This blog comes out of an interesting exchange on Twitter. I posted a photo a day or so ago showing the glorious Patsy Rowlands all done up to the nines on the arm of a handsome man. I presumed this was from a play for today on television, probably from the mid-1960s. Whilst I was right about the year, I was wrong about the programme.
It turned out to be an episode of the 1960s secret agent adventure series Danger Man, starring Patrick McGoohan as agent John Drake. I've certainly heard of McGoohan but this series was a new one on me as sadly I wasn't around at the time. The reason for featuring this on the blog is that the episode in question, The Ubiquitous Mr Lovegrove, features a very strong Carry On supporting cast. Broadcast on the 19 February 1965, here are the episode details from the smashing Danger Man website:
The second fifty-minute episode to be written by David Stone and originally entitled ‘Mr Alexander’, ‘The Ubiquitous Mr Lovegrove’ was the 14th episode of Danger Man to go into production at MGM Borehamwood studios and was filmed between Monday 21st September and 6th October 1964.
In this episode we see the nightmarish dream of the concussed Drake, whose cover is blown by casino owner Mr Alexander. Alexander blackmails Drake by threating to expose his cover to newspapers all around the world unless he pays up, but fortunately for Drake it’s all been a bad dream.
The Mr Lovegrove of the title is played by Carry On veteran Eric Barker. Barker of course starred in several early Carry On films - notably Sergeant, Constable and Spying. He also contributed to the storyline for Cruising and played a wordless cameo in Emmannuelle in 1978. Joining Eric is the wonderful Patsy Rowlands, playing Mrs Fairbrother. Patsy would go on to become a real Carry On fans' favourite with nine appearances in the series. This role came several years before her first appearance, as Miss Fosdick in Again Doctor.
The legendary Peter Butterworth also makes an appearance in this episode. Playing the bizarrely titled character Umbrella, this episode would be broadcast early in the year which would see Peter make his first appearance in the series as Doc in Carry On Cowboy. Finally, Francis De Wolff also guest stars as Mr Alexander. De Wolff had made a cameo appearance as Agrippa in Carry On Cleo in the summer of 1964.
I love classic television curios like this, particularly when they have strong Carry On connections. So sit back, relax and have a good wallow in some 1960s telly nostalgia!