Blog posts of '2016' 'February'


Jon Pertwee was such an interesting chap that most of us know as the Third Doctor Who and indeed, for those of a certain age, myself included, he is considered the best of the Doctors with the exception of Bill Hartnell.   But before the fame that came from running round with Jo Grant and then Sarah-Jane, he had a very interesting life indeed.

Did you know that he had been a crew member aboard HMS Hood  but was transferred off the ship for officer training shortly before her fateful voyage when she was sunk by a direct hit from the German battleship Bismack.  Following completion of officer traning, he worked alongside Ian Fleming for the Naval Intelligence Division in training commandos in escape and evasion techniques.

After the war, he took up a career in radio broadcasting and was soon feted for his versatile and distinctive voice which went on to land him many stage and television parts, particularly in childrens programmes.  Somehow, amidst all this he even found time to marry Rose from Upstairs Downstairs but I suppose with him gadding off to spout about Yorrick et al and with her always having to sort M'lord out, they divorced after five years.

The video shown below dating from 1964, screens a most wonderful Mullard product placement film in which the talents of Jon are showcased as a radio struck lothario with a penchant for jitterbug dancing alongside his Jaguar XK150 in which his dance partner curiously looks like a young version of my Mother in Law, hey, just a minute....... Mrs. Mullard Magic was born in 1964..... what a coincidence(!).  And now I think I know where the inspiration for the Sea Devils came from - tee hee!!



Take a look at this wondefully howl-worthy cinema advert, made by Mullard for the Australian market and screened during 1937. I am not sure which part I like the best, could it be the tramp like persona at the start of the film which reminds me of how I look when I get up, rush to the iMAc to see what orders have been placed, there again could it be the camp persona right at the end of the film.    All of these well observed and beautifully acted tableaus feature Jack Davey who, although a Kiwi, rose to become Australia's greatest radio personality.   He was quite the spendthrift playboy as was demonstrated when he got his first break as a crooner at a radio station.  On the strength of the job offer, he immediately went out and bought three suits and a sports car.

Fast cars were a a passion for Jack throughout his life and when the first Redex Reliability Around Australia Rally was announced, he was one of the first to enter. With co-driver Lou Moss, he drove a Ford Customilne on the marathon in 1953. But his health was already beginning to deteriorate, and doctors were called after he collapsed with heart problems, at the home of friends later that year.  Thankfully, herecovered enough to take part in the second Redex Trial in 1954. However that proved too much for him, and shortly after returning to Sydney he suffered a second collapse, and was admitted to St Luke's Hospital. Doctors told him he had to ease his workload, but even while he was in hospital he continued to write his newspaper column and do radio shows. His doctors succeeded in banning him from the 1955 Redex trial. 

Davey's health soon began to suffer again and his agent called in the doctors. Their advice was the same as it had always been – a reduced workload and rest, something Jack wouldn't entertain.  In mid-1959, X-rays revealed a small cancer in his right lung, but Davey went on with his work, including a trip to the United States to look at advances in television. Further tests, several weeks later, revealed the cancer had grown, and Davey was moved to hospital.

Davey died at the Darlinghurst St Vincent's Hospital on 14 October 1959 at the age of 52, the same day as another larger-than-life (allegedly in more ways than one!!!)  Australian character Errol Flynn.