To The Manor Born's Angela Thorne

Tea Time Tidbit for the week of October 10, 2016

So many of the actors we see weekday afternoons seem to be connected one way or another. They may have been in the same T.V. series, or trained at the same acting school, or in some cases, they are even related. An example of the latter is Angela Thorne, who stars as Marjory Frobisher in To The Manor Born, and Dervla Kirwan who played Assumpta Fitzgerald in Ballykissangel.

The two actresses are related by way of Kirwan’s marriage to Thorne’s son, actor Rupert Penry-Jones. He’s also a familiar face to PBS viewers; he played Adam Carter in MI-5, the title role in the 2006 Masterpiece series, Casanova, and was the charming barrister Clive Reader in Masterpiece’s Silk.

Thorne’s husband, Peter Penry-Jones, who died in 2009, was also an actor, and he actually appeared alongside his wife in two episodes of the To The Manor Born ("Back to the Manor" and "Connections in High Places"). The couple’s youngest son Laurence is an actor as well and has appeared in an episode of Midsomer Murders and the 2002 Masterpiece series, The Forsyte Saga.

Thorne, who was born in Karachi, when it was British India, in 1939, where her father was an army doctor, first worked with Penelope Keith in 1977 when she appeared in an episode of Good Neighbors. The two seem to have gotten on like a house on fire and must have shared the same sense of humor, as in an interview she did with The Guardian, Keith confessed that when taping To The Manor Born, she and Thorne “would often be sent off for giggling”.

Following the success of To The Manor Born, Thorne was given lead roles in a couple of other sitcoms, Three Up Two Down, which ran for four series from 1985-1989 and Farrington of the F.O. In the latter Thorne played a Margaret Thatcher-like head of a Latin American British Consulate.

Thorne had actually played the Iron Lady a few years earlier, in 1982, in the televised adaptation of the satirical comedy Anyone for Dennis?, a parody of the relationship between Thatcher and her husband. Farrington of the F.O. only ran for a couple of years, 1986 and 1987, which is surprising given its cast, which included two other faces we’re familiar with; Joan Sims, who played Madge in As Time Goes By and Judy Cornwall, who plays the beloved Daisy in Keeping Up Appearances.

To The Manor Born airs Fridays at 1pm on Afternoon Tea, and for a complete listing of Afternoon Tea programs, go to

To contact Heather:
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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