Obituaries

Anthony Ainley (1932 - 2004)

Anthony AinleyAnthony Ainley was best known to television viewers as The Master, the renegade Time Lord who was Moriarty to Doctor Who's Sherlock. The part had previously been played by Roger Delgado from 1971 until 1973 when his untimely death, from a car crash, meant that the character was written out of the series for a number of years. Ainley first portrayed The Master in the 1981 serial The Keeper of Traken and appeared in almost every season up until the cancellation of the original series in 1989, by which time he had become a cult figure.

Anthony Ainley was born on 20 August 1932. His father, Henry Ainley, was a distinguished Shakespearean actor famed for his good looks and distinctive voice. Young Anthony got his first taste of acting at a young age, singing in a school production of Gilbert and Sullivan's HMS Pinafore. On leaving school he went to work as an insurance clerk but soon decided to follow in the family footsteps and studied at RADA where he won the Fabia Drake Prize for comedy. After graduating he worked in rep and made his television debut in 1964 as a police officer in It's Dark Outside. His swarthy appearance meant that he was often cast in villainous roles, particularly in horror films. On television he starred in series such as Elizabeth R, Secret Army and The Avengers. But it was his appearance as the Rev Emilius in The Pallisers which led to his role in Doctor Who. "Emilius was a rather smarmy devious character," he recalled. "The producer John Nathan-Turner was working on it and remembered me when he took over Doctor Who. Later he asked me to play The Master. There was a similarity between the two characters. Both wore a superficial air of charm and dignity which concealed a wicked sly nature underneath."

He appeared as The Master for nine years opposite three incarnations of The Doctor. Ironically Ainley's family had a number of connections with the series. His father had been Jon Pertwee's godfather and his brother Richard had coached Tom Baker at drama school. He himself had been coached in an amateur production by William Hartnell. After leaving the series Ainley continued to appear on television and spent much of his time attending Doctor Who conventions. Ainley's great love of the role is often cited in documentaries and DVD commentaries. Anthony Ainley passed away on 3 May 2004 aged 71. He never married. He once joked that he didn't like the three rings of marriage: "the engagement ring, the wedding ring and the bickering."

Peter Bryant (1923 - 2006)

Peter Bryant Prolific television producer Peter Bryant appeared on television first as an actor as Jack Grove, a character in Britain's first soap opera for adults; The Grove Family. Nine million viewers tuned in regularly to see the day-to-day life of a lower middle-class family living in a neat double-fronted house in the London suburb of Hendon. Even the Queen Mother declared herself to be a fan when she visited the set, telling the cast that she found them 'so English-so real.'

Peter Murray Bryant was born in London on 27th October 1923 and began his acting career in rep before landing several small screen roles and then moving into television in 1953 as Edgar in a BBC production of Wuthering Heights. In 1955 he reprised his 'Grove Family' role in what was the first ever spin-off movie from a British television series, It's a Great Day! After The Grove Family Peter starred in the final episode of The English Family Robinson (1957), Iain MacCormick's four-part series on colonial rule; playing alongside Peter Wyngarde as an Indian, while Champion Road (1958) was a serial set in the North and also starred a young Prunella Scales.

In 1959 Peter turned to broadcasting as a radio announcer whilst at the same time submitting a number of radio scripts. This led to him becoming an accomplished script editor for the BBC radio drama department of which he eventually became head. In the 1960s he returned to television and began a succesful association with Doctor Who, joining the series with the story "The Faceless Ones" as associate producer under Innes Lloyd, then producing the serial "Tomb of the Cybermen" before becoming script editor for three series during the show's fifth season. He became the series producer again with "The Web of Fear" and continued through Patrick Troughton's penultimate story. He was also influential in casting Jon Pertwee as Troughton's successor. After leaving Doctor Who Peter produced Special Project Air (1969), a Sunday evening series that formed part of BBC1's first week in colour and then produced the successful BBC detective series Paul Temple starring Francis Matthews.

Later in his career Peter Bryant became a successful literary agent specialising in children's books. He passed away after a 12 month battle with cancer on May 19th, 2006 aged 82.

Peter Cadbury (1918 - 2006)

Peter CadburyPeter Cadbury was the founder of Westward Television and one of the original campaigners for the introduction of commercial broadcasting.

Born on February 6th 1918, the son of Sir Egbert Cadbury, a managing director of Cadbury Brothers, the confectionary empire, Peter was educated at Leighton Park, a Quaker school, and later at Trinity College, Cambridge. He joined the Fleet Air Arm in 1940 and served as an experimental test pilot. The legendary Spitfire pilot Douglas Bader was best man at Cadbury’s first wedding. After the war he joined the Liberal Party but was soon called to the bar and appeared as a junior prosecutor at the Nuremberg trials. Following this, he joined the Keith Prowse Ticket Agency before convincing his father to lend him £75,000 in order to buy the company. This was in 1954. The company went public in 1960.

When ITV began to spread around the country, Cadbury took the chairmanship of Tyne-Tees Television and invested heavily in other companies becoming a staunch supporter of commercial television, and making himself heard throughout the country. In 1961 he won the franchise against 11 competing bids and founded Westward Television, based in Plymouth. He remained chairman and director of Keith Prowse, which became a subsidary of Westward TV until the agency was sold in 1970. Cadbury was known as a very confrontational person, frequently rowing with his own board of directors, the press, and even his own neighbours, and frequently got involved in road-rage incidents which led to fistfights, mainly, or so it is claimed, because of his driving. He owned a Ferrari and a Bentley, numerous yachts, racehorses, properties in the West Indies, and a succession of grand country mansions, one of which had an airstrip and hangar for five aircraft. For many years, Westward was administratively joined to Channel Television in an effort to maximise advertising potential for the two stations. But in 1980 a major boardroom upheavel led to Westward losing its franchise to TSW, which then purchased Westward’s Plymouth studios. In 1994 Cadbury resigned from the Tory party, to which he had been a regular contributor, in fury over a series of robberies. He explained his departure in an angry article in the Daily Mail in which he regretted the passage of "the days not so long ago when we could sleep happily in our homes - or walk to the Post Office to collect our old age pensions without being mugged, raped or run down and killed by a 14-year-old in a stolen car." He continued to harangue successive Home Secretaries about their inability to cut down on crime, advocating the return of hanging and flogging. In 1996 his own house was burgled and he lost £15,000 worth of antiques, and in 1999 another burglary cost him 40 pieces of jewellery. He famously kept a crossbow given to him by a member of the SAS beside his bed and claimed that he would "shoot any intruder without hesitation".

In spite of his volatile nature, Cadbury was also chairman of the George Cadbury Trust and directed its funds to his favourite animal charities, in line with his love of pets. He was also a trustee of Winchester Cathedral and, for the last 20 years of his life, of Help the Aged. Married three times, Peter Cadbury died on April 17th, 2006 aged 88 leaving his third wife Jane and five children.

Gretchen Franklin (1911 - 2005)

Gretchen FranklinBorn in Covent Garden on July 7th, 1911, a cousin of the actor Clive Dunn, Gretchen Franklin began working as a £2.00 a-week chorus girl in panto and was a Tiller Girl at The London Palladium. Her first West End break came during the war when she landed a part in the first of a series of reviews at the Ambassadors Theatre in 'Sweet and Low.' She made her big screen debut in 1954 in Before I Wake and went on to be one of the most recognisable 'walk on' actresses of the British film industry making one of her short appearances in the Beatles film Help!.

On television she appeared as Warren Mitchell's wife Elsie, in the pilot episode of Till Death Us Do Part, but missed her chance to continue the role in the full series because she couldn't obtain her release from a stage role she was playing at the time. Instead, she recommended her friend Dandy Nichols for the part in the series. She also starred in the early evening soap Crossroads in which she played Myrtle Cavendish; the short-lived soap Castle Haven; the sitcom George and Mildred as Mildred's mother Mrs Tremble, and Rising Damp as Rigsby's Aunt Maud. She was also a regular supporting figure on television dramas such as Dixon of Dock Green and Z-Cars. She had bit parts in series such as Danger Man, Follyfoot and Quatermass but was more often seen in comedy. Franklin landed her most celebrated role at the age of 73, in another soap opera, EastEnders. As Ethel Skinner, Franklin was one of the original members of cast for the long-running BBC series and almost formed something of a double-act with June Brown who played the part of Dot Cotton. When EastEnders producer Julia Smith announced that the character of Ethel was to go into an old people's home, Franklin, in her own words "resigned on the spot". "I didn't want Ethel becoming a sad old dear who the others visited occasionally." In one of the series most dramatic and contraversial storylines of the series, Ethel persuades her best friend to administer an overdose of morphine tablets to save her from the pain of dying from cancer.

Off screen Franklin devoted much of her time to charity and gave away all the royalties she had recieved from EastEnders repeats to her favourite animal charities. “At my age one isn’t buying new fur coats and diamonds,” she said. “If you get that lot of repeat fees four times a year you can afford to be a bit more generous to other people.” In May 2005 it was confirmed that Gretchen would present the Lifetime Soap Achievement Award to former co-star June Brown at the British Soap Awards but was too ill to attend. It was later given to her other co-star Anna Wing who played Lou Beale, who mentioned her in the speech. Franklin died at her home in Barnes on July 11th, 2005, just four days after her 94th birthday. Her life and work was honoured at the British Academy Television Awards in 2006. In 2007 it was revealed that she had left £872,772 in her will. One third went to charity Help The Aged.

Peter Hawkins (1924 - 2006)

Peter HawkinsPeter Hawkins face may not have been well known, but to several generations of television watchers, young and old, his voice was as familiar as that of one of our own family. His long association with British children's television began in 1952 when he voiced both Bill and Ben, the Flowerpot Men. It was he who came up with the almost indecipherable "Flobbadob" (it actually meant "Flowerpot") and it was he who created the voices to many more of our childhood heroes such as Captain Pugwash and Bleep and Booster, the latter of which was a regular feature of the long-running children's magazine series Blue Peter in the 1960s and early 70s. When the BBC purchased Hergé's Adventures of Tintin from Tele-Hachette in France it was Hawkins edge-of-your-seat voice that introduced the show and he who provided the distinctive voice of Captain Haddock. Captain Pugwash's "Plundering porpoises!" and "Jumping jellyfish!" also came courtesy of Hawkins and as if that wasn't enough he cemented his place into British Television greatness by creating the voices of the most menacing creatures ever to invade our galaxy; the Daleks!

With David Graham, Hawkins shared the original voices of the Daleks (1963-67) on television, and also voiced the 1965 film spin-off 'Doctor Who and the Daleks'. Hawkins then became the first voice of the Cybermen the half human, half robot creatures that almost became as popular as the Daleks. He was also heard as Zippy in the first series of Rainbow (1972) and, among dozens of productions, later narrated SuperTed and the Spot the Dog sequel It's Fun to Learn with Spot (1990).

Born in Brixton, London on 3rd April 1924, son of a police inspector, Hawkins enjoyed acting in school productions, then in troop shows during the Second World War. During his time in the Royal Navy he survived a piece of shrapnel that had pierced his clothing when the destroyer Limbourne sank after being torpedoed off the coast of northern France. During a period of recuperation he took part in plays and pantomimes and was soon signed up for Combined Operations Entertainments touring the Continent and Vancouver with the topical revue Pacific Showboat. On being demobbbed Hawkins worked at the East Riding Theatre before going to the Central School of Speech and Drama. He made his West End stage début as Joe Gorme in 'Sit Down a Minute', and was first seen on television as Albert Tuggeridge in a BBC adaptation of J.B. Priestley's The Good Companions (1949). Spotted by the presenter and puppeteer Humphrey Lestocq, Hawkins joined the children's variety show Whirligig (1950-56), appearing in front of the camera and providing voices for two puppets, Mr Turnip and the parrot Porterhouse. This led to more than 40 years as a much in-demand voice-over artist. Hawkins' inventiveness made The Flowerpot Men so distinctive. With Julia Williams narrating and Gladys Whitred singing the songs and providing the voice of Little Weed, Hawkins improvised Bill and Ben's scripted lines in a gibberish fashion. He called their language "Oddle-poddle" and, although concerns were voiced about it holding back children's development, The Flowerpot Men became one of the best-loved programmes on television and continued to be repeated for two decades.

Hawkins followed The Flowerpot Men by becoming one of the voices in The Woodentops in the Watch With Mother slot. Although seen in front of the camera less frequently over the years, Hawkins appeared in three series of Dave Allen at Large (1972-75), playing characters such as Friar Tuck and the captain of a Mexican firing squad. Looking back on his career, Peter Hawkins said that he had had two ambitions: to become a famous actor and a successful one. "I've realised the second," he said, "and I'm grateful." He married Rosemary Miller in 1956 and they had one son, Silas Hawkins who carried on his father's tradition by providing the voice-over to the animated children's series Summerton Mill. Peter retired from acting in 1992 due to ill health and died in London on 8th July 2006, aged 82 years, his place in television heaven assured.

Philip Jones (1927 - 2004)

Philip JonesPhilip Jones OBE - who passed away on May 7th 2004 following a long battle with cancer, will be remembered as one of the most influential television producers of a generation. As Head of Light Entertainment at Thames television, which was then ITV's largest company, Jones presided over a galaxy of stars from his office at Teddington Studios. Long-running sitcoms under his supervision included Never Mind the Quality Feel the Width, Father Dear Father, Love Thy Neighbour, Bless This House, Man About the House, George and Mildred, Robin's Nest, Never the Twain, Fresh Fields and Shelley. Benny Hill, Tommy Cooper, Hughie Green and Eamonn Andrews were staples of the Thames schedule throughout the period, joined at various stages by Morecambe and Wise, Mike Yarwood, Eric Sykes, Mike and Bernie Winters, David Nixon, Kenny Everett, Jim Davidson and Des O'Connor. He also gave Michael Barrymore his first big break with his own series in 1983.

Philip Stuart Jones was born on December 7th 1927 and educated at Cheltenham Grammar School, where his father was head of languages. In 1948, after his National Service in the RAF, he decided on a career in showbiz and joined Radio Luxembourg as a programme assistant. In six years at the popular music station he had worked his way up to Programme Controller. While there, he met his wife Florence, a fellow employee. In 1955 he joined Granada Television as a light entertainment producer but was headhunted three years later by Tynne Tees as the station was preparing to go on air for the first time. "Having met George and Alfred Black and Bill-Lyon Shaw and hearing of their plans for the new TV station, I was happy to accept a job as Producer/Director in the Light Entertainment department." With his wife, Florence and his young son, Pip, Jones moved to Newcastle upon Tyne where his first brief was to launch a lunchtime entertainment show. "In those days several of the regional ITV companies produced midday magazine shows catering very much for local audience tastes. In Birmingham, ATV's long-running series was Lunchbox (hosted by future Crossroads star Noele Gordon), while from Glasgow, Scottish Television produced The One O'Clock Gang." As a result Tynne Tees Television's own One O'Clock Show was born. "For all of us it was an exciting and demanding challenge to produce a forty-minute show five days a week, but we learned a great deal from the experience." Jones recalled that by todays exacting standards the production probably seemed fairly crude but felt that the atmosphere created by the immediacy of the show is something that is missed these days.

Jones also produced a number of popular music shows for Tynne Tees including At The Golden Disc and Request Time. In 1959 he was voted 'Producer of the Year' by readers of 'The Viewer', and was beginning to attract the interest of bigger independent television companies. So it came as no surprise when he left TTT in 1961 to join ABC Television in London. Here he produced a wide range of variety and comedy shows including Big Night Out and Blackpool Night Out, which were hosted by Mike and Bernie Winters. There were also a number of TV specials starring Bruce Forsyth, Frankie Howerd, Tommy Cooper, Peggy Lee, Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra and The Beatles. In fact, it was on the Philip Jones created Thank Your Lucky Stars that The Beatles got their first national television exposure. On January 19th 1963 the group mimed to their second single From Me To You. It was Jones too who realised the early impact that the so called 'Mersey Sound' was to have on Britain's youth, enabling him to put on a show in June of that year featuring Liverpool's finest, accompanied by The Searchers, Lee Curtis, The Big Three, Kenneth Cope and the Breakaways, Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas, The Vernon Girls and Gerry and the Pacemakers. That show alone pulled in over 6 million viewers. "The ratings achieved by that show proved the Liverpool sound was not limited in its appeal to a local audience -obviously it had a national following." Said Jones.

At ABC he started nurturing the talents who would go on to become big stars and showed further insights into the viewing tastes of the public. When, in 1968 ABC and Rediffusion merged to become Thames Television, Jones was given more management freedom and bigger budgets to fight the ratings war. When he was appointed to Thames, the industry newspaper Television Today asked him to write an article about his plans. He was too busy, he said, but would talk to a ghost writer. "My wife, then a freelance was sent along". As his name would be on the piece, she awaited his reactions anxiously. He sent no message, just a bouquet. One of his earliest successes at Thames was bringing Benny Hill over from the BBC. Jones signed the comedian to a contract in 1969, the start of a successful partnership which was to last 20 years. The Benny Hill Show(s) were successfully marketed around the world, making their star a global celebrity. While song and dance flourished it was the comedy that excelled. There was Never Mind The Quality, Feel The Width which had begun with ABC in 1967, while new shows included For The Love Of Ada, Bless This House, Love Thy Neighbour, Moody And Pegg, Get Some In, Shelley, AJ Wentworth BA, Fresh Fields, Man About The House plus its several spin-offs, and both Father, Dear Father and Dear Mother, Love Albert. Philip Jones's shows were enormously popular and he rejected criticism that they were unimaginative and low-brow as snobbery. Indeed, he used the financial power of established shows to pay for more risky material, such as The Kenny Everett Video Show, which enjoyed cult status even though it failed to top the ratings. He received an OBE in the 1977 New Years Honours, then in 1978 he stunned the BBC when he persuaded Morecambe and Wise to switch to Thames Television. Jones was widely respected by his peers and the stars alike. Everyone who worked with him were known as his 'boys and girls' and many big names were keen to join Thames Television because they trusted Jones personally. In 1988 Jones retired from Thames. He continued to work in television and was executive producer of As Time Goes By, the BBC sitcom starring Judi Dench and Geoffrey Palmer, which ran for more than ten years.

John Junkin (1930 - 2006)

John JunkinVeteran actor, comedian and scriptwriter John Junkin worked with stars such as Morecambe and Wise, Marty Feldman, Ronnie Barker and Spike Milligan and acted in many television dramas, including Penmarric, Out and All Creatures Great and Small. He also starred in EastEnders, playing Ernie, a mysterious stranger who suddenly appeared at the Queen Vic. His own television comedy series Junkin ran for four seasons and his cult radio show, 'Hello Cheeky,' also transferred to television. In 1969 he hosted the panel game Give Me Your Word. An influential figure in the world of comedy during the sixties and seventies, he wrote scripts for shows such as The Army Game, The World of Beachcomber, Queenie’s Castle, plus scripts for many top comedians, including Ted Ray, Jim Davidson, Bob Monkhouse and Mike Yarwood.

John Junkin was born in Ealing, West London on January 29th, 1930. Educated locally, he worked as a teacher in the East End of London but said he hated the job. In 1960 he joined Joan Littlewood’s Theatre Workshop at Stratford East and was in the original cast of Littlewood’s production of Sparrers Can’t Sing with Barbara Windsor. Throughout the sixties and seventies he was one of the busiest men on television, both as performer and scriptwriter. He appeared in Till Death Us Do Part (1966-75), Sam and Janet (1967/8), On the House (1970/1) and together, with writing partner Tim Brooke-Taylor, wrote and appeared in the BBC series The Rough and the Smooth. The comedian Marty Feldman won the Golden Rose of Montreux Award with a Junkin script in 1972 and with Barry Cryer and others, Junkin contributed to many of the Morecambe and Wise specials for ITV. He also wrote, with Bill Tidy, The Fosdyke Saga, and The Grumbleweeds for radio. For many years he voiced ‘Mr Shifter’, one of the Brooke Bond PG Tips chimps, which gained an entry in the Guinness Book of Records as the longest running television commercial. He had a prolific career in the cinema playing a variety of straight and comic roles and described himself as easy to cast: “I look like the bloke next door,” he said. “I always seem to be wearing one of those sheepskin coats.” His many film credits included 'Doctor in Love' (1960), 'Heavens Above!' (1963), with Peter Sellers, 'The Knack' (1965), 'A Handful of Dust' (1988) and 'Chicago Joe and the Showgirl' (1990). But his most famous appearance was as one of the Beatles' tour managers in the 1964 hit 'A Hard Day's Night'.

In the latter part of his career, Junkin became disillusioned with showbusiness, particularly television. He spoke out publicly against ‘alternative’ comedy He said: “The new generation running television today has forgotten how to make people laugh.” He fell out with a producer - he never revealed which one - over the writing of a game show for which he had devised the format. Litigation cost him £70,000 and he was also in debt to the taxman to the tune of £120,000. He did, however, return to scriptwriting and contributed to The Crazy World of Joe Pasquale (1998) and The Impressionable Jon Culshaw (2004) and he was much in demand as an after dinner speaker. Junkin had been suffering from lung cancer, emphysema and asthma and died at the Florence Nightingale House in Stoke Mandeville Hospital. Close friend, former Radio 1 disc jockey Dave Lee Travis, said: “If you were in conversation with John, you were always in a state of hilarity. He had no airs and graces.” John Junkin died on March 7th 2006, aged 76.