Look Over Your Shoulder
Performer: Alan Price
Sue Lawley's castaway this week is the actor Geoffrey Palmer. Best known for his roles in The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin, Butterflies and As Time Goes By, he had to wait a long time to become a household name and national treasure. Unsure what career to pursue after a spell in the army, he fell into acting because a girlfriend was involved in amateur dramatics. He worked in repertory theatre throughout the 60s and 70s and ended up working with John Osborne during the Royal Court's heyday in West of Suez, and later with Laurence Olivier.
With a face "reminiscent of a bloodhound mourning a lost scent", Palmer has, by his own admission "cornered the market in playing dull, plodding men". Many of his characters live out lives characterised by petty worries, suburban frustration and missed opportunities, but he plays them brilliantly, and with a sympathy that elevates them to the status of unlikely heroes. Geoffrey's grumpy on-screen persona has also recently led to him doing the narration for the BBC TV series Grumpy Old Men, which has become a cult hit and brought him a whole new generation of viewers. He was awarded an OBE in the new year honours list.
[Taken from the original programme material for this archive edition of Desert Island Discs]
Search the whole archive by typing into the box below. To find out who has picked particular music, books or luxuries on the programme use the buttons to refine your search.
This site contains archive material. To comment or bring something to our attention, please get in touch.
This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.