My Family's Robert Lindsay

Tea Time Tidbit for the week of January 16, 2017

Tea Time Tidbit

As Ben Harper

Robert Lindsay, who stars as dentist Ben Harper in our new Afternoon Tea series, My Family, has to be one of the most versatile actors on television. As well as having had a television career spanning over 40 years, he’s also a classically trained stage actor, a singer, a dancer, and even President of his hometown’s football club, Ilkeston Town in Derbyshire.

Tea Time Tidbit

As “Wolfie” Smith in Citizen Smith

Lindsay, who turned 67 last month, started his acting career in regional theatre, having trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. His first job though wasn’t as an actor, but as a dialect coach. His ear for accents must have stood him well, when in 1977, he got rid of his northern accent in order to play “Wolfie” Smith, the lead role in the popular television sitcom Citizen Smith. Lindsay’s wife at the time, Cheryl Hall, also starred in the series, where she played “Wolfie’s” girlfriend. Mike Grady, (Barry in Last of the Summer Wine) played his religious teetotal friend and roommate, Ken.

Tea Time Tidbit

As “Wolfie” Smith in Citizen Smith

Citizen Smith was a great success and ran for four seasons through 1981. The series made Lindsay an instant celebrity, as well as a sought after actor. As soon as the series concluded, he was given major roles in the BBC Television Shakespeare series, and he had no sooner completed that project then he was cast as another Londoner – this time a cockney. Playing the lead role of Bill Snibson in the 1984 London revival of Me and My Girl garnered Lindsay an Olivier award and in 1987, when the show transferred to Broadway, he also won a Tony award for Best Actor in a Musical. No small feat considering his competition was Colm Wilkinson, for his portrayal of as Jean Valjean in Les Misérables!

Starring alongside Lindsay in the West End production was Are You Being Served?’s Captain Peacock – Frank Thornton! He played Sir John Treymane in the show and also received an Olivier Award nomination. (Thornton was later replaced by his AYBS castmate, Nicholas Smith.) The role of Lindsay’s character’s girlfriend Sally in the show was played by Emma Thompson. Both Thornton and Thompson can be seen in this video clip along with Lindsay, where they are “Doing The Lambeth Walk”. Enjoy!

To contact Heather:
E-mail: heather@mpt.org
Address: Afternoon Tea
Maryland Public Television
11767 Owings Mills Blvd.
Owings Mills, MD 21117

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Afternoon Tea is Maryland Public Television's weekday presentation of British programs.
Our host and Tea Lady is Heather Sanderson.
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