Saturday, 23 November 2013

Friday, 22 November 2013

Author Sophie Neville in Richard Kay's column in the Daily Mail

Sophie's magical Swallows tales

Forty years after she enchanted film-goers as Titty in Swallows And Amazons, Sophie Neville has found a new audience with an ebook telling the behind-the-scenes secrets of the film of Arthur Ransome classic children’s novel.

‘After all these years, I’ve gently lifted the lid on the antics of the adult cast and crew,’ she tells me. 

‘And I’m thrilled because it has outsold Julian Clary and Stephen Fry in Amazon’s bestsellers list!’ 

The Secrets Of Filming Swallows And Amazons is based on diaries, letters and old photographs which Sophie has turned into a heart-warming account of making the movie

The Secrets Of Filming Swallows And Amazons is based on diaries, letters and old photographs which Sophie has turned into a heart-warming account of making the movie

The Secrets Of Filming Swallows & Amazons is based on diaries, letters and old photographs which Sophie has turned into a heart-warming account of making the movie, which starred Virginia McKenna and Ronald Fraser and was set in the Lake District.

‘Looking back, it was an interesting experience promoting a major film as a child star, adds Sophie, now 53.

‘There were also some funny experiences, too, such as being with Ronald Fraser, who played the pirate and was a truly  drunken sailor!’

To read more please click here

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Friday, 8 November 2013

Mum's More Medical Moments in Movies

For someone who is never ever ill, and hates even the idea of hospital, it is rather surprising to digest the fact that Mum loves playing a patient.

Daphne Neville with Roy Dotrice in 2005
Daphne Neville with Roy Dotrice
She doesn't seem to mind what she looks like on the screen. Here she is playing Louise, an A&E patient in 'Casualty', the long-running hospital drama made by BBC TV.

Playing a patient called Louise in 'Casualty'
The call now is for old ladies in need of comfort. This was a short WWII mystery movie called Lost Hearts shot on location near Malvern in Worcestershire in 2011.

Katrina Norbury and Daphne Neville in 'Lost Hearts'
Katrina Norbury and Daphne Neville in 'Lost Hearts'
She absolutely adored being in 'Doctors' for BBC TV - you can tell from this photo.

Daphne Neville and Tony Adams in the BBC TV series 'Doctors'
Daphne Neville and Tony Adams in 'Doctors'
Things were once different. She always enjoyed being a medic, although appearing as Nurse Fisher in the film 'Diagnosis Murder'  with Christopher Lee did not do much for her career in that area.

Daphne Neville as Nurse Fisher in 'Diagnois Murder'
I am sure she did something terrible to the poor man in the wheel chair. He didn't look very well at all.

Daphne Neville playing a mid-wife in 'Casualty' for BBCTV
Playing a mid-wife for BBC TV back in 1994
There even was a time when she played a doctor. That was alarming.She played Dr Machin in the ATV soap opera Crossroads. So many people though she was a real doctor she could hardly go to the supermarket.

Daphne Neville playing Dr Hilary Machin in Crossroads
Playing Dr Hilary Machin in 'Crossroads'

For a more comprehensive credit list please click here

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Mum on Television

It can be rather a shock. There we are, innocently watching television and Mum appears - with George Cole. 

Daphne Neville with George Cole in 'Minder'
In 'Minder' with George Cole 
Then my friends ring to ask if it was true. 
'Is she working as a receptionist now?'
'Not, exactly. She was just playing the part of a receptionist on 'London's Burning'.'

Daphne Neville playing a receptionist

'We saw your mother in tears, terribly upset!'
'Oh, dear, have they been repeating 'Prime Suspect'?'
'Yes! That's what is was. Helen Mirren was the detective.'

Daphne Neville playing Felicity Howard

It was a bit confusing when Mum appeared as a Magistrate when she was one in real life. 

Daphne Neville playing a Magistrate
Chariman of the bench in 'Close Relations' for BBC TV

She was rather shocked to see herself with a Mrs Thatcher hair-do but I told her that it would probably lead to another part. Instead she ended up wearing this curly wig. Theatrical wigs tend to be terribly itchy.

Louise Lombard, Daphne Neville and Stella Gonet
Playing the Headmistress in 'House of Elliott' for BBC
with Louise Lombard and Stella Gonet
She loves climbing into a costume but would rather wear a hat.

Daphne Neville with Gregor Fisher
On location with Gregor Fisher filming 'Rab C.Nesbitt'
Roderick Smith with Daphne Neville in 'Dangerfield'
With Roderick Smith in 'Dangerfield'
Daphne Neville in 'To The Manor Born'
Filming 'To The Manor Born' one chilly day
And to give her her due, she gets to meet interesting people in interesting places. She readily admits that appearing on television is her hobby as well being her job. She loves it. We just have to be stoic viewers.

Daphne Neville with David Tennant
Playing Laura's Mum in 'Secret Smile' for Granada
with David Tennant
To see more about Daphne Neville's work in film and television please click here.

Monday, 28 October 2013

My Mother's Maddest Moments in Movies

It all started when Mum played Mad Mary in the She-Wolf of London. My sisters were mortified. 

Val Kilmer with Daphne Neville for Paramount Pictures

She then appeared as 'a lovely Babooska' in The Saint with Val Kilmer for Paramount Pictures. He was dressed up as a babushka too, trying to escape from some baddie, you'll have to tell me who.

Daphne Neville as Mrs Rolphe

Things got worse. Here she is in The Ghost of Greville Lodge, but what shocked her friends recently was seeing her looking hideous as the Dowager Duchess in a TV movie Maggie Smith starred in called Capturing Mary. It was directed by Stephen Poliakoff. At least she was drenched in jewels.

Seeing Mum on Casualty was somehow more appalling. She played a pathetic character called Doreen Oaken in one episode but said it was quite restful as she spent most to the time being pushed around on a gurney. 

Daphne Neville in The BBC hospital drama 'Casualty'

Her best part was playing Miriam in The Chase directed by Sue Tully, who I worked with years ago when she was in Eastenders. The Chase is a BBC drama series about a veterinary practice in Yorkshire. Mum adopted the accent, and was given a terrible haircut, to play a resentful woman on community service who found fulfillment when she came across a baby otter trapped in rubbish and managed to rescue it. Needless to say it was her own tame otter. She must have spent days in a costume comprised of fisherman's waders over a red zoot suit but has never been happier.

Daphne Neville in the BBC vet series 'The Chase'

Mum's lastest role was playing a nun for the BBC. I just hope my sisters do not see the result.

Daphne Neville as a Nun in 'Father Brown' 2103

Click here for more photos of this mad life or read the true story - snatches of which are in Funnily Enough.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

If you want to act in movies - wear a hat.

Daphne Neville in 'The Old Curiosity Shop' produced by Disney
'The Old Curiosity Shop' produced by Disney

We are not quite sure how she does it, but if a movie is being made Mum will make way to appear in it.

Daphne Neville in 'The Invisible Woman' directed by Ralph Fiennes 2012
'The Invisible Woman' directed by Ralph Fiennnes

She is always being a Victorian lady. Just little roles.

Daphne Neville in 'Feast of July' for Merchant Ivory
'Feast of July' directed by Chris Menaul for Merchant Ivory

She loves dressing up, no matter how uncomfortable the corset or wig might be.
Daphne Neville as the MP's wife in 'Amazing Grace' directed by Michael Apted
'Amazing Grace' about Wilberforce, directed by Michael Apted

See if you can name the films. This starred Dan Stevens and Dominic Cooper:

This one was made a while ago but it's a classic:

Angelica Huston and Daphne Neville in 'Buffalo Girls'
Angelica Huston and Daphne Neville in 'Buffalo Girls'

Hover over the images for the answers. 
But you'll have to tell me what this one was. I have no idea.

Daphne Neville on location

Mum appears directly after the blue title credits in the official trailer of 'The Invisible Woman' here:

Friday, 18 October 2013

Daphne's adventures acting in television

Daphne Neville in about 1969

Readers of Funnily Enough often ask after my mother - worried that she might be offended by some of the stories recorded in my diary. What they do not know if that she actually asked if I could put a picture of her looking absurd on the front cover.

Mum used to make an effort to look pretty. She started working as a television presenter in about 1969 and was with HTV for years, reading the local news and presenting a children's programme called 'It's Time For Me', 'Women Only' with Jan Leeming and appearing on Christmas Specials.
At the same time, she worked for BBC Radio Bristol presenting a sports programme called 'Come Alive' and reading letters on 'Any Answers' before there were phone-ins.

Here she is interviewing the artist Kit Williams at the time he bought out his book Masquerade and sent all of England on a treasure hunt, looking for a golden hare.

By 1980 Mum was working as a continuity announcer for Border Television. We nearly moved up to the Lake District. I found this clip of her appearing on Grampian TV a few years later ~

Whilst in-vision announcers disappeared from television screens in the 1980s Mum did not. She began gaining small parts in period dramas, many of which were filmed on location in the West Country.

Daphne Neville appearing in 'Miss Marple' with Joan Hickson
Appearing in 'Miss Marple' with Joan Hickson
She has always thrived in front of the camera, whatever the weather -

Daphne Neville with Diana Dors
Daphne Neville with Diana Dors in 'The Two Ronnies' for BBC TV
readily admitting that she loves dressing up and grabbing any chance to appear in costume.

Daphne Neville in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
Daphne Neville in 'Sir Gawain and the Green Knight'

What she is not so keen on is wearing fur coats.

Daphne Neville with Cheryl Campbell in 'Rain on the Roof'
On location with Cheryl Campbell in 'Rain on the Roof'

She hates the idea of animals suffering for fashion,

Daphne Neville with Anthony Head in 'Love in a Cold Climate'
As Lady Kroesig, mother to Anthony Head in 'Love in a Cold Climate'

but is happy to comply with the costume designer's wishes. Here she is playing Lady Kroesig, mother to Anthony Head in the LWT adaptation of Nancy Mitford's novel Love in a Cold Climate, in which her daughter Tamzin played the young Linda.

To see more photographs of Mum in action, click here!