Sunday, May 10, 2009

There Was NO PARTY- But the Myth Continues.

'ALLO 'Allo creator Jeremy Lloyd may only have been married to Joanna Lumley for six short months in 1970.

But without her there wouldn't have been Rene, Yvette, Herr Flick and all the rest of the French resistance gang.

Jeremy's not surprised by her stand against the government on behalf of the Gurkhas.

"Like my father, who was a colonel, Joanna's father was an army man, a Gurkha commander, and she was born in the Himalayas.

"Our friendship's outlasted our marriage," he said.

Joanna is just one of a host of beautiful women Jeremy worked with over the years, and there would probably have been no 'Allo 'Allo without her.

Jeremy returned home from a spell in America where he'd won an Emmy for his part in TV comedy Rowan and Martin's Laugh In, co-starring with Goldie Hawn.

"I'd just come back to collect some things," he said. "But then I met Joanna and that rather delayed going back. But she didn't want to go to America, so I stayed over here."

Maybe it was a wonder he had time for a writing career at all. He giggled at the idea that as a stunning-looking young actor he was an It boy of the time.

"I was engaged to an It girl, Charlotte Rampling, in fact she's coming to see me in three days as we're still friends.

"It was an amazing time. I appeared with Goldie Hawn, Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Ronald Reagan, Frank Sinatra, they were all on the show."

Jeremy also confirmed what is often thought of as an urban legend, that he should have been at actress Sharon Tate's house the day Charles Manson murdered her in one of the most notorious incidents from Hollywood's past.

"Sharon's husband director Roman Polanski had asked me to look up Sharon while I was out there. I was staying with Leslie Bricusse who worked on songs with Antony Newley and from his house we could see Sharon Tate's roof.

"I rang her and she invited me over for tea the next day. But I went out drinking with the actor George Hamilton and we were back very late, slept in till five the next day – I'd been asked round for four. I tried to phone to apologise, but there was no answer as Manson's people had cut the wires. So I should really have been there when it all happened."

As well as appearing in Beatles movies A Hard Day's Night and Help!, Jeremy acted in West End plays and had TV roles such as a sooty chimney sweep in the first colour episode of The Avengers.

"I took Diana Rigg out for a while after that," mused Jeremy.

And in movies he went from uncredited performances such as Man Doing The Twist in 60s film Play It Cool to roles in Murder On The Orient Express and Tom Jones.

"I wasn't just a writer or a performer, I was a performer who broke into America. Because I looked very silly."

But maybe not that silly. Jeremy revealed he was getting 5,000 fan letters a week from across America.

"They were from girls all over the country – some of them sent photographs!"

You'd never guess Jeremy had a broken leg, injured while falling downstairs.

As well as a packed social life, he's working on a new sitcom called Here Comes The Queen, written with his 'Allo 'Allo co-writer David Croft.

"We've made it and we're trying to sell it and I'm working on another play called Last Tango For A Gigolo, I'm looking for finance.

But Jeremy already had form when he and David Croft first got together to write 'Allo 'Allo.

His first sitcom had been Are You Being Served? in 1972, the hit show based on the antics of the staff of an old-fashioned department store.

"I based it on my own experiences working in the suit department of a big shop in London called Simpson's," said Jeremy. "And that is the most true to life of the sitcoms I've worked on. It really was like that to work in shops like that in those days.

"When I'd come back from America, David and I had been asked to write a show to be one of a number of pilot shows – that was the one that took off!

'Allo 'Allo notched up a victory for international relations last year.

Jeremy said: "German TV bought the 85 episodes and they're translating them all into German.

"I think it's had a harmonising effect with all the different countries represented in it – a lot of Germans have liked it over the years. I think it's like in the First World War when both sides got together and sang Christmas carols."

Jeremy revealed that people like to turn up to see the tour of 'Allo 'Allo in costume.

"It's like audiences do with the Rocky Horror Show," he said.

"I went to see the production in Bournemouth and about 100 German generals came walking down the street towards me."


starship said...

Ah yes, and Charles Manson, after all these years, is still killing Sharon Tate too...

sptrfn said...

Yeah, I know. He has superpowers. According to Bugliosi, he can fly around and vaporize people into thin air(lol).

Oh, my goodness.