Home Television Drama Charmer, The

Charmer, The

1 9 8 7 (UK)
6 x 60 minute episodes

Ralph Ernest Gorse (“The Charmer”) is an ex-public schoolboy social climber and seducer of women.

Eternally seeking the main chance he haunts the boarding rooms and grand seaside hotels of the late 1930s in search of vulnerable widows.

Gorse is a cad – a psychopathic gigolo and conman with the charm of every mother’s son – a Lothario whose conquests are means to obtaining what he really craves – money and power.


There is trouble in store for Gorse when he becomes infatuated with Clarice Manners (Fiona Fullerton) and needs every penny he can get his hands on to impress her.

The source of his income is tweedy widow Joan Plumleigh-Bruce (Rosemary Leach) who he meets in a Reading roadhouse when he is down to his last few pounds and one good suit, and from whom he has already swindled £1,000.

Fortunately, Plumleigh-Bruce’s estate agent friend Donald Stimpson (Bernard Hepton) discovers what Gorse is up to and sets about seeking revenge.

The six-part series was based on the novel Mr Stimpson and Mr Gorse by Patrick Hamilton and aired in October and November 1987.

Ralph Ernest Gorse
Nigel Havers
Donald Stimpson
Bernard Hepton
Joan Plumleigh-Bruce

Rosemary Leach
Fiona Fullerton
Alison Warren
Judy Parfitt
Pamela Bennett
Abigail McKern


Gorse The Tempter | Gorse The Investor | Gorse The Deceiver | Gorse In The Middle | Gorse The Impostor | Gorse At The End