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Louise Jameson

  1. Joanna Lumley, The New Avengers, TV, 1976-1977.        “I really had to fight just to get an audition,” said Lumley. “They just refused to see me!” Wanting more of spy-fi hero John Steed, France and later Canada put £4m into a (short-lived) three-hander reboot of the TV classic. Patrick Macnee’s creaking Steed was now assisted by a younger guy and girl named (by Lumley) after the Purdey shotgun. Writer-producer Brian Clemens claimed he “seriously considered 700 girls, interviewed 200, read scripts with 40 and screen tested 15” - including Louise, Sarah Douglas, Gabrielle Drake, Prunella Gee, Lisa Harrow, Barbara Kellerman… Jameson won her other audition as Doc4 Tom Baker’s skimpily clad travelling rug, Leela, in 1977, until they could not stand each other after 40 episodes. (One year). As a prison visitor, she encouraged Leslie Grantham - then serving a sentence for murder - into acting. They both wound up in EastEnders. Louise also partnered one of the guys seen for Steed’s new aide, John Nettles, in 35 of the 87 episodes of the Jersey cop, Bergerac, 1981-1991 - also by Clemens. She said Nettles kept his trousers on for their bed scene because: “If I get excited, I’m embarrassed. If I don’t, you’re insulted. So let’s just keep it a secret.”
  2. Mary Tamm, Doctor Who #98: The Ribos Operation, TV, 1978.       Previous travelling rugs Jameson and Elisabeth Sladen (1973-1976) were begged to return as Leela or Sarah Jane to help the public who knew only Tom Baker in the role to cope with the arrival of Doc5 Peter Davison. No need to worry - Davison’s debut won a massive 9.1m viewers. Enter: Tamms as companion and Time Lady, Romanadvoratrelundar. The Doc called her Romana, despite her preference for… Fred. Tamm travelled for one season only. She died from cancer in 2012 - her husband had a fatal heart attack hours after delivering the eulogy at her funeral..



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