Timothy Lancaster West
20 October 1934
|Education|| The John Lyon School |
Bristol Grammar School
|Alma mater||Regent Street Polytechnic (now University of Westminster)|
|Occupation(s)||stage and television actor|
(m. 1956;div. 1961)
|Children||3, including Samuel|
|Parent(s)|| Lockwood West |
Timothy Lancaster West,CBE (born 20 October 1934) is an English actor and presenter. He has appeared frequently on stage and television, including stints in both Coronation Street (as Eric Babbage) and EastEnders (as Stan Carter), and Not Going Out , as the original Geoffrey Adams. He is married to the actress Prunella Scales; from 2014 to 2019, they travelled together on UK and overseas canals in the Channel 4 series Great Canal Journeys .
West was born in Bradford, Yorkshire, the only son of Olive (née Carleton-Crowe) and actor Lockwood West (1905–1989).He was educated at the John Lyon School, Harrow on the Hill, at Bristol Grammar School, where he was a classmate of Julian Glover, and at Regent Street Polytechnic (now the University of Westminster).
West worked as an office furniture salesman and as a recording technician, before becoming an assistant stage manager at the Wimbledon Theatre in 1956.
West played repertory seasons in Newquay, Hull, Northampton, Worthing and Salisbury before making his London debut at the Piccadilly Theatre in 1959 in the farce Caught Napping . He was a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company for three seasons: the 1962 Arts Theatre Experimental season (Nil Carborundum and Afore Night Come ), the 1964 'Dirty Plays' season (Victor, the premiere production of Marat/Sade and the revival of Afore Night Come) and the 1965 season at Stratford and later at the Aldwych Theatre appearing in The Comedy of Errors , Timon of Athens , The Jew of Malta , Love's Labour's Lost and Peter Hall's production of The Government Inspector , in a company which included Paul Scofield, Eric Porter, Janet Suzman, Paul Rogers, Ian Richardson, Glenda Jackson and Peter McEnery.
West has played Macbeth twice, Uncle Vanya twice, Solness in The Master Builder twice and King Lear four times: in 1971 (aged 36) for Prospect Theatre Company at the Edinburgh Festival; on a worldwide tour in 1991 in Dublin for Second Age; in 2003 for English Touring Theatre, on tour in the UK and at the Old Vic; and in 2016 at the Bristol Old Vic.
Having spent years as a familiar face who never quite became a household name, West's big break came with the major television series, Edward the Seventh (1975), in which he played the title role from the age of twenty-three until the King's death;his real-life sons, Samuel and Joseph, played the sons of King Edward VII as children. His father Lockwood West also portrayed King Edward VII in 1972 in an episode of the LWT television drama series Upstairs, Downstairs . Other screen appearances have included Nicholas and Alexandra (1971), The Day of the Jackal (1973), The Thirty Nine Steps (1978), Masada (1981), Cry Freedom (1987) and Luc Besson's The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc (1999). In Richard Eyre's Iris (2001) he plays Maurice and his son Samuel West plays Maurice as a young man.
West starred as patriarch Bradley Hardacre in Granada TV's satirical Northern super-soap Brass over three seasons (1982–1990). West appeared in the series Miss Marple in 1985 (in A Pocket Full of Rye as the notorious Rex Fortescue), and made a memorable appearance as Professor Furie in A Very Peculiar Practice in 1986. In 1997, he played Gloucester in the BBC television production of King Lear , with Ian Holm as Lear. From 2001 to 2003, he played the grumpy and frequently volatile Andrew in the BBC drama series Bedtime .
In 1989 West played Nigel in The Thames Television Sitcom After Henry alongside his real life wife Prunella Scales who played Sarah France. They appeared together in the episode Upstagers aired on 21 March 1989.
At Christmas 2007, he joined Not Going Out as Geoffrey Adams. He reprised this role in two episodes of series three; Geoffrey Whitehead played the role in later seasons. In 2011, he appeared alongside John Simm and Jim Broadbent in BBC series Exile , written by BAFTA-winning Danny Brocklehurst.
In February 2013, West joined the cast of ITV soap Coronation Street , playing Eric Babbage.He joined the cast of EastEnders in 2013, playing Stan Carter from January 2014. He filmed his final scenes for EastEnders in February 2015.
In 2019, West played Private Godfrey in Dad's Army: The Lost Episodes , a recreation of three missing episodes of the BBC comedy Dad's Army .
West was artistic director of the Forum Theatre, Billingham, in 1973, [ citation needed ]where he directed We Bombed in New Haven by Joseph Heller, The Oz Obscenity Trial by David Livingstone and The National Health by Peter Nichols. He was co-artistic director of the Old Vic Theatre from 1980 to 1981, where he directed Trelawny of the 'Wells' and The Merchant of Venice . He was director-in-residence at the University of Western Australia in 1982.
In 2004, West toured Australia with the Carl Rosa Opera Company as director of the production of H.M.S. Pinafore , also singing the role of Sir Joseph Porter. He was replaced in the singing role by Dennis Olsen for the Perth and Brisbane performances.
West was married to actor Jacqueline Boyer from 1956 to 1961 and has a daughter Juliet. In 1963 he married actress Prunella Scales, with whom he has two sons. Samuel West is an actor and their younger son Joseph (Joe) participated in two episodes of Great Canal Journeys filmed in France, where he lives with his French wife and their children. After the broadcast of the French canal episodes, Joe was interviewed in several newspapers.
The Guardian crossword setter Biggles referred to West's 50th wedding anniversary in its prize crossword puzzle (number 26,089) on 26 October 2013.
West and Scales are patrons of the Lace Market Theatre in Nottingham, The Kings Theatre in Gloucester and of the Conway Hall Sunday Concertsprogramme, the longest-running series of chamber music concerts in Europe. West is an Ambassador of SOS Children's Villages, an international orphan charity providing homes and mothers for orphaned and abandoned children. He currently supports the charity's annual World Orphan Week campaign which takes place each February.
West is patron of the National Piers Society,a charity dedicated to preserving and promoting seaside piers. He and Prunella Scales are patrons of Avon Navigation Trust, the charity that runs the River Avon from Stratford-upon-Avon to Tewkesbury. They both support ANT by attending the Stratford River Festival every year. West supports Cancer Research UK.
West is a supporter of the Talyllyn Railway, the first preserved railway in the world. He has visited on a number of occasions, the last being the summer of 2015 to attend the Railway's 150th anniversary. He is a supporter of the Inland Waterways Association, and since 2014 has featured together with his wife in the Great Canal Journeys series for Channel 4.[ citation needed ]
West was president of the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (being succeeded by Benedict Cumberbatch in January 2018) and is President of The Society for Theatre Research. He is also patron of London-based drama school, The Associated Studios.
In 1984, West was appointed CBE for his services to drama.
|1966||The Deadly Affair||Matrevis||uncredited|
|1968||Twisted Nerve||Superintendent Dakin|
|1969||The Looking Glass War||Taylor|
|1971||Nicholas and Alexandra||Dr. Botkin|
|1973||Hitler: The Last Ten Days||Prof. Karl Gebhardt|
|The Day of the Jackal||Commissioner Berthier|
|1974||Soft Beds, Hard Battles||Convent Chaplain|
|1977||Joseph Andrews||Mr. Tow-Wouse|
|The Devil's Advocate||Father Anselmo|
|1978||News From Nowhere||William Morris|
|The Thirty Nine Steps||Porton|
|1980||Rough Cut||Nigel Lawton|
|1987||Cry Freedom||Captain De Wet|
|1988||Consuming Passions||Dr Rees|
|1998||Ever After||King Francis|
|1999||The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc||Cauchon|
|2001||The Fourth Angel||Jones|
|2002||Villa des Roses||Hugh Burrell|
|2003||Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas||King Dymas||Voice|
|Beyond Borders||Lawrence Bauford|
|1961||Deadline Midnight||Ambulance Man||1 episode|
|1969||Big Breadwinner Hog||Lennox||dir Mike Newell/Michael Apted.|
|1972||The Edwardians||Horatio Bottomley||TV miniseries; episode "Horatio Bottomley"|
|1975||Edward the Seventh||King Edward VII|
|1977||Hard Times||Josiah Bounderby|
|1979||Crime and Punishment||Porfiry Petrovich|
|Henry VIII||Cardinal Wolsey||Part of the BBC Television Shakespeare.|
|Churchill and the Generals||Winston Churchill|
|1980||Tales of the Unexpected: Royal Jelly||Albert Taylor|
|1982||Murder Is Easy||Gordon, Lord Easterfield|
|1983–1990||Brass||Bradley Hardacre||Three series|
|1984||The Last Bastion||Winston Churchill|
|1985||Miss Marple||Rex Fortescue||Episode: “A Pocket Full of Rye”|
|1986||A Very Peculiar Practice||Professor Furie|
|The Good Doctor Bodkin Adams||John Bodkin Adams||A TV drama based on the 1957 trial of the doctor.|
|The Monocled Mutineer||Brigadier General Thompson|
|1987||When We Are Married||Councillor Albert Parker|
|What the Butler Saw||Dr Rance|
|1988||The Contractor||Frank Ewbank||By David Storey|
|1989||Campion: Police at the Funeral||Uncle William Faraday|
|Blore, M.P.||Derek Blore||A TV drama loosely based on the Profumo affair.|
|1990||Beecham||Sir Thomas Beecham||Adapted from the play about the conductor|
|The Tragedy of Flight 103: The Inside Story||Colonel Wilfred Wood|
|1992||Shakespeare: The Animated Tales: The Tempest||Prospero||voice|
|Framed||DCI Jimmy McKinnes|
|1994||Smokescreen||Frank Sheringham||TV-Mini Series|
|Goodnight Sweetheart||MI5 agent Tufty MacDuff|
|The Day the Guns Fell Silent||presenter||BBC TV documentary about the end of the Great War|
|2000||Midsomer Murders||Marcus Devere||Episode: “Judgement Day”|
|2000–2008||Water World||presenter||eight series for Central TV, dedicated to 'the people who live and work on the canals of the Midlands'|
|2001||Murder in Mind||Dr. William Collins||Episode: “Mercy”|
|2001–2003||Bedtime||Andrew Oldfield||three series|
|2002||Martin Luther||Martin Luther||PBS Empires series|
|2004||Waking the Dead||Joe Doyle||Episodes #4.3 and #4.4|
|2005||New Tricks||Professor Ian Mears||Episode #2.8|
|Bleak House||Sir Leicester Dedlock|
|2007–2009||Not Going Out||Geoffrey||Series 2 and 3|
|2010||Terry Pratchett's Going Postal||Mustrum Ridcully||TV Mini-Series, 2 episodes|
|Agatha Christie's Poirot||Reverend Cottrell||Episode: “Hallowe’en Party”|
|Lewis||Donald Terry||Series 4, Episode 3: “Your Sudden Death Question”|
|2011||Exile||Don Metzler||TV Mini-Series, 2 episodes|
|2012||Titanic||Lord Pirrie||TV Mini-Series|
|2013||Coronation Street||Eric Babbage||TV series, 7 episodes|
|2013, 2020||Last Tango in Halifax||Ted|
|2014||Inside No. 9||Andrew||Episode 1, "Sardines"|
|2014–2019||Great Canal Journeys||Presenter||Channel 4 television series in which Timothy West and wife, Prunella Scales, take narrowboat trips in the United Kingdom, Europe and various locales around the globe.|
|2016||Comedy Playhouse||Milton||Broken Biscuits|
|2018||Shakespeare & Hathaway: Private Investigators||Johnnie Falstaff||Episode 2|
|2019–2022||Gentleman Jack||Jeremy Lister||Main Cast|
|2019||Dad's Army: The Lost Episodes||Private Godfrey||Three episodes|
Timothy West was a member of the BBC Radio Drama Repertory Company in 1962and has taken part in over 500 radio broadcasts. In 1959, he wrote and produced a short audio play, This Gun That I Have in My Right Hand Is Loaded, satirising typical mistakes of radio drama, including over-explanatory dialogue and misuse of sound cues.
Timothy West has read many unabridged audiobooks, including the complete Barchester Chronicles and the complete Palliser novels by Anthony Trollope, and seven of George MacDonald Fraser's The Flashman Papers books. He has received four AudioFile Earphones Awards for his narration.
Dame Dorothy Tutin, was an English actress of stage, film and television. For her work in the theatre, she won two Olivier Awards and two Evening Standard Awards for Best Actress. She was made a CBE in 1967 and a Dame (DBE) in 2000.
Prunella Margaret Rumney West Scales is a retired English actor. She portrayed Sybil Fawlty, the bossy wife of Basil Fawlty, in the BBC comedy Fawlty Towers, Queen Elizabeth II in A Question of Attribution by Alan Bennett and appeared in the documentary series Great Canal Journeys (2014–2021), travelling on canal barges and narrowboats with her husband, fellow actor Timothy West.
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