by Darren Senior
The Go Karters
David Hutcheson b Craigmore, Isle of Bute, Scotland 14/6/1905 d London 18/2/1976
David was a character actor for over forty years, he made his initial screen debut in 1930. He appeared in over seventy film and television productions, most of his film appearances occurring in the forties and fifties. From the sixties onwards he generally made guest appearances on such shows as The Revenue Men (1967), Doctor At Large (1971) and Jason King (1972). In addition to his television and film work David was a regular in theatre and often appearing in the West End in London.
Jimmy Gardner (Edward Charles James Gardner) b Newmarket, 24/8/1924 d London 3/5/2010
The son of Teddy Gardner a jockey, during the war Jimmy was awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal as he served as a gunner with No 10 Squadron and completed thirty sorties.
Later Jimmy was playwright John Osborne’s personal driver. He trained for acting at The Central School of Speech and Drama and his first work in the film industry as a clapper boy at Gainsborough Studios.
Although he made his screen debut in 1954, it was not until the early sixties that he appeared regularly in films and television and he was to go to appear over one hundred times. He has made notable contributions to The Saint (1964),Man In A Suitcase (1967), Coronation Street (1978), EastEnders (1996) and in 2004 he played the bus driver in Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban
Robin Askwith b Southport 12/10/1950
As a boy Robin overcame polio, he attended Merchants Taylor School at Rickmansworth, he was expelled after jokingly trying to rob a post office. Whilst at school Robin learned to play the drums and appeared in several school productions. He later took a place at Bristol University, to study English and drama. He first appeared on television in a margarine advert. Robin’s film career began in 1968 starring in Otley playing one of the children. His first proper acting role was in the film If made the same year starring a young Malcolm McDowell, a film that has attained cult status for its attack on the upper class society and the films violent ending.
Other work followed and in 1969 he appeared in an episode of Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased). In 1970 he appeared in the children’s programme Here Come The Double Deckers!, other guest appearances around this time included, Father Dear Father (1971), The Fenn Street Gang (1971) and Bless This House (1972). In 1973 he appeared in his only Carry On film Girls as a photographer called Larry Prodworthy and in the film photographs Margaret Nolan topless on Brighton (Fircombe in the film) beach.
In 1974 when he landed the role of Timothy Lea in The Confession Film series he is best remembered for his part as Timmothy Lea. Robin was not the first choice as Richard Beckinsale of Rising Damp fame, Richard O’Sullivan (Man About The House) and Dennis Waterman (Minder) has already turned the role down. He made four of these comedy sex romp’s called Window Cleaner (1974), Pop Performer (1975), Driving Instructor (1976) and Holiday Camp (1977). In each film he co-starred with Anthony Booth who is famous for playing Alf Garnett’s (Warren Mitchell) son in law in In Sickness And In Health. Robin also starred with his long time girlfriend actress Linda Hayden (1953- ) in two of the confession films. As a result of these films Robin made one single called Confession which reached number 39 in the charts in 1977 and he even sang this song on the Marc Bolan Show.
These films have made him a cult figure, though long term it did not do his career any good as he became typecasted with this form of comedy. He appeared in other bawdy sex comedies that were less successful such as Queen Kong (1976), Stand Up, Virgin Soldiers (1977) and Let’s Get Laid (1982). His later works include Dave Deacon in 13 episodes of Bottle Boys (1984-85) and in 2007 he even appeared in one episode of Coronation Street. Most of Robin’s later work has been on stage and includes numerous comedies, which include a version of the confessions film called The Further Confessions Of A Window Cleaner, he has also performed in a number of pantomimes. In 1999 he wrote an entertaining biography called The Confessions Of Robin Askwith. For a number of years Robin has lived on the island of Gozo in Malta. Robin has been married twice firstly to actress Leonie Mellinger (1959-) and latterly to Mary Wilson.