Two pieces of very sad news. William Franklyn, best known for a hell of a lot of things, actually, but principally as secret agent Peter Dallas in Top Secret and as the voice of Schweppes, has died. He was 81. Over his 50-year acting career, he played numerous roles in shows such as The Scarlet Pimpernel, The Avengers and French and Saunders. He also took over from Peter Jones as the voice of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy on the BBC Radio 4 serial.
Nigel Kneale, one of the best writers television has ever had, died on Sunday, aged 84. Apart from the Quatermass series and an adaptation of 1984 that caused national furore, he was also responsible for a number of spectacular one-off plays such as The Stone Tape and The Road. Virtually all genre writers today owe him a great debt. He’ll be sorely missed.