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Up the Elephant and Round the Castle

“I’M SURE they must be very nice people, the Navajos…” Bumsqueaking sitcom starring JIM DAVIDSON as Jim London, a prejudiced Cockney waster of limited intelligence. Wonder how many others they approached? Remarkably talented supporting cast opted into it, including JOHN “OUT OF OUR TOY DEPARTMENT” BARDON as London’s drifting dad, SUE “I HAVE MISTER PERRIN FOR YOU” NICHOLLS as undersexed neighbour Wanda Pickles and NICHOLAS DAY as Arnold Moggs, an anally-retentive neighbour with a council seat and a nasal issue. London inherits his home on Railway Terrace with a never-seen squatter perched above, and while it didn’t do Davidson a lot of real good, the quality of the cast generally kept it from being wholly unwatchable. End credits on untuned joanna were accompanied by Davidson smiling for the camera in Elephant & Castle, and for some reason the studio audience clapped and cheered with hysteria not heard on more palatable ITV standards of the time. Mysteriously popular, the only credit you could give Davidson was that he wasn’t a bad actor, even if you doubted his worth elsewhere. Spawned the stately, well-heeled spin-off HOME JAMES, which was an admirable exercise in how to learn from your mistakes.

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. David Bally

    August 26, 2014 at 9:34 am

    Watched something a while ago on Brits in Hollywood, which revealed that Star Trek. TNG’s cat suit wearing and silken voiced Councillor Troy, (Marina Sirtis) is a real cockney, speaks like Pauline Quirke, and she once had a small part in Round The. Elephant.

    Didn’t she do well then!

  2. Tom Ronson

    March 31, 2022 at 5:03 pm

    Davidson was about as popular with the Thames crew as a turd in a punch bowl, and in one episode, he had to have a scuffle with a young actor playing a nameless mugger. The crew had a whip round and offered to give the young actor the lot if he ‘accidentally’ forgot to pull his punch and thumped Davidson for real – which he did. As Davidson nursed his throbbing chin, he thundered ‘I’ll see to it that you never fucking work again!’

    Needless to say, Davidson was as good as his word, and the young actor duly slipped into total obscurity. I mean, who’s heard of David Thewlis these days?

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