Geoffrey Bayldon - Catweazle

Lounge lizard: Geoffrey Bayldon as Sid in the 1983 "Tales of the Unexpected" story "Down Among The Sheltering Palms".Geoffrey Bayldon is one of Britain’s finest character actors.

Born in Leeds in 1924, he trained as an architect before spending three years in the RAF. His vocational work in amateur dramatics led him to the Old Vic Theatre School, and then to C.F.Cochrane’s last musical, Tough at the Top, and two seasons at Stratford-upon-Avon. He spent two years with the Birmingham Repertory Theatre, during which he appeared as Caesar in Caesar and Cleopatra at the Old Vic and in Paris. His extensive television credits cover just about every imaginable long-running series, including The Adventures of Robin Hood, The Saint and All Creatures Great and Small and several one-off plays. He also featured in one of the very few adaptations of Alice Through The Looking Glass. His many film roles include Greyfriars Bobby for Disney, Becket (alongside Richard Burton, Peter O’Toole and John Gielgud), and Madame Souzatska, for director John Schlesinger. He also appeared in a number of popular horror films, including The House That Dripped Blood, (in a segment that also starred Jon Pertwee as a vampire), and The Monster Club, (featuring horror legends Vincent Price, Donald Pleasence and John Carradine).

In 1969 he was cast as Catweazle, having been personally recommended for the role by Richard Carpenter, who had worked with Bayldon on several occasions.

It took more than an hour and a half each day to transform the actor, then forty-five, into the eleventh century magician, using a mixture of real and artificial hair to cover Geoffrey’s blond hair. Wearing so much make-up meant that Bayldon had to take two baths at the end of each day’s shooting. His ragged monk-like habit contained a specially-lined pocket to keep Touchwood the toad in!

Geoffrey’s other long-running role was in Southern TV’s smash-hit Worzel Gummidge, as Worzel’s mentor and repairman, The Crowman, winning over a new generation of the nation’s children, and giving him the opportunity to work with Jon Pertwee again.

Bayldon is held in great esteem by fans of television science fiction and fantasy. He has appeared in several series with loyal followings, including Doctor Who (The Creature From The Pit, 1979, with Tom Baker), Gerry Anderson’s Space: 1999 (One Moment of Humanity, 1976), The Tomorrow People and The Avengers. He also appeared as Frankenstein and his monster in Granada Television’s 1973 production of Frankenstein. In February 2003 he got a chance to play The Doctor in a Doctor Who audio play, one of the Big Finish Doctor Who - Unbound series of CDs, Auld Mortality. Ironically he'd turned down the role earlier in his career because he didn't want to sign up for a long-term commitment playing a character much older than himself. Another Doctor Who - Unbound play starring Bayldon, A Storm of Angels, was released in January 2005.

His hobbies include gardening, walking and painting. He also collects old watercolours. Asked in 1980 what his unfulfilled ambition was, he replied “to understand elementary mathematics”.

Robin Davies - Edward “Carrot” Bennet

Born in Merionethshire, North Wales, in 1954, Robin entered showbiz at the tender age of twelve, although no-one in his family had a background in the performing arts. In the three years before being cast in Catweazle Robin trained at the Aida Foster Stage School. His first television role was in the popular BBC soap opera The Newcomers. He also appeared in two films for director Lindsay Anderson, If... and Britannia Hospital, and the cult horror movie Blood on Satan’s Claw, directed by Piers Haggard. In 1970 he listed his hobbies as coin and stamp collecting.

More recent appearances included a regular role in the drama series Spearhead and episodes of The Bill. He also appeared in the Oscar-winning 1998 movie Shakespeare In Love, as Master Plum. Perhaps his strangest role was singing and dancing with Millicent Martin on The Roy Castle Show!

He's probably best known, though, for two popular Wendy Craig sitcoms, And Mother Makes Three (1971-1973), and its sequel, And Mother Makes Five (1974-1976).

Charles “Bud” Tingwell - George A. Bennet

Charles Tingwell as Venner in a 1963 episode of "The Avengers" titled "The Nutshell".Australian actor Charles Tingwell (known as "Bud" to his friends) began acting on the radio while still at school. After serving in the Australian Air Force he returned to radio as an announcer. He made several films in Australia from 1958 onwards, and also appeared in several American films being made on location, most notably The Desert Rats for distinguished director Robert Wise. Travelling to England in 1956, Tingwell featured in many films, including the three Miss Marple films starring Margaret Rutherford. He also starred in (Catweazle Producer) Quentin Lawrence’s The Secret of Blood Island, and alongside Christopher Lee in Hammer’s Dracula - Prince of Darkness. He also appeared in many television series, including Gerry Anderson’s Captain Scarlet and spent six years playing Doctor Alan Dawson in the famous medical soap opera Emergency Ward Ten. Tingwell returned to Australia around 1980, continuing to star in a number of notable films, including Bruce Beresford’s Puberty Blues.  He appeared alongside Nicole Kidman in Windrider and with Sam Neill and Meryl Streep in A Cry In The Dark. He's also played two different characters in the long-running Australian soap opera Neighbours, had a small role in the hit Sam Neill hit The Dish, and a memorable cameo as Premier Berry in the 2003 film Ned Kelly.

Neil McCarthy - Sam Woodyard

John Leeson and Neil McCarthy (right) in the 1978 "Doctor Who" story "The Power of Kroll" - Photo (c) BBCThe late Neil McCarthy was often cast as the heavy, or as a simpleton, on account of his unusual looks, but was actually a "gentle giant" who spoke Greek, and was an accomplished musician.  He made numerous appearances in a wide variety of British television shows during the sixties and seventies.  Born in Lincoln in 1932, he was educated at Trinity College, Dublin before a short stint as a teacher led to work in the local repertory theatre in Oxford.

He appeared as Joe Gargery in Great Expectations and as Hugh in Barnaby Rudge, both critically acclaimed Dickens plays made by the BBC. He featured in a number of much-loved films, including Zulu (fighting alongside Michael Caine and Stanley Baker), Where Eagles Dare (with Richard Burton and Clint Eastwood), and Clash of the Titans (with Laurence Olivier). He was also adept at comedy, appearing in the film versions of Steptoe and Son and George and Mildred. His cult TV appearances include episodes of Doctor Who (with Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker), Danger Man and The Saint. He also featured in the Enemy at the Door episode Escape.


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