hole in the snow" is a negative assessment of value (around World War II) much like "rat's ass" [which referred to 'not giving a damn']. And "rat assed" also evolved to mean drunk, as did 'piss-holes in the snow'. 

And that idea is further supported by a comment from Judy on the Facebook page:

"Goes back at least to WW2, maybe even WW1, as a description of battle fatigue."

Others have suggested that it was a British street-culture adaptation of a WWII expression that got picked up by writers and introduced into mainstream media. More likely, though, is that it entered into everyday use in it's original unaltered form.

We also know that Tony Klinger's grandmother was fond of using this expression with Tony, when he was a child growing up in London in the 50s. So whilst it was popular in the military during WWII, it is also quite possible that it's origins predate that.


Piss-holes In The Sand + Piss-holes In The Snow

- Both Of Military Origin?

Thomas mentioned this phrase in a letter, so it seems unlikely that he created it and that it then entered into everyday use; his letters were only published many years later. It seems more likely that he took a phrase which was in everyday use at the time to describe his own condition. If it was in common use, then, I wonder whether it could have had a military origins too? Perhaps with the reference to sand, being used to describe a soldier's battle fatigue from desert warfare?

Given that Dylan Thomas was using it c. 1932, if it's roots were in the military, one theory is that it might have originated or been used extensively during the desert campaigns in the Middle East and North Africa in WW1. Some more 'digging' would be required, though, before we could be sure that that was the case.

So just to recap, piss holes in the snow has been used to describe something of low value, but also has the meaning of looking unwell/ suffering from battle fatigue.

It appears that it was a key phrase in the military and very similar to the expression used by  Thomas c.1932; and quite possibly amended to refer to  battle fatigue in colder climates.

At some point, then, it's likely that the two expressions were both in common use:

  • 'Piss holes in the sand', as used by Dylan Thomas in his letter c.1932 [when clearly referring to feeling unwell, quite possibly from drink!] was probably already in common use at that time; gradually becoming the less well-known and used version.
  • 'Piss holes in the snow' also referred to feeling tired/ battle fatigued and looking unwell [as well as something of low value]; but over time, it slowly won in the 'popularity contest' and became the phrase of choice.

And then later on, possibly sometime after the second world war was over, it's usage changed again or rather evolved. It was still used to describe someone feeling unwell/ looking tired, but rather than the cause being battle fatigue, it was the result of a hangover!


One thing that we can be sure of, though, is that in the film "Get Carter" (1971), the expression finally entered into the mainstream.

And has remained there ever since.



Michael Klinger + Tony Klinger - Golan Heights In '73

Picture: "This was dad and me on an old burnt out tank trying to make the biblical love story of Rachel and Jacob just after the '73 war on the Golan Heights. Not the best choice of venue for that particular production and one day worth at least one chapter in my memoirs."


A big thanks to Tony for 'dropping by' and sharing some of his memories. His memoirs will undoubtedly be fascinating and compelling reading. I'll let you all know when I hear any news on their publication.


You can keep up-to-date with all our latest articles and updates by following us on Facebook and / or Twitter:

Ian Hendry Appreciation Society Facebook Page 


Ian Hendry Tribute - Twitter Page

Until next time,

Neil Hendry
Editor, Official Tribute To Ian Hendry

Further Reading

A detailed account of the life and work of Ian Hendry in the new biography:

Read: 'Send in the Clowns - The Yo Yo Life Of Ian Hendry' by Gabriel Hershman

Send In The Clowns - The Yo Yo Life of Ian Hendry


























































Remembering Ian Hendry - Born On This Day, 13th January 1931

Picture above: Ian Hendry Sketch Card by Andy Fry - now quite rare and collectable. From a series of Trading Cards celebrating The Avengers, released by Unstoppable Cards.

Remembering Ian Hendry, born on this day, 13th January 1931.

Picture: Ian Hendry with his mother, Enid Hendry. In the garden at their home on Tuddenham Road, Ipswich [January 1931]


Just a short article today, in memory of Ian.

Until next time,

Neil Hendry
Editor, Official Tribute To Ian Hendry

Further Reading

A detailed account of the life and work of Ian Hendry in the new biography:

Read: 'Send in the Clowns - The Yo Yo Life Of Ian Hendry' by Gabriel Hershman

Send In The Clowns - The Yo Yo Life of Ian Hendry




Review Of 2017 - Twelve Top Stories Selected From The Last Year

As 2017 draws to a close, here's a quick look back at some of the highlights, discoveries, announcements and sad losses covered by the Ian Hendry website over the last year.

The twelve stories which stood out are:

1. Alan Gibson Discusses His School Boy Friendship With Ian Hendry - Ipswich School In The 1940s

Octagenarian Alan Gibson and his partner, Penny, contacted me in September 2017. What followed was a rare glimpse into Ian Hendry's school-life in the 1940s.

Thanks to Alan and Penny for all their help with this article and their research.

This is Alan's story:

2. David Perkes And Ian Hendry Form A Motorcyle Display Team - National Service 1949-1951

Another octagenarian, David Perkes, also shared his memories of Ian Hendry, this time during their National Service Days in Scotland. David Perkes' love of motorcycles and tricks inspired Ian and they both then formed a motorcycle display team.

This is David's story:

3. Theatre Of Blood [1973] Rare Autographed Colour Lobby Card Discovered

Rare memorabilia continues to surface. This colour lobby card from Theatre Of Blood [1973] was autographed by all the actors in it. A bit of a gem:

4. Ian Hendry - Rowing Home Across The Thames To 'Sphinx', Pharaohs Island

An atmospheric candid shot of Ian Hendry rowing home across the Thames, was also discovered. The article also includes some 'then and now' pictures of Janet Munro and his home, 'Sphinx', located on Pharaohs Island - as well as a connection with Lord Nelson:

5. Stefan Gryff - Perhaps Best Known As Captain Michael Krasakis In The Lotus Eaters, Dies Age 79

This event went unnoticed with the mainstream press, but was reported by the Michael J. Bird tribute website. Chris Williams, a long-time devoted fan of The Lotus Eaters, Michael J. Bird and  enthusiastic supporter of the Ian Hendry website was determined that we should pay a tribute to this actor.

In his research he uncovered a remarkable personal family story behind the man and spoke with his widow.

Here is Chris' tribute to Stefan:

6. Police Surgeon Book Published - Retelling The Story Behind The Series That Led To The Avengers

Alan Hayes, Richard McGinaly and Alys Hayes completed their 'trilogy', with the publication of the story behind Police Surgeon - the series that ultimately led to the creation of The Avengers.

Police Surgeon gave Ian his first big break in television and would lead to even bigger things, when he was cast a year later as Dr. Keel in The Avengers:

7. Rare Still Of Ian Hendry And Roy Thinnes In Spaceship Found - Journey To The Far Side Of The Sun [1969]

Another rare still discovered. This one is a classic black and white of Ian Hendry and Roy Thinnes in a spaceship, for promting the film, Journey To The Far Side Of The Sun [ 1969]. Space travel was everywhere at the end of the 60s. David Bowies was singing about it and the historic first human manned moon landing occured.

Here Ian Hendry and Roy Thinnes also play at being spacemen:

8. Ian Hendry And Britt Ekland At The Westbury Hotel, London [1965]

Several pictures have emerged of the ABC headline stars taken for the autumn 1965 season promotion.

Patrick Macnee, Diana Rigg, Bruce Forsyth, Dickie Davies and Dusty Springfield were others included in this photoshoot.

This picture is of Britt Ekland, with her arms linked with Bruce Forsyth's to our left [also sadly lost this year] and Ian Hendry to our right.

9. Ian Hendry [1962] and Patrick Macnee [1964] - Rare UTV Interviews Discovered In Northern Ireland

Kaleidosciope announced the discovery of some rare footage in Norther Ireland, produced originally by UTV. This included a very rare 1962 interview with Ian Hendry, in which he discusses some of the reasons why he left The Avengers; and a Patrick Macnee interview from 1964, in which he also discusses the first series.

10. Sir John Hurt Dies, Age 77

Sir John hurt died after a long battle with cancer. He appeared with Ian Hendry and June Ritchie in the film This Is My Street way back in 1964].

Here we pay tribute to the very talented and versatile actor:

11. Rare Ian Hendry Scrapbook Discovered And Acquired

The discovery and acqusition of this very rare scrapbook will provide a lot of very useful material for the website in 2018.

It was collated over three decades by Ian Scoones, a long-time friend of Ian's. Ian Scoones worked in special effects, including Dr. Who, and was clearly also a big fan of Ian's work.

When the scrapbook became available, I jumped at the chance to add it to the collection. I haven't had enough time to add any articles yet, but here is a sneak preview of what to expect in 2018:

And Finally...

12. The Avengers 'Tunnel Of Fear' - Studio Canal Announce Forthcoming Release On DVD

Studio Canal announced the forthcoming planned release of  The Avengers, 'Tunnel Of Fear' episode, discovered after having been 'lost' for over 55 years!

Originally scheduled for released in mid-January 2018, Studio Canal have advised me that this was a 'placeholder' date. It is likely to slip a little, but you should still expect it to be released in the first quater of 2018.

I've been working behind the scenes and helping the Studio Canal team over the last couple of months; providing some input material, background research and have also written the foreword for the booklet which will accompany this DVD release. Alan Hayes has written an essay which will also be included.

Expect more announcements soon:



You can keep up-to-date with all our latest articles and updates by following us on Facebook and / or Twitter:

Ian Hendry Appreciation Society Facebook Page


Ian Hendry Tribute - Twitter Page


Wishing you all a very Happy New Year and see you all again in 2018!

Until next time,

Neil Hendry
Editor, Official Tribute To Ian Hendry

Further Reading

A detailed account of the life and work of Ian Hendry in the new biography:

Read: 'Send in the Clowns - The Yo Yo Life Of Ian Hendry' by Gabriel Hershman

Send In The Clowns - The Yo Yo Life of Ian Hendry

Picture above: Alan Gibson and Ian Hendry both wearing Staff Seargeant Williams' hat from the film,  The Hill [1965].

Alan Gibson + Friends - Alan chats about his friendship with Ian Hendry and their Ipswich School days in the 1940s, with myself, my sister and his partner Penny.

Click the play button below to hear the recording:

Note: Further information and an update on the 'hayloft', mentioned in this recording, is included in the article below.


It's been quite a year for people contacting me and mentioning that they knew Ian Hendry at different stages of his life.

Recently, I was contacted by Julie, the daughter of David Perkes. David retold his story to me about how he had inspired a young 18 year old Ian Hendry, into forming a motorcyle display team, during their time together on National Service in Aberdeen Scotland.

You can read more about that here:

David Perkes + Ian Hendry - National Service Motorcycle Display Team [1949-1951]

At around the same time, I also received an email from Alan Gibson and his partner Penny, which also came 'out of the blue'.

Alan mentioned that he met Ian and became friends during their time together at Ipswich School in the early 40s, when they were both just 13 years old!

This is Alan's story...

Alan Gibson + Ian Hendry - Ipswich School Years [1938-1944]

When Alan Gibson first contacted me back in September 2017, it caught me by complete surprise. Here was someone who became friends with Ian Hendry when they were both just 13 years old. Here was a connection to Ian's childhood,  over 70+ years ago. Quite remarkable.

Aside from a few anecdotes from within the family,  I knew of nobody that could recall any memories of Ian from his time at Ipswich School. Even when Gabriel Hershman carried out his detailed reseach into his life for the biography, 'Send In The Clowns - The Yo Yo Life Of Ian Hendry' he had to rely on material from Ipswich School archive. And given the lack of any first-hand accounts, it is not surprising that after so many years had passed, that some of the facts had become somewhat 'lost in translation'.

In Alan's first email to me, he was keen to put the record straight. Aside from being a friend of Ian's during their early teenage years, Alan has also been a volunteer archivist at Ipswich School. Together with his partner, Penny, they have kindly helped to source material included in this article, which helps to paint a picture of how life was at that time  in Ipswich and at Ipswich School, for both him and Ian in the early 1940's. My hope is that this article will help to redress the balance and to fill in some more of the missing details of Ian's life.

Ian was at Ipswich School from 1938 until 1944. In January 1945 he went to Culford School where he remained as a boarder until the time he left in December 1947. This period in Ian's life is covered in the article below:

Ian Hendry - Culford School Years + Sports Day [1945-1947]

Ian's time at Ipswich School, coincided with the years of second world war. As a result of rationing and cutbacks, there seems to be no school student or class photographs taken during this time. The picture below, from three  years earlier in 1935, is the closest thing I have to a school age picture of Ian, aged 4.

Ian Hendry (On Bike)_Family 1935 Dedham Vale

Picture: [l-r, back row] Edith Rushton [Grandmother], Enid Hendry [Mother], Donald Hendry [Brother], James 'Jim' Hendry [Father], George Rushton [Grandfather], Dedham [1935]. Ian Hendry on his bicycle outside his Grandparents home.

He began at Ipswich School's Preparatory Department in 1938 [Prep' Schoo], which would have meant he was 7 at the time. This raises the question of where he went to school from ages 5-7 and I will see what I can find out.

Picture: The Preparatory Department, Ipswich School, facing Ivry Street; where Ian Hendry first started at the School, in 1938.

Picture: Block of classrooms facing Ivry Street, Ipswich School. Completed in the 1930s, most of Ian's lessons whilst in the Upper School, were taken here.

A Call Is Arranged

Following on from our initial email exchanges, I called Alan, so that we could chat more about his memories.

It was more than a little surreal for both of us. For Alan, it was a connection to his past after more than 70 years. For myself, it was connection in the present to a past that I knew little about. It was as though we had both entered into our own virtual time-machines and revisted a very different time.

Alan Gibson + Friends - In His Own Words [Audio/ Podcast]

Following on from our chat we arranged to meet up at Alan and Penny's home in Suffolk and they both agreed we could record our conversation, so that it could be then shared here with our readers. In the end our 'chat' extended to some 4+ hours! The podcast recording below is the edited highlights. It includes Alan, Penny, my sister Sue and yours truly.

The initial aim was to edit the recording so that you could just hear Alan. But then I realised that it would be impossible to dientangle the various voices, remarks and my ramblings and anecdotes! Technology is clearly not that advanced, yet.

So instead, I give you an afternoon chat with the four of us, complete with cups of tea, cake and all!

The edited recording is still quite long, about 2 hours in total. It includes Alan's recollections of  his early life in Ipswich, being friends with Ian, the war years, as well as my sister and I discussing some of our memories of Ian and the family; how the biography 'Send In The Clowns' evolved, the creation of this website and how I became involved in all of this, way back in 2011.

I think Alan's stories and anecdotes about Ian are fascinating and give a rare glimpse into another time and place. They also seem to mirror some of the same characteristics that David Perkes mentioned, when I discussed him knowing Ian a few years later, when both were doing National Service in Aberdeen, Scotland.

Alan's anecdotes include:

  • Climbing trees with Ian
  • Scout camps
  • Playing football in Christchurch Park, Ipswich
  • School days and school masters
  • A retirement gift for a teacher
  • And bumping into Ian several years in Ipswich, after Ian had started work but before he went to drama school.

Click the play button below to hear the recording:

Recording update - further information on the 'hayloft': Since recording this conversation, Penny and Alan have provided me with some further details. In Ian Hendry's 'This Is Your Life' [March 1978], my father retells the story of how Ian, who was just 11 year old at the time, had used an old hayloft on the Norwich Road in Ipswich to stage a play; which Ian both wrote and naturally starred in!

The "hayloft"was at the back of no. 245 Norwich Road and had a frontage onto Brooks Hall Lane and not Richmond Road as suggested.  Numbers 243 and 245 Norwich Road are a semi-detached pair of late Victorian villas and in the 1940's no. 245 had a shop front to Norwich Road and was known as the 'Norwich Road Post Office and Newsagent'.  It was kept by a Mr Bell whose son Keith was at Ipswich School in the same form as Ian and was a keen Boy Scout.  Sadly, the hayloft is no more, with the land now being occupied by a small car park and a number of houses, probably built in the 1960's. From the photographs below, however, it seems the post box may still remain.


Picture above: 245 Norwich Road. In the 1940s it was the location of 'Norwich Road Post Office and Newsagent'. The Post Office is no more, but a post box still remains.

Picture above: Aerial view of the Norwich Road/ Brooks Hall Road junction in Ipswich. A small car park now occupies the land in the vicinity of where the 'old hayloft' once stood.


Alan Gibson Wearing The Army Hat Worn By Ian Hendry In 'The Hill' [1965]

Picture: Alan Gibson wearing the army hat, worn by Ian Hendry for the part of Staff Sergeant Williams in The Hill [1965. Dir. Sidney Lumet].

Picture: Ian Hendry, wearing the same hat in The Hill [1965]. With Harry Andrews and Sean Connery.

Alan shouldn't be concerned, though, as this hat didn't fit me either! Read more:

Ian Hendry - Staff Sergeant Williams' Hat - The Hill [1965]


Ipswich School - A Glimpse Back In Time

The pictures below give a feel for how school-life would have been for both Ian and Alan at Ipswich School in the 1940s; they are also an important record of the social history of that time.

Alan and Penny also sent me copies from Ipswich School, Ipswichian Magazine from the time that he, Ian and my father were there. Although Ian was sporty [see Hendry (i)], it seems that it was my father who was, in fact, more prolific [see Hendry (ii)]!


For those interested in history, here is a brief overview:

Ipswich School - A Brief History

The oldest record that may refer to the school in Ipswich goes back to 1399, in a legal dispute over unpaid fees. The first recorded mention of a grammar school in Ipswich is 1416. The school was likely set up by the Merchant Guild of Ipswich, which became the Guild of Corpus Christi. The sons of the ruling burgesses were educated for a fee, and the sons of nobility and gentry could attend at higher fees.

From 1483 the school moved to a house bequeathed by ex-pupil Richard Felaw, a merchant and politician. His will also provided rental income for the school and stated that, for Ipswich children, only those parents with income over a certain amount should pay fees.

In 1528, building work began on an ambitious project for a 'college' school in Ipswich to rival the likes of Eton College. Thomas Wolsey, Cardinal Archbishop of York and Lord Chancellor of England, funded his 'College of St Mary' by ''suppressing' local religious houses such as Rumburgh Priory. Ipswich school was incorporated into the college. Wolsey, who was from Ipswich and may have attended Ipswich school, intended the new institution to be a feeder to his recently built 'Cardinal's College' of Oxford University, which is now known as Christ Church. However, Wolsey fell out of favour with King Henry VIII and the college in Ipswich was demolished in 1530 while still half-built. The school pupils returned to Felaw's house.

The Cardinal’s School was in St Peter’s Street where Wolsey’s Gateway still exists. It was to have been surmounted by a tower similar to the Tom Tower at Christchurch Oxford, Wolsey’s other foundation with which he intended Ipswich to be linked. The Tower at the existing Ipswich School building in Henley Road is a copy of this. Another interesting anecdotes is that during the second world war parents who would otherwise have sent their boys to the School as boarders were deterred from doing so believing that the Tower would make a good target for German bombers.

The play Henry VIII by William Shakespeare mentions the two colleges during a recounting of the life of Cardinal Wolsey; it was the college of Oxford University that outlasted him and became widely known:

'Those twins of learning that he rais'd in you,
Ipswich and Oxford! One of which fell with him,
Unwilling to outlive the good that did it;
The other, though unfinish'd, yet so famous'

After Wolsey's downfall in 1530, his former ally Thomas Cromwell ensured the survival of the School by securing for it a new endowment from King Henry VIII and the status of a royal foundation. This was confirmed by Queen Elizabeth I in the charter that she granted to the School in 1566. For part of the School's history it was known as Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School, Ipswich. The School's coat of arms and motto, Semper Eadem (Always the Same), are those of Elizabeth I. The Monarch of the United Kingdom, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II is the School's Visitor.

In 1614 the school moved across the road to the Blackfriar's refectory. During the reign of James I part of the Blackfriars Monastery was appropriated for use as a classroom, and the Blackfriars remained the School's home until 1842 when the building was deemed to be unsafe. For a few years teaching was carried on in temporary premises in Lower Brook Street. In 1851 Prince Albert laid the foundation stone for the School's first purpose-built premises in Henley Road, and by 1852 the new buildings were in use. The School has remained on the Henley Road site ever since.

Picture: Ipswich School facing the Arboretum [1851]. The is how it would also have looked to Ian in the 1930s.

An intereting anecdote is that The Prince Consort laid the foundation stone to the Henley Road building in 1851, a day of great celebration in the town and the Ceremony was watched by about 12,000 people, which was approximately half the population of Ipswich at that time!

Picture: Truman Tanqueray - Ipswich School Headmaster [1933-1955]. The Headmaster during the time that Alan, Ian and my father were at Ipswich School.

Picture: 'Big School' by Martin Squirrell - Ipswich School [1949]

Picture: Ipswich School Chapel [c.1940-1950]


Picture: 'The Chemical Laboratory'. Seeing Chemistry classes, with Ian using these Bunsen burners, would have been interesting!


Picture: The Woodwork Workshop, Ipswich School [1940-1950]

Picture: The Gymnasium, Ipswich School [c.1940s -1950]


Picture: The Victorian Swimming Pool, Ipswich School [c.1040-1950]


Picture: Cricket Pavilion, Ipswich School playing fields, Henley Road, Ipswich [1938]

Picture: Cricket Square, Ipswich School playing fields, Henley Road, Ipswich [c.1938]


Ipswich School - Illustrated London News, November 12th 1960.

The following article is from The Illustarted London News which was published on 12th November 1960. Whilst it is from a few years later, it will still give a glimpse of the daily life at the school that Alan and ian would have experienced.

In Closing - Alan Gibson - Ipswich School Archive

Picture: Alan Gibson working as a volunteer in Ipswich School Archive [2003]


It's been a fascinating year with some wonderful highlights. Being able to chat with David Perkes, andhis daughter Julie, as well as meeting up with Alan Gibson and Penny have been at the top of that long list. Thanks again, for sharing your stories with me and allowing me to share them on this website.

Thanks also to you all for following and supporting the website and Facebook page this year. I wish you a very Happy New Year and may 2018 bring you the best of health and much happiness.



Feel free to connect with us on Facebook and / or Twitter:

Ian Hendry Appreciation Society - Facebook Page


Ian Hendry Tribute - On Twitter

Until next time,

Neil Hendry
Editor, Official Tribute To Ian Hendry

Further Reading

A detailed account of the life and work of Ian Hendry in the new biography:

Read: 'Send in the Clowns - The Yo Yo Life Of Ian Hendry' by Gabriel Hershman

Send In The Clowns - The Yo Yo Life of Ian Hendry













David Perkes, Ian Hendry And The Formation Of The 32nd Medium Regiment Royal Artillery Motorcycle Display Team, Gordon Barracks, Scotland [1949-1951]

Recently, I received a lovely message which brought back a number of good memories for me. First, I'll share a little more about those memories.

In March 1978, I travelled with my family to London for Ian Hendry's This Is Your Life, filmed at the Thames Television Studios on the Euston Road. Although I was only 10 years old at the time, I have some very vivid memories of the whole experience.

Two of the guests on the show were former army officers, who knew Ian from the two years that they had spent together during National Service;  with the 32nd Medium Regiment Royal Artillery at the Gordon Barracks in Scotland.


Picture: Junior Ranks Club, Gordon Barracks, Bridge of Don, Aberdeen Scotland. Located to the east of the main parade ground - built 1932-1935.

Murray Robb and Patrick Powell recalled how Ian had been part of a motorcycle display team. The video below is an extract from that episode of This Is Your Life, where they retell this story and one particularly funny incident involving Ian.


Video: Patrick Powell and Murray Robb, with Ian Hendry and Eamonn Andrews, This Is Your Life [March 1978]


Which brings me onto the recent message that I received. It was from the daughter of David Perkes, the man that first inspired Ian into thinking about forming the motorcycle display team!

The message from David's daughter, Julie, is as follows:

"Hello, my father David Perkes was in the 32nd Medium Royal Artillery stationed at Aberdeen, Scotland. He had his motor cycle sent up to Bridge of Don Barracks, during this time he was up to antics, tricks on his bike.  Ian noticed this and approached him to see if he would like to start/join a team. Practice took place on the sand dunes some 45-50 degree slope. Jumps, lean backs etc.,  Later practice took place on the parade ground, in principle along the lines of the Royal Signals Corps.  When confident they did stunt riding shows mostly in Aberdeen. My father has many more stories should you be interested."

I wrote back and she then sent me some notes that her father had written down about his recollections of Ian and their time spent together during National Service. He had also been able to find a couple of photographs, a portrait of himself as a soldier and another one in the full motorcycle display team uniform/ regalia! These are included below.

And today I was able to speak with David and Julie for the first time. A very special moment for a number of reasons, not least because today is David's 87th birthday. The conversation also helped me to learn a little more about Ian's life and his character.

This is David's story....

David Perkes - The Story Of The Man And The Motorbike That Inspired Ian Hendry To Form A Motorcycle Display Team

David Perkes had already been with the 32nd Medium Regiment Royal Artillery at the Gordon Barracks in Aberdeen for a while, when a young fresh-faced officer arrived to begin his two year stint of National Service. That junior-commissioned officer was, of course, Second Lieutenant Ian Hendry.

I asked David what his first impressions of Ian were:

"I was already stationed at Aberdeen when Ian came. Young, ready to go. All of my pals, remarked Ian was OK, so did I."

Now it's important to remember that at that time, Ian was an officer and David always had to address him as 'sir'. But whilst other officers used their rank to have a go at the regular soldiers, David told me that Ian was not like them. He described Ian as, 'a good man'.

"Ian was always busy thinking or doing something. When he was off-duty and working with us, he was  friendly and relaxed. We had a nice relationship. He certainly had something about him, you wouldn't have missed him in a crowd of a million."

And that:

"He was always willing to have a go himself and was very positive."

David was a Lance Bombardier and a gun fitter by trade during his time in the Army. He also told me that he had trained as a Field Engineer and after Gordon Barracks, had been posted to Manston in Kent before being posted back to Penniquek, Otterburn in Northumberland.

Penniquek was the location of the firing ranges that were bombarded by the 32nd Regiment during their summer camps there. At that time the regiment had 74 and 98 Medium Battery 5.5" inch guns which could cause a fair amount of damage. And on occasions, David clearly remembers being called over by the safety officer and ordered to go and pick up the sheep which had become collateral damage,  caught unawares on the hillside.

But it's his time at Gordon Barracks in Scotland which he remembers most fondly. Which brings us back to Ian and that motorcycle.

David explains more:

"Now my interest was motorcycles, the one I had at the camp was a Royal Enfield. To occupy my evenings I was playing around on my motor bike."


But when I asked David to expand a bit more on what this 'playing around' actually entailed, his answer made me smile; because he was able to stand upright on the seat of his motorbike, with chords attached to the handlebars to allow him to steer and then ride around the parade ground!

Gordon Barracks is located on the east-coast, in a quiet part of Scotland and entertainment was probably in very short supply. At times the weather there was bleak, with the north-easterly winds no doubt bringing Arctic-like conditions.

As David recalled, their accommodation seemed to reflect the weather, with formal names that spark the imagination  :

"Our billets were named after spiders. All timber and cold."


Ian had noticed David's prowess on his bike  and after a few days decided to approach him and ask whether he would help him form a racing team - or some kind of entertainment team. He was also keen, no doubt, to try and find some excitement and adventure to make life there more enjoyable for himself and for others.

And the answer to Ian's request was, of course, 'yes'.

Picture: Lance Bombardier, David Perkes, 32nd Medium Regiment Royal Artillery, Gordon Barracks, Scotland c.1950

Picture: Second Lieutenant, Ian Hendry, 32nd Medium Regiment Royal Artillery, Gordon Barracks, Scotland c.1950

The Formation Of The 32nd Medium Regiment Royal Artillery Motorcycle Display Team

David told me that their inspiration came from the Royal Signals Motorcycle Display Team (RSMDT). The RSMDT origins lie in precision motorcycling and horse-riding demonstrations given by instructors and students from the British Army Signal Training Centre in Yorkshire, beginning in 1927. Riders were normally employed as despatch riders. They have had many names in the past including 'The Red Devils', before the Parachute Regiment team of the same name existed, Mad Signals (on account of the poor brakes on the motorcycles) and only adopted the name 'White Helmets' in 1963. Team members wear a tailored blue uniform and open-face white motorcycle helmets and traditionally use Triumph motorcycles. Sadly, though, the RSMDT is to be disbanded at the end of 2017.

Now the 32nd Medium Regiment Royal Artillery Motorcycle Display Team had much more humble origins and financial resources upon which to draw. David had his own bike and Ian helped get permission from more senior officers for a couple of others in the team to have their motorbikes sent up to the barracks.

In total, there were six team members, David, Ian, Ed Wright, Peter and two others whose names have, for the moment, escaped recall. And in time they had the use of six 500cc despatch bikes,  Nortons and  BSAs. But the Nortons had a tendency for the front part of the frame to crack, under the strain of some of their more extreme manoeuvres and, in time, the team members began to outnumber their machines!

The Uniforms

Now it's already been mentioned that the RSMDT team was immaculately turned out in their tailored blue uniform and open-face white motorcycle helmets. But the 32nd Regiment had no such budget. Not deterred, though, David recalled that Ian found a novel solution:


"As there was no budget, we had to improvise. so Ian headed over to the NAAFI."


The Navy, Army and Air Force Institutes (NAAFI ) is an organisation created by the British government in 1921 to run recreational establishments needed by the British Armed Forces, including the kitchens and the cafes/ restaurants.

David mentioned that:

"A short while later, Ian returned having borrowed some bright white chefs jackets from the NAAFI, the helmet and gloves came from somewhere else."


With some slight modifications, the uniform of the 32nd  Medium Regiment Royal Artillery Motorcycle Display Team had been created!


Picture: David Perkes with another team member, wearing the improvised uniform of the 32nd Medium Regiment Royal Artillery Motorcycle Display Team!

The Practice

David told me that Ian was good on the motorbikes too, but he had also taken on the role of leader.

He recalled:

"Ian said we now have to work out a programme of moves. He was good at this. Timing was to be correct."


"To get more practice in, we went to the sand dunes, these were very steep, but we became ready to do a team show."


The sand dunes had been Ian's idea. David recalls how Ian had said to him:

"Do you think we could do more frightening moves?"

Picture: Sand dunes at Balmedie Beach, located north of Bridge of Don - similar to those used by the motorcycle team in their practice.

One evening, the team went to the large sand dunes nearby and set up all their bikes at the very top. Then, with engines roaring, they all descended down the steep sandy slopes, sliding in all directions as they attempted to reach the beach below. And I think some may have actually made it!

The Shows

In comparison, the shows were more modest affairs, some held at events in Aberdeen, on sports fields in front of a small crowd, some on the parade ground of Gordon Barracks as entertainment for the soldiers and staff.

But the actual 'stunts' performed seem far from modest. David described some of them to me in more detail:

"We used to have two, three, four or five people on one bike at a time. One person would be standing on the saddle of the bike, holding two chords tied to the handlebars with which to steer by, whilst the others would be standing on the pedals, leaning outwards."

On another occasion, David described how:

"One person would be upside down over the handle-bars, whilst the other was standing on the seat of the motorbike."

Also, whilst perhaps not in the same league as Evil Knieval, the team did used to use a 2 foot high wooden ramp to get the bikes airborne and up to 4 feet above the ground. No wonder that some of the frames cracked.

And on another occasion, David recalled how they also experimented with fire - but that it was not pursued further for reasons of safety!

Unfortunately, there are no photographs of the team in action, but the photograph below of the Royal Signals, shows the type of stunts they performed.

Picture: The Royal Signals Motorcycle Display Team perform The Flowerpot' manoeuvre. The 32nd Royal Medium Regiment Artillery Motorcycle Display Team performed similar stunts.


Some Closing Thoughts

In one of Julie's emails to me, she mentioned that her father:

"Always remembers the parade ground roar of the bikes."

And when I asked David how he best remembers Ian, he thought for a moment and his reply seemed to paraphrase the title of a well-known film:

"As a gentleman.......and an officer."

I'd like to thank David and his daughter, Julie, for contacting me and sharing this lovely story; and also for allowing me to reproduce it, along with the pictures, here. Sharing these memories with David today, on his 87th birthday, has been a real pleasure.

We Wish You A Very Happy 87th Birthday, David!



You can keep up-to-date with all our latest articles and updates by following us on Facebook and / or Twitter:

Ian Hendry Appreciation Society Facebook Page 


Ian Hendry Tribute - Twitter Page

Until next time,

Neil Hendry
Editor, Official Tribute To Ian Hendry

Further Reading

A detailed account of the life and work of Ian Hendry in the new biography:

Read: 'Send in the Clowns - The Yo Yo Life Of Ian Hendry' by Gabriel Hershman

Send In The Clowns - The Yo Yo Life of Ian Hendry

Theatre of Blood [1973] - Autographed By Milo O'Shea, Harry Andrews, Ian Hendry, Arthur Lowe, Robert Coote and Jack Hawkins

Picture above (from l-r): Theatre of Blood [1973] - A rare autographed lobby card - signed by Milo O' Shea, Harry Andrews, Ian Hendry, Arthur Lowe, Robert Coote and Jack Hawkins.


Theatre Of Blood [1973]

Another recent find, a rare original lobby card, signed by Milo O' Shea, Harry Andrews, Ian Hendry, Arthur Lowe, Robert Coote and Jack Hawkins.


Picturee: Original Film Poster - Theatre of Blood [1973]

Video: Original trailer - Theatre of Blood [1973]


Theatre of Blood Review

by Philip French

Vincent Price was, by Hollywood standards at least, a Renaissance man – actor on stage and screen, author, art collector, lecturer, cook, spellbinding public declaimer of prose and poetry. Nowadays he's less celebrated for the heavies he played in 1940s A-movies than for the doomed aesthetes he played in horror flicks, mostly low-budget and tongue in cheek, between the mid-1950s and the 70s.

Arguably Price's finest single performance, certainly the one that called on all his varied talents as a comedian, aesthete, mellifluous speaker of verse, old-fashioned barnstormer and exponent of horror, is Douglas Hickox's classic black comedy Theatre of Blood, best of a string of horror pictures he made in Britain. He plays the full-blooded exponent of Shakespeare Edward Kendal Sheridan Lionheart, an actor-manager of the old school (much like Donald Wolfit), who conspires with his daughter, Edwina (authentic RSC Shakespearean star Diana Rigg), to avenge himself on the London Critics' Circle for a lifetime of insults. The film is the critic's nightmare and the actor's dream: a series of ingenious murders perpetrated on theatre reviewers in imitation of Shakespearean death scenes by the victim of their cruel notices.

The preening critics are played by nine famous character actors: Robert Morley, Jack Hawkins, Harry Andrews, Arthur Lowe, Robert Coote, Michael Hordern, Dennis Price, Ian Hendry, and the imperious Coral Browne, who married Vincent Price shortly after completing the film. It was shot entirely at carefully chosen London locations, and elegantly photographed by the Austrian-born Wolfgang Suschitzky, still with us aged 101. Second world war SAS hero Anthony Greville-Bell wrote the originally screenplay, which manages to be extremely funny while exploring Shakespeare's dark side and doing full justice to the Grand Guignol aspect. The movie's beguiling credits cut between Nicholas Hilliard's famous Elizabethan miniature Young Man Among Roses and clips from silent Shakespearean films, and there's a clever score by Michael J Lewis.

The horror fans that make up the League of Gentlemen team provide an enthusiastic, slightly rowdy commentary to this Blu-ray disc, and the other extras include Victoria Price talking movingly about her father.

Source: The Guardian:



You can keep up-to-date with all our latest articles and updates by following us on Facebook and / or Twitter:

Ian Hendry Appreciation Society Facebook Page 


Ian Hendry Tribute - Twitter Page

Until next time,

Neil Hendry
Editor, Official Tribute To Ian Hendry

Further Reading

A detailed account of the life and work of Ian Hendry in the new biography:

Read: 'Send in the Clowns - The Yo Yo Life Of Ian Hendry' by Gabriel Hershman

Send In The Clowns - The Yo Yo Life of Ian Hendry

Police Surgeon - The Launch Of A New TV Series: TV Times Northern Edition No. 253 September 4th - 10th 1960

Picture above: Ian Hendry as Dr. Geoffrey Brent and John Warwick as Inspector Landon

Police Surgeon - The Launch Of A New TV Series [September 1960]

- The Series That Led To The Creation Of The Avengers

Occasionally, I discover something that helps me to explain a little bit more about Ian Hendry's life.

Today, I came across an article on Police Surgeon - which is reproduced below in full. It was in the TV Times Northern Edition No. 253 and covered the schedules for the 4th - 10th September 1960. The article is by Bill Evans, who was a journalist with the TV Times, and gives an overview of the series creation, the characters and some of the plot outlines. It also provides some interesting details about the series creator Julian Bond and some of the other key actors involved in the series, including John Warwick, Ingrid Hafner, Harry H. Corbett and a very young Michael Crawford, who was just 18 years old at the time! It was clearly also a promotional piece for the launch of this new series which was first broadcast on Saturday 10th September 1960.

Fans of The Avengers will know, that this little-known TV series played a vital role in the subsequent creation of the cult series. Police Surgeon gave Ian his first really significant role in television with the part of Dr. Geoffrey Brent.  And whilst the series was not a big commercial success, ABC TV recognised the talent of their lead actor and were determined to find another suitable 'vehicle' for him. And the new series that was created was of course The Avengers, in which Ian Hendry played another doctor, but this time he went by the name of Dr. David Keel.

The fascinating story of Police Surgeon series and the part it played in the subsequent development of The Avengers, is superbly told in the book Dr. Brent's Casebook by Richard McGinlay and Alan Hayes. For more details on this publication, please click on the link below:

Find Out More: Dr. Brent's Casebook by Richard McGinlay and Alan Hayes

So without further ado, here is the full article from the TV Times Northern Edition No. 253 September 4th - 10th 1960:


Picture: Cover for the TV Times Northern Edition No. 253 September 4th - 10th 1960

Modern police work needs allies. One of the policeman’s key allies is the doctor. His work ranges from examining alleged drunks to attending injured policemen or prisoners. Sometimes he must not only certify death but give an opinion on its cause. The doctor’s work for the police is dramatic, but the public know little about it.

Police Surgeon, a new half-hour TV series starting Saturday, starring Ian Hendry as Dr Geoffrey Brent, will lift the curtain.


Julian Bond, who wrote several of the Probation Officer scripts, is writing most of the episodes for the new series, in collaboration with J. J. Bernard, the pseudonym of a London police surgeon who suggested that the work would be an ideal theme for a TV series.

The young, idealistic Dr Brent cannot resist taking a personal interest in the cases to which he is called, for at heart he is a philosopher.

First of the 13 stories, many based on fact, is titled “Easy Money.” In it Dr Brent deals with a young thief, played by 18-year-old Michael Crawford. The second episode, “Under the Influence,” deals with a motorist, played by Bernard Archard, accused of drunken driving.

Other early episodes star Harry H. Corbett as a man who beats up a club hostess in “Lag on the Run” and Jean Anderson in “Sunday Morning Story,” which deals with a refugee girl’s suicide.

Appearing in several episodes with Ian Hendry is John Warwick, playing Inspector Landon, of the Bayswater area police station, to which Dr Brent is attached. Another artist who will be seen in several episodes is Ingrid Hafner, the surgeon’s receptionist.

The theme music has the appropriate title ‘The Big Knife.” The first four episodes of Police Surgeon are being produced by Julian Bond and the rest by Leonard White. Bond, 29 years old, has been writing for TV since 1957. Before that he was writing and directing documentary films. He is married and has three children.

Ian Hendry is the same age as Bond. He made his TV debut some years ago stooging for the famous clown Coco. The clown tried to persuade Ian to use his talent for knockabout comedy in the circus, but his gift for acting led him to the stage.

Bond chose Ian to star in his new series after watching his progress for three years following an impressive performance in Anouilh’s Dinner with the Family, which brought him to London with the Oxford Playhouse company.

At school at Culford, Suffolk, Ian’s main interest was sport. During National Service with the 32nd Medium Regiment, RA, he paced Chris Chataway and organised his own motor-cycle stunt team.

Ian went from the Central School of Speech and Drama into repertory. About the same time he was cast in Emergency — Ward 10, and established a following as Chris Stone, a polio patient. Film parts followed in Room at the Top, Sink the Bismarck and In the Nick.

Last spring he was back in TV as the young pilot whose error caused the death of a friend in Inside Story, and since then he has had further TV successes in Probation Officer, Eugene O’Neill’s Beyond the Horizon and Flight from Treason.

To celebrate this series Ian and his wife Jo, who teaches film and television make-up, have moved to a new home aboard a converted naval pinnace on the Thames at Chiswick.

by Bill Evans for the TV Times


What I found particularly interesting was that it was only when Ian Hendry landed the role in Police Surgeon, that he moved with first wife, Jo, to live on the boat at Chiswick. Up until that point, they had both been renting an apartment in North London.

Picture: Extract from the TV Times article for the week, 9th - 15th September 1960 showing Ian Hendry and the newly purchased houseboat

It would seem that the advance paid for his work on Police Surgeon gave Ian and Jo enough money to buy their own place in London, a former naval boat! The image above is taken from the TV Times article for the week commencing 9th September 1960, which is reproduced in full on this website at the following link:

Ian + Jo - Police Surgeon + Chiswick - TV Times 9th - 15th September 1960

You can keep up-to-date with all our latest articles and updates by following us on Facebook and / or Twitter:

Ian Hendry Appreciation Society Facebook Page 


Ian Hendry Tribute - Twitter Page

Until next time,

Neil Hendry
Editor, Official Tribute To Ian Hendry

Further Reading

A detailed account of the life and work of Ian Hendry in the new biography:

Read: 'Send in the Clowns - The Yo Yo Life Of Ian Hendry' by Gabriel Hershman

Send In The Clowns - The Yo Yo Life of Ian Hendry

Ian Hendry + Gabrielle Drake - 'The Tycoon' by Kenneth Jupp - ITV Playhouse [1968]

Picture above: Ian Hendry + Gabrielle Drake - 'The Tycoon' by Kenneth Jupp - ITV Playhouse [1968]

The Tycoon [ITV Playhouse 1968]

In 1968, Ian Hendry appeared in the ITV Playhouse production of The Tycoon. Written by Kenneth Jupp, it formed one part of what is known as The Chelsea Trilogy, along with the plays The Photographer and The Explorer which were also produced for ITV Playhouse in the same year.

Gabrielle Drake (born 30 March 1944) is a British actress. She became well known in the 1970s for her appearance in television series, most notably The Brothers and UFO. In the early 1970s she appeared in several erotic roles on screen. She later took parts in soap operas Crossroads and Coronation Street. She has also had a long career on stage.

Her brother was the musician Nick Drake. She has consistently helped to promote his work since his death in 1974.

Synopses - The Chelsea Trilogy:

In The Guardian they mention that it, "in particular captured the spirit of a time of swift change."

There is very little information available online about these titles, the following is all that I could find to date:

The Photographer "is concerned with the impact of a beautiful model's suicide upon the emotional life of those close to her, in particular the photographer who made her famous and her younger sister." [Source: The Playwrights Database]

The Explorer is [editor's note: still trying to find the synopsis for this title!]

The Tycoon is "a drama about a businessman who becomes involved in the lives of a sculptor and his beautiful wife". [Source: Ian's Biography by Gabriel Hershman]

ITV Playhouse

ITV Playhouse is a British television anthology series that ran from 1967 to 1983 with a total of 245 episodes and featured contributions from playwrights such as Dennis PotterRhys Adrian and Alan Sharp. The series began in black and white, but was later shot in colour and was produced by various companies for the ITV network, a format that would inspire Dramarama. The series would mostly include original material from writers, but adaptations of existing works were also produced.

Actors appearing in the series included Leslie Anderson, Gwen Nelson, Ricky Alleyne, Pat HeywoodMichael ElphickIan HendryEdward WoodwardMargaret LockwoodJessie Matthews and Lloyd Peters. It formed part of a long tradition of TV plays and dramas that formed part of an era that many people refer to as the Golden Age of Television.

Other similar anthology series include:

Armchair Theatre - which ran from 1956 to 1974 [ produced by Associated British Corporation (ABC TV) from 1956 -1968 and  Thames TV from 1968 -1974]

Play for Today - which ran from 1970 to 1984 [ produced by the BBC]

Theatre 625 - which ran from 1964 to 1968 [ produced by the BBC]

The Wednesday Play - which ran from 1964 to 1970 [ produced by the BBC]

Ian Hendry appeared in four of the productions which formed part of ITV Playhouse Antholdogy:

- The Tycoon (1968) 

- Thursday's Child (1970) 

- The High Game (1970) 

- A Splinter of Ice (1972) 

The Tycoon - Cast

Major - Rudolph Walker
Guy Taylor - Ian Hendry
Jean - Gabrielle Drake
Jeremy - Michael Elwyn
Sandra - Jocelyne Sbath
Violet - Elizabeth Gordon
Gerald - Christopher Benjamin
Helen Taylor - Elspet Gray
Rachel Bell - Isobel Black
Peter Bell - Michael Pennington
Drunken Businessman - Anthony Roye


Director - John Jacobs
Production Company - Anglia Television
Script - Kenneth Jupp
Editor - Kenneth F. Rowles
Designer - Eileen Diss

Kenneth Jupp - Playwright, Novelist and Screenwriter


Kennth Jupp found success early in his career when, in 1959, his first play, The Buskers, was produced at the Arts Theatre, London, and won the International Theatre award and that year's premier Arts Council award. Both The Buskers and his second play, The Socialites, were well received critically in New York, the latter being published there in 1961 as one of Three New Plays From England, alongside works by Bernard Kops and Ronald Duncan.

After this brilliant debut came a series of plays for television, on which he worked with the producer Sidney Newman, front-rank directors including John Jacobs, Philip Saville and John Gorrie, and actors of the calibre of Irene Worth, Wilfred Lawson, Robert Stephens, Michael Bryant, Patrick McGee, Michael Pennington, Susannah York and Derek Jacobi. I recall Lawson remarking in a penetrating murmur, "So, we're working for the Aereated Bread Company," as we assembled in the ABC television rehearsal room for the first read-through of Kenneth's play Strangers in the Room (1961), directed by John Moxey. Tensions arose at once between Wilfred, great actor and accomplished tease, trailing a carefully cultivated reputation for unpredictability, and Mary Ellis, immaculate diva, on the lookout for the smallest sign of bad behaviour.


Picture: Kenneth Jupp - writer and author of The Tycoon [1968] - which along with The Photographer and The Explorer, forms part of what is known as The Chelsea Trilogy.

Most of the people in the room betrayed signs of concern: only the author, standing slightly apart, well-dressed but mildly raffish with his silk neckerchief (ties were the order of the day at a first reading) surveyed the potentially hazardous scene wearing an expression of unalloyed enjoyment. Later, when I became a friend of Kenneth's, I realised it was not in his nature to feel censorious, nor did I ever know him to feel impelled to interfere with the events unfolding around him - no matter how embarrassing or calamitous.

He was a dedicated, accurate observer, and this was the quality that informed his early plays. By the end of the decade he was written about as "the most interesting emergent playwright". The Chelsea Trilogy, televised in 1968 - The Photographer, The Explorer and The Tycoon - in particular captured the spirit of a time of swift change.

Picture: The Chelsea Trilogy, first edition book cover from November 1969 [Calder + Boyars Publishers Ltd]

Kenneth's early years were spent in south-west London: he was born in West Hill, Putney, had a middle-class upbringing in Twickenham and was educated at Hounslow College. After a brief spell studying engineering at London University he worked in the coffee business in Brazil and spent time in New York and South America. After returning to London, he worked in the import-export business and began writing short stories. When he began to write a play, he realised that he had discovered his true vocation.

A Sunday Times critic remarked that "his people ... have their origins in the irrefutable illogic of real life". It is part of that illogic that talent, even brilliance and industry, do not always lead to lasting success, and there came a point when, for no apparent reason, Kenneth's luck gave out. However, he did not for a moment give up the discipline of his chosen profession, and though, occasionally, one might see bewilderment in his face or the expression of an element of black humour, he never succumbed to envy or bitterness.

Screen rights to several of his plays were sold to Hollywood, but all the film projects foundered. In America he worked for a long time alongside Robert Bolt on his screenplay of George Sand, but again, this fell at the last fence. A brilliant dramatisation of the life of Mata Hari, commissioned by the BBC, fell victim to the budget cuts of the time, as did his screenplay on the early life of the French writer Colette.

For the rest of his life he wrote daily, building an increasing volume of plays and screenplays. His novel Echo (1980) was well-received in Britain and the US, and was later published in France and Italy. Dreams Are the Worst (1985), a comedy-drama about the travel and access problems of people with physical disabilities, was shown on Channel 4, and his 1988 adaptation of Clifford Odets's 1949 play The Big Knife, about the avarice beneath the glitter of Hollywood, was televised in the US.

In the 60s he had married one of the leading models of the decade, Debbie Condon, the daughter of the novelist Richard Condon. When the marriage failed he spent many years living abroad in Europe and America before returning to London. He never remarried, and he and Debbie remained close friends.

In 2006 the Orange Tree theatre, in Richmond, south-west London, presented Tosca's Kiss, his reworking of the English writer Rebecca West's attendance at the Nuremberg trials. His friend and frequent tennis partner Harold Pinter had taken part in a reading of the play at the Haymarket theatre the previous year, and the considerable interest created by the full production led to plans to present the play in New York.

During Kenneth's short final illness, he was sustained by Debbie and their daughter, the Emmy award-winning documentary film-maker Jemma.

 Kenneth Jupp, playwright, novelist and screenwriter, born 5 December 1928; died 18 May 2009


Source: The Guardian



You can keep up-to-date with all our latest articles and updates by following us on Facebook and / or Twitter:

Ian Hendry Appreciation Society Facebook Page 


Ian Hendry Tribute - Twitter Page

Until next time,

Neil Hendry
Editor, Official Tribute To Ian Hendry

Further Reading

A detailed account of the life and work of Ian Hendry in the new biography:

Read: 'Send in the Clowns - The Yo Yo Life Of Ian Hendry' by Gabriel Hershman

Send In The Clowns - The Yo Yo Life of Ian Hendry

Ian Hendry - Rowing Home Across The Thames To 'Sphinx', Pharaohs Island, Shepperton [1966]

Picture above: Ian Hendry rowing home across The Thames to 'Sphinx', Pharaohs Island, Shepperton in December 1966.

In The Footsteps [And Paddle Strokes?] Of Nelson

- Ian Hendry and Janet Munro, Living On Pharaohs Island, Shepperton In The 60s

Whilst carrying out some research for this article, I came across some recent property details and photographs of Ian Hendry and Janet Munro's former home, named Sphinx,  located on Pharaohs Island, Shepperton. The island was given to Admiral Nelson after his victory in the Battle of the Nile (1798) and was subsequently used as his fishing retreat. The island's name is clearly a testament to this achievement, as are most of the house names which nearly all have an Egyptian theme. This connection with an aspect of Nelson's life is interesting, as Ian was born in Ipswich, a mile or so from Nelson's former country residence, Roundwood House, which he owned from 1795 - 1801. Nelson, The Battle of the Nile and his Ipswich connection are discussed in more detail below.

Living on the island can be make some people feel quite isolated at times, as Janet Munro experienced after she first moved there with Ian in the early 60s. This period in their lives is described in great detail in Gabriel Hershman's biography on Ian,  Send in the Clowns - The Yo Yo Life Of Ian Hendry.

The sense of isolation is compounded by the fact that there is no connecting bridge to the 'mainland', so rowing boats and launches are needed to reach the 'outside world'. This isolation was further brought home to me when I received an email from someone last year who helped to sell Sphinx in the 70s;  he told me that the new owner had to wait until The Thames was sufficiently frozen over before they could slide a large Aga cooker across the ice to his newly acquired home. Rather them than me!


Picture: Aerial view of Pharaohs Island, Shepperton

Picture: View across The Thames in Winter to Sphinx, Pharaohs Island, Shepperton.

Pharaohs Island - Key Facts

The island has a length of 280 m and a maximum width of 60 m. Shepperton Lock is 270 m downstream and two other channels leading to weirs diverge off after the island to its southeast. These channels then surround Lock Island and Hamhaugh Island. The island is only accessible by boat, with the facilities of Lock Island downstream and moorings there or by the pub The Thames Court almost opposite it's eastern tip on the nearer, north bank.


For those interested in history, an outline of The Battle Of The Nile and Nelson's former country residence in Ipswich is given below. For those more interested in the property and seeing some rare pictures of Ian and Janet at Sphinx from the 60s, juxtaposed with more recent colour pictures of their former home, then you are welcome to skip this part and scroll to see them below!

The Battle Of The Nile [1798]

The Battle of the Nile (also known as the Battle of Aboukir Bay) was a major naval battle fought between the British Royal Navy and the Navy of the French Republic at Aboukir Bay on the Mediterranean coast off the Nile Delta of Egypt from 1 to 3 August 1798. The battle was the climax of a naval campaign that had ranged across the Mediterranean during the previous three months, as a large French convoy sailed from Toulon to Alexandria carrying an expeditionary force under General Napoleon Bonaparte. The British fleet was led in the battle by Rear-Admiral Sir Horatio Nelson; they decisively defeated the French under Vice-Admiral François-Paul Brueys d'Aigalliers.

Painting: "The Destruction of L'Orient at the Battle of the Nile" George Arnald, 1827, National Maritime Museum, in Greenwich, London, England

Bonaparte sought to invade Egypt as the first step in a campaign against British India, part of a greater effort to drive Britain out of the French Revolutionary Wars. As Bonaparte's fleet crossed the Mediterranean, it was pursued by a British force under Nelson who had been sent from the British fleet in the Tagus to learn the purpose of the French expedition and to defeat it. He chased the French for more than two months, on several occasions only missing them by a matter of hours. Bonaparte was aware of Nelson's pursuit and enforced absolute secrecy about his destination. He was able to capture Malta and then land in Egypt without interception by the British naval forces.

With the French army ashore, the French fleet anchored in Aboukir Bay, 20 miles (32 km) northeast of Alexandria. Commander Vice-Admiral François-Paul Brueys d'Aigalliers believed that he had established a formidable defensive position. The British fleet arrived off Egypt on 1 August and discovered Brueys's dispositions, and Nelson ordered an immediate attack. His ships advanced on the French line and split into two divisions as they approached. One cut across the head of the line and passed between the anchored French and the shore, while the other engaged the seaward side of the French fleet. Trapped in a crossfire, the leading French warships were battered into surrender during a fierce three-hour battle, while the centre succeeded in repelling the initial British attack. As British reinforcements arrived, the centre came under renewed assault and, at 22:00, the French flagship Orient exploded. The rear division of the French fleet attempted to break out of the bay, with Brueys dead and his vanguard and centre defeated, but only two ships of the line and two frigates escaped from a total of 17 ships engaged.

The battle reversed the strategic situation between the two nations' forces in the Mediterranean and entrenched the Royal Navy in the dominant position that it retained for the rest of the war. It also encouraged other European countries to turn against France, and was a factor in the outbreak of the War of the Second Coalition. Bonaparte's army was trapped in Egypt, and Royal Navy dominance off the Syrian coast contributed significantly to its defeat at the Siege of Acre in 1799 which preceded Bonaparte's return to Europe. Nelson had been wounded in the battle, but he was proclaimed a hero across Europe and was subsequently made Baron Nelson—although he was privately dissatisfied with his rewards. His captains were also highly praised and went on to form the nucleus of the legendary Nelson's Band of Brothers. The legend of the battle has remained prominent in the popular consciousness, with perhaps the best-known representation being Felicia Hemans' 1826 poem Casabianca.

On returning to England, after his victory in the Battle of the Nile, Nelson was given an island at Shepperton on the Thames, in part recognition for his great service to the country. That island, as mentioned above, was named Pharaohs Island.

Lord Nelson's Country Residence, 'Roundwood House', Ipswich [1795-1801]

That isn't the only connection that Ian had with an aspect of Nelson's life. Ian Hendry was born in Ipswich on 13th January 1931, a mile or so away from where Nelson once owned his country residence.

This extract from an article in the local Ipswich Star tells the story:

"Nelson's country home Roundwood House, was situated in what is today east Ipswich. Demolished in the late 1960s, little is left today of the house but in St John's Primary School, in Victory Road, there hangs a plaque which reads “The brickwork to which this panel is secured was taken from Roundwood House which occupied this site from 1700 AD until its demolition in 1967. It was owned by Vice Admiral Horatio Nelson from 1795 to 1801.”


Picture: Roundwood House, Ipswich. Owned by Lord and Lady Nelson from 1895 to 1801, it formed one part of the Round Wood Farm estate. Once located in an area of open farmland with woods and a country road running through to Woodbridge, the farmland gradually became developed with housing, schools and playing fields. Two local schools, Sidegate Lane Primary School and Northgate High School are named after former entrances onto this estate, whilst local roads such as Nelson Road and Victory Road give a permanent reminder of the history of this area.

Bought for £2,000, the house was never lived in by Nelson but his wife Lady Frances Nelson did take up residence.

David Jones, keeper of human history at Ipswich Museum said: “In some ways Nelson's links to Ipswich are part of a sad story. Lord Nelson used Roundwood to put up his wife and his ageing father. He never stayed there with his wife, preferring the company of Emma, Lady Hamilton.

He said: “Lady Nelson was expected to take part in big social events in Ipswich every time her husband secured a great victory. But her husband was never there and everyone knew she had been dumped by him in favour of his mistress. She was in an awkward position.”

After the success of the Battle of the Nile in 1798, Nelson then a Rear Admiral, was made an honorary freeman of the town in his absence, and in 1800 Nelson was made High Sheriff of Ipswich.

After his victory, Nelson arrived back in England at Great Yarmouth. Letters between Nelson and his wife show he was expecting to stay at Roundwood while she was busy preparing accommodation for him in London.

But as he made his way from Yarmouth with Sir William and Lady Hamilton in tow he did pass through the town and visited Roundwood.

In 1801 Lord and Lady Nelson finally went their separate ways and the house was sold for £3,300.

Today Roundwood Road marks the western edge of the Roundwood estate.

At Ipswich Record Office in Gatacre Road there are documents relating to Lord Nelson and Roundwood House. Collections manager Bridget Hanley said: “On November 4, 1797, the Ipswich Journal - forerunner of The Evening Star and one of the first newspapers in the country - reported that 'The gallant Admiral Nelson purchased Roundwood House.'”

Though still owned by the church, the Poor Rate Book of 1796 to 1805 of St Margaret's parish is held by the record office.

Mrs Hanley said: “The poor rate was a tax levied on people to help pay for the provision for poor people in the parish. It was a kind of precursor to the welfare state. Admiral Sir Horatio Nelson is mentioned in the accounts of 1799 when he paid poor rate of £1 2s and 8p.”

Vice Admiral Horatio Nelson

Vice Admiral Horatio Nelson, 1st Viscount Nelson, 1st Duke of Bronté KB (29 September 1758 – 21 October 1805) was a British flag officer in the Royal Navy. He was noted for his inspirational leadership, superb grasp of strategy, and unconventional tactics, which together resulted in a number of decisive naval victories, particularly during the Napoleonic Wars. He was wounded several times in combat, losing the sight in one eye in Corsica and most of one arm in the unsuccessful attempt to conquer Santa Cruz de Tenerife. He was shot and killed during his final victory at the Battle of Trafalgar near the Port City of Cadiz in 1805.


Sphinx, Pharaohs Island, Shepperton

Picture: Ian Hendry with Janet Munro and their new arrival Sally [and a very excited Poodle!]

Picture: The stairs to the garden have been realigned, but not much else has changed.

Picture: The verandah/ terrace overlooking the garden

Picture: The garden leading to the boat landing area

Picture: Ian Hendry and Janet Munro arriving via the launch, with a very young Sally!

Picture: The boat landing area today...

Picture: The living area leading to the verandah/ terrace with steps down to the garden

Picture: In the reception room/ lounge - Ian Hendry, Janet Munro and pets!

Picture: The reception room/ lounge in more recent times

Picture: Ian Hendry and Janet Munro on the main staircase

Picture: Recent view to the main staircase

Picture: The kitchen then....Ian Hendry, Janet Munro and their Poodle!

Picture: And now....


Sphinx - Daily Telegraph Property Article From 2006

I came across an article in the Daily Telegraph from 2006, which featured Ian and Janet's former home when it came up for sale. Back then, the asking price was £1.1 million.

Extract below:

"It is just over two centuries since Lord Nelson was given an island in the River Thames as a place where he could do a spot of fishing. Pharaoh's Island was one of many honours he received after winning the Battle of the Nile in 1798.

No wonder the 23 houses on this parcel of land moored among the weeping willows at Shepperton all have Egyptian names in deference to the unusual site on which they sit.

More extraordinary still is the fact that they can be reached only by water. To arrive at The Sphinx you must first leave your car by a private mooring on the towpath, then jump in your boat and nose it towards the island. You disembark at the slipway, and if it is dark the lights turn on automatically to guide you up the path to the front door.

This house is incredibly rare. It is the biggest on the island, positioned at one end with water on three sides......The reason someone will buy it is because it is incredibly isolated - but that is the same reason why some won't consider viewing it.

Living on this island combines all the pleasures of a Swallows and Amazons lifestyle, with the challenge of coping when storms make river crossing difficult and the waters start to rise.

At The Sphinx, the emphasis is on pleasure. It has three bedrooms, two bathrooms, half an acre of garden skirting the water's edge, a large verandah with steps down to a heated pool that has underwater lighting and an all-weather canopy. Swans glide past the bottom of the lawn.

Exactly 208 years ago Horatio Nelson, barely recovered from losing his arm the year before, foiled Napoleon's planned invasion of Egypt. After searching the Mediterranean for the French fleet he eventually found it at Abu Qir Bay. The battle on the night of August 1 incurred huge French losses and riotous English rejoicing.

Speaking of it later at a dinner, Nelson said the battle was absolutely unique for three reasons. "First, for it having been fought at night; secondly, for its having been fought at anchor; and thirdly, for its having been gained by an admiral with one arm."

His dinner companion, unused to his lack of modesty, thought he had taken a little too much champagne."


To see some more photographs of Ian Hendry and Janet Munro at home on Pharaohs Island, please click on the link below:

Ian Hendry + Janet Munro - At Home on Pharaohs Island c.1964



You can keep up-to-date with all our latest articles and updates by following us on Facebook and / or Twitter:

Ian Hendry Appreciation Society Facebook Page 


Ian Hendry Tribute - Twitter Page


Until next time,

Neil Hendry
Editor, Official Tribute To Ian Hendry

Further Reading

A detailed account of the life and work of Ian Hendry in the new biography:

Read: 'Send in the Clowns - The Yo Yo Life Of Ian Hendry' by Gabriel Hershman

Send In The Clowns - The Yo Yo Life of Ian Hendry

The Avengers - The Musical! A good or bad idea?

The Avengers - The Musical! A good or bad idea?

Early reports are now circulating that The Avengers is currently being considered for the fully-fledged West End musical treatment; by the team that also brought us Billy Ellliot and Wicked. Universal Stage Productions, the theatrical arm of Universal Pictures have asked writer and director Sean Foley and composer David Arnold to work on the project. Arnold also created the music for the Bond films, Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace.

With the debonair John Steed together with his bowler hat, red carnation and his sidekick, Emma Peel, it's larger than life characters, plots and colourful sets - The Avengers, camp, cool adventures helped define Sixties television. It would, therefore, seem to be ideal material for a musical.

But as The Guardian pointed out in their article from way back in 2006, 'Revealed: what the Avengers were really avenging', the Camp Sixties classic started life as a dark drama:

'The chief protagonist of the first series of The Avengers was Dr David Keel, played by Ian Hendry, who in the rediscovered first reel is seen becoming mixed up with drug runners.

Picture: Patrick Macnee, Ingrid Hafner and Ian Hendry taken during the Soho, London photoshoot in December 1960

He is preparing to buy a ring for his fiancee, played by Catherine Woodville (who was later to marry Macnee in real life), when she is gunned down in a drive-by shooting. It is her murder which turns Keel into an 'Avenger'. Steed, an enigmatic government agent yet to find his urbane persona, does not appear until the second reel of Hot Snow, which is still missing.

He continued to play second fiddle to Keel during the first series, but when Hendry quit for a movie career, Macnee took over and was joined by Honor Blackman as the ultimate modern woman, Dr Cathy Gale'.

Dick Fiddy of the BFI said in the same article that:

'Any find from early television is interesting as a social document. The Avengers has a cult status but it started as a thick-eared drama with none of the flash or style we associate with it.

'The Steed character is very different: shadowy and manipulative. In this episode you find out why they are called The Avengers - the raison d'etre of the entire series. It is the Hitchcockian idea of taking an innocent man, Keel, and putting him in a dangerous situation.'

But any musical version is unlikely to focus on such dark themes, aside from perhaps including a reference to the how all of this 'Avenging' began.

The report below by Baz Bamigboye first featured in the Daily Mail on 3 November 2017. It provides very the latest intelligence on what could be The Avengers next case:

Mrs Peel, we're needed for a West End show: 1960s TV series The Avengers is being developed into a stage musical, reveals Baz Bamigboye

'Cue chorus girls in black leather catsuits, and dapper besuited boys in bowler hats bopping with brollies. Yes, The Avengers television thriller is being developed into a stage musical.

A small team has been assembled to explore whether The Avengers could work under a West End proscenium.

One of the signature shows of the Sixties, the series made a star out of the then relatively unknown Patrick Macnee — although when it first hit British tv screens, in 1961, Ian Hendry was actually the lead, playing a doctor whose girlfriend had been murdered.

Picture: Cue chorus girls in black leather catsuits, and dapper besuited boys in bowler hats bopping with brollies. Yes, The Avengers television thriller is being developed into a stage musical. Above, Patrick Macnee as John Steed with his trusty companion Emma Peel (Diana Rigg)

Subsequently, the GP linked up with intelligence officer John Steed (Macnee’s character) to solve cases of intrigue.

And when Hendry left after the first series, the programme’s producers promoted Macnee. They also took the decision to have a woman share top billing.

First up was Honor Blackman as Cathy Gale; followed by Steed’s most famous operative, Emma Peel (Diana Rigg); and lastly Linda Thorson, as Tara King.

Steed used his special umbrella (which sheathed a sword) and steel-brimmed bowler hat to good effect when dealing with baddies. But his style was urbane and he was tailored to the hilt, like an Edwardian dandy.

So, it was mostly left to the women to take charge and dish out the punishment. A karate kick often did the trick.

Picture: First up to work alongside Steed in the classic 60s' series was Honor Blackman as Cathy Gale. A small team has been assembled to explore whether The Avengers could work under a West End proscenium

Steed would summon help with a simple phrase — ‘Mrs Peel, we’re needed!’ — and she would then proceed to kick ass.

The show’s writers came up with some great one-liners. Once, when facing a lethal foe, Steed was asked whether he had any last requests. ‘Would you cancel my milk?’ he responded.

Macnee — who died two years ago — seemed to have the best spark on screen with Rigg — and it’s their partnership that’s remembered most fondly.

Universal Stage Productions, the theatrical arm of Universal Pictures (which was involved with the staging of both Billy Elliot and Wicked), have asked writer and director Sean Foley and composer David Arnold, who created the score for the musical Made In Dagenham (much missed by me!) to work on the project.

Picture: It’s still early days for The Avengers musical — the official green light won’t be given until complex legal rights issues have been untangled. Above, Steed's last pairing was with Linda Thorson, as Tara King

Arnold also did the music for Bond films Casino Royale and Quantum Of Solace, so his involvement seems particularly appropriate — given that Sydney Newman, head of drama at the old ITV station, ABC, came up with the original idea for The Avengers as a way for the small screen to compete with the excitement Ian Fleming’s 007 stories were generating.

However, it’s still early days for The Avengers musical — the official green light won’t be given until complex legal rights issues have been untangled.

Universal Stage Productions did not return my calls requesting a comment'.


You can keep up-to-date with all our latest articles and updates on any developments with The Avengers - The Musical, by following us on Facebook and / or Twitter:

Ian Hendry Appreciation Society Facebook Page 


Ian Hendry Tribute - Twitter Page

Until next time,

Neil Hendry
Editor, Official Tribute To Ian Hendry

Further Reading

A detailed account of the life and work of Ian Hendry in the new biography:

Read: 'Send in the Clowns - The Yo Yo Life Of Ian Hendry' by Gabriel Hershman

Send In The Clowns - The Yo Yo Life of Ian Hendry

Ian Hendry, Alan Badel and Alfred Burke - Children Of The Damned [1963] - Film Review

Picture above: Everything stops for tea (from l-r) - Ian Hendry, Alan Badel and Alfred Burke

This article includes a review of the film, Children Of The Damned [1963] followed by brief biographies on the actors, Alan Badel and Alfred Burke.

Children of the Damned is a 1963 British black-and-white science fiction film, a thematic sequel to 1960's Village of the Damned, which concerns a group of children with similar psi-powers to those in the earlier film. It was released in 29th January 1964 in the US. The film enables a interpretation of the children as being a good and more pure form of human being than evil and alien. Children of the Damned was an MGM Production, directed by Anton M. Leader and featured actors Ian Hendry, Alan Badel, Barbara Ferris, Alfred Burke and Patrick Wymark.

Video: Original Trailer - Children of the Damned [1963]

This very thoughtful review below is from the the Patrick Wymark Boardroom Website, which celebrates the life and work of the actor.  Wymark also appeared with Ian Hendry in two other films, Repulsion directed by Roman Polanski [1965] and Doppleganger directed by Gerry and Sylvia Anderson [1969]  - also know as Journey To The Far Side Of The Sun.



Children of The Damned - Film Review

By The Patrick Wymark Boardroom Website

Spoiler alert: If you plan on watching the film, this review contains some key plot details.

"During a United Nations study of child intelligence, London University psychologist Tom Llewellyn (Ian Hendry) is astounded by child genius Paul (Clive Powell). Senior lecturer in genetics Dr David Neville (Alan Badel) wants to find out more about Paul’s background but when his mother (Sheila Allen) tells him “I should have crushed you at birth”, the child compels her to attempt suicide.

As the United Nations identify five other children from around the world with intelligence equal to Paul, Colin Webster (Alfred Burke) of British Intelligence moves in to “protect our asset”. The children escape to an abandoned church in East London and violently resist all attempts to control them. As the army moves in to destroy the children, Tom Llewellyn makes a desperate attempt to protect them.

Picture: Ian Hendry and Alan Badel - Children of the Damned [1963]

This 1964 sequel to “Village of the Damned” (1960) is an original screenplay by John Briley, a former staff writer at MGM who went on win an Oscar for his screenplay for “Ghandi”.

The credits refer to the film as a sequel to “The Midwich Cuckoos”, perhaps mindful that John Wyndham had attempted an abortive sequel - “Midwich Main” – at MGM’s behest. However, Briley’s script makes no reference to “Village of the Damned” and can be viewed without any knowledge of the previous movie. While it’s possible to speculate that the UN study was purposely seeking further outbreaks of “cuckoos”, speculation within the movie suggests the origins of the children could be unrelated. Director Anton Leader (who as Tony Leader directed The Twilight Zone and Hawaii 5-0) drives the move forward forcefully but still leaves room for speculation as to where the story is heading. Early on, Ian Hendry asks the children why they’re here and they answer, “we don’t know.”

Towards the end of the movie – surrounded by soldiers armed with rifles and rocket launchers – a UN representative repeats “What is your purpose – why are you here?” This time, lining up in front of the soldiers, the children have an answer: “For the same reason you are. To be destroyed. You may choose your way. We have chosen ours “

Earlier on, Badel had warned Hendry, “Either we control them or they control us. It’s the law of nature, Tom. Ask any ape.” The implication is that the children – whatever they are – find freedom more precious than life. Earlier on, Badel’s character had questioned the Government’s ambition to exploit the children’s advanced scientific knowledge, “Suppose all they want to be is poets, or lovers, or even tramps.” But having seen them resist attacks with mind-control and a mysterious sonic weapon, Badel is swayed to the government’s side. “They could be controlling a bomber up there, ready to press the button!”

Picture: [from l-r] Alfred Burke, Alan Badel and Ian Hendry - Children of the Damned [1963]

In a similar vein Hendry asks Burke’s intelligence agent, “What the hell would you do if all the great powers suddenly smiled at each other; had a great love affair?” Burke deadpans, “I wouldn’t worry too much. You know how love affairs go.”

Patrick Wymark only appears in the last fifteen minutes of the movie as the General in charge of the army unit surrounding the children. The role marks a crossover – filmed before he assumed the role of John Wilder in “The Plane Makers but released in April 1964 after the series had made Wymark a star. He carries out the role with quiet authority, rather than the stereotypical psychopathic behaviour which military officers display in more recent science fiction movies. Wymark’s entrance comes at a crucial point after the children have wiped out most of the politicians who seek to control them. Leader devotes extensive footage to the procedures of the engineers as they rig explosives and test circuits. “I want plenty of distraction, “ Wymark tells his men, Keep those vehicles moving til we’re ready.”.

Even in its final moments, there is some ambiguity about “Children of the Damned”. A technician accidentally closes a circuit, triggering a final assault. On first viewing it seems as if the ending is just a terrible mistake. But is it actually a final piece of mind control by the children? Curiously, the film has as much in common with Briley’s 1978 adaptation of Peter Van Greenaway’s novel, “The Medusa Touch”. Both feature scenes in which a child uses telepathic powers to threaten his mother after she has criticised him. Both display a curious ambiguity – Richard Burton in “The Medusa Touch” questions why he has been given his powers which always seem to result in disaster, while the spokesperson for the “Children of the Damned” admits that they have no plan.

Picture: Angst ridden -  Ian hendry and Barbara Ferris - Children of the Damned [1963]

“Children of the Damned” might also seem like a precursor of “The Omen” – certainly the baleful glare of Harvey Stephens as Damien in “The Omen” echoes the furrowed brow of young Clive Powell – Paul in Children of the Damned. The helpless terror of the scene where Paul’s mother (played by Sheila Allen) seems to dream her suicidal walk into a road tunnel is very similar to the self-destructions in “The Omen”. Although Allen survives, she is hospitalised - bandaged and encased in plaster in a way that visually anticipates Lee Remick towards the end of the 1976 movie. Allen’s cries of, “He isn’t mine! I gave birth to him but I hadn’t been touched! He hasn’t got a father!” are also reminiscent of the speculation about Damien Thorne’s parentage.” Damien’s canine familiars also echo the faithful, snarling sheepdog which accompanies the children to their abandoned church.

If there are similarities between “The Omen” and “Children of the Damned” though, the main difference seems to be that Damien follows a scheduled rise to power, aided by a coven of supernatural groupies, while the Children of the Damned, are lost and bewildered, unsure of their purpose until the very end."

Alan Badel - Biography

Alan Fernand Badel (11 September 1923 – 19 March 1982) was an English stage actor who also appeared frequently in the cinema, radio and television and was noted for his richly textured voice which was once described as "the sound of tears". Badel was born in Rusholme, Manchester, and educated at Burnage High School. He fought in France and Germany during the Second World War, serving as a paratrooper on D-Day.

In his early career, he played leading parts, including Romeo and Hamlet, with the Old Vic and Stratford companies.

Picture: Alan Badel

Badel's earliest film role was as John the Baptist in the Rita Hayworth version of Salome (1953), a version in which the story was altered to make Salome a Christian convert who dances for Herod in order to save John rather than have him condemned to death. He portrayed Richard Wagner in Magic Fire (1955), a biopic about the composer. He also played the role of Karl Denny, the impresario, in the film Bitter Harvest (1963). Around the same time, he played opposite Vivien Merchant in a television version of Harold Pinter's play The Lover (also 1963) and as Edmond Dantès in a BBC television adaptation of Alexandre Dumas' The Count of Monte Cristo (1964).

Badel also played the villainous sunglasses-wearing Najim Beshraavi in Arabesque (1966) with Gregory Peck and Sophia Loren. He played the French Interior Minister in The Day of the Jackal (1973), a political thriller about the attempted assassination of President Charles de Gaulle; in the political television drama Bill Brand (1976) he played David Last, the government's Employment Minister, a left-wing former backbench MP who had recently joined the front bench after 30 years in the House of Commons. One of his last roles was that of Baron Nicolas de Gunzburg in the Paramount film Nijinsky (1980). A television adaptation for the BBC of The Woman in White (1982) by Wilkie Collins, in which Badel played the role of Count Fosco, was shown posthumously.

Badel married the actress Yvonne Owen in 1942 and they remained married until his death from a heart attack in Chichester, aged 58. Their daughter Sarah Badel is an actress.

Alfred Burke - Biography

Alfred Burke (28 February 1918 – 16 February 2011)[1] was an English actor, best known for his portrayal of Frank Marker in the drama series Public Eye, which ran on television for ten years.

Picture: Alfred Burke

Born in London's south-east district of Peckham, young Alfred was the son of Sarah Ann O'Leary and William Burke. He was educated at Leo Street Boys' School and Waltham Central School. He started work aged 14, working in a railway repair firm in the City of London after leaving school. He became a club steward and also worked in a silk warehouse, joining a local amateur dramatics group before moving to Morley College and winning a scholarship to RADA in 1937. His acting career started two years later at the Barn Theatre in Shere, Surrey. His budding career was interrupted by the Second World War, when he registered as a conscientious objector, and was directed to work on the land.

In the late 1940s, he worked with the Young and Old Vic and other companies. His London debut was in 1950 at the Watergate Theatre, appearing in Pablo Picasso's play Desire Caught by the Tail. He then spent three years with Birmingham Repertory Theatre (1950–53) and appeared in the 1954 West End hit Sailor Beware!.
Burke built a solid reputation across a wide range of character roles in films and on television. His acting career included: The Angry Silence, Touch and Go, Interpol, Yangtse Incident and Buccaneers, as well as such televised plays as The Tip and Treasure Island.

His most famous role was the enquiry agent Frank Marker in the ABC/Thames television series Public Eye, which ran from 1965 to 1975. His low-key, understated but always compelling portrayal of the down-at-heel private eye made the series one of the most popular and highly rated detective dramas on British television.

After Public Eye ended Burke appeared in a host of guises, from Long John Silver to Pope John Paul II's father. In the television series Minder he appeared in the episode Come in T-64, Your Time Is Ticking Away as Kevin, partner to Arthur Daley in his latest scheme, a minicab service. He was also the formidable headmaster "Thrasher" Harris in Home To Roost. More recently he was seen as Armando Dippet in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

On stage Burke appeared in several productions by the Royal Shakespeare Company, including Richard II, Romeo and Juliet, Roberto Zucco, The Tempest, Peer Gynt, Measure for Measure, Troilus and Cressida, Two Shakespearean Actors, All's Well That Ends Well and Antony and Cleopatra. In 2008 he appeared at the National Theatre as the Shepherd in a new version of Sophocles' Oedipus by Frank McGuinness.

Burke died from a chest infection on 16 February 2011, twelve days before his 93rd birthday, and was cremated at Golders Green Crematorium. He was survived by his wife, Barbara (née Bonelle) and their four children: Jacob and Harriet (twins), and Kelly and Louisa (twins).

You can keep up-to-date with all the latest articles by following us on Facebook and / or Twitter:

Ian Hendry Appreciation Society Facebook Page 


Ian Hendry Tribute - Twitter Page

Until next time,

Neil Hendry
Editor, Official Tribute To Ian Hendry

Further Reading

A detailed account of the life and work of Ian Hendry in the new biography:

Read: 'Send in the Clowns - The Yo Yo Life Of Ian Hendry' by Gabriel Hershman

Send In The Clowns - The Yo Yo Life of Ian Hendry

The Avengers - Ian Hendry 'In His Own Words' Reflects On The Avengers, Patrick Macnee And The Birth Of A Cult TV Series [From 1976]

With the exciting news that the previously missing episode of The Avengers, 'Tunnel of Fear', will soon be released on DVD by Studio Canal, we feature an article below that was written by Ian Hendry in the 70s - in which he discusses being involved at the very beginning of the series.

First published in 1976, The TV Times Souvenir Extra reflected on the history of The Avengers as part of it's introduction for the then forthcoming series - The New Avengers. There was also a very significant contribution from Patrick Macnee, where he retells his life story and how he came to work on The Avengers, as well as a large selection of iconic photographs of all the major actors who worked on the original series. These include, of course, Honor Blackman, Diana Rigg, Linda Thorson, as well as the new cast of Joanna Lumley and Gareth Hunt.

As an aside, it's also interesting to note that The New Avengers used the original 'formula' of the first series - two men and a female counterpart - with the latter role being played by Ingrid Hafner.

Picture: Ingrid Hafner [as Carol Wilson] and Ian Hendry [as Dr. David Keel] in Soho, London. Was Ingrid the original Avengers Girl?

It was Chris Williams who first brought this important point about Ingrid Hafner to my attention:

"I still like to think of Ingrid Hafner as the first Avengers girl, particularly if you watch the episode 'Girl on the Trapeze' and see how she works with Dr Keel to expose the baddies in a hands on action sort of way. Surely she was the inspiration that gave rise to the Steed/Avengers girl combo, and should be credited as such."

I think if more episodes of the first series can be discovered, then the context of how it shaped the development of the subsequent series will also become clearer and more widely acknowledged. And that includes the role that Ingrid Hafner played in developing the importance of the female contribution to The Avengers. Whilst the role and character of Ingrid Hafner may have been somewhat different from that played by subsequent female actors in the series, we think she should be considered as the original 'Avengers girl'.

Picture: Cover of the TV Times Souvenir Extra from 1976 - price 40p!

Transdiffusion have reproduced a marvellous online web version of this publication, which can be viewed here:

Transdiffusion - The Avengers and New Avengers TV Times Souvenir Extra [1976] 

The Avengers - 'How It All Began' by Ian Hendry

"It all seems improbable now. The New Avengers was born out of The Avengers, whose “Daddy” was a live cops-and-robbers-with-a-difference TV series called Police Surgeon (not to be confused with a later American series of that name).

The idea was that I, as a police surgeon, became an Avenger against everything evil after my girlfriend was shot down in the street by the baddies. It is one of the ironies of life that the shotdown girl was an actress called Catherine Woodville. Later, she was to become Patrick Macnee’s second wife…

Pat came into the series as my sidekick. For a long while, no one was sure if he was a goodie or a baddie. And, to be quite honest, neither did we.

Picture: Ian Hendry [Dr. David Keel] - on the set of The Avengers in 1961

But, in those first fumbling beginnings, it was Pat and myself as the actors who helped knock some shape into the whole thing. A lot of other people played their parts in it - as you will learn in this souvenir.

Here, of course, I’m talking as an actor. And from that point of view the series was both funny and furious.

Imagine it. In those early days, television was live. The viewer could watch a terrible fist fight - and 20 seconds later one of the fighters (who’d been covered in mud and blood) was supposed to walk in nonchalantly, impeccably dressed. That second scene, of course, was supposed to be happening hours, days, or even a few weeks later.

I remember one of those sequences where I was fighting a baddie in a studio mock-up of sewers. The fight ended wide me doing an 8 ft. back-fall into water. They had built an 8 ft. square water tank made, of all things, from whitewood.

Picture: The Avengers series was first produced by Iris Productions, a subsidiary of ABC Television

If you have ever fallen backwards from a height of 8 ft. into a water tank only 8ft. square, you’ll know that it is slightly dangerous. I reckon that when I hit the water, the clearance between my head and the tank wall was about a quarter of an inch.

Then came the next problem. A green slime had developed on the bottom of the tank. The baddie had to jump into the water on top of me, and we were supposed to continue the fight until I delivered my killer punch. I certainly won that particular battle. As I lashed out at him, I slipped on the slime and knocked him cold - for real.

There was no time to do anything about it. I had to jump from the tank, run round the set to where the wardrobe and make-up departments were ready with a towel to dry my hair, and slap on a dry top coat so I could make a casual entrance to a room with Steed by my side. This scene was allegedly happening some many hours later.

Underneath I was sopping wet, but as far as me viewers were concerned, I was as warm as toast in my lovely overcoat. I was having it good. Back in the water tank, an inoffensive, unfortunate stuntman, trying to earn an honorable living as a TV baddie, was graciously drowning.

Happily, the studio crew got him out in time.

Picture: Ian Hendry [as Dr. David Keel and Patrick Macnee [as John Steed]. From promotional set of photographs taken in Soho, London in December 1960

Those early days were all hysterical and mad and silly. We loved it, really. Most of all we loved the companionship and atmosphere. I’ve had a theory throughout my acting career that the first consideration of an actor is to be part of a happy company.

We rehearsed in an old building opposite a pub in Hammersmith. After the cast had been given their copies of the script, I would take them over to the pub, act as mine host, tell them not to worry because they were still on the payroll - and we’d get to work. Then Pat and myself, and sometimes a few others, would go to a nearby steak house. After that, it was usually Pat and I who would grab a bottle of scotch or brandy and go to a flat off Kensington High Street to beat out our latest approach to The Avengers characters.

There were some wonderful times. Once, we were supposed to be locked in a wardrobe from which we had to shout, in unison: “Let us out, let us out”.

The wardrobe, made of the most fragile plywood, couldn’t have withstood an assault by a placid four-year-old girl, much less the combined physical might of two magnificent Avengers.

Eventually, I think it was an old lady who let us out. In reality, if either of us had breathed out too hard the whole wardrobe would have burst apart.

And there were doors that wouldn’t open, and handles that fell off when they did. The scenery collapsed once.

Don’t forget, all this was going out live, just as your see it from your seat in a theatre.

But I do think we managed, in those early days, to develop a new style. I was supposed to be phlegmatic, and when I got too boring Steed was there to send me up and tell me not to be so serious. And when Steed got too outrageous I was there to say: “Oh come on, don’t overdo it”.

The New Avengers cost £4,000,000 to produce. In the beginning, Pat and I felt as though The Avengers cost fourpence. But it did have something special, it did develop into a world beating television series, and it did help a lot of people to stardom. Honor Blackman, Diana Rigg, Linda Thorson, and now, I reckon, Joanna Lumley and Gareth Hunt. Not to mention Pat Macnee himself.

Although I was the first Avenger, Pat will always be Avenger-in-Chief. Now he will take you down The Avengers memory lane in the following pages. I’m glad I was one of the first to go down it".

by Ian Hendry [1976]