Film and TV [Page 2]

SHAKESPEAR'S AS YOU LIKE IT for BBC TV (1978) - I played Charles the wrestler, and for the first time in my career had loads of dialogue to learn and deliver. I also acted as stunt advisor for the wrestling scene in which I am beaten by the male lead Brian Stirner. The filming was done at Glamis Castle, the birth place of the late Queen Mother, and the stars were James Bolam, Anghared Rees, and Helen Mirren.

A HORSEMAN RIDING BY (1978) - This was a TV series filmed by the BBC from a novel by R. F. Delderfield. I played Jem Pollock, a circus strongman - a wonderful part that ran through three episodes. The filming was done in the Kingsdown/Totness area of Devon with Nigel Havers playing the male lead. I had the enviable task of being the screen lover of the Potter twins, whose mother was played by Pam St. Clement prior to her EastEnders fame.

GULLIVER'S TRAVELS (1977) - This was primarily in cartoon form with Gulliver played by Richard Harris. Although I worked on the film for a week I never met him once. I played the giant who scoops Gulliver's boat out of the water at the end of the movie. I was made up to look oriental and nobody ever recognises me. This was another film that did not do very well and it is now on sale in Woolworths for less than £5.

JABBERWOCKY (1977) - This without a doubt was one of the funniest and enjoyable films I have worked on. Terry Gilliam of Monty Python fame directed and most of the filming was done at Carmarthen Castle in West Wales. Michael Palin played the lead, but for me the star of the show was the famous comic Max Wall. I had two parts in the movie playing the black knight and the red knight, and was even offered the role of the dragon who was terrorising the town. Terry offered me the parts saying that my face would not be seen at all during the entire film and so not to expect to be 'discovered', but if you are very quick there is a brief glimpse in the armourer's shop when they were trying to remove my helmet.

STAR WARS EPISODE IV - A NEW HOPE (1976) - This is the film that changed my life, and I think the choice of playing Darth Vader as opposed to Chewbacca was one of the best decisions I have ever made. The first thing that happened after landing the role was a lunch with Gary Kurtz, George Lucas, and Sir Alec Guinness that was arranged so that Alec and myself could get together as I had the onerous job of killing him off in the film. It was great working with Peter Cushing again and I had a reunion with Carrie Fisher with whom I had worked at the London Palladium in 1973 in the Debbie Reynolds Show. I worked on the film for 5 months and had to learn and deliver all Darth Vader's dialogue. I did not know that George had plans to use American voice over artists to cover most of the English voices in the movie. Harrison, Carrie, and Mark were all very easy to work with as were the rest of the English cast. The film went on location to Tunisia, but all Darth Vader's scenes were studio shots in the Death Star. Little did I know that I would be travelling around the world appearing at Sci Fi conventions and autograph signing sessions all these years later.

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