2 items from 2012
Classical actor who graced the stage with decorum and stillness
Although perhaps best known as Hercule Poirot, Agatha Christie's moustache-twirling detective, on BBC radio, John Moffatt, who has died aged 89, was a devastatingly clinical and classical stage actor of irreproachable taste and valour. He seemed something of a throwback, but there are very few today who could rival his armour-plated technique, his almost uncanny empathy with comic style ranging from the Restoration to Rattigan – his trademark stillness and decorum on stage was at odds with false notions of flounce and frilliness – or his incisive articulation.
He was a beacon in his profession, greatly admired and loved, not least because he had worked with almost everyone of note in the business, from his idols Noël Coward and John Gielgud, to his best friends Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Alec McCowen and Joan Plowright, but chiefly because he was so funny and modest about his own contribution. »
- Michael Coveney
Self-deprecating former Pa follows long tradition of comedians going straight for hit Sunday-night drama
When the author Jennifer Worth first saw Miranda Hart on television, she knew immediately she should play Camilla Cholomondely-Browne in the BBC adaptation of her bestselling memoirs, so she sent the comedy actor her books in the post. Hart was intrigued.
"I flicked straight to Chummy's entrance in the book – well, you would, wouldn't you? – and thought, 'I really hope I get to play her.'"
Worth died last June, before she could see Call the Midwife become a massive Sunday-night ratings hit – its first episode outshone the much-hyped Sherlock to become BBC1's most-watched drama debut episode ever – with Chummy one of its most-loved characters.
In her first straight dramatic role, albeit one with comedy elements, Hart has proved a hit: Chummy's awkward flirting with Constable Noakes, wobbly cycling and surprise medical ability delighting the show's more than 10 million viewers. »
- Vicky Frost
2 items from 2012
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