Post by D.C. Burtonshaw on Sept 24, 2018 19:29:30 GMT
Evening everybody! Well I started the thread so I'd better give a good report - so here goes;
Yes it was a very enjoyable event indeed and well worth going! Myself and GC, bumped into Vienna at Kennington tube station which was handy as Vienna had been to the cinema museum before so no problem with finding the place. We got there a little early before the "doors open" time of 1:30 pm, but whilst waiting to go in, a Ford Focus estate pulled up outside and the 3 occupants started to alight;
There was a couple of familiar faces and one that wasn't initially, until the penny dropped.........
Bob Rocca, one of the authors of the new revised edition of The Professionals book was one (previously 45Doyle on the "old lounge") and another was a former "old forum lounge" member (Don't quote me, but I think he was "Uverdale Road"), who both recognised me and I exchanged quick hellos and a brief chat. Bob and "Uverdale Road" were fetching in shortly after, some piles of copies of the books for those that had pre-ordered them. Now the 3rd gentleman? He was one of the guests and Bob asked me if I recognised him? Suddenly it came to me...
From the Professionals episode "Blind Run" it was non other than Ahmed El Shenawi - "Tinkerbell"!! The big bodyguard fellow who Bodie and Doyle gave him the nickname of, after first seeing him at the docks when he arrives with the "diplomat". Then Vi and GC then also twigged! Super to meet and speak to him, albeit briefly, it appears that Bob had very kindly given him a lift to the event! I can confirm that when I spoke with him, he seemed a gentleman, very polite and in a great mood and was pleased that people were interested and recognised him. Still a big chap, now walking with a stick, but later on it was great to to hear his recollections from the time he was involved with the filming of Blind Run in 1978 and working with Martin Shaw etc, not to mention that he had parts in other films notably Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom!
We were able to walk in eventually and not long after Peter Picard arrived and joined us, we bought our tickets and went to the main event hall upstairs. I will say that The Cinema Museum is a fascinating venue, full of memorabilia and old cinema equipment, projectors, lobby cards, old film posters and admission price signs etc, which they also organise pre-booked tours too.
On arriving upstairs it was starting to fill up with visitors and many of the guests had arrived sitting at their tables. I felt a little in awe of wanting to speak to any of them to be honest but Vienna and GC got to briefly meet the lovely Carol Royle, (I'll leave them to elaborate more.......... Lol!) and the rest of the guest stars and crew and stunt mean were also now present.
Eventually it was time to take our seats for the main event which got well under way with host, the lovely Linda Regan - whose had a huge career going by her IMDB entry including On the Buses, Quadrophenia, the first Minder episode, and most notably from 1984-88, as April in Hi-De-Hi! She is of course "Mrs Brian Murphy" - yep ol' George Roper from George and Mildred - and........ guess what? Brian was there too in attendance! He was walking around chatting to people he knew and looked fine and in good health as far as I could see!
After the welcomes, and a bit from the "Misty Moon" organisers, the session got under way, quick montage of action scenes on the cinema screen with the famous theme tune, which got us all in the mood.
Just as an aside - I must mention - although he wasn't in The Professionals, Linda led a tribute to the recently departed Dudley Sutton which was shown to start with, (before the Pros intro) with a great montage of photos of him in the many parts he did, against a recording of a rather odd and eccentric song that Dudley apparently recorded called "An Existentialist" - against a country and western style rythm but quite hilarious poetic lyrics!! I don't know if its on Youtube somewhere but you have to hear it to believe it!
RIGHT - to the main event;
First guest was chief casting director for most of the series Esta Charkham, who talked about her earlier career and her work on the series and about finding suitable actors which was quite an interesting insight.
Next the first quintet of the lovely female guest stars, these were
Felicity Dean (Sara Seaford - The Female factor)
Sally Harrison ("Jo" in the Female Factor but better known as Susan Fisher CI5 agent in "The Purging of CI5")
Carol Royle (Helen Pierce in A Stirring of Dust and Anna Batak in Dead Reckoning)
Anni Domingo (Nurse Sister Noel in The Madness of Mickey Hamilton)
Lucy Hornak (Claire Terringham - Bodie's "date" in the back of the limo in The Untouchables)
Some really interesting talks and info from them and wonderful to see them all!
Next (not sure if they were 2nd or 3rd group)
A further 2 more lovely girls from the Pros;
Judy Matheson (Mandy Mitchell in Long Shot)
Frances Low (Cheryl in Wild Justice)
Giving their anecdotes and stories - again great to hear from them.
Then the quartet of Chaps!
The aforementioned Ahmed El Shenawi (Tinkerbell - Blind Run)
Robert Gillespie (Sammy the Burglar in Long Shot and a non speaking part as dead man target at the start of Rogue - shot by Glyn Owen)
Gary Shail (Jimmy - the homeless Johnny Rotten lookalike heroin addict in Take Away)
Prentis Hancock (Army Major in Lawson's last stand)
Quite a line up!!
Then to round things up - a talk and question and answer session from 2 stuntmen and an "extra" (in much the same vein as our "Aitch").
Annoyingly I can't remember the name of one gentleman but another I believe was Chris Bunn, while the extra chap (who it appears ended up doing a bit of stunt work or as a body double) - was Dave Cooper who does look familiar from a few productions! He was frequently cast as heavy/villain/henchman/gangster and if you see him you'll see why! (With due respect to him of course!) But all 3 were down to earth blokes and were great with their recollections and career.
It sounded like they had a number films and productions under their belt including a couple of James Bond films and Star Wars etc. Amongst others, Dave Cooper had been in American Werewolf in London, The Bill and Dempsey and Makepeace, and 2 Professionals eps as a pub drinker or a heavy in When the Heat cools off and Dead Reckoning.
Further guests who were sat at tables who appeared in the series, but didn't give a stage talk were I believe the actress who played the Chinese girl that shot Doyle in Discovered in a Graveyard and Philip Martin Brown (unfortunate CI5 man Cook - No Stone). (Although I believe he left early due to not feeling too well so hope he's OK).
Only one scheduled actress who didn't make it was Jasmina Hilton (Layla in Blind Run) - but it was mentioned briefly in earlier online publicity that she only "hoped" to be able to make it.
So all in all an enjoyable day.
Er.... now the only bad news is that I wasn't the Photographer for the day - my camera wasn't too good indoors when I tried it - so apologies in advance but that's enough from me and I'll step back now for the other members to comment!