No.2: The Ian Hendry Files. Rare Scrapbook Extracts From The 1950s – 1980s

In the second part of the series, we look at the next three pages in the rare Ian Hendry scrapbook – collated over three decades by Ian Scoones.

Scoones was both a friend and a fan of Ian’s work and was also well known in his own right for his career in special effects, including work on the BBC series Dr. Who.

Part one of the series can be found via the link below:

1974 features prominently in the following extracts from the scrapbook. But before diving into the musty, Cellotape covered pages, here’s a few potted highlights of what else was happening in the UK that year.

1974 – UK

Harold Wilson became Prime Minister on 4th March 1974

It may be of little consolation that whilst things are not exactly a ‘bed of roses’ politically in the UK at the moment – 1974 really wasn’t that great either:

1974 was marked by the Three-Day Week, two general elections, a state of emergency in Northern Ireland, extensive Provisional Irish Republican Army bombing of the British mainland, several large company collapses and major local government reorganisation.

Inflation rate was at 17.2%.

IRA begins bombing campaign

  • IRA begins bombing campaign on mainland Britain and bombs The Tower of London on July 17th and the Houses of parliament and pubs in Birmingham.

and in the US:

1974 – US

Richard Nixon becomes the first US president forced to resign

  • Following impeachment hearings started on May 9th Richard Nixon becomes the first US president forced to resign after the Watergate Scandal on August 9th

Edward Heath at London Zoo

Edward Heath [Conservative] was the Prime Minister until 4th March 1974. when Harold Wilson [Labour] became Prime Minister.

Before Edward Heath departed, he would carry out one very significant public engagement. He visited London Zoo to officially ‘unveil’ the gift of two Giant Pandas from the Chinese Government. I know, because I was there that day!

I can also report, from my first-hand account, that Guy The Gorilla spat an orange out at Heath as he walked past. This may, or may not, have been reported at the time, so you may be reading a world exclusive ‘scoop’ even if it is some 45+ years after the event. I digress.

Then in 1974 the Prime Minister Edward Heath brought two new pandas from China Ching-Ching (Female) and Chia-Chia (Male) …

Edward Heath at London Zoo in 1974. He was replaced as Prime Minister by Harold Wilson.

Ian Hendry Scrapbook Extracts

Scrapbook Page 3 – Includes several extracts for TV series, ‘The Lotus Eaters‘, from The Radio Times TV listings.

Also, listings for the film, The Southern Star [on Anglia TV] which featured Orson Welles, George Segal, Ursula Andress and Harry Andrews. And Children of The Damned [1963], a repeat showing on Southern TV in 1974.

There is also a newspaper extract for an advert to watch ‘The Girl With The Thunderbolt Kick‘ and ‘Captain Kronos Vampire Hunter‘ at The Gillingham Plaza. Surely, an unmissable experience!

There is also an article that mentions Ian Hendry’s role as Peregrine Devlin in ‘Theatre of Blood‘ [1973]. The journalist who met Ian on set is not mentioned by name, but the piece is complementary nonetheless.

Scrapbook Page 4 – Includes further references to The Lotus Eaters, again with several extracts from the Radio Times TV listings. There is also a short feature on Ian in which mention is made of his efforts to raise funds, some £250,000, for a feature film version of ‘The Lotus Eaters‘.

It also features quite a rare press picture from c. 1963, with Ian Hendry and Janet Munro. Ian is wearing a pair of Coco The Clown’s enormous boots, taken during a visit to Olympia where Bertram Mills’ circus was in residence during the winter/ Christmas season. Ian Hendry was, of course, great friends with both Coco and his wife, Valentina.

He worked for Coco as his stooge whilst studying at the Central School of Speech and Drama from 1953-55. At that time, the drama school was based in rooms at The Royal Albert Hall and the circus always set up it’s London base in the park nearby. Exactly how Ian first met Coco is not known, but one can easily imagine him wandering through the ‘circus town’ on a cold London winter’s day – intent on meeting the UK’s most famous clown.


Nicolai Poliakoff as Coco The Clown

Nicolai Poliakoff (2 October 1900 – 25 September 1974) was the creator of Coco the Clown, arguably the most famous clown in the UK during the middle decades of the 20th century. Technically, Coco is an Auguste, the foolish character who is always on the receiving end of buckets of water and custard pies. The auguste often works with the more clever white-faced clown, who always gets the better of him.

You can read more about Ian Hendry and Coco The Clown, via the link below:

There is also reference to ‘Dial M For Murder’ [1974] – in which Ian Hendry starred alongside Robert Lang – as his gay partner – in the episode ‘Contract’.

The complete episode can be watched below:

Scrapbook Page 5 – Ian Hendry features in a promotional advert for Imperial Cigars, published in the Radio Times on 27th June 1974. Above the picture is a brief resume of his life and career. The handwritten note immediately above the advert mentions ‘The Sphinx Pharaohs Island, Shepperton/ Sunbury, Middlesex’. It is possible that this waterside photograph was taken at ‘Sphinx‘, Ian and Janet Munro’s former home, or at a nearby location.

Gallery – Ian Hendry Scrapbook. Cover and Pages 3 to 5

Ian Hendry Scrapbook – Page 3

Ian Hendry Scrapbook – Page 4

Ian Hendry Scrapbook – Page 5

Ian Hendry – Roles as Peregrine Devlin/ Theatre of Blood Review [1973]

Ok, hope you enjoyed the latest trip down memory lane. Watch out for the next instalment in the series.

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

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