Rightly revered for his sonorous ‘Tomorrow’s New Yesterday’ radio voice, on screen Dyall started out during wartime playing stock Nazis in Colonel Blimp, The Silver Fleet and so forth. Demob redemption came via various official characters and a bit of friendly advice to Trevor Howard in Brief Encounter, before The Night Comes too Soon, exorcising ghosts from Anne Howard’s house under the double-take name of Dr George Clinton. Spookiness kept going via a Man in Black film (with Sid James to the fore), Gothic oddity Corridor of Mirrors (With Christopher Lee at the back), and a hypnotic turn as Dr Morelle (with Hugh Griffith opening and closing doors).
FINEST HOUR: Ooh, what to pick? The voice of God in Bedazzled? The Wrong Box, The werewolf break in the beast Must Die? Delivering ‘ambassador-class lunches’ to Britannia Hospital and breaking into Auld Lang Syne for no reason at all? Nah, it has to be his multi-role amazement as part of the ragged rep company mugging their way through Spike Milligan’s immortally unfathomable The Great MacGonagall. An African message runner, a dandy and Alfred Lord Tennyson all in 90 minutes? Beat that!