Keeping Up Appearances guest star, Nigel Davenport

Tea Time Tidbit for the week of September 9, 2019

Tea Time Tidbit

Patricia Routledge and Nigel Davenport
in an episode of Keeping Up Appearances

Be sure to watch Keeping Up Appearances on Tuesday, September 10th as it’s the classic episode in which Hyacinth fends off seduction attempts by “The Commodore” in the episode of the same name.

The actor who played the lecherous old seafarer was Nigel Davenport, whose portrayal is hilarious. One of Davenport’s distinctive traits were his gleaming eyes. He certainly put them to good use on Hyacinth! In reality, they were actually the result of a botched operation the actor had in childhood to correct a squint. The vision in his right eye would be blurry for the rest of his life.

Sadly, Davenport died in 2013 at the age of 85. His career on both the stage and screen spanned almost fifty years, before he retired several years before his death when he was unable to memorize dialogue.

Although he was born in a village near Cambridge, it was Trinity College, Oxford that Davenport chose to attend, where he studied English. He also joined the Oxford University Drama Society, which lead him to embark on an acting career, but not before he completed his National Service, which he served in Germany. There the actor’s melodic voice was put to good use in his work as a disc jockey with the British Forces Network.

Davenport’s early days as an actor were on the stage. He was a founding member of the Royal Court theatre, where he appeared in more than a dozen plays. In 1958, Davenport starred in the debut production of A Taste of Honey, and was the only original cast member of the play when it transferred to Broadway in 1960. There he starred alongside Angela Lansbury and Joan Plowright, who won a Tony Award for her performance.

Davenport’s film career kicked off in 1959 with a minor role in the film Look Back in Anger, which starred Richard Burton, Claire Bloom and Edith Evans. By 1966, Davenport’s reputation as a quality actor had grown and he was cast as Thomas More’s friend, the Duke of Norfolk, in the Academy Award winning film A Man for All Seasons. Davenport was also in Chariots of Fire, which won the Best Picture Award in 1981.

Davenport’s role in A Man for All Seasons is a far cry from the one he plays in Keeping Up Appearances, and you can see for yourself when we air the film at 8pm on Saturday, September 14th.

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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