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Callan – box set review

He painted model soldiers, unlocked the sink, and shot enemy agents: Edward Woodward's chippy, moody secret service assassin may have been TV's first anti-hero

Played with controlled intensity by Edward Woodward, David Callan is a working-class loner, reluctantly yet ruthlessly stitching up or shutting up Eastern Bloc agents, ex-Nazis and possible security risks, all at the behest of a murky section of British intelligence. "All the rotten jobs," as he puts it.

With just three TV channels to choose from, an evening's viewing in the late 1960s was somewhat limited. But even if there had been more, Callan would still have led the field: in a time before video recorders, this seminal spy series from ITV – with its iconic swinging-lightbulb title sequence, its sharp scripts and cracking characters – was stay-in TV.

The show turned the James Bond image on its head. Callan, possibly TV's first antihero, is the section's top killer,
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Tom Fleming obituary

A renowned Scottish actor and director, he regularly commentated on state occasions for BBC television

Tom Fleming, who has died of cancer aged 82, was an outstanding figure in the Scottish theatre of the second half of the 20th century, the first television "face" of Jesus of Nazareth in a 1953 mini-series, and well known as a BBC television and radio commentator at many royal and ceremonial occasions since he first broadcast, for the BBC, during the Queen's coronation in 1953.

He was a Baptist lay preacher, a deeply private man of great moral integrity and stature. This much was clear not only on stage but also as he spoke in his flawless, rich and velvety baritone voice at the funerals of Diana, Princess of Wales, and the Queen Mother. So assiduous was he in his properly felt sense of duty that he declined the invitation to appear in a play by Mikhail Bulgakov
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Tom Fleming obituary

A renowned Scottish actor and director, he regularly commentated on state occasions for BBC television

Tom Fleming, who has died of cancer aged 82, was an outstanding figure in the Scottish theatre of the second half of the 20th century, the first television "face" of Jesus of Nazareth in a 1953 mini-series, and well known as a BBC television and radio commentator at many royal and ceremonial occasions since he first broadcast, for the BBC, during the Queen's coronation in 1953.

He was a Baptist lay preacher, a deeply private man of great moral integrity and stature. This much was clear not only on stage but also as he spoke in his flawless, rich and velvety baritone voice at the funerals of Diana, Princess of Wales, and the Queen Mother. So assiduous was he in his properly felt sense of duty that he declined the invitation to appear in a play by Mikhail Bulgakov
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

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