Ian Carmichael

Thought I’d briefly mark the passing of Ian Carmichael at the weekend.

Others will know him best from his roles in various Boulting Brothers comedies, or as Bertie Wooster in The World of Wodehouse (which was slightly before my time).  I remember him best for his portrayal of Lord Peter Wimsey in the series that was shown on TV in the early seventies.  I think I must have been about eleven when I saw the first episode, and for some reason I loved it.  I immediately (well not quite immediately, but eventually) went out and bought the novels (in the old NEL editions with the cheap paper and the lurid covers) and I have them still somewhere.  (All except Gaudy Night, which at that age I thought sounded a bit soppy – must catch up with that one).  Why I liked them so much is a subject I shall return to another time.

 – Oh no you won’t – you never do when you say that – (Reader’s voice)

Oh yes I will.

Anyway here is a brief clip, as illustration – the opening and closing credits for Clouds of Witness.


– He’s hardly in that at all though, is he?  Haven’t you got anything better than that?  (Reader’s voice)

No, I don’t.  I’m sorry.  I’m a busy man.  Why don’t you look him up on the internet?

– We just did (R’s V)


6 thoughts on “Ian Carmichael

  1. Lovely. |

    I’m developing a real taste for 70’s dramas at the moment. Last year I watched the entire series’ of Upstairs Downstairs, The Forsyte Saga and The House of Elliott. What I love about them is the time that they took which allowed you to really listen, and the attention to detail. In UD there would be scenes that lasted ten minutes and the camera never moved. Nowadays you’re lucky to have a scene lasting ten seconds without an ‘edgy’ cut or a split screen sequence. I’m toying with When the Boat Comes In, but that may be a step too far.

  2. That’s very true. There is actually a clip of Carmichael as Wimsey on You Tube, which consists of a single shot of him talking to someone else and occasionally waving a shooting stick about. Lasts about 8 minutes.

    One you might like, I think, if they ever reissued it, is something called the Cedar Tree. I thought of this when you mentioned watching a lunchtime soap. It was originally shown at lunchtime on ATV (the ITV channel for the Midlands in those days) in 1976 and was set in a country house in the 1930s. The main plot device, as far as I can remember, was that one daughter was a fascist and the other a communist. The parents spent their time complaining that their house was falling down and that society was on the verge of collapse. I think there was some connection with the people who produced Upstairs Downstairs.

    I tried Googling this to make sure it wasn’t a figment of my imagination and discovered this – http://www.britmovie.co.uk/forums/british-television/27204-cedar-tree.html

  3. Thanks for that. I’ve never heard of it before, but then ’76 was during the boarding school years when we were rarely granted the privilege of TV. Sounds intriguing. What was astonishing, clicking on the link, was the newspaper clips people had, and was that a page from ‘TV Times’? This is when the internet really comes into its own.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s