Last updated : 27th October 2010
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This page will be used to keep you informed of all the latest happenings in the Avengers world. Events are listed in reverse-chronological order.
|27th October 2010||
The BBC's nightly "magazine" programme The One Show is about to film a piece about iconic hairstyles and is looking for a female to submit themselves to their resident hairstylist Michael Douglas (no, not that one!) for a Purdey "bob". Filiming is due to be done for 11th November. Here's an e-mail I've received from Carla Wright who works for one of the independent production companies who make the films...
I work for a television production company called Real Life. We produce a number of the short films broadcast within BBC's The One Show.
We are currently working on a series of these films looking at iconic hairstyles of the twentieth Century, one of which will be the "Purdey". Naturally this leads us back to Joanna Lumley and The New Avengers. We are looking for a New Avengers fan who would be happy to allow celebrity hairdresser Michael Douglas to cut their hair into the Purdey style. They would need to have blonde hair, with enough length to make a bob. If they preferred to change the style slightly afterwards then Michael would be happy to change it slightly to their taste.
The item will be really positive and nostalgic and the day should be lots of fun. It would be great if anyone who wants to know more could contact me via the details below.
Real Life Media
|14th June 2010||
Series music composer Laurie Johnson and Dave Randle at Bank House Books have recently compiled a completely new version of Laurie's autobiography, Noises in the Head. The new book is a "photo-biography" in that it concentrates on collecting together a huge number of photographs taken from the events described in the original book. It is a large-format "coffee table" publication of approximately 200 pages, with most photographs being in colour. There is large coverage of The Avengers, The New Avengers and The Professionals, with many of Laurie's photographs having never been seen by the public before.
A paperback version is available to buy now, while a hardback edition can be pre-ordered, with delivery expected towards the end of the month. Orders can be placed directly with Bank House.
If any webmasters would like to retail the book from their own websites, Dave can offer a 30% trade discount - please contact Dave via the Bank House site.
(Very many thanks to Dave Randle and Laurie.)
|13th June 2010||
In this weekend's Queen's Birthday Honours List, series creator Brian Clemens has been awarded the Officer of the British Empire ("OBE") for his huge contributions - spanning nearly sixty years - to film and television. Long, long overdue and very richly deserved! (Many thanks to to Ian Dickerson.)
Throughout July the British Film Institute will be celebrating Brian's work. Along with screenings of many television episodes and films written by Brian, he will be participte in two special on-stage interviews. Full details here. (Thanks to Ella Kinight at the BFI.)
|1st February 2009||
Following hot on the heels of the great successes of CD sets for "The Avengers" and "The Professionals", fans of Laurie's music will be pleased to know that "Fifty Years of the Music Of Laurie Johnson, Volume 3: The New Avengers" is being launched this week. It contains the original scores for several episodes plus material from the 1980 Unicorn Kanchana LP. Full details of the set can be downloaded as an Adobe Acrobat PDF document from here, although it should be noted that the press release has neglected to mention that the title theme is included. (Many thanks to Val Jennings at the Demon Music Group / Edsel Records)
|14th March 2007||
I'm sure most readers arriving here will be aware of the devastating news that Gareth Hunt passed away today, after being recently diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. As Gareth only made his close family aware of his illness, this has come as an utter shock and surprise to us all.
Having shot to international stardom in The New Avengers, Gareth subsequently found it difficult to maintain such a high profile in the public eye. Yet to have successfully carried a lead role in a hit show is clear testament to his abilities as an actor. But, of course, the acting game is unpredictable and unfair and Gareth's full potential was undoubtedly never realised on-screen. But after TNA he actually enjoyed a large body of work, particularly in the theatre (the true home of "real" actors!)
... For a long time The New Avengers tended to be denigrated in comparison to its forebear, some "fans" bemoaning the addition of Gareth's character, Mike Gambit. However over the last few years the tide has well and truly turned and, notably in discussion forums, the show has not only picked up many new fans worldwide but even the "oldies" have seen that it had its own special qualities, one of which was Gareth/Gambit. He (and Jo, of course) brought wonderfully tongue-in-cheek characters to a show that they knew was the ultimate in escapism and not to be taken too seriously. Even if Gareth is only remembered by the public for this one series, it's a great legacy (that we can continue to treasure with our DVDs) and one that, having met him a few years ago, he was more than happy to talk about. He clearly enjoyed the experience of working with Jo and Pat - and I guess that spurred his own sparky performance.
Jo has spoken many times of those crazy days during 1976 and '77 when Gareth's madcap antics and levity kept her and Pat laughing during the long, hard slog of production. In November 1998 Gareth, Dave Rogers and myself spent a day together at the "Memorabilia" fair in Birmingham. He constantly addressed everybody as "Love" which you might think was a stereotypically actorish thing to do but was simply another facet of his self-deprecating humour. It was a fun day. Happy memories.
So our thoughts are with Gareth's wife, Mandy, and his sons. As Steed (or was it actually Patrick himself?) said at the end of Faces: "Irreplacable!".
|7th July 2004||To celebrate their release of the second (and final) DVD box-set of The New Avengers, A & E have asked me to run a competition on their behalf where you can win sets personally signed by Patrick Macnee. Click here for the Competition page.|
Fans of Laurie Johnson's music may be interested in his newly-published autobiography, Noises in the Head. The Avengers, New Avengers and Professionals are all given coverage including previously unknown production details along with all the other major projects Laurie has taken part in over his long career. The book is published by Bank House Books and should be available to order from them direct in a few weeks' time but at the moment you can obtain it from the usual places such as Amazon UK or Amazon US. (Incidentally, ignore Amazon's erroneous reference to "September 2000" as the publishing date!)
(Thanks to Bank House Books for permission to use the cover scan)
A&E in the US are to issue a thirteen-episode DVD box set of the second season of The New Avengers from 24th February. You canpre-order the set from Deep Discount. Again, though, its a "plain vanilla" release with no extras. I hope to have a packaging scan soon
|18th February 2003||In a surprise move, American distributor A&E is issuing the series on DVD. Stateside online retailer Deep Discount have lined up an exclusive deal to sell a box-set containing all thirteen episodes from the first season from 15th April. Indeed you can pre-order the set from their site right now. The disks will, of course, be encoded as Region 1 and using the NTSC format. As far as I'm aware the set contains NO extras. As to how good the picture quality will be, I'm guessing they'll be on par with the Contender disks - ie on the whole commendably good but with a few "variable" episodes. That's assuming that Canal Plus have done a decent PAL-to-NTSC transfer (remember that unlike the Di Rigg episodes, The New Avengers has not been remastered from negatives). Sorry this is all a bit vague - A&E have been puzzlingly secretive over the whole thing!?!|
|7th February 2003||The BBC are devising a new series entitled Car Junkies. In the first episode, Brian Clemens will be talking about his polarised experiences of using British Leyland and Ford in The New Avengers and The Professionals. The series is due to commence screening from 23rd February. (Many thanks to David Barrett at the BBC).
Gareth Hunt is sixty years young today!
|14th May 2002||If you're struggling to get hold of the New Avengers DVD set, MVC inform me that they've had a huge demand for them and that their warehouse is already completely out of stock! Contender will be pressing a second batch tat will hopefully hit the shops (and MVC website) by June 26th. (Thanks to John Devon and Mark Harris of MVC).|
|12th May 2002||Fans of Jo's cult sci-fi series Sapphire and Steel may like to know that a DVD box-set is to be issued on August 12th, containing the episodes that made up the first three stories. Apparently there will be "extras" too but I have no details on these at the mo. You can pre-order the set from places like good old Blackstar. (Check out my "International Issues" page if you're buying from outsde the UK)|
|30th May 2002||Contender have very kindly sent me the final design for the New Avengers DVD boxset today, as you can see here. Personally I really like it! Just a reminder that initially the set will only be available through the MVC chain. You can pre-order it (for a revised release date of 3rd June) here. Remember that the disks are PAL-encoded for Region 2 - overseas buyers may like to check out my "International Issues" page to clarify these issues so that you have the right kit to play the disks on.
MVC are also exclusively offering the first batch of Tara King DVDs, though their website has yet to offer a link for the eight-episode boxset pictured here. It will be available from 17th June. (Many thanks to Ian Atkins and John Devon)
|4th May 2002||In a surprise move, Contender is about to issue the entire 26-episode series on a 7-disk DVD set on June 10th, to be available exclusively through the MVC chain. The set will contain no extras. For some reason Contender have kept very quiet about this and MVC aren't exactly going out of their way to advertise it, either. However you can read all about it here.|
|4th November 2001||Gareth's new show, 'Night and Day', will commence transmission this Tuesday at 5pm. Although essentially a soap, ITV bosses have high hopes for the show, which is touted to combine fantasy and supernatural elements. Apparently the actors have been encouraged to ad-lib and improvise with the scripts, too. A Thursday night "omnibus" edition will contain additional scenes of a more "adult" nature (ooh-err, missus!). As if that wasn't enough, Glynis Barber (of Blake's 7, Jane and Dempsey and Makepeace fame) and Lysette Anthony are also in it!!! (Thanks to Dave Rogers)
Incidentally Gareth's Minder episode, 'The Son Also Rises', will be screened by the Granada Plus satellite channel on 13th November at 11pm.
|18th May 2001||Gareth has just commenced filming for a lead role in a new soap called Night and Day for the UK's ITV network. More info when I get it!|
|11th May 2001||News just came in a few days ago (thanks to Kim Richardson) that Gareth has been filming for the UK soap EastEnders. Rumours in the press indicate his character may be the one who shot the Phil Mitchell character. (Hope this makes sense - I actually don't watch this show!)|
|28th August 2000||The BBC have been running a series entitled 'I Love the 1970s'. This coming Saturday's instalment will concentrate on 1976 and there is planned to be a brief feature on The New Avengers.
(... And Professionals fans should watch out for the 1977 show, which will feature Martin Shaw.)
|20th May 2000||A rather belated reminder that Corgi's Gambit XJS is now available in the shops. As usual the prices vary significantly: expect to pay anything from ten to sixteen pounds!
A quick mention for last week's British Academy of Film and Televsion Awards ("BAFTA") ceremony in which Honor, Diana, Linda and Jo achieved a group "Special Award" for their work on The (New) Avengers. Pat appeared in a special introduction thanking his co-stars, while Honor and Jo stepped up to the stage (Jo also reminding the audience of Gareth Hunt's involvement) reciprocated. Short filmed interviews with Di and Linda were also included. Obviously these awards are well deserved... just a shame it's taken all these decades for them to arrive! For screen-grabs of the event, hop over to Chris Johnson's site!
|26th March 2000||Contender are set to issue Avengers episodes on DVD within the next few months - hopefully by late June. New Avengers discs will follow either late this year or early next. No further details just yet but please note that the discs will be PAL format and region coded for Region 2. Although there is much resentment about region coding, sadly it has been forced upon distributors and given that Contender is officially limited to UK sales, they are obliged to do as much as they can to prevent sales of their discs outside the UK ;-)|
|29th December 1999|
Here are the pics of the new Corgi cars. As you can see, the Range Rover is actually a dark green colour (as it should be!) and not the shade of white I had been led to believe!
Images used by kind permission of Corgi
I'm sure fans will be pleased to know that Gareth is now out of hospital and making a good recovery. Thanks to Mr Rogers for keeping me informed!
|24th December 1999||Corgi have settled on a line-up of a white Steed Range Rover and red Gambit Jaguar XJS – I'll have some piccies soon! (Thanks to Robert Hinchcliffe at Corgi).
Some disturbing news: Gareth Hunt suffered a heart attack last Sunday at his home. Thankfully he is out of intensive care and recovering. Let's trust the old chap will be back on his feet soon!
Also Pat's wife, Baba, is currently undergoing surgery after smashing her hip in a fall at their Palm Springs home.
|8th November 1999||The NEC Memorabilia Fair was a very successful one for Gareth and he certainly seemed to enjoy himself. Thanks to everyone who came up and chatted! We hope we can persuade him to come along to the next one.
The London Postcard Company used the weekend to launch (at last!) their range of New Avengers cards.
Gareth told us that he has just completed filming on a new children's series 'Harry and the Wrinklies' for ITV. Expect transmission early in the new year.
Corgi have announced that they will be issuing a white Steed Range Rover and red Gambit Jaguar XJS as part of their Corgi Classics line-up early next year. Yours truly has written the packaging notes. I'm also hoping to persuade them to issue the Rover SD1. Pics to follow soon. Thanks to Ash George and Tony Buller for info!
|17th September 1999||Gareth Hunt will be one of the guests at Memorabilia 99, to be held at the NEC in Birmingham, England on Saturday November 6th from 10am to 4pm. He'll be available to chat and sign autographs (and hopefully there'll be enough of us there pestering him to get on with his New Avengers book!) and there should be a new range of New
Avengers postcards from the London Postcard Company to collect.
The fair itself is reputed to be the biggest in Europe with an expected attendance of about 10,000. I must say I've certainly uncovered quite a few Avengers treasures there over the last few years.
If you'd like to buy a ticket (I think they are around 5GBP) you can phone the NEC's box office on +44 (0)121 767 4560.
|4th September 1999||Fan Vicky Copeland kindly informs me that Jennifer Saunders is gearing up for a sequel series to Absolutely Fabulous. With the bizarre working title of Dinks and Fizz (maybe 'Dinks' should be 'Drinks' but apparently not), the new show will see her and Jo return with Patsy now running her own bar (and, one presumes, drinking the income!).
Joanna Lumley: The Biography is due for publication next month but you can pre-order it now from Amazon here
Next up is news that the American channel Encore Mystery is rerunning The New Avengers again this from month – hopefully they've got their hands on better quality prints this time and that they will show all 26 episodes! Thanks to Robert Weinberg for info.
|15th August 1999||Contender are set to issue Avengers episodes on DVD from next year. Richard Bridgwood also says that he plans to issue the New Avengers in the digital format from 2001. Also, they are putting together their own website, from which you'll be able to order product directly.|
|2nd August 1999||So Young Park at A&E kindly advises me that the 1965 and 1966 DVD sets are now available for ordering – refer here. This from So Young:
The second half of Season 4 (including 'A Touch of Brimstone' replete with Emma in her infamous Queen of Sin costume which Diana Rigg designed herself) is finally here...
You can now pre-order AVENGERS '65 DVDs and AVENGERS '66 VIDEOS & DVDs for shipment on 10th August -- almost an entire month before retail availability!
And as if that weren't enough, for a limited time, when you order any 2 Avengers items from us online, you'll also receive your choice of either a FREE Avengers '65 T-shirt or an Avengers '66 poster not available anywhere else! (This is a rolled poster that will be shipped in a mailing tube. It is new and completely different from the poster being given away with the '67 proof-of-purchase cards).
Video sets are 3-packs for $29.95. DVD sets are 2-packs for $44.95 and include a bonus gallery of production stills and chaptering provided by Avengers fan & expert David Fakrikian. All episodes are digitally remastered, uncut, and in their original black and white splendour.
As always, feel free to send me your comments and questions. Thanks for your patience -- I know you all have been waiting for these episodes for a long time. :-) More info on next year's releases coming soon.
I am, of course, a little concerned about that last sentence – it would appear A&E are in no hurry to issue the Thorson, Blackman and/or Lumley episodes! Can we wait? NO!!!
|11th July 1999||You will now be aware that this site has moved to its own domain (www.mark-1.co.uk) along with its sister site for The Professionals. The old Demon site – which was only ever meant to be a temporary repository anyway! – will close at the end of August.
Hopefully I've transferred all the pages correctly – if you have any problems, please do let me know!
|11th April 1999||Patrick will be doing his FINAL signing of ‘The Avengers and Me’ on Saturday 1st May 1999 at 11am at the Book Expo America in the LA Downtown Convention Center – find him in the TV Bokks booth.|
|6th April 1999||A amp; E have issued their first Di Rigg monochrome episodes. See the A&E page for info.|
|19th March 1999||Following on from Di Rigg’s appearance on the BBC’s Parkinson show, Jo will also be guesting on Friday 26th March. Should be good! Many thanks to Gareth Humphreys for info!|
|13th March 1999||A & E are determined to keep hungry Avengers fans happy! Not only do their current range of videos continue to delight but they are all set to issue the episodes on DVD!! Click here for details.|
|11th March 1999||Encore’s Mystery Channel in the US is to commence a rerun of The New Avengers from 20th March. Currently I hav no further scheduling info. Many thanks to Gaynell Bates for info!|
|11th February 1999||The next two Contender New Avengers vids have been put back one month but will contain four episodes each, rather than the three originally mooted.|
|11th February 1999||Pat wil be signing videos, books and (if available) DVD’s in various Virgin musicstores along Sunset Blvd in LA on Feb 23rd. Exact details not yet confirmed.|
|13th December 1998||I understand the re-release of ‘Music from the Avengers’ (see entry for 10th November) has now been scheduled for February 1999, from Polygram. Dave Rogers informs me that it will also be issued under different title, yet to be decided.|
|6th December 1998||Melanie Condon of film production company VTR kindly advises me that Pat and Jo will be seen together again in the upcoming an episode of the series Coming Home. More info when I get it.|
|10th November 1998||You will, of course, have spotted the new “Authorised” tag! Having been keen to attain some sort of approval for the website from Laurie and Brian, both were very pleased to give it their “thumbs up”. So, with very kind assistance from Dave Rogers, here we are! What I would like to do ultimately is expand the site to also cover the original series (as I’m a huge fan of that, too!) though at the moment there is so much activity for The Professionals, it might be a while before I can find time to undertake this major task! I also have to take into account Canal Plus, who own the rights to the old series, but I don’t envisage any problems.|
|10th November 1998||Dave Rogers kindly informs me that Laurie Johnson’s 1980 LP Music from The Avengers, New Avengers and Professionals is about to be rereleased – and this time, of course, on CD. At present it’s uncertain that it will have exactly the same tracks – there may be a couple of new ones. More info when I get it.|
|17th October 1998||The new 1999 official Avengers calendar from Slow Dazzle Worldwide can be seen here – and rather excellent it looks too! Can’t see many pics of Jo Lumley, though, guys!|
|2nd October 1998||Apologies to all for the temporary closure of the site. This was brought about because I literally ran out of webspace and my ISP steadfastly refuses to allow its subscribers to buy more space. A very short-sighted practice, I’m sure you’ll agree. Hence the site is now with another ISP who offer far more webspace as standard, anyway. So, without further ado, on with the show!|
|2nd October 1998||Lots of news from A&E Video:
Season Four “old” Avengers are due for release in early 1999. As reported earlier, the vids are proving to be wildly successful for A&E, so they are now stepping up their release programme and actually issuing tapes well in advance of their original plan! Which is great news for everybody – providing your pocket can cope! <G>
Of special note is the fact that A&E are already in the advanced stages of preparing for release on DVD!!
A&E did consider colorising the earely Di Rigg stories but, in the end, decided against it.
Check my A&E Video page for the latest details.
|2nd October 1998||At last month’s annual Cult TV convention here in England, Brian Clemens was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award. Well done Mr C! In previous years both he and Di Rigg have won other awards. Thanks to Dave Rogers for info!|
|2nd October 1998||Well it looks like Bravo Canada are now actually showing full-length episodes, after a rather shaky start! But the episodes are being run in a rather peculiar order, though Bravo seem to be “partnering” old and New episodes that have a similar theme. Thanks again to Kevin McCorry!|
|7th September 1998||Canada’s Bravo satellite station is currently running episodes from both the “old” and New Avengers. Unfortunately it appears as though they are each being trimmed by a couple of minutes. Thanks to Kevin McCorry for info!|
|3rd August 1998||Due for imminent release in the UK is a set of New Avengers videos from Contender Video. I’ve created a new page for them here
In the meantime, A&E’s old Avengers are selling well and there is a lot of excited discussion in the Avengers newsgroup about how superb the quality of these tapes is! This bodes well for evetual stateside releases of The New Avengers. Click here to see the latest release schedule.
|3rd July 1998||A&E have asked me to relay the following information concerning their Avengers videos. Please note that due to licensing agreements, these are only available for delivery to US and Canadian destinations :-((
Many thanks again to So Young Park for the update!
|18th June 1998||An addendum to the entry below – the videos will be available to order online from July 30th. Also A & E fully appreciate the popularity of the Di Rigg monochrome episodes and, assuming these initial colour episodes sell in enough quantities, plan to start issuing b&w sets next year.
As to The New Avengers, it seems A&E also have the video rights to these and are considering their merit.
As well as videos, A & E will [quote] “also have special ongoing Web-exclusive promotions that will include free giveaways and prizes of various kinds.” No exact details yet but I’m hoping this will involve T-shirts, mugs, etc.
Many thanks again to So Young Park for the update!
|23rd May 1998||I can hardly believe it’s been nearly one year since I last updated this page!! Anyway, just a quick note for US-based fans of the original Avengers to inform you that Arts & Entertainment Home Video have secured the video rights from the owners of the series, Canal Plus, and will be launching tapes of Diana’s colour season in August.
Due for release from July 28th 1998 (subject to confirmation) will be two six-episode sets:
Set One will contain: ‘From Venus with Love’, ‘The Fear Merchants, ‘Escape in Time’, ‘The Bird Who Knew Too Much’, ‘The See-Through Man’ and ‘The Winged Avenger’.
Set Two will contain: ‘The Living Dead, ‘The Hidden Tiger’, ‘The Correct Way to Kill’, ‘Never, Never Say Die’, ‘Epic and ‘The Superlative Seven’.
Further tapes will follow in September/October.
Many thanks to So Young Park at A & E and Dave Rogers for info!
|18th June 1997||Well apologies for not keeping this page as up-to-date as possible. Anyway, with regards the the new Avengers book, I must say it is an excellent read! As ever Pat has been very open and honest about his feelings toward the show (and his partners!) and I was very glad to see some excellent coverage of the New Avengers. The book also includes a great selection of photos – many of which I haven’t seen before. Highly recommended! I had the great pleasure of briefly meeting Pat and Dave Rogers in their rather cramped little corner of Waterstones in Manchester. I think they got a rather better reception in London!|
|29th April 1997||Many of you are aware that an Avengers book by Pat Macnee and Dave Rogers has been in the works for some time now. I have just received word from Ruth Cole at Titan Publishing that ‘The Avengers and Me’ will be launched on May 22nd 1997 in large-format paperback. The main purpose of the book is to recount Pat’s fond memories of playing John Steed, from the early Ian Hendry stories of 1960 right through to The New Avengers in 1977. The book will also include dozens of photographs (both colour and b/w), many of which are from Pat’s private collection and have never before been published.
The cost of the book will be 15UKP and although to be available in many bookshops, it can also be ordered directly from Titan on 01536 763631 (or +44 1536 763631 from outside the UK, though be aware that postal costs will obviously be higher) using Visa, AmEx or Mastercard.
To tie in with the launch, Pat will be in the UK for much of May and is expected to give several newspaper, radio and television interviews, as follows:
The UK national The Daily Mail will also be serialising his story in the week before these appearances.
UK fans will also be delighted to know that Pat and Dave have got three book-signing sessions lined up. These will be as follows:
I will be attending the Manchester signing. See you there!
For readers in the USA, Ruth informs me that there will be an American edition eventually but a release date has yet to be decided. However, in the meantime, the UK edition should be available from certain US outlets, though in limited quanitities.
Many thanks to Ruth and all at Titan!
E-Mail to Dave.
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