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Blott on the Landscape

1 9 8 5 (UK)
1 x 50 minute episode
5 x 55 minute episodes

In 1985, George Cole temporarily abandoned Arthur Daley to play Sir Giles in Tom Sharpe’s Blott On The Landscape.

Sir Giles Lynchwood was the Member of Parliament for South Worfordshire, a man with weird fetishes (which were indulged in extrovert sex sessions down in London) and a greedy desire to make more and more money.

One of his plans (in response to his wife’s insistence that they should have children) was to direct a new motorway through the grounds of her ancestral stately home, Handyman Hall, which was picturesquely set in Cleene Gorge .

Rallying to its defence, the eccentric Lady Maud (a devotee of country sports) fought tooth and nail to preserve her home, assisted by her surreptitious gardener, Blott – a mysterious former Italian PoW (played by David Suchet) who was gradually revealed as a bomb-making anarchist who dedicated himself to the cause

At one point, the mad Lady Maud (Geraldine James) yanked out her left breast to ensure that a motorway hearing became a riot.

Dundridge was the hapless man from the Ministry of Environment who found himself immersed in the murky goings-on.

Manic characters and farcical situations abounded and the whole production seemed blessed with a colourful and vulgar joie de vivre never better demonstrated than by Julia McKenzie’s portrayal of Mrs Forthby  – the homely dominatrix who pandered to Sir Giles’ more devious sexual desires.

The six-part series was an adaptation by Malcolm Bradbury of Tom Sharpe’s black comic novel of the same name, first published in 1975.

The series first aired on Wednesday evenings at 9:00pm on BBC2 between 6 February and 13 March 1985.

Filming took place at Stanage Park, near Ludlow.

Sir Giles Lynchwood MP
George Cole
Lady Maud Lynchwood

Geraldine James
Blott

David Suchet
Mrs Forthby

Julia McKenzie
Ganglion

Geoffrey Bayldon
Lord Leakham

John Welsh
Dundridge

Simon Cadell
Minister

Geoffrey Chater
Hoskins

Paul Brooke
Prime

John Grillo
Densher

Jeremy Clyde
General Burnett

Nicholas Selby
Mr Bullett-Finch

Patrick Godfrey
Mrs Bullett-Finch

Georgine Anderson
Miss Percival
Matyelok Gibbs (1)
Sylvia Barter (2)
Bessie Williams
Sarah Porter
Colonel Chapman
John Rapley
Sir Francis Puckerington
Esmond Knight
Marjorie
Ursula Jones

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