Dame Penelope Keith


  1. Judy Geeson, Carry On England, 1976.      For the 26th (and biggest flop) of the farce series, Private Ffoukes Sharpe was designed with  the plum-voiced Good Life TV star in mind. Judy’s younger sister, Sally, made two  Carry Ons.. Abroad and Girls, 1972-1973. 
  2. Cherie Lunghi, Much Ado About Nothing, TV, 1984.  BBC producer Cedric Messina had the idea of taping all of Shakespeare’s 37 plays. He met with a surprising amount of resistance from colleagues (“The Bard never works on the telly!”) until Aunty BBC decided to kick off with Much Ado About… quite a lot, as it happened.  First, it was shot for £250,000, with Penelope Keith and Michael York as Beatrice and Benedick, directed by Donald McWhinnie. Then, it quite simply disappeared…and the Beeb announced the first play would be Romeo and Juliet, the one everyone knows. The much ado about re-shoots, one actor’s “heavy accent” – more like the same suits who  applauded the idea felt the first entry was failure,  just hadn’t worked. Romeo took over in 1978  and  Ado was totally re-made by Alvin Rakoff helming Cherie Lunghi and Robert Lindsay for the seventh and final season – in 1984..!   The first version has never been seen.

 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  2