Difficult to imagine Sir Michael leaping about on a chat show sofa at the height of his fame, but then in those days there wasn’t such a boringly tight definition of how stars should be. Never really loved by the public, he still got their respect, by that old actor’s trick: being any good. And now you know the rest of the story. The Stars Look Down, The Lady Vanishes, The Dambusters, The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner among his famous roles; The Night My Number Came Up, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and The Hill among our favourites.
FINEST HOUR: Let’s unashamedly plump for sinister ventriloquist Maxwell Frere in the final, bed-moistening segment of Dead of Night. No-one who’s seen that final close-up of him in the cell will dispute that choice, we’re sure.