October 2005

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"Doctor Who stuff, a new website and the first Best of British Comedy Luncheon - looks like Mr Ross has had a busy month"

October 2005

Wow what a month Iíve had!† In fact all the best bits have been distilled in to the last week and a bit.† Iím still recovering from the fantastic experience that was the Dr Who convention, Regenerations, in Swansea over the weekend.† A great cast list including the usual, but still much welcome, suspects like Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy and Nicholas Courtney.† As well as guest stars like Simon Williams, Philip Madoc, Damaris Hayman and the totally enchanting Eve Myles, who played the female lead in Mark Gatissís Dickensian classic of 2005 The Unquiet Dead.

I was happily dragged in to this event because my second and Ė say it with pride Ė latest Dr Who audio play for Big Finish was recorded during the previous days, on Wednesday 21st and Thursday 22nd September.† As I told you back in July its another romp for Doctor number 6 Colin Baker.† Itís called Pier Pressure and is set in Brighton in 1936.† I was blessed with another wonderful cast, none better than the delightful Maggie Stables as the regular companion Evelyn.† Thanks to the time frame I could indulge in including one of my comedy heroes as a character, Max Miller, and I was more than slightly chuffed that another comedy hero Roy Hudd agreed to play the part.† He was marvellous and the working relationship between Colin and Roy was electric.† The big bad, ĎProfessorí Talbot was played by that gentleman of terror, Doug Bradley, unforgettable as ĎPinheadí in the Hellraiser films.

The supporting cast was impeccable and we even welcomed a star name from Doctor Whoís past who agreed to play a three line character.† All will be revealed when the play is released in January next year!

It was great fun too to welcome my old pal, music hall historian, drinking buddy and representative for the Max Miller Appreciation Society, Rick Blackman, down for one day of the recording to soak in the atmosphere, interview Roy and cover it for the magazine.† Itís a worthy club to get involved in and thereís a link to their website as well as this very website (although you scarcely need that!) on my brand spanking new website www.robertross.co.uk.† A bit of egoism and a bit of fun I must thank Melanie for putting it all together.† Those of you who know me, know Iím not that technically minded.† Apart from a few suggestions here and there from me itís all Melís work.† Sheís a clever young lass.† And donít fear, you good folk at TellyNation, the website doesnít mean these comic ramblings will come to a halt!

On Thursday 29th September I attended the first of, hopefully, an annual Best of British Comedy luncheon at B.A.F.T.A. in aid of The Cinema and Television Benevolent Fund.† I had sat on the committee and, as organiser Gayle Gover kindly told the assembled masses it was my slightly drunken idea to do a themed charity event when we met and chatted at a Lunch Club meeting last year.† To play a very small part in raising money for such a worthy cause and to look around at the guests who included Ray Galton and Alan Simpson, Neil Innes, Andrew Sachs, Victor Spinetti and Burt Kwouk, was very satisfying indeed.† Don Wardís Comedy Store was instrumental in the live entertainment which was introduced by the ultra-talented Stephen K Amos and featured dour Welsh observations from Rhod Gilbert, heart-wrenching soul searching from Sarah Millican and charming angst from Roger Monkhouse.† An impeccable and extremely strong line up of the cream of British stand-up, it rounded off the event in style.† My afternoon was suitably enriched by sharing a table with that thoroughly nice chap Sanjeev Bhaskar who introduced the event, noting that he sounded like an Indian waiter introducing the starter, and warming the place up with some wry comments about travelling on the underground!† Again the website address for the CTBF is on my website and I urge you to join and attend next yearís comedy celebration.

October includes several delights coming to dvd for the first time; the most eagerly awaited additions to my bulging comedy collection being Max and Paddyís Road to Nowhere and all four Carry On Christmas television specials on one tasty disc.† Again, the advice is to shop around.† Play.com looks the best bet for these at the moment.

And as we speed ever closer to Christmas and that hotly anticipated Dr Who special I bid you a laughter filled month as always.

TTFN
Robert Ross
Buckinghamshire


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