© Words Simon Wells
By 1962, Tony Hancock had been absorbed into the role of the nation’s favourite comedian. The comedian’s morose dejection was in its own way, as contemporary to his day as Johnny Rotten or Liam Gallagher was to theirs. ‘Ridiculous!’ I hear you say, but rather true in fact. Take a look if you don’t believe me. Remember though, during this era of cold, post-war austerity no one previously had dared to display such affront.
I enter into a hotel lobby to meet the star of the BBC 3 hit comedy series, Mongrels, Nelson the Fox. He has requested that I don’t reveal the name or location of the hotel, as it is place that he likes to frequent on his own or with friends, to unwind and enjoy a selection of cakes and tea. All I can reveal is that it is a five star hotel in the heart of central London, renowned for their afternoon beverages.
There is no doubt that Cathy Gale helped change the perception of women on British television forever. "When I started, men were still of the opinion that women would always be seen as the weaker sex due to their lack of strength. I was the first woman to be seen defending herself and so illustrated that this was no longer the case. Despite being glamorous and witty, Cathy was also Steed's intellectual equal.
Very few actresses have ever been given a role that redefines the public's vision of women on television. That in itself would be a significant achievement; but as Cathy Gale in The Avengers, Honor Blackman not only altered that public perception and re-characterized the role, she also single-handedly kick-started the whole 1960s 'second wave' feminist movement.