Upstairs, Downstairs
Out of costume
After UpDown 3

After Upstairs, Downstairs, some of the actors took on advertising jobs. Jenny Tomasin appeared to plug Goblin vacuum cleaners... (Click picture for a larger version.)

...Gordon Jackson appeared on TV commercials for Fine Fare, a chain of supermarkets later absorbed by Somerfield/Gateway...

...John Alderton and Pauline Collins flogged Maxwell House coffee....

...and Jean Marsh – still in her maid's costume – peddled The Sun newspaper.

After Upstairs, Downstairs, Christopher Beeny was chiefly known for sitcoms like The Rag Trade, Last Of The Summer Wine and In Loving Memory. However, he also popped up on children's song-and-dance show Playaway (pictured with Floella Benjamin and Brian Cant). Other well-known (or soon-to-be well-known) guest faces appearing on Playaway included Anita ("Eastenders") Dobson, Nerys ("Liver Birds") Hughes, Julie ("Rock Follies") Covington, Tony ("Black Adder") Robinson and, most famously, Jeremy ("Brideshead Revisited") Irons.

The Hammer studios must have had a fan of Upstairs, Downstairs as a casting director in the early 1980s, as the pair of TV horror anthologies – Hammer House Of Horror (1980) and Hammer House Of Mystery And Suspense (1984/6) – manage to squeeze in five starring appearances from ex-members of the UpDown cast:

Simon Williams – The Late Nancy Irving (also pictured, Cristina Raines).
Hannah Gordon – Tennis Court (also pictured, Peter Graves).
George Innes – The Thirteenth Reunion (also pictured, Norman Bird).
Gareth Hunt – And The Wall Came Tumbling Down (also pictured, Barbi Benton).
David Langton – Last Video And Testament (also pictured, Deborah Raffin).

My favourite sequence (unfortunately too murky to grab here) is from Last Video And Testament which features David Langton as the aging owner of an electronics firm who takes a high-tech revenge on his scheming wife. The episode begins and ends with Langton, in full evening dress, literally dancing on her grave, to the accompaniment of a boom box carried by his chauffeur!

Gordon Jackson’s career continued briskly after Upstairs, Downstairs. Apart from the brain-dead The Professionals, he also starred as solicitor Noel Strachen in the excellent 1981 Australian mini-series A Town Like Alice. In the UK, the series drew audiences of more than 16 million.

In early 1982, Jacqueline Tong appeared in ITV's long-running soap Coronation Street. She appeared as Jackie Moffatt, neighbour to Gail Tilsley (played then, as now, by Helen Worth). Gail's husband Brian was working abroad in Qatar and he failed to return home during some leave, preferring to spend the time with his workmates. Jackie insisted on cheering up Gail by treating her to girls' nights out, much to the chagrin of Gail's mother-in-law, Ivy. Click on the picture for a larger version.

Put Down The Duckie!

Move up to previous entryMove down to next entry