Time for another Afternoon Tea-goer request! This week, I've been asked to feature actor Tim Wylton who stars as Lol Ferris in As Time Goes By.
The 74-year-old Wylton was born Timothy Higginson in Wales, but was educated at a private boarding school in Scotland. From there, like so many of the actors we've covered, he attended the prestigious Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, where he trained as a classical actor. He put that training to good use as a long-time member of the Royal Shakespeare Company from 1963 to 1977. Prior to joining the RSC he appeared in the Franco Zeferelli directed stage production of Romeo & Juliet.
Wylton's television debut was in 1964 in a BBC screening of a life performance of the RSC's production of A Comedy of Errors. More televised Shakespeare followed in 1965. Then in 1969, Wylton added comedy to his repertoire in a popular series called The Dustbinmen, about a crew of refuse collectors.
The Dustbinmen also starred another Afternoon Tea actor, Trevor Bannister, whom you know better as Mr. Lucas in Are You Being Served? He played a character named Heavy Breatheing, who was "the one with the good looks", while Wylton played Eric, "the sensitive Welsh Coronation Street fan who spent most of his time talking about television and saving to buy a colour TV for his mother."
Bannister, as you may know, also appeared in Last of the Summer Wine, as did two other Dustbinmen actors: Brian Wilde, who played Walter Foggy Dewhurst; and John Comer, who played Sid.
Wylton's versatility as an actor equipped him with the ability to switch back and forth from drama to comedy, from Shakespeare to sitcoms. In 1979 and 1980 respectively, he was in two more BBC Shakespeare adaptations; playing the lovable Welshman Fluellen in Henry V and the Gravedigger in Hamlet. In 1987, he appeared in The Bretts, a Masterpiece Theatre presentation about a theatrical family in the 1920s. From 1994-1998, Wynton was in another Masterpiece Theatre series; Wycliffe.
Other shows you may have seen the 5' 7" actor in over the years on MPT include All Creatures Great and Small, Agatha Christie's Poirot, Rumple of the Bailey, A Touch of Frost, Midsomer Murders and another Masterpiece Theatre presentation, Pride and Prejudice where he played Uncle Gardner.
Wylton appeared as Lol Ferris in As Time Goes By from 1996 until 2002, during which time he also took on a role in a sitcom called My Hero, which ran from 2000 to 2007.
Wylton has been married once, to actress Ann Curhoys. Their two children, Huw and Ann also went into the acting profession, using their father's birth name of Higginson, but left the profession in the mid-1980s.
If there's someone you'd like to find out more about who appears in an Afternoon Tea show, drop me a line.
To contact Heather:
Address: Afternoon Tea
Maryland Public Television
11767 Owings Mills Blvd.
Owings Mills, MD 21117