Ian Carmichael – a varied career

I have said this before, and probably will say it again, but I have been so fed up with listening to the Radio News either on the BBC or LBC with it’s doom laden bulletins and phone-ins that I have changed to listening in the car to a lot of Radio Plays – Full Cast type CDs rather than a book being read.

So have gone from Agatha Christie and The Pale Horse, to Sexton Blake, Paul Temple – and now Lord Peter Wimsey which stars Ian Carmichael in the role he fits so well. He played Lord Peter on Television and then produced the same stories on Radio – now released on CD.

They are really good and fascinating stories.

Before this, and back into the Fifties Ian Carmichael played in many British films of the day, often as upper class twits who come good in the end – and also have an appealing streak in them

It was the film version of his first stage success, Simon and Laura (1955) which established Ian Carmichael on the screen. The following year his portrayal of an artful conscripted dodger in the Boultings’ comedy Private’s Progress endeared him to everyone who had ever been called up and the character returned, fleetingly, in I’m All Right, Jack (1959). In this picture he had just been demobbed and, in looking for work, became caught in a wrangle between capitalists and trades unionists from which he emerged, inadvertently, triumphant.
Meanwhile there had been the title role in the not-very-successfully filmed Kingsley Amis novel Lucky Jim. Then came Happy Is The Bride, a Boultings’ comedy about rural society weddings.

In School for Scoundrels (1960) he attended an academy to learn how to shed his gentlemanly inhibitions in order to compete for a young lady’s hand, and then in Heavens Above (1963) he played a confused cleric in a Boultings’ satire about the Church.

ABOVE – Ian chatting away on the set of the film ‘Brothers In Law

ABOVE – Ian Carmichael in Picturegoer which had the heading ‘Britain’s Conquering Clown’ – trouble is that in the scan we still have the word ‘Clown’

On Talking Pictures at the weekend was ‘Left Right and Centre’ a British Comedy with Ian cast as the Conservative candidate in a by election who arrives by train and on the journey becomes somewhat taken with a very pretty girl – as she does with him. Trouble is she turns out to be the Labour Candidate in the same by election. They have fallen in love with each other, so the film has a happy ending despite a number of bumpy moments along the way.

Much later we all remember him as the Doctor in one episode of Heartbeat in 2003 before he then went on to play the same role Dr T.D. Middlewitch in The Royal – and he was in 28 episodes between 2003 and 2009. In fact the very last episode he had made was on Television in 2009 – and he had actually died before this was shown.

He did live up in that area of North Yorkshire where Heartbeat and The Royal was set – in fact in Grosmont – for quite a few years

posted by Movieman in Uncategorized and have No Comments

Place your comment

Please fill your data and comment below.
Your comment