Clive Francis
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Clive Francis’ television career has been long and varied ranging from the classics to sitcoms, dramas serials to any number of television films. It began in 1966, the year he left drama school, playing Tommy Traddles opposite Ian McKellen and Flora Robson in David Copperfield televised from the old Lime Grove Studios in Shepherd’s Bush. Two years later he was cast as Sloane in Joe Orton’s Entertaining Mr Sloane, with Shelia Hancock and Edward Woodward. filmed barely a week after Orton was murdered by his lover Kenneth Halliwell.

Clive’s first film role came in 1965 while still attending RADA. This was a student film of Romeo and Juliet, for the London Film School in which he played Romeo; followed not long after by Inspector Clouseau, with Alan Arkin and The Man who had Power over Women, with Rod Taylor, both now pretty unmemorable. The most iconic among his few films was Kubrick’s, A Clockwork Orange in which he had one small, but important scene, as Joe the lodger – this was the first time CF ever auditioned on film, then quite a novelty. Nowadays actors have to audition on film for everything - even if it entails one line!

Clive Francis
1966 FILM
Romeo and Juliet
Directed by Val Drumm and Paul Lee
Role: Romeo.
Cast included: Angela Scoular, Gareth Thomas, Richard Wilson, Anthony Pedley
Angela Scoular and I played the star-crossed lovers in this filmed stage performance produced by the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts and the London Polytechnic Institute. The play was filmed on RADA’s Vanburgh stage.
Clive Francis
Clive Francis
Clive Francis
1966 BBC
David Copperfield
Directed by Joan Kraft
Role: Tommy Traddles
Cast included: George Benson, Flora Robson, Ian McKellen, Tina Packer, Hannah Gordon
David Copperfield was my first time in front of a professional camera and I expect on reflection it probably looked it. For a young lad only momentarily out of drama school to find himself in the company of such celebrated actors as Flora Robson, Joss Ackland, Bill Fraser, Ian McKellen, Hannah Gordon etc. etc. was pretty ‘awesome!’ They were all so kind and helpful. We rehearsed each episode in a hall off Parson’s Green and then would record it in the old BBC Lime Grove studios. I say record but really it was like shooting live as there was never any margin for error, and a re-take was totally out of the question. But then having experienced my father having to go through the same nerve racking ordeal, week after week, it didn’t appear to be any different than stepping out on stage in front of an audience, except in our case it was over 12 million!

One remembrance I have during our rehearsals. There used to be a caretaker sitting in a cubbyhole at the entrance to the hall who would greet us every morning with a somewhat guarded smile. One day he doffed his cap to Dame Flora Robson and enquired after her husband, which caused a little flutter of embarrassment as Dame Flora had never been married or had any intention of being. If that wasn’t bad enough he then went on to tell her how much he enjoyed her husband’s rendition of Ol’ Man River. No one had the heart to tell him that Paul Robeson and Flora Robson were not an item.

1968 BBC
Theatre 625: The Curse of the Donkins
Directed by Gilchrist Calder
Role: David Donkin
Cast included: Nigel Davenport, Norman Rodway, Stephanie Bidmead
I have little to no memory of this play except that it was my first in colour; this special medium had been introduced gradually the year before in 1967. I remember we weren’t allowed to wear anything with stripes as they would strobe., and special makeups were applied, which had the effect of making everyone look made up!

British households were also beginning the rather expensive process of investing in their first colour sets, which caused the activity of viewing television to change completely.

1968 BBC
Directed by Joan Kraft
Role: Fred Vincy
Cast included: Michelle Dotrice, Michael Pennington, Hannah Gordon
This joyous production united me again with Joan Kraft who had directed me in David Copperfield.
Clive Francis
1968 BBC
Inspector Clouseau
Directed by Bud Yorkin
Role: Clyde Hargreaves
Cast included: Alan Arkin, Barry Foster, Frank Finlay, Beryl Reid
This was the third in the Pink Panther film series. It was directed by Bud Yorkin, and starred Alan Arkin as Inspector Clouseau and filmed at MGM-Studios Borehamwood and Zurich. Sadly it was not a patch on the original Peter Sellers version but it gave me my first feature movie, which came about because of Ian McKellen, who had turned the part down. He rang me and said that if the idea interested me I should get on to my agent immediately. I did, and the part was mine. I played the rather sophisticated head of a vicious gang of bank robbers; as most of the gang were extras and at one time had been behind bars themselves, I behaved impeccably!
Clive Francis
Clive Francis
1968 ITV
Entertaining Mr Sloane
Directed by Peter Moffatt
Role: Sloane
Cast included: Shelia Hancock, Edward Woodwood, Arthur Lovegrove
Clive Francis is a convincing thug, playing up the evil and menace in the character, if looking a little old for a lad of seventeen. Edward Woodward sports a hairstyle which is reminiscent of Hitler, and makes Ed something of a bully, of whom Sloane at times seems genuinely frightened. Shelia Hancock captures perfectly Kath's grotesque mixture of gentility and vulgarity, and she is an accomplished farceur. Arthur Lovegrove's Kemp is almost blind, yet the only character to truly 'see' Sloane, who he attacks with a toasting fork.
BFI Screen Online
The television script of this play was the last thing Orton worked on before being battered to death by his lover, Kenneth Halliwell. He had trimmed it neatly down to 90 minutes, a precise and clever piece of adaptation. Four days after this horrific event, I sat alongside Sheila Hancock and Edward Woodward in a rehearsal room in north London. The writer's chair sat empty. The occasion like a macabre epitaph to one of Orton’s edgy, uncomfortable gifts.
1968 TV Film
The Beckoning Fair One
Directed by Don Chaffey
Role: Crichton
Cast included: Robert Lansing, Gabrielle Drake, John Fraser
Clive Francis
1969 ITV
Fly on the Wall
Directed by Marc Miller
Role: Colin Imlay
Cast included: Julia Foster, Christopher Timothy, Roger Livesey, Rachel Kempson
This delightfully tame series was about an unmarried mother (Julia Foster) who tries to hold down a job, while at the same time being wooed by me and Christopher Timothy. More than that I cannot say.
1969 TV Film
Strange Report
Directed by Peter Duffell
Role: Brandt
Cast included: Anthony Quayle, Kaz Garas
Clive Francis remembers: My first encounter with Anthony Quayle and director, Peter Duffell. My only remembrance being of Quayle taking great pains to help me with a South African accent, which he had mastered so brilliantly in Ice Cold in Alex.
1969 BBC
Progressive Blues
Directed by Ann Held
Role: Dave
Cast included: Joe Melia, Frances Cuka
Clive Francis remembers: I have absolutely no recall of this television at all except I think I played a character called Dave who was a plumber!
1970 BBC
Sovereign’s Company
Directed by Alan Clarke
Role: Dexter
Cast included: Roland Culver, Gareth Forwood, James Cosmo, James Hazeldine, Oliver Cotton
Clive Francis remembers: BBC Wednesday Play directed by the great Alan Clarke, about a group of cadets at Sandhurst Royal Military Academy. Centering on the pacifist grandson of a Major who would rather not be there, he ends up beating a yob almost to death. Extraordinarily well cast. I played a deeply unpleasant supercilious character called Dexter. Needs to be remastered in HD and given a new lease of life.
Clive Francis
Clive Francis
1970 FILM
The Man Who Had Power Over Women
Directed by John Krish
Role: Barry Black
Cast included: Rod Taylor, James Booth, Carol White, Keith Barron
This silly movie wasted the talents of a generally good cast headed by the estimable Rod Taylor and James Booth and several very pleasant women. The title is something of an ironic joke. The Man Who Had Power Over Women is really about true love, healthy sex and what a crummy racket public relations can be. I played a half-crazed pop singer and for research the film company gave me free seats to a number of Tom Jones and Tony Bennett concerts. Johnny Mandel composed the score, a composer who at the time was not known to me. When I went to meet him in order to audition my singing voice, I chose, The Shadow of Your Smile, unaware that he’d won an award for it four years earlier. Needless to say I never got to sing on film!
Clive Francis
1971 FILM
Directed by Michael Tuchner
Role: Barry Black
Cast included: Richard Burton, Ian McShane, Fiona Lewis, Donald Sinden
The film received bad reviews, and Richard Burton was particularly savaged for his attempt at a Cockney accent. It did though coin a popular phrase:" Don't be a berk all your life; take a day off!"
Clive Francis
Clive Francis
1971 FILM
A Clockwork Orange
Directed by Stanley Kubrick
Role: Lodger
Cast included: Malcom McDowell, Warren Clark, Patrick Magee, Michael Bates
It’s extraordinary how revered this film has become over the years, especially by young directors who look at me in a kind of awe – ‘God, you’ve worked with Kubrick. Wow!’ Nobody knew at the time how it was going to turn out, in fact hardly anybody knew what the story was even; we were only allowed to see our scene, the rest of the script being top secret. I met the great man for the first time on set, a poky sixth floor flat of a high-rise near Boreham Wood. Kubrick was a man of few words but a master in precision. I remember I had to eat a piece of toast during the scene. We did so many takes that I managed to get through one and half loaves, leaving me feeling positively sick.

When the film came out it caused a sensation. It also brought about a number of copy-cat gangs around the country, which so concerned Kubrick that he asked Warner Brothers to withdraw the film from British distribution; which it did for over 27 years. It was only after Kubrick's death in 1999 that the film reappeared in cinemas and later released on DVD.

Clive Francis
1971 BBC
Sense and Sensibility
Directed by David Giles
Role: John Willoughby
Cast included: Robin Ellis, Joanna David, Ciaran Madden, Michael Aldridge, Patricia Routledge
This adaptation by Denis Constanduros, suffered from a certain stiffness and sluggish pacing. However, these faults could easily have been overlooked if the script had not been so severely altered from the original masterpiece. The plot line of Austen’s story remained, but unfortunately very little of her unique language is included.
1971 ITV
Decision to Burn
Directed by Marc Miller
Role: Benny
Cast included: Cast included: Anthony Hopkins, Patricia Brake, John Welsh
This particular play was part of a series entitled The Ten Commandments. Anthony Hopkins was a member of Olivier’s National Theatre at the time; still young, exciting and flourishing towards stardom.
1972 BBC
The Liver Birds
Directed by Sydney Lotterby
Role: Aubrey
Cast included: Polly James, Nerys Hughes, Jonathan Lynne
This was an episode of what became quite an ionic comedy series by Carla Lane. It was also where I met my first wife, Polly James, and introduced me to Sydney Lotterby, a legendary director of BBC comedy and with whom I was to work with again on quite a few occasions.
1972 ITV
Lament of an Unmarried Father
Directed by Joan Kemp Welch
Role: Peter Crow
Cast included: Simon Williams, Jennifer Jayne

I have little recall of this play except it was written by Fay Weldon and directed by Joan Kemp-Welch.
1972 ITV
Crime of Passion: Modeste
Directed by Peter Moffatt
Role: Modeste
Cast included: Rosemary Leech, Daniel Moynihan, Derek Francis
1973 BBC
Z Cars
Directed by Derek Martinus
Role: Jerry
Cast included: John Slater, James Ellis, Edward Judd
I appeared in one of the 803 episodes that this series ran for between 1962 and 1978. Regulars included John Slater, Frank Windsor, James Ellis. Again I played a very unconvincing thug!
Clive Francis
1974 BBC
Walk with Destiny
Directed by Herbert Wise
Role: Randolph Churchill
Cast included: Richard Burton, Virginia McKenna, Robert Hardy, Patrick Stewart, Ian Bannen

(For some reason the title was changed in the States to The Gathering Storm)
To be working with such a formidable cast of actors could have been quite daunting if it wasn’t for the delightful Herbie Wise, our director, who had the ability to conduct the whole assignment with precision and calmness. How, I don’t know, as he had the unpredictable Richard Burton to contend with, whom I had idolized since first seeing him in The Robe in 1953. His very presence on screen, as it was in person, was electric. His charisma was extraordinary. He’d been off the bottle for weeks in preparation for the film, and as a consequence everyone was expecting a happy, uncomplicated production. Unfortunately, at a reception before we started, Hugh Weldon, the then Controller of the BBC, asked everyone to raise a glass and toast the forthcoming production; just the excuse Burton was waiting for and as a consequence remained on the bottle for the duration. The result was a sorrowful film which never rose above anything but mediocrity. Having said that Burton was a delight to work with whose company I enjoyed. After it was over he threw a party at the Dorchester. I remember so vividly seeing him and Ian Bannen sitting in a corner of the heaving ballroom trying to outdo each other with the amount of poetry they could remember. Nothing very remarkable except for the fact they were both high on whiskey; though their brains were as clear and as sharp as anything.
Clive Francis
1975 BBC
Churchill’s People
Directed by Peter Hammond
Role: John Loxley
Cast included: Polly James and Ian Hendry
One of 26 plays based on passages from Winston Churchill's, A History of the English-Speaking Peoples. This particular episode was called March On, Boys, and was written by Beverly Cross
Clive Francis
1975 BBC
Mr Oddy
Directed by Peter Moffatt
Role: Tommy Brown
Cast included: Roland Culver, Angharad Rees, John Moffatt
This was part of a series of plays entitled Ten from the Twenties, based on a short story by Hugh Walpole. In pre-First World War London, young writer Tommy Brown (Clive Francis) befriends old Alfred Oddy (Roland Culver). They find companionship in their shared literary tastes, but Tommy comes to wonder just who Mr Oddy is. It was a dear show to be part of, bringing me together once again with Peter Moffatt (Mr Sloane) and Angharad Rees (Poldark)
Clive Francis
Clive Francis
Clive Francis
1975 BBC
Directed by Paul Annett, Kenneth Ives and Christopher Barry
Role: Francis Poldark
Cast included: Robin Ellis, Anghard Rees, Ralph Bates
The romantic saga follows Ross Poldark (Robin Ellis) as he loses his fiancée, the well-bred beauty, Elizabeth (Jill Townsend), to his cousin Francis (Clive Francis). Ross ends up marrying his servant, the unlikely-looking Demelza (Angharad Rees), but his passion for Elizabeth simmers on for years. What a magnificent, and, as far as I’m concerned, matchless adaptation, of Winston Graham’s books this early series was. I have many happy memories, some tinged with sadness as too many dear friends have left us along the way.
Clive Francis
1973 Film
Girl Stroke Boy
Directed by Bob Kellett
Role: Laurie
Cast included: Joan Greenwood, Michael Hordern, Peter Bull, Peter Straker
The straight-laced parents of a young boy who has, until now, shown no interest in the opposite sex, are surprised when he comes home with a girl/boy from the West Indies. This was the first and only time I’ve been acquired to make love on the screen; in this instance it was with Peter Straker who played my girlfriend! As a consequence, the film used to be shown each years at Gay Film Festivals around the world. Girl Stroke Boy was made on a shoestring and filmed on location in a house in Hertfordshire, aptly called Fagotts End!
Clive Francis
1974 LWT series
New Scotland Yard
Directors: Philip Casson, Colin Cant etc
Role: Det. Sgt. Dexter
Cast included: Michael Turner
Here I was stepping into my father’s shoes by taking on a police series – my father Raymond Francis, was for a time possibly the most famous television detective in the country when he starred in the long running series, No Hiding Place – but New Scotland Yard was pretty tame in comparison to my father’s series twenty years earlier, and as a consequence only lasted one series.
1976 ITV
Caesar and Cleopatra
Directed by James Cellan Jones
Role: Apollodorus
Cast included: Alec Guinness, Geneviève Bujold, Michael Bryant, Ian Cuthbertson, Margaret Courtenay
Here I found myself working alongside another of my favourite actors, the shy, diffident and very private, Alec Guinness. He played opposite the American movie star Geneviève Bujold, whom I had fallen in love with since first seeing her in Anne of a Thousand Days.

Guinness took a kind of shine to me (whether it was because I was at the time startling blond and very pretty, I don’t know) but on several occasions he would invite me out for lunch, usually to rather glamorous restaurants. Though I was flattered and wanted to use these occasions to ask him so much about so many things, knew it would be deeply inappropriate. As a consequence, the two of us would often sit in shy silence. I did though take the opportunity to do a number of sketches of the cast, which intrigued Guinness though he declined to look at the likeness I did of him, saying, ‘I’m sure it’s horribly near the knuckle!’ Funnily enough several years later he chose my drawing as the cover to his autobiography, Blessings in Disguise. Another funny occasion took place in 1987 when Guinness was honoured at the Lincoln Centre, New York. For a banner to hang outside the Centre they chose my caricature, and there it hung for over a month. I was then asked whether I would like it sent to me as a memento; it was well over six-foot long. I said I would, not realizing that I would have to then pay an exorbitant price for shipping. One morning I was telephoned by a customs official explaining that a charge of over £200 had to paid, he then went on to say that it was absolutely filthy and really wasn’t worth it. I took him at his word, and back to the States the banner went. I told this story to Guinness one day as we lunched at the Garrick Club. ‘What on earth would you have done with it,’ he asked. ‘I don’t know,’ I said. Probably used it as a bedcover. Then I could say to all my friends that I slip under Alec Guinness every night.’ The look on Alec’s face said enough, and I quickly changed the subject

1977 BBC series
Rough Justice
Directed by Derrick Goodwin, David Askey, David Maloney
Role Ben Conroy
Cast included Wendy Allnutt, Leon Sinden, Emily Richard, Don Fellows
Clive Francis remembers: An idealistic young solicitor (Clive Francis) finds obstacles in his path when he tries to set up a neighbourhood law centre offering free legal advice. Other than working with Leo Sinden, Donald’s brother, and who couldn’t be more opposite in personality, I can remember little more.
Clive Francis
1978 ITV
Saturday, Sunday, Monday
Directed by Alan Bridges
Role: Roberto
Cast included: Laurence Olivier, Frank Finlay, Joan Plowright, Edward Woodwood
One Saturday evening Rosa Priore is preparing a magnificent Sunday lunch for her family and their friends. By Sunday afternoon her life and marriage are in ruins.

I knew I was about to appear in something rather special from the moment we started rehearsals. Frank Finlay, Joan Plowright and Edward Woodward’s performances were quite dazzling. Sharp, moving, funny and brilliantly observed. Thanks to the wonders of DVD, it’s a production I often show young actors, so that they can witness first-hand the sheer guttural finesse that the whole production brought; it was mesmerising then as it is now, and I’m sure will always remain so.

Italians, as we know, are well known for expressing themselves through body language and hand gestures, as though the feelings bubbling up inside them can’t be expressed in any other way. During rehearsals an Italian was brought in to illustrate some of these hand movements. He overloaded us with any number of finger and hand gesticulations, of which he said to pick a few. Frank of course was very economical with what he chose, whereas, Laurence Olivier, in the small part of Antonio, the hat maker, went for the lot!

Clive Francis
1978 BBC
As You Like It
Directed by Basil Coleman
Role: Oliver
Cast included Helen Mirren, Brian Stirner, Angharad Rees, James Bolam, Richard Pasco
We filmed this production, part of the BBC’s complete Shakespeare collection, at Glamis Castle the childhood home of. Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother. Princess Margaret was born here. Wonderful setting to such a delightful play. Two weeks after finishing I was treading the boards at Chichester and the week after that, married for the first time.
Clive Francis
Clive Francis
1980 LWT
Enemy at the Door
Directed by Jonathan Alwyn
Role: Grunwald
Cast included Simon Cadell, Bernard Horsfall, Alfred Burke
Standartenführer Grunwald (Clive Francis) arrives on Guernsey, ostensibly to set up a concentration camp. However he is the uncle of Eric, illegitimate son of single parent Betty Ridge, (Norma Streader) who is struggling to make ends meet. Grunwald wants to take Eric to Germany to have a better life with the Grunwald family but Betty refuses. Although Grunwald respects her decision, Reinicke, (Simon Cadell) anxious to worm his way in with the Standartenführer, tricks Betty into handing the child over.
Clive Francis
Harold Pinter giving us notes in the studio
1980 BBC
The Rear Column
Directed by Harold Pinter
Role: Troupe
Cast included Barry Foster, Simon Ward, Donald Gee, John Horton
Simon Gray’s play is set in the jungle of the Congo Free State in 1887-88. The story begins as Henry Morton Stanley, leaves to relieve Emin Pasha, governor of Equatoria, from a siege by Mahdist forces. Stanley leaves behind him a 'rear column' of five officers. The play follows the story of the men left waiting in the camp. The officers depicted in the play are based on historical figures. Even though our west end run ended abruptly within six week’s producer Louis Marks invited Harold Pinter to direct a television version for the BBC. Simon Gray edited the play down to a more manageable size, and Robert Horton was brought over from Canada to replace Jeremy Irons who was filming. Harold had never directed a multi-camera production before, and was given a twenty -hour crash course, and produced I think something quite remarkable.
Clive Francis
1981(TV Mini-Series)
Directed by Boris Sagal
Role: Attius
Cast included: Peter O’Toole, Peter Strauss, Alan Feinstein, Anthony Quayle, David Warner
My first American picture and one which took me from Israel to Hollywood. Advertised by the network as an "ABC Novel for Television," it was a fictionalized account of the historical siege of the Masada citadel in Israel by legions of the Roman Empire in AD 73. The TV series' script is based on the novel The Antagonists by Ernest Gann. The siege ended when the Roman armies were able to enter the fortress, only to discover the mass suicide by the Jewish defenders when defeat became imminent. It was epic. We filmed it as close to the actual Masada as was legally possible with the Dead Sea as our background. I played Attius the head tribune who turns out to be a Roman spy and shared nearly all my scenes with O’Toole, who christened me tinkerbell!
1983 (TV Mini-Series)
A Married Man
Directed by Charles Jarrott
Role: Henry Mascall
Cast included: Raymond Francis, Ciaran Madden, Anthony Hopkins, John Le Mesurier,
It was great fun renewing my friendship with Tony Hopkins on this mini-series. Based on Piers Paul Reed’s book, directed by Charles Jarrott and produced by Julian Fellowes, the first of many successful ventures this young man was to make! Again I played a thoroughly unpleasant, deceitful fellow, who was having an affair with Hopkins wife, played by the lovely Ciaran Madden. Still, we both found out in the end with rather grizzly consequences.
Clive Francis
1984 BBC
Directed by Nat Crosby
Role: Jim Mollinson
Cast included: Harriet Walter, Patrick Troughton and Stephanie Cole
The story of Amy Johnson who disappeared while piloting a RAF Wellington bomber on January 5, 1941 and that of her dare-devil husband Jim Mollison. Nat Crosby, one of the BBC’s most distinguished directors of photography, made his directing debut on this film. It was also the first of many projects I was to work with Harriet Walter on.
1984 ITV
The Far Pavilions
Directed by Peter Duffell
Role: Kelly
Cast included John Gielgud, Ben Cross, Amy Irving, Christopher Lee
Peter Duffell directed this five-hour three-part television miniseries based on the novel by M.M. Kaye, starring Ben Cross, Amy Irving, Omar Sharif , Christopher Lee and a host of other wonderful actors. Carl Davis composed the score, and much of the film was shot in the precincts of the 475 year-old Samode Palace. One day the Maharaja of Jaipur arrived with his entire entourage and sat along the length of the ramparts watching John Gielgud as Sir Louis Cavagnari deliver a long stirring speech, at its conclusion the Royal family clapped vigorously and began drinking tea served by liveried servants. They shot this scene several times and the family, not wanting to offend the great ‘Sir Gielgud’, clapped again and again until it became faintly irritating.

We were put up in the magnificent Rambagh Hotel, which in its day had also once been a magnificent palace. I played a doctor called Rose Kelly who tried desperately to save the life of Sir Louis Cavagnari. As the great man passed away I had to slowly close his eyes and each time I did Gielgud would giggle, apologising profusely for stopping, but said I was tickling him!

1984 ITV
Mr Palfrey of Westminster
Directed by John Davies
Role: Nikolai Baliev
Cast included Alec McCowan, Caroline Blakiston, Clive Wood, Briony McRoberts
Mr Palfrey was played by Alec McCowan who began his career when I was less than a year old touring Newfoundland with my parents in a play called, The Amazing Dr Clitterhouse.
1985 ITV
Directed by Christopher King
Role: Dylan Chadwick
Cast included Don Henderson, Siobhan Redmond
Clive Francis
Caricatures of the cast by Clive Francis
1986 BBC
Yes, Prime Minister
Directed by Sydney Lotterby
Role: Luke
Cast included Paul Eddington, Nigel Hawthorne, Derek Fowlds
What fun this was to make and to be able to watch the brilliance of Nigel Hawthorne and Paul Eddington close at hand. Paul used to do the warm-up with the studio audience as well. I played a civil servant called Luke who turned out to be a kind of mole. It was a performance that won me more recognition and work than any to date. Paul Eddington commissioned me to do a portrait of them all, which I did with huge pleasure. A few years later Nigel Hawthorne opened my first exhibition of caricatures in the foyer of the National Theatre.
Clive Francis
In a podcast 'A Sherlockian Conversation' first broadcast on 20 September 2020, Clive shares memories of portraying the title character in 'The Man with the Twisted Lip'. Episode 6 of the TV series 'The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes'.

1986 ITV
The Man with the Twisted Lip
Directed by Patrick Lau
Role: Neville St Clair
Cast included: Jeremy Brett, Edward Hardwicke
This was an episode from the Adventures of Sherlock Homes, starring Jeremy Brett and Edward Hardwicke. Responding to a grieving wife, Watson locates a husband in a London opium den and encounters a disguised Holmes there. The Great Detective is searching for another errant husband who has apparently been killed by a filthy, poetry-spouting professional beggar who lives in one of the building's upper apartments. It involved me, when playing Boon the beggar, to sit in a make-up chair for three hours every morning, while the legendary Glenda Wood remodelled my face.
1986 BBC
Oedipus at Colonus
Directed by Don Taylor
Role: Theseus.
Cast included Anthony Quayle, Juliette Stevenson, Gwen Taylor, John Shrapnel, Kenneth Haigh
At this point in the Theban Plays, Oedipus is a blind old man, incapable of doing anything without the help of his daughter Antigone. He arrives at Colonus a beggar, unwanted at first and dependent on the generosity of the king. Don Taylor not only adapted the three plays for television but insisted on shooting them in one take: The result was quite breathtaking.
1987 BBC
Dorothy L Sayers, Strong Poison
Directed by Christopher Hodson
Role: Norman Urquhart . Cast included Edward Petherbridge, Harriet Walter, Richard Morant
Again I had the chance of working with Harriet Walter and the definitive Lord Peter Wimsey. Edward Petherbridge.
1987 ITV
The Bretts
Directed by David Reynolds
Role: Piers
Cast included Norman Rodway, Barbara Murray, Belinda Lang
1987 TV film
The Hand in Glove
Directed by Peter Duffell
Role: Philip
Cast included Nicola Pagett, Helen Cherry, Trevor Howard
This short film, which to my knowledge has never been shown, was directed by Peter Duffell who directed me in The Far Pavilions. My only memory being that Helen Cherry brought her husband, Trevor Howard, down to the location. There this great man of the cinema sat out his days in her rather pinched trailer all on his own. There was one scene towards the end of the film where a vicar had to give a rather strong, compelling speech from his pulpit. An actor had been engaged and was on his way down from London, but I managed to persuade Peter to see if Trevor would agree to take on the speech instead. He did, and of course was wonderful. So I can say with all honesty that I appeared in Trevor Howard’s last film; he died the following year.
1987 BBC
Quartermaine’s Terms
Directed by Bill Hays
Role: Mark
Cast included John Gielgud, Edward Fox, Eleanor Bron, Peter Jeffrey
I’ve played four different parts in this play over the years, including the ageing Headmaster. This was delightful film was made on location at a derelict school near Evesham. The hotel we were all put up in was rather cramped and noisy but I managed to find another not far away surrounded by fields and a running stream. They had three rooms left two of which I offered to John Gielgud and Edward Fox., taking the third naturally for myself. I remember that each room was named after a flower. They placed Gielgud in Daffodil, Edward in Rose and me at the top of the building in Weed!
1989 ITV
After the War
Directed by Nickolas Renton
Role: Ken Haller
Cast included Adrian Lukis, Caroline Goodall, Claire Higgins
Clive Francis
1989/90 BBC series
May to December
Directed by Sydney Lotterby
Role: Miles Henty
Cast included: Anton Rogers, Eve Matheson, Frances White, Rebecca Lacey

This was to be my first comedy series, bringing me together with Sydney Lotterby and the chance to work with Anton Rogers, an actor I had longed admired. I was fortunate enough to go straight from this into The Piglet Files.
Clive Francis
Caricature of Stephen Fry, by Clive Francis
1990 BBC
Old Flames
Directed by Christopher Morahan
Role: Jackaboy
Cast included Stephen Fry, Simon Callow, Miriam Margolyes
I had two wonderful days filming this mad spoof by Simon Gray. It was produced by Kenith Trodd and directed by Christopher Morahan – a pedigree that fulfilled its promise. I played a character called Jackaboy and executed the character like a demented Harold Pinter.
1990/92 LWT
The Piglet Files
Directed by Robin Carr
Role: Drummond
Cast included: Nicholas Lyndhurst, Serena Evans John Ringham
This short film, which to my knowledge has never been shown, was directed by Peter Duffell who directed me in The Far Pavilions. My only memory being that Helen Cherry brought her husband, Trevor Howard, down to the location. There this great man of the cinema sat out his days in her rather pinched trailer all on his own. There was one scene towards the end of the film where a vicar had to give a rather strong, compelling speech from his pulpit. An actor had been engaged and was on his way down from London, but I managed to persuade Peter to see if Trevor would agree to take on the speech instead. He did, and of course was wonderful. So I can say with all honesty that I appeared in Trevor Howard’s last film; he died the following year.
Clive Francis
1993-96 ITV
The Ten Percenters
Directed by Ed Bye and Marcus Mortimer
Role: Dominic Eden
Cast included: Colin Sinton, Elizabeth Bennet, Benedict Taylor, Emma Cunniffe
My first major leading role in a comedy series. Written by Rob Grant and Doug Naylor (creators of Red Dwarf) and Steve Punt, the series was set in the office of a theatrical agency and ran for two seasons. I played Dominic Eden, head of the firm, and modelled him on an agent I was once represented by. The powers to be tried to remove us off the air by placing the show later and later in the weekly schedules, but not before we were nominated for the Television Comedy of the Year Award. In many ways The Ten Percenter’s was before it’s time. Audiences are much more in tune today with the workings and trappings of theatrical agency’s than they probably were back in the 90’s. Still, it was a mad romp, and huge fun to have been part of.
Clive Francis
Clive Francis
Clive Francis
1993 BBC4
Lipstick on Your Collar
Directed by Renny Rye and Dennis Potter
Role: Major Hedges.
Cast included: Ewan McGregor, Nicholas Jones, Peter Jeffrey, Roy Hudd. Bernard Hill
Clive Francis’ genuinely brilliant Major Wallace Hedges slips into cuttingly caustic reflections on life in Whitehall. While there can be no denying the fact the Lipstick on Your Collar represented a return to more conventional ground for Potter, there are underlying themes of sex and violence that punctuate the generally light-hearted story with a notable sense of seriousness.
This was the third part of Dennis Potter’s trilogy (Pennies from Heaven and Singing Detective), but sadly not so successful. Expanded from Potter's earlier television play Lay Down Your Arms, it launched the career of Ewan McGregor. Potter was to have directed the serial himself, but due to his poor health (terminal pancreatic cancer and psoriasis) handed the reins over Rennie Rye. It allowed me the opportunity, along with Peter Jeffrey, Nick Jones and Nick Farrell, to dance and lip-synch some of the great hits of the 50’s.
1994 LWT
Anna Lee
Directed by Christopher King
Role: Mark Fletcher
Cast included Imogen Stubbs, Adrian Edmundson, Brian Glover
This episode was called, The Cook’s Tale, and was part of a series starring Imogen Stubbs. My only remembrance being that I shared a trailer with Clement Freud, who asked me to illustrate his book, Hangover’s, my first major commission.
1994 ITV
Sharpe’s Company
Directed by Tom Clegg
Role: Wyndham
Cast included Sean Bean, Pete Postlethwaite, Michael Byrne, Hugh Fraser
Spain 1812. A new commander (Clive Francis) has taken over the South Essex, along with the murderous Obadiah Hakeswill (Pete Postlethwaite) an old enemy of Sharpe's from India days. We filmed the whole episode in Yalta, in the Ukraine. We were put up in a Sanatorium adjacent to the Livadia Palace, the summer retreat of the last Russian tsar, Nicholas II, and his family. The Yalta Conference was held there in 1945. Included is a film I made of my happy, somewhat crazy days on location.

Again I had the chance of working with Harriet Walter and the definitive Lord Peter Wimsey. Edward Petherbridge.

Clive Francis
Clive Francis
Clive Francis
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1996 BBC
Giving Tongue
Directed by Stefan Schwartz
Role: Ian Llewellyn Groves
Cast included: Charlotte Coleman, Claire Holman, Warren Clarke, John Fortune, John Bird
Clive Francis doing one of his excellent turns as a velvet voiced posho creep.
This is a fox hunting term relating to the cry that the hound gives when he is on the line of a fox. Written by John Fortune’s wife, Emma, and filmed entirely in Ireland.
1998 ITV
Directed by Alan Wareing
Role: Inspector Bonner
Cast included: Jack Shepherd, Helen Masters, Jimmy Yuill
I was now only being cast as thoroughly unpleasant individuals. In Wycliffe I was a crooked copper who murders the husband of the woman he’s been having an affair with.
2006 BBC
New Tricks
Directed by Martyn Friend
Role: Dudley
Cast included: Alan Armstrong, Dennis Waterman, James Bolam, Amanda Redman
In this series I played a property developer who covers up a fatal boating accident by sabotaging the vessel.
2009 ITV
The Queen
Directed by Patrick Reams
Role: Prince Philip
Cast included: Leslie Manville, Peter Davison, Susan Jameson
The less said about this the better! I was cast unadvisedly as Prince Philip, and their I hold my peace.
2011 BBC
My Family
Directed by Ed Bye
Role: Mr Tilly
Cast included: Zoë Wanamaker, Hannah Waddingham, Christopher Godwin
I played Mr Tilly, Kenzo’s art teacher. I took the part in order to reunite myself with my two scriptwriter friends from the Piglet Files, Paul Minett and Brian Leveson
2014 BBC
The Missing
Directed by Tom Shankland
Role: Robert
Cast included James Nesbitt, Francis O’Connor, Jason Fleming, Ken Stott
Filmed entirely in Brussels, I played the uncle of the young boy who goes missing. As most of my part ended up on the cutting room floor, I don’t have a great deal to show for it. Though it did introduce me to Tom Shankland, a brilliant young director who over 8 episodes managed to create a masterpiece of tension.
Clive Francis
Caricature of Timothy Spall as Turner, by Clive Francis
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Turner, on location at Wentworth Woodhouse, Yorkshire, 2013-14. Filmed by Clive Francis
2014 FILM
Mr Turner
Directed by Mike Leigh
Role: Sir Martin Archer Shee
Cast included: Timothy Spall, Martin Savage, Niall Buggy, Tom Edden, Jamie King, James Fleet, Nicholas Jones, Robert Portal, Simon Chandler, Roger Ashton-Griffiths
This was the second time I’ve had the good fortune to work with Mike Leigh, though in Topsy Turvy I never saw a camera. The producers decided that as the film was horribly over budget and behind schedule, the character, Hawes Craven, scenic designer to Gilbert and Sullivan, was redundant. Still I had three and a half months of one to one creativity with Mike Leigh who promised me something else in the near future. Fourteen years later he remembered. In Mr Turner I played Sir Martin Archer-Shee, president of the Royal Academy. I worked and studied alongside a delightful group of worthies, some of whom were steeped in art, and one or two who couldn’t draw for toffee. It didn’t matter, even though the life classes we had to attend, produced an extraordinary array of shapes. Again I made a short film of us filming the varnishing day sequences at Wentworth Woodhouse, just outside Sheffield.
Clive Francis
Clive Francis
2015 FILM

The Masterful Hermit
Directed by Reg Noyes
Role: Scruffy Man Sam (Winner: Best Supporting Actor)
Clive Francis
2016 Netflix

The Crown
Directed by Stephen Daldry
Role: Lord ‘Bobbety’ Salisbury
Cast includes: John Lithgow, Claire Foy, Matt Smith, Eileen Atkins, Harriet Walter
Clive Francis
Clive Francis
Clive Francis
Clive Francis
Clive Francis as Sir John Scott Keltie
Photographer: Aidan Monaghan
2016 FILM

The Lost City of Z
Directed by James Gray
Cast includes: Charlie Hunnam, Robert Pattinson, Edward Ashley, Sienna Miller, Ian McDiarmid
Based on author David Grann's nonfiction bestseller, "The Lost City of Z" tells the incredible true story of British explorer Percy Fawcett (Charlie Hunnam), who journeys into the Amazon at the dawn of the 20th century and discovers evidence of a previously unknown, advanced civilization that may have once inhabited the region. Despite being ridiculed by the scientific establishment who regard indigenous populations as "savages," the determined Fawcett - supported by his devoted wife (Sienna Miller), son (Tom Holland) and aide-de-camp (Robert Pattinson) - returns time and again to his beloved jungle in an attempt to prove his case, culminating in his mysterious disappearance in 1925. An epically scaled tale of courage and passion, told in writer/director James Gray's classic filmmaking style, "The Lost City of Z" is a stirring tribute to the exploratory spirit and a conflicted adventurer driven to the verge of obsession.
My image
James Gray, Charlie Hunnam and Clive Francis
Photographer: Aidan Monaghan
My image
Filming with Sienna Miller
Photographer: Aidan Monaghan
Clive Francis
2016 FILM

The Little Stranger
Director, Lenny Abrahamson. With Charlotte Rampling, Will Poulter and Domhnall Gleeson.
Available on Amazon Prime Video.
The Little Stranger tells the story of Dr. Faraday, the son of a housemaid, who has built a life of quiet respectability as a country doctor. During the long hot summer of 1948, he is called to a patient at Hundreds Hall, where his mother once worked. The Hall has been home to the Ayres family for more than two centuries. But it is now in decline and its inhabitants - mother, son and daughter - are haunted by something more ominous than a dying way of life. When he takes on his new patient, Faraday has no idea how closely, and how disturbingly, the family's story is about to become entwined with his own.
Clive Francis
Clive Francis and Matt Smith on set.
2019 FILM

Official Secrets
Directed by Gavin Hood. With Matt Smith, Ralph Fiennes and Keira Knightley.
Streaming on Netflix
A morality tale for the 21st century, Official Secrets tells the true story of British Intelligence whistle-blower Katharine Gun who, during the immediate run-up to the 2003 Iraq invasion, leaked a top secret NSA memo exposing a joint US-UK illegal spying operation against members of the UN Security Council. The memo proposed blackmailing smaller, undecided member states into voting for war. At great personal and professional risk, journalist Martin Bright published the leaked document in The Observer newspaper in London, and the story made headlines around the world. Members of the Security Council were outraged and any chance of a UN resolution in favour of war collapsed. But within days, Bush declared he no longer needed UN backing and invaded anyway. As Iraq descended into chaos, Katharine was arrested and charged with breaching the Official Secrets Act. Martin faced potential charges too. Their legal battles exposed the highest levels of government in both London and Washington with having manipulated intelligence in order to sell an illegal war.
Clive Francis
Clive Francis as Pope Able

Created by Frank Miller and Tom Wheeler
With Katherine Langford, Devon Terrell, Gustav Skarsgard, Daniel Sharman.
Clive Francis plays Pope Able in Cursed, a fresh take on the Arthurian legend, where teenager Nimue joins forces with mercenary Arthur on a quest to find Merlin and deliver an ancient sword.
Copyright © 2022 Clive Francis. All rights reserved. Main photograph of Clive Francis by Simon Annand.

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