Tag Archives: Bernard Kay

Who’s Round Archive – episodes 17-24

Continuing the migration of these individual entries from my Podcast page to this blog for reasons of space and navigability.

You can find all the the list of interviewees, editions and charities who have benefited from this labour of love here.

EWilliam Ilkleypisode Seventeen – (3rd May 2013) William Ilkley
A warm and friendly guest this time, who remembers making a very good friend (albeit one was was a luddite) on Doctor Who, and fills us in on the theatre work of John Godber as well as describing being directed by Richard Curtis as he helps Who’s Round knock off another 6th Doctor story. Chosen Charity: Papworth Hospital.

EpBernard Kayisode Eighteen – (9th May 2013) Bernard Kay
A frank and open interview, where we learn much about the man as well as his work. Sure, we discuss Daleks and Pertwee and Julian Glover, but we also find time to muse upon friendship, “gentleman actors” and writing. One of Doctor Who’s best and most prolific guests stars makes for a fascinating and candid interviewee. Bernard sadly passed away on Christmas Day 2014: I had last seen him a month before. You can read my obituary for him in The Guardian here. Chosen Charity: Sightsavers.

Chrsitine RawlinsEpisode Nineteen – (16th May 2013) Christine Rawlins
Not everybody has to like Doctor Who! Season 7 gets polished off by its cotumes designer – a delightful lady but one who nontheless has less than comlentary things to say about Autons, Silurains and, erm, Jon Pertwee! She likes Ever Decreasing Circles, The Box Of Delights and Fortunes Of War though. Chosen Charity: RNLI.

Christopher RobbieEpisode Twenty – (c.18th May 2013) Christopher Robbie 
One of the true icons of the show, the Cyberleader from Revenge Of The Cybermen tells us about the joys of Tom Baker, his reservations about playing the Karkus in The Mind Robber opposite Patrick Troughton and an eclectic array of other things – triumphing as an understudy to Robert Stephens for the RSC, presenting in-vision and sizing up to Jean-Claude Van Damme. Chosen charity: The Stroke Association.

David QuilterEpisode Twenty-One – (2nd July 2013) David Quilter
The butler did it! We’re on Skype for this one, and a rare entry for a David Tennant story (we really need to crack on with those!) with an actor who takes us to Z-Cars via Space Precinct and Blake’s 7 as we reminisce over a long and distinguished career. Chosen charity: Comic Relief.

EpisGordon Sterneode Twenty-Two – (10th July 2013) Gordon Sterne (with Colin Mapson)
He was only in one episode of Doctor Who, in a story that Who’s Round has covered elsewhere, but what the heck – he’s quite a character and has a fascinating story to tell. Now in his 90s he’s game enough to talk us through The Prisoner, James Bond, method acting, and An American Werewolf In London. And we still have time for a bonus, snatch-and-grab interview with behind-the-scenes genius Colin Mapson who knocks off The Green Death and The Invasion Of Time before being spirited away (to the DVD commentary of the former as it happens). Due to a muddled running order the taster on this is actually for Episode Nineteen…

Fiona_CummingEpisode Twenty-Three – (12th July 2013) Fiona Cumming
What a lovely person; she has talked about her directorial duties before, notably on the DVD range, but she also hung about behind-the-scenes in various capacities during the show’s early years, so as well as heri 1980’s classics she shines a light on some Hartnell, Troughton and Pertwee tales too. And so we get a naked German, a mouse with a death wish and a star of the future all mingling together in a very informative chat. Fiona sadly died – after a long battle with cancer – on New Year’s day 2015. Chosen charity: Marie Curie Cancer Care.

ian fraser 2Episode Twenty-Four – (19th July 2013) Ian Frazer
Well it had to be didn’t it? He’s the previous interviewee’s husband! Whilst she covered Doctors one to five, he picked up the mantle with six and seven: he drowns one Doctor, appears onscreen near another, and sticks up for one of the show’s most divisive figures, 8os producer John Nathan-Turner. Like his wife, Ian was a delight to talk to and a generous and enthusiastic contributor : lovely people. Chosen charity: Marie Curie Cancer Care.

Bernard Kay 1928-2014

Myself and Bernard at the CAA last month.
Myself and Bernard at the CAA last month.

I am very sad to report the death of that fine actor Bernard Kay.

I’ll add something personal later but for now:

The actor Bernard Kay, who starred in Dr Zhivago and was a recognisable TV face in over 100 programmes ranging from the very first episode of Z-Cars to Jonathan Creek via Doctor Who and The Professionals, has died aged 86.

Born in Bolton in Lancashire, the son of a journalist, he initially worked as a reporter for the Bolton Evening News and a stringer for the Manchester Guardian. Educated at Manchester’s Chetham’s School, when he completed National Service he studied at the Old Vic Theatre School on Waterloo Road, London (having also been accepted by the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and the Guildhall School of Music And Drama). He used his army experience whilst making his first film, Carry On Sergeant: helpfully correcting its star Willliam Hartnell regarding drill procedure. Hartnell was not impressed and unsuccessfully tried to get him fired.

Hartnell had forgotten the incident when Kay was the lead guest star in one of the early Doctor Who adventures The Dalek Invasion Of Earth (1964). He returned to the series the following year to give a dignified turn as a war weary Saladin in the highly regarded adventure The Crusade (1965) and crossed the paths of later Doctors Patrick Troughton and Jon Pertwee in, respectively, The Faceless Ones (1967) and Colony In Space (1971).

Bernard in Doctor Who.
Bernard in Doctor Who.

His most notable film role was as the Bolshevik in Dr Zhivago, a part written by Robert Bolt with Kay in mind. Other film credits included Sinbad And the Eye Of The Tiger (1977) and Psychosis (2010) but he was more at home on the small screen. One of his most acclaimed roles was as the german Korporal Hartwig in the famous Tweedledum episode of Colditz (1972) in which Michael Bryant’s Wing Commander Marsh attempts to fake insanity in order to be repatriated. Hartwig is charged with ascertaining the truth and after an antagonistic start the two develop a touching friendship as Marsh genuinely begins to lose his mind.

He was given six weeks paid leave and told to keep a low profile by the Coronation Street producers after the angry public reaction to his killing of Ida Barlow in 1961.

On stage he learnt the role of Macbeth in 24 hours to save the opening night of a production at the Nottingham Playhouse in 1952, he performed in Baghdad as Shylock as part of a British Council tour of The Merchant Of Venice and he received critical acclaim for his last stage performance in Dream Of the Dog at the Finborough Theatre. At the start of his career he had played small parts for the Royal Shakespeare Company in its early days and returned there to play Glendower in Henry IV Part 1 in 1991 but he was most proud of his performance as Danny (the Pete Postlethwaite part) in the stage tour of Brassed Off, for which he had to conduct genuine brass bands.

He won an award for the first chapter of his memoirs, describing his torrid childhood in pre-war Bolton. One of the judges for the New Writing ventures panel, which awarded him first prize, was novelist Ali Smith who described it as “wise, taut, gripping and a perfect piece of explication”.

He was married to the actress Patricia Haines who died aged just 45 in 1977. Her daughter Niki (by her first husband, the actor Michael Caine) survives him. He was found dead at his home on December 29th, although cause of death and exact date are yet to be determined.