Maxine Evans anyone??

Time to revisit another of our fabulous interviews, this time with the most lovely Maxine Evans….this one occurred back in the middle of 2014, so nearly 7 years ago.


Interview questions compiled by Evil Ruthy & irishangel

Please note: as this is an exclusive interview to Torchwood Australia, all parts are not to be distributed or reproduced anywhere else!

1.  Looking over your CV, you have had an array of roles in TV, Film, Theatre and Radio.  Of those platforms, which do you prefer working on and why?

Oh that’s a good question! As an actor? Theatre. It’s so immediate, such a thrill and each night is totally different. That ‘difference’ is often brought about by the reaction of the audience who become another member of the cast as far as I’m concerned. Their energy joins you on stage and you ignore it at your peril!! I think theatre is where you learn as an actor. And we should never stop learning.

2.  Of the roles you have had over a number of years, do you have a particular favourite role that you have been cast as?

Maeve in ‘Break, My Heart’ by Arnold Wesker. It was presented first on stage and then filmed for TV. It was based on the true story of an abusive marriage and was written with me in mind to play the part. The first time we performed the piece on stage, I thoroughly enjoyed the drama and the physicality of the piece. The speech that my character fell in love with and discovered verse through for the first time, was a wonderful moment and was an extract from Hamlet. It’s the speech from which the title of the piece is taken. “For break, my heart, for I must hold my tongue”. Hamlet is saturated in grief he feels for his father. It colours his world. During the first run I felt I’d nailed it! And was rather pleased with myself. 4 months later my own father passed away. 6 months after that we brought the piece back to the stage. I was dumb struck. The speech took on a whole new depth of emotion for me. And touched me in a way that I shall never forget. And it reminded me that when we perform we owe something to our audience. Truth and a part of ourselves. For without it we may transmit, but no one receives.

3.  The episode of Torchwood’s “Countrycide”, was featured in season 1, and was quite brutal in storyline.  How did you go about securing the role of Helen for that episode?  

It was so funny! I had auditioned for a mother in a previous episode but I was really about ten years too old. But the casting director Andy must have liked me because a week or so later I was back for Helen. I read the script and REALLY wanted it. I figured that I look like an ordinary person without even trying so I wanted to show a more dark, sexual side. I dressed in black, I wore dark eye make up but pale lipstick. I sucked a red lolly before going in so that the inside of my mouth looked extra red and blood thirsty!! And I learned the script off by heart so that I could make as much eye contact as possible. Now none of this may have had an effect on the casting but it made me feel better. Even though I got some strange looks on the tube at 9.30 in the morning!!!

4.  Your role of Helen from “Countrycide” was that of a pretty nasty lady, to put it mildly.  When you read the script and looked at her character, what was running through your mind with regards to how you were going to portray her?  Did you have to go to a ‘wicked’ place in your thoughts to ‘flesh out’ her character (excusing the pun)?

It’s such great fun to play a baddie!! I couldn’t wait. I had to let go of all thoughts of right and wrong. She’s about fulfilling a need that drives her to commit the most heinous acts without a second thought. It’s like she’s drunk, on drugs, high, in the moment. I was fine with it all until we got on set. The design was breathtaking. Literally. Corpses hanging in bags, with their blood dripping into buckets. Pieces of flesh adorned every surface of their home. Half cooked offal nestling between pieces of bread. Severed heads in bags on shelves. Organs in pickling jars!! It took it to a whole new level and Owen and I just had to jump in!!! My mother-in-law still remembers the viewing. She said it ‘just didn’t look like you were there’. And thank god for that eh?!!!!

5.  Owen Teale played Helen’s husband Evan in “Countrycide” – I have to say, you both played the characters exceptionally well (in other words, you both gave us the creeps LOL).  Did you have any lighter moments with Owen/the Torchwood cast during the shoot of such a dark episode?

Off set, yes. Lots of laughs. Owen is such a great guy to work with. And I mean work ‘with’. Some actors you just work alongside but Owen brings you into the world with him. We’d never worked together before but I felt at the end of the shoot that I’d known him for years. Rehearsing the kiss/fight sequence was a laugh! But the minute we got on set it just hit us both and believe me there were no laughs during the shoot itself. We became those people and just had to stay that way for it to work. Those ‘people’ were just so different from anything I think either of us had had to play before that we just got into their mindset and stayed there. It was a dark place. And I was glad at the end to shake her off.

6.  One of the main locations of filming “Countrycide” was at Penwyllt/Brecon Beacons – it is indeed a beautiful part of Wales (if not just a wee bit scary too).  Do you have a favourite spot in Wales, or is that too hard a question to respond to?

I would say the coast. The Gower peninsular because I just love the sea. It’s like you are in the presence of something living, with such power that it humbles you. But I also love the Brecon Beacons. I was brought up in the Neath Valley and the mountains will always seem like home to me.

7.  From what we’ve read, you have had a long association with Ruth Jones, particularly in more recent years on Ruth’s comedy drama “Stella”.  You play the rather unusual character of Grandmother Rhian. For our members that may not have viewed any of the Welsh series yet, please list 5 statements that best describe Rhian (and let’s see how many times you mention cockin’ this and cockin’ that – Members, I am not being rude….Rhian says cockin’ frequently in “Stella” Smiley)?

Ha!! It’s the catch-phrase of the show now really! Okay, here goes.
1.      Loves a cockin laugh
2.      Has to look after loads of cockin children
3.      Loves her ‘fat’ dog
4.      Loves anything that’s free
5.      Has a heart of cockin gold

And yes, Ruth and I have known each other since Youth Theatre. She’s an amazing woman and a wonderful friend.

8.  Together with Neil Docking, you run a production company called Independence Pictures.  Through your company, what productions have you been recently working on, or have coming up in the near future?

Neil is the writer in the family (He’s my husband). We have 3 projects in development at the moment. A Musical (He’s also a musician/ composer), a Play and a Comedy series that we are hoping to film in the autumn and distribute through You Tube! We’ve worked together many, many times in our careers in British Television and Film. Mostly with me directing his work. Working together is what we love more than anything. Because when we do, very little bullshit gets in the way of the project. We don’t always agree but that’s the healthy bit as far as I’m concerned. We’ve worked with other producers in the past who have often not, in our eyes at least, done the best by the work. It always seems to become about their personal agendas. So now we’ll be in control. So if it’s brilliant? Happy days. If it’s crap…at least it is our crap. Teehee. I’ll keep you posted.

9.  You have an interesting skill set on your CV including mezzo soprano, dog handling, choreography, to name just a few.  We presume you have a love of music/singing and dance.  Has this been something you have had an interest in since your childhood, or did this develop later on in your life?

Oh if I’d had my way I’d have gone to ballet lessons at 4 and stage school at the earliest opportunity after that! But I was from the Valley’s of Wales in the 60’s and my Mum and Dad thought it was a phase. They were old enough to be my grandparents and we really didn’t have much money. My school careers advice was to do English so I could teach. But I was still banging on about acting and stuff at 16 so I studied ‘A’ level Drama at the local 6th Form college. I thought I’d died and gone to heaven!! And I haven’t let it go since. It’s very different there now, huge opportunities for the talent born and bred in Wales these days. I’m very glad to say!

10.  Thinking back, what was the most difficult/challenging drama exercise you had to tackle in school?

There was an exercise called the ‘coffin exercise’. I don’t know if they still do it. But it’s about imagining someone you know and love lying dead in front of you. I have to say that it is something I couldn’t do. Some of my classmates had lost loved ones and for them it was torture to say the least! But I found the exercise meaningless. Without context I couldn’t do it. When playing a part you can be free to imagine and are given clues within the text as to how you would react, what the relationship is, their name!! But imagining my mum or dad lying there was something that my mind just wouldn’t do. I felt like I had failed in some way. Many years later when I visited my mother’s dead body in the Chapel of rest I have to say that drama and life are sometimes a million miles apart. It really wasn’t like it is in the movies. But maybe that’s a good thing eh?

11.  Who would you say most influenced you, among your drama teachers, and why?

Ann Morris and Jill Cuthbert. Under the auspices of a wonderful gentleman Godfrey Evans, who ran the West Glamorgan Youth Theatre, of which Russell T was also a member, those two women gave me faith. They never questioned that I couldn’t be a professional  actor/ dancer/ director/ writer/ anything…anything I wanted they just told me to go for. I’d never had that before. Ann passed away many years ago but Jill still lives in Swansea. And you know what? I’m going to go and see her this summer now because you’ve reminded me. Thank you.

12.  To date, what is your worst/funniest and/or best audition experience?

I’m not a confident singer. AT ALL!! I remember auditioning, many moons ago, for a part in a musical. I was so nervous my knees were knocking. In fact I had to lock my knees back so that I could stand on the stage without my legs buckling (I do not exaggerate). The pianist asked me to sing the beginning without him. He didn’t say it was so that he could pick up the tempo that I wanted. So I just rattled off the first few lines. He looked at me and said “Are you sure?”. I thought he was making fun and just eyeballed him and said “Yes”. Well he started so fast I could barely keep up. Fast? I didn’t know my diction was so good! We rattled through the whole song in seconds. The audition panel just stared in disbelief!! But rather than admit my mistake I walked out of there, like I had been fitted with leg braces. Head held high, pride in pieces!!

13.  Is there a role that you regret turning down?

Awe bless you!!! I’ve never been busy enough to turn a role down! But thank you for thinking that I might have.

14.  Is there a TV series or a theatrical play that you really aspire to being a part of,  a dream role perhaps?

My dream, is that one day I will play Linda Loman in Death of a Salesman, and Mrs Lovett in Sweeney Todd (But I would need a costume that would cover the leg braces for that one).

15.  As you would be aware, many actors get the opportunity to appear at Conventions and such throughout the UK.  Have you ever had the opportunity to be a part of an event like that, or if not, is it something you would like to do, being able to interact with your fans?

I’d love it. I cannot understand actors who have no time for their fans. It bemuses me. The only role to date that I am recognised for in the street is Rhian in Stella! It’s a joy! But the greatest number of fan letters that I have ever received was for Helen Sherman. My old drama school classmate Torri Higginson is a regular in Stargate Atlantis. And we both agree that the best fans in the world are SciFi fans. My Dad was a huge science fiction/ horror fan. I have hundreds of his books in my attic. He was devoted to the genre. My only regret is that my Dad wasn’t around to see me in Torchwood. He would have been chuffed to bits!!

16.  Do you enjoy the social aspect of Twitter?  We all seem to have a cockin’ good time on there when you are around! Wink

I’m very new to it but yes I love it. You can have some very special moments on there and it’s a great way to connect with fans. My only regret is time! I never seem to have enough bleedin time at the moment. But that’ll change and I’ll be back on there ‘cockin’ away very soon!!!!

17.  Torchwood is of course a spinoff of Doctor Who – have you ever been a fan of the Doctor, and if so, which one is your favourite/which is YOUR Doctor?

John Pertwee was my Doctor. I loved him!! Me and my Dad would watch every episode and I’m convinced my fear of spiders comes from it. Planet of the Spiders terrified me. I loved it!!!

18.  Have you ever visited Australia before?  If so, favourite part you got to visit/experience?  If not, where do you like to holiday?

At the moment visiting Australia is impossible! We have 2 Staffordshire Bull terriers and I couldn’t put them in a kennel. But one day…

We very rarely have holidays. We’ve had 4 in 22 years!! Ha! We just work I’m afraid. But we grab weekends here and there last minute and they are very special. We love going to Northallerton near Yorkshire. Then over to Whitby to visit old Dracula country and get some good old fish and chips!!!

19.  From what we’ve read you are a real dog lover, particularly of Staffordshire Bull Terriers.  Have you always had this particular breed?  And are you typical of a real dog lover, in that they are very much a part of your family?

These two Staffs are my first dogs as a grown up. But both my husband and I had dogs in the family when we were growing up. My friend had a Staff when her kids were young and I made the HUGE mistake of saying “But you can’t!!! They’ll eat your children!!!”. I was, like many people, ignorant of the breed. But now I’m like a boring preacher!!! I adore the breed. In the right hands of course. They are very powerful animals physically, but emotionally bleedin wrecks!! Very needy and very loving. Extremely devoted.

Rapid fire……some quick questions for you………

20.  Are you an avid reader?  Do you have a favourite book?

No. I hate to admit it but I’m not. But I’m reading Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein at the moment and am gripped!!!

21.  Saturday nights in, or love to be out and about ‘partying’?


22.  Any hobbies?

My dogs.

23.  Favourite type of music/favourite song?

Anything and everything. Classical when I need to lose myself. Disco when I need to find myself again!!

24.  Top 5 all time favourite movies (in no particular order)?

Shawshank Redemption
District 9
Nightmare Before Christmas
Terminator 2

25.  Favourite motivational quote or saying?

We open in 2 weeks!!!!

Bernard Cribbins!

Bernard & the wonderful David Tennant

Yes we are stepping back in time again to 2010, when I had the wonderful opportunity to interview via telephone the fabulous Bernard Cribbins. Definitely the highlight for me of all our interviews to date….enjoy!

Interview questions compiled by Quantum Librarian and Evil Ruthy

Interview conducted by Evil Ruthy (by phone)

The Torchwood Australia Website and Forum is extremely proud to present an exclusive interview with Bernard Cribbins, our very own Wilfred Mott from ‘Doctor Who’.

We were fortunate enough to be granted a phone interview with Bernard, and I must say, it was such a pleasure and honour to get to speak to him directly.  He was so lovely to talk to, and it was fascinating to hear all his stories and tales about his years as an actor.

We thank Bernard profusely for giving us the time and agreeing to participate in this phone interview – I’m sure you will thoroughly enjoy Bernard’s responses.

Please note: as this is an exclusive interview to Torchwood Australia, all parts are not to be distributed or reproduced anywhere else!

[Interviewer’s note – Bernard and I started the conversation about the weather, as you do.  I advised him that it was rather warm here, to which he replied “well it is bloody cold here”.  Yes it was certainly a delightful interview, and I very much enjoyed being a part of it.]

1)  You have worked within the British film and television industry for many decades.  What major changes have you seen and been a part of in that time?  What was the most exciting for you to be a part of?  Have they all been good changes?

Major changes – I don’t really know about major changes – mainly technical changes I guess over the years … changes in lighting – much better than the brutes (lights) that used to fizz at you; of course we now have CGI which is used in every possible sequence of film … but modern lighting now speeds things up, a lot quicker these days.  The changes have certainly been good.

2)  What originally motivated you to become an actor?  Are you still motivated by the same things or have your goals changed?

When I was a ‘girl’ of 12, I was invited to play a couple of small parts with a local repertory theatre in Oldham, where I was born – after clearing it with my parents, I played roles like a cheeky grocer’s boy in ‘Lavender Ladies’.  I left school at the age of 13 and the local repertory theatre offered me a job as assistant stage manager which I worked at whilst taking on small roles as well.  I am really an actor by accident.  My salary back then was 15 shillings a week … working a 70 hour week at the age of 14.

3)  What is your favourite medium (television, film, radio plays, stage, comedy musicals) to work in?  Why?  Do you have a preference in the types of work you accept?  For instance, do you prefer acting roles over narration work, etc?

I suppose it would have to be theatre, which I have done for most of my life as an actor; I worked 8 years in ‘Rep’, then did my national service as a paratrooper, and then back to the theatre after that.  

I didn’t like live TV much – you would have something like 3 cameramen, producers, a sound man, all seemingly getting in the way, anything could go wrong, and of course it wasn’t your fault when it did go wrong.   TV now is great though.

I loved doing films and being amongst the professionals.

I love doing radio – you don’t have to shave, and you can wear your old clothes, all whilst ‘playing a vicar’ on radio … wonderful!  

My favourite job I think would be doing ‘Guys & Dolls’ at the National Theatre – 80 performances in Repertoire – it was wonderful playing Nathan Detroit.

I guess my main preference is anything as long as I enjoy it.  With narration, you have to apply to the stuff that you are narrating – to me narration and acting are the same thing.  

4)  Do you find it relaxing to be a ‘mature’ actor in the business?  Has your acting technique changed a lot since first starting out?  Are there particular challenges that a ‘mature’ actor has to overcome in this industry (such as stereotypes about age etc)?

Well I guess I must’ve improved since I began Smiley  I was taught by some very good people when I was a little lad in Rep, and you learn so much by osmosis.  

I don’t think I’ve changed (my technique or otherwise), and I’ve always remained truthful to my career and my jobs.

A particular challenge I had to overcome was on the job I’ve just finished with ‘Doctor Who’ – it was challenging running after David Tennant; the Doctor would be saying “C’mon Wilfred” – definitely the hardest to overcome.  

It was wonderful to be acting on ‘Doctor Who’ – great job.  They’ve shown the Christmas episode 3 times here recently, and ‘Doctor Who’ is up for an award next week.

5)  You voiced the characters in the original 1973-1975 ‘Wombles’ TV series.  And you also read more stories on BBC’s ‘Jackanory’ than any other actor.  How often are you recognised for your narration in these two series?  For instance, do you get grown-up adults coming up to you now to reminisce about their childhood Womble / Jackanory experiences?

I’m definitely recognised by my voice alone, and when grown up adults approach me, I can tell their age by what they remember and recognise what they listened to.  After talking with David (Tennant) about ‘The Wombles’, he told me that he had a Tomsk toothbrush holder when he was a young lad.  

I actually finished narrating ‘The Wombles’ in Sydney – in 1973 I was on my first trip to Australia, doing a play in Melbourne.  There were still 4 episodes of ‘The Wombles’ to be done.  The producer had a nephew in Sydney who had a sound studio so I flew from Melbourne to Sydney, finished off those 4 episodes, and then flew back to Melbourne to return to the play.

On the Christmas ‘Doctor Who’ special about the Titanic, Kylie Minogue didn’t know who I was, until it was mentioned that I narrated ‘The Wombles’.  And then of course she remembered my narration of it.

6)  Have you been involved in mentoring young actors?  Have you been involved in teaching acting classes or workshops?

No I haven’t, been too busy … it may come later though.

7)  Are there any roles or TV shows that you regret turning down?  Or are you happy being where you are, career wise, right here and now?

I can’t think of any, there probably would have been some.  Most of the jobs I’ve been offered, I’ve taken.  I’ve only taken two jobs for the money in my life, so I’m very happy with what I’ve accepted over the years, quite happy.  I guess it would’ve been nice to go to America and do a western though.

8)  You originally acted in the 1966 Doctor Who film (Daleks’ Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D.) and now you play Wilfred Mott in the revamped, current BBC television series.  What do you personally like about the long-running show?  And why is it, do you think, that the British public, and indeed most of the world, find Doctor Who appealing and so enduring?

That film is actually being shown tomorrow by the British Film Institute. [Interviewer’s note – this was actually last Saturday 16th January]   I will be sitting there, taking questions, and then they will show the original film.…

It has been a good job working on ‘Doctor Who’.  I had a lovely part/great character.  The unit down in Wales would have to be the best I have worked with in my whole career, a bit like being in the ‘paras’ – very organised, they just get on with it, and nobody moans.  The schedule is tough but they keep on top of it.

I like the scripts written by Russell T Davies, and some of the other writers of course.  The directing is good … the whole ambience in Wales is wonderful. BBC Wales forever!!!

9)  What is your own all time favourite Doctor Who storyline / story arc?

Just so many, don’t know.  In the Christmas (Titanic) episode, it was nice meeting Kylie (Minogue), and it was my introduction to David (Tennant) on that episode.

10)  In 5 words, describe your character – Wilfred Mott.

Honest, reliable, loyal, sentimental, lonely.

11)  What is your favourite scene from the recently aired Doctor Who The End of Time?

Favourite scene is where David and I are in the spaceship, looking down on earth, and I’m reminiscing about being in Palestine when I was 18.

I mentioned to Russell (T Davies) at one point about the time I was standing on a roof in Haifa, it was Christmas Eve 1947, all sorts of rubbish flying around, it was cold, little bit of snow.  Anyway, he introduced it into the scene. And that led into the scene with the gun and David, when Wilfred said to David about the Master, “then kill him first”.

It was a lovely segue, about being a soldier, continuing into that scene.  It was a very nice scene and I think we both played it quite well.

[Interviewer’s note – I have just rewatched this scene and I have to agree with Bernard on this one … it is a beautiful, emotional scene, played so brilliantly by both Bernard and David]

12)  There was a particular scene in Part 1 of The End of Time that was rather poignant, the scene where the Doctor and Wilfred were in the cafe.  Was that scene ‘difficult’ to film, especially considering these were David Tennant’s final episodes of his Doctor?

No it wasn’t difficult at all.  It was a very nice scene to play, so emotional, we played it way way down.  Filming with David close up is wonderful – no wonder all the girls like close up scenes with David Smiley  David is just so giving as an actor.

13)  In your opinion, what was the most unexpected plot idea within The End of Time?

I think the most unexpected plot was when Wilfred is locked in the ‘chamber’ and he is knocking, four times, and the Doctor realises that Wilfred is the one knocking, and as a result, he had to take in all that radiation to let Wilfred out.

I think they glossed over the part where Wilfred got in there in the first place, to let that technician out, unwittingly locking himself in.

14)  Before working on the new Doctor Who, were you a fan of the show at all?  Do you have a favourite Doctor?

I was sort of a fan – I used to watch it some time ago.  

I guess my favourite (before David Tennant) was Tom Baker and general opinion of everyone here seems to be Tom Baker and David Tennant.  Tom played the kinky kooky idiot which I loved, and David is very good!

15)  You have had a marvellously varied career, including roles in some of the ‘Carry On’ films – the ‘Carry On’ films were probably considered quite risqué in their day – did you enjoy those years in your career, when you could be involved with that type of project?

‘Carry On’ films risqué?  Never [he laughs].

I enjoyed them – most of the films I worked on were in the 60’s.  Two ‘Carry Ons’, ‘Casino Royale’, ‘She’ with Ursula Andress.  I worked with David Niven in Israel.

During that time, I didn’t do theatre for several years, and I enjoyed all those little films, especially ‘Carry On Jack’.  Ed Devereaux from Australia was in that too.  During breaks in filming, we would play cricket, and Ed would be the Australian side, and I would be the English side.

Another film was ‘The Wrong Arm of the Law’ – that had a lot of Australians in it; Ed Devereaux, Bill Kerr and Reggie Lye.

[Interviewer’s note – At this point, Bernard and I discussed Ed Devereaux further, and Ed’s role in ‘Skippy’]

I also met Ken James (from ‘Skippy’) in 1973 – he was in that Melbourne play I appeared in, and that was his first job in theatre.

16)  What was it like working on such an epic film like the 1967 Bond film ‘Casino Royale’?  You certainly worked with some big names on that project.

I didn’t meet any of the big names on ‘Casino Royale’.

I played a taxi driver, nice part certainly.  The lovely thing was I’d only just taken my driving test, and passed that morning, and then we had a night shoot at MGM Studios Elstree, and I had to drive down a steep ramp, and do all sorts of manoeuvres.  It was certainly interesting when I had only just passed my driving test.  The ramp was so steep, they had to block the wheels with a railway sleeper before we started shooting.  Yes so that all happened on the same day – nice film.

Someone told me that as Peter Sellers and Orsen Welles didn’t really get on that well, that when they had to film a scene, across a table, whilst playing cards, they actually filmed that scene separately, they didn’t do the scene together.

17)  Are you often recognised in the street, mainly for your most recent work as ‘Wilfred Mott’?

Indeed I am – mainly for Wilfred.

My wife Gill and I were in the supermarket one day, and we were all wrapped up, it was very cold, and I had a black woollie hat on.  A kid that was about 2 foot high, points at me, he would’ve been about 6 years old, and he said to me “You’re in Doctor Who!”  And I said “Did you watch it”, and he said “yeah”, and “Did you like it” and he said “yeah”.  And then another kid and his Dad came up to me as well.  It’s wonderful.  These young kids only knee high, and wanting to talk to me about ‘Doctor Who’.

18)  Whilst researching your career, we came across some very interesting youtube clips/audios, for eg ‘Hole in the Ground’ which made it to #9 on the UK charts in 1962 – were you surprised at the time, how well you went in the music charts?  And for your info, here is a link to one of the said youtube clips

I had three hits, ‘Right, Said Fred’, ‘Hole in the Ground’ and ‘Gossip Calypso’. They never made it to Australia though, as I think someone over there covered them.  Maybe that young Johnny Farnham?  Perhaps I should ask him for the money.

[Interviewer’s note – sorry Bernard, after much research, I couldn’t find anything on an Australian covering these.  Perhaps some of our members could do some research and see who did them over here.  It wasn’t John though – better hold off asking for that money!]

A lovely episode came out of a musical in London; George Martin from Parlophone Records, used to do the albums from the shows, and he recorded Joyce Blair and myself.  On the A side was ‘Folk Song’ and that sold 20,000 copies in 2 weeks.  EMI noticed of course and wanted another record.  Ted Dicks did the music and Myles Rudge did the lyrics – they created ‘Hole in the Ground’ and ‘Right, Said Fred’.

Noel Coward made a remark when he did ‘Desert Island Discs’ (radio show); if he was only able to take one record to a desert island, it would be ‘Hole in the Ground’.  When asked why, he replied that “I could translate it into French as I walked up and down the beach”.  It is lovely to hear remarks like this.

19)  Have you always resided in the UK, and if so, do you have a favourite spot you really call home?

I’ve always resided in the UK; I’ve been in the same home now for over 40 years.  Gill and I both like the coasts, the hills and things, but where we are is ideal for my job – near film studios, and near to London.

Wales is a lovely country.  Great ambience at the film studio; everyone we met was fantastic.

I visited North Wales a long time ago – Snowdonia is a gorgeous place.

When I’d get together with my mates, before I was married, we travelled to Scotland and Ireland several times, hitchhiked our way, staying in hostels.

When I visited Australia, we went to Queensland and I loved the Cairns/Port Douglas area – we spent 2-3 weeks there.

20)  Name five things or people that really mean the world to Bernard Cribbins.

I can only think of 4.

Gill, obviously.

My fishing tackle.

All my friends.

My job.

[Interviewer – At this point I asked Bernard if he was good at fishing]

Yes I’m a very good fisherman.  I made a dvd with 8 x 1 hour episodes – it contained a variety of course fishing and fly fishing.  Some years ago, I did the narration on this series, but this time I’m actually narrating and fishing.

(Surprise question added at the last minute)

21)  What do you think about the ‘push’ for a proposed Knighthood for you?  

What push?  It has nothing to do with me whatsoever.

They can push and you never know.  It’d be great though, wouldn’t it?

I did get a Bafta a couple of weeks ago – a special award, a Children’s Bafta for ‘The Wombles’, my songs etc; John Cleese came on film and spoke about the ‘Fawlty Towers’ episode; David Tennant appeared as well.  It was really nice to get that.

[Interviewer] I said to Bernard that he may not speak to me again when he becomes Sir Bernard, and he said to that “yes there will be a melt down and I might have a nasty scar on my shoulder” … ”No, I would be very happy to talk to you again.”

[Interviewer] And so would I Bernard, and so would I!


Let’s step back in time to 2012 – time for some fabulousness in the form of an interview with “Leela”……..

The Torchwood Australia Website and Forum is very pleased to present an exclusive interview with Louise Jameson, “Leela” from the Classic Who days.

We wish to thank Louise for giving us the time and agreeing to participate in this interview.

Please note: as this is an exclusive interview to Torchwood Australia, all parts are not to be distributed or reproduced anywhere else!

1.  One of your very first roles was in 1971 in a TV programme called “Tom Brown’s Schooldays” – how did it feel walking on set for the very first time?  Did you feel a bit out of your depth or was it just a day full of excitement for you?

The naivety of youth… I was so excited to be there.  The whole process was fresh and exciting and I was completely taken care of.  Even down to the camera man giving me a lesson on size of framing, and lighting.

2.  Before joining “Doctor Who”, you had a number of roles in TV programmes/movies over those early years.  Is there something in particular that stands out as an amazing memory or experience?

THE GAME….  It was a one off drama filmed in Manchester, first Drama they ever did.  And I adored the classic feel of it and the class struggle content of the script.

The Doctor Who Years:

3.  You were cast in the role as ‘Leela’, companion to Tom Baker’s Doctor.  Tom appears to be one of the most popular Doctors from the Classic series.  Please tell us a bit about working with Tom during your time on Who.

If I had a tenner for every time I am asked this question I would not need to ever work again.

He was difficult, no question, but he cared so deeply about the programme and is such a talented actor that one forgives him anything.

Tom and I have recently reprised our Doctor/Leela roles on audio for BIG FINISH (launching next Saturday) (ADMIN EDIT – this occurred during February) and I can honestly say the whole process has been an absolute delight.  And Tom has been ADORABLE to work with.

4.  From the look of Leela’s costume, you remind us of an early version of Xena Warrior Princess.  Was the costume awkward to move in or uncomfortable?

Initially it was uncomfortable, but after we’d added the back flap and made it easier to have a pee, all was good.

5.  Were there any funny moments or off screen pranks that occurred during your Who years?

I wish I could come up with more anecdotes than I have…  it was really quite a serious process, and the times we did fall about laughing you ‘had to be there’….  There was one time on the top of Wills Factory in Bristol when I was FREEZING in that costume that Tom wrapped me up like an Egyptian mummy and when the word ‘action’ rang out he spun me free to continue with the scene.

6.  Were you sad to finish your run as Leela?  Or did you feel it was time the Doctor had a new companion?

Because things weren’t brilliant with Tom and I way back when, I was ready to go.  And went straight to Bristol to play PORTIA in THE MERCHANT OF VENICE – things were really happening for me career wise then.  

I never thought that Doctor Who would be such a source of comfort, income, work, travel, discussion, laughter for me in 2012, like no other job has been.

After Doctor Who:

7.  You’ve had various roles in a number of TV programmes over the years since “Doctor Who”, probably one of your longest running was on “Eastenders” – did you enjoy working on such a long established show?

Actually BERGERAC was 4 years, and Tenko and EE were both 2…….

I found EE quite hard to work on.  There is a very ‘us and them’ feel between the management and the actors.  However, my family were adorable, and who wouldn’t want to go into work with those two boys waiting to hug you every day!

8.  Having performed as Leela in “Doctor Who”, played Tania Braithwaite in the Adrian Mole TV series, and lately being cast as Eleanor on “Doc Martin”, how does it compare going from time travelling warrior woman, to relatively ‘normal’ roles as a Mother?  Which do you prefer?

Every role has its challenges, good and bad…..  the more dramatic, the more you have to delve, the more the satisfaction.  I would say, overall, that Blanche in Tenko has been my favourite TV role to date.  But my favourite form of performance is small theatres.  Not so much dosh to be had, but the artistic satisfaction, the immediacy of the audience, the story telling without interruption….  I love all of that.

9.  One of your passions appears to be theatre – do you prefer working on stage over filming a TV programme episode?  We gather it would certainly be more nerve wracking performing live?

See above

10.  You have appeared in a number of Shakespeare plays – do you like performing Shakespeare or do you have a preference for non-Shakespeare roles?

I am PASSIONATE about Shakespeare…..  if you can do him well you can do anything.  He is at times, perfection and expresses deep emotion like no other.

11.  You’ve worked on BBC Radio plays and have also recorded some audio dramas for Big Finish and Fantom Films.  Do you find perfoming audio much easier than working in TV and theatre?  Is it something you will continue to do?

I’ve just started my own audio company, currently called DOWNLOAD DRAMA DOT CO DOT UK… yes it’s easier simply because you don’t have to learn anything.  Although some actors make the mistake of thinking you don’t have to work on the text…. Not true…… especially with sci fi.  BIG FINISH are fabulous to work with, and, if they’ll have me, I’ll continue with them forever.

12.  Have you enjoyed your role in “Doc Martin”?  (Ruthy said) I have personally visited Port Isaac and I have to say it is a beautiful part of Cornwall.  What were your impressions of “Port Wenn”?

I have completely fallen in love with North Cornwall… and have revisited already, and have another short holiday booked in the Spring.  This last summer was one of the happiest of my life.  The job was the best 60th b’day present I could have had.

13.  You are currently touring the play “Pulling Faces”, which is a one woman show?  Have you been enjoying working solo on stage, and what has the audience reaction been like?

Audience reaction has been fantastic!  People standing at the end on occasion.  Very humbling and very gratifying.  I’m always scared before I go on, but once it is underway it becomes a joy.

14.  We believe there was a promo going around at the end of last year, that you were performing “Pulling Faces” at a Doctor Who fan event.  Did this go ahead, and if so, did you enjoy your trip to Australia?  Have you visited our country before?

I loved Australia, sadly it was far too short a visit.  Yes I performed in Sydney, the show went incredibly well, and I’m doing it again in LA at another convention in a couple of weeks.

15.  You have a few Fan events lined up in the near future, including “Gallifrey” in Los Angeles.  Do you enjoy the opportunity of meeting the Who fans, and will you continue doing these type of appearances in the future?

Yes, I do like meeting the fans, but spread out convention performances, so that it remains enjoyable, I think you can OD on them if you’re not careful.

16.  What projects do you have lined up for 2012?

The show I am next going to do has been written by NIGEL FAIRS and me and is called MY GAY BEST FRIEND.  It is a two hander which we shall be performing at The Brighton Festival every Sunday.

I run a theatre college for teenagers on a Sunday, we are going to be performing THE COMEDY OF ERRORS, in July.

DOWNLOAD DRAMA will be underway.

More BIG FINISH on offer

…and hopefully more writing…..  I have an idea for a script that is very intense, and complicated, but necessary to address…. Watch this space

17.  Of all the roles you have had, and a great number of actors you have worked with, is there one who really stands out as the ultimate co-worker?

I would have to say the cast of Tenko, and if I had to pick one person it would be VERONICA ROBERTS who played Dorothy.  She is wise, and wonderful, and talented.

Louise from a personal perspective:

18.  As you seem to be a very busy woman, how do you wind down when you aren’t working?

I work some more!!!!  Actually it is a bit of a problem, and I should find some more downtime.

I’m going on a balloon ride soon…. Does that count?

19.  Do you have any hobbies or activities that you are passionate about?

Reading, theatre, Zamba classes

20.  Do you have any pets?  If so, what type?

I have a fabulous dog, part staff part collie.  Rescue dog, impossible, adorable, characterful.  I’ve always had rescue dogs and the occasional cat.

Want to read a magnificent interview???

We are happy to announce that we’ve just uploaded a wonderful interview with Maxine Evans.

This is an exceptional read, and if you want to know much more about the lovely lady, head over to the link below.

(just a wee reminder that ONLY Torchwood Australia Registered Forum Members can access the exclusive interview section of the Forum)
We send a massively HUGE thank you to Maxine for joining Torchwood Australia for this interview – your participation is totally appreciated! You’re a cockin’ brilliant woman! Thank you!

Photo provided by Maxine Evans

Loads AND Loads of updates……..

I just sent this massive email to the TA Forum members, and thought I would share all this news here on our main page as well…

That said, please remember that certain links etc can only be viewed by TA Forum members.


Hello everyone,

Well we felt we’d better give everyone a head’s up as there seems to be loads going on and coming up, especially with the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary approaching fast.

1. DW 50th Anniversary October Comps – we have opened this thread here >>>

and I will say, the prize is utterly gorge! In fact, I’d even be bold enough to say that all or most Whovians would love one of these! This is a beautiful prize so get participating in the monthly comps for your chance to win this. November comps will be extra special too, being our final month of Anniversary comps, and the prize will include merchandise from the official 50th Anniversary Convention being held in London.

2. We have two awesome episodes nominated for our Ep of the Month Club – make sure you check those out before we head into November for our Matt Smith tribute >>>

3. Irish has opened a magic writing challenge for October, dedicated to TEN!

Have a go at contributing to this month’s writing challenge. Open to all members!

4. We are HOPING to have a very Special Who Guest join us for a live Q&A prior to the 50th Anniversary – if we can get this organised, you will be the first to know about it. Stay tuned for that!

5. Our ABC network in Australia really is getting into the 50th Anniversary spirit – if you check out this thread for the latter posts, you will see the ABC media releases I have uploaded there >>>

6. Torchwood in Australia – the lovely Channel Eleven have been revisiting our beloved Torchwood – they are currently up to S2 Ep 7 Dead Man Walking, which will be shown this Monday night. Plus they have the two previous eps on their catch up video on the internet. Certainly wonderful to see Torchwood on our telly boxes!

7. Torchwood in the UK – a Torchwood Con is occurring in the UK in April 2014 – more here >>>

They had announced recently that Burn Gorman would also be there, but he has since cancelled unfortunately.

8. In baby news 🙂 Eve Myles is expecting again – yay…..a sibling is on its way for Matilda. Also, John Barrowman has become a great uncle, with Clare having given birth to a bouncing baby boy.

9. TA – December – of course December wouldn’t be December without Christmas comps – these will be announced in the early part of December, plus a few Christmas activities as well. So yes folks we are pretty busy right up until the end of this year!

10. Public Interviews – not long ago we uploaded the Expedition Movie interviews, and they are a really good read – check them out here >>>

They now only have a few short hours to smash their campaign total of 5000 GBP, so if you are wanting one of their wonderful perks, check out the campaign here but be very very quick!

Finally, your fearless leader is off to the UK in November for a couple of weeks; included activities of course are the DW 50th Anniversary Con weekend in London, and viewing the 50th Anniversary episode somewhere along the line, PLUS I’ve managed to get a ticket to see David Tennant in Richard II at Stratford-Upon-Avon – very much looking forward to that.

So folks, if you haven’t visited the Forum for awhile, I suggest you come over and check it out, especially our latest comp thread and beautiful prize up for grabs.

Take care all.

Evil Ruthy….