Post by Alan Hayes on Jan 11, 2019 20:09:52 GMT 12
Interesting to hear, on Arnold's Desert Island Discs, that the Germans actually paid him royalties for The Ghost Train during the war, though Arnold was unable to access them until after the war, and by the time he actually was able to access the money he only received about 10% of its original value:
ARNOLD RIDLEY: "They paid my royalties to me, into a bank in Hamburg. The British Government didn't let me have them until the Mark was devalued... I got a tenth!"
Remarkable that such a thing exists. Do you know the circumstances of the photo being taken - I mean was it taken because Arnold was well known prior to the war, or is it just a coincidence that he features in a reportage photo?
Post by Dave Homewood on Apr 6, 2019 23:53:52 GMT 12
I don't know for sure, but I do now that Arnold's actual role in France was as a liaison officer looking after newspaper journalists and radio correspondents.
He was in a special unit made up mostly of well known writers and literary men in the Army (including Gerard Fairlie who wrote the Bulldog Drummond books and became one of Arnold's close friends at that time). They had the responsibility of taking the group of reporters from all the different newspapers and the BBC and other foreign radio correspondents from place to place where the British Army and Royal Air Force were in camp or operating, ensuring they meet the right people to interview and more importantly that they did not wander off and get into mischief.
One of the newspaper reporters Arnold looked after on these press junkets was the correspondent for The Times and the Daily Telegraph, one Kim Philby, who went on to make more of a name for himself later in another war.
So I think it is quite possible this may have been snapped by one of the press photographers in the course of one of their outings to meet soldiers in or near the front lines in France. or possibly during their evacuation.
Watching an episode of Sergeant Cork today - a detective series set in Victorian London - I was delighted to chance upon a brief appearance by Arnold Ridley as a doctor / police surgeon called in to examine a murder victim. The episode is 'The Case of the Fellowship Murder'. Arnold appears in one scene only but, as expected, makes an impression. A good, well-judged performance. This would have been screened a couple of years prior to Dad's Army.
Post by Dave Homewood on Aug 10, 2019 19:51:14 GMT 12
A fantastic little piece of Arnold here in the Reading Evening Post - Friday 05 September 1975
James Stewart and Henry Fonda are both proud of the fact that they can still, in their seventies, stagger on to the stage and hold an audience. But they are callow youths compared to Arnold Ridley, who hopes to celebrate his 80th birthday next January in the stage version of Dad's Army. Ridley, of course, will be playing Pte Godfrey, the role he has sustained in the TV series since 1967.
"I'm very lucky that I'm still able to do what I like doing." is his simple motto. He made his first professional stage appearance more than 60 years ago, but his career really got under way when he wrote and starred in The Ghost Train, a comedy thriller still beloved of amateur dramatic societies.
"No. I've no plans to retire." he told me. "What the hell would I do with myself"
Most of the cast of the TV series will be in the stage show, which opens at the Forum Theatre, Billingham, on Teeside, on September 4, then moves to the Shaftesbury Theatre, London, on October 2.
But John Laurie (Frazer. the undertaker) will not be among them, the official word being that he was "not able to consider a theatre season." Yet Laurie is all of 14 months younger than Arnold Ridley!
And now, stand by for confusion: Joan Cooper, who is the real life wife of Arthur Lowe (Captain Mainwaring) will be in the show, playing Arnold Ridley's sister. When I checked that over to make sure I had it right, Arnold Ridley said drily, "Must be terrible when your mind starts going."
Post by Alan Hayes on Oct 13, 2020 10:43:52 GMT 12
Picked up the recently released BFI DVD set Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box 2 and took a look at the second film in the set tonight.
I hadn't looked up what it was or who was in it, so imagine the pleasant surprise of seeing Arnold Ridley among the acting cast in a nice character role as an elderly man who races pigeons.
The film is Wings of Mystery (1963) and also features an early acting role for Richard Carpenter, who later created series such as Catweazle and Robin of Sherwood, along with a childhood role for actress Judy Geeson.
If you're intrigued, Amazon UK have the set available for about £20: