Even the staunchest class warrior must feel that the old school patrician elite can’t have been all bad if there was a Richard Vernon or two among their ranks. Those soothing, colonely, ready-rubbed tones imparted mellow wisdom in many fine films, calmly assuring us that we really had never had it so good. Outside the military and civil service, men of science were another string to the Vernon bow, especially the reluctant stooge of Inspector Dreyfuss in the blackboard-scraping The Pink Panther Strikes Again.
FINEST HOUR: Idly briefing James Bond on the nefarious activities of Goldfinger. ‘Have a little more of this rather disappointing brandy!’