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Charters and Caldicott

1 9 8 5 (UK)

Appearing initially as bit characters in Hitchcock’s The Lady Vanishes in 1938, Charters and Caldicott were portrayed by actors Basil Radford and Naunton Wayne as a couple of well-meaning, upper-class twits with no grasp of reality.

Their eccentric Englishmen abroad roles simply brought a touch of comic relief to an otherwise spooky and melodramatic tale. Soon afterwards, however, they resurfaced in another cameo role in Night Train To Munich, before gaining top billing in their own vehicle, Crook’s Tour, in 1940.

Over 40 years later they became stars of their own BBC series.

Now in retirement, the two perpetual schoolboys were played by Robin Bailey and Michael Aldridge. They enjoyed regular monthly lunches at their Pall Mall club, where they discussed the inadequacies of women, the wonders of cricket and how things simply weren’t as they used to be.

Strictly public school, they pitied people who didn’t share their backgrounds and interests and voiced prejudiced concerns about the state of the world.

Charters, a widower, lived in a country cottage near Reigate and religiously hailed a Green Line bus on the first Friday of every month to meet his chum, Caldicott, at his residence in Viceroy Court, Kensington.

However, when a girl’s body was discovered at Caldicott’s flats, the old boys found themselves embarking on the trail of a murderer.

Robin Bailey
Michael Aldridge