There aren’t that many cads on television anymore. By way of louche-sized salute to the finest blackguards ever to parade across the small screen, the Digi-Creamguide mailout has idled away the last few weeks amassing a roster of definitive telly rogues. Chief, and indeed sole, qualification was to have an ability to wear a hat at rakish angle while letting a smile play suggestively around your lips.
Here’s the final list. Thanks to Nigel Fishwick, Steve Norgate, David Pascoe and TJ Worthington – Creamguide readers all – for suggestions. In no particular order:
1) The Charmer
aka Nigel Havers, aka any character played by Nigel Havers in anything he’s ever done.
2) The Bounder
as above, substituting Peter Bowles for Nigel Havers.
3) Paul Ryman
Richard Briers’ neighbour in EVER DECREASING CIRCLES. Expert at almost everything. Knew “a friend” who could fix/rustle up/smooth over everything else. Played to perfection by Peter Egan, who’d pretty much qualify as a cad incarnate were it not for his decidedly humbling househusband turn in JOINT ACCOUNT.
4) Major Giles Bradshaw
Resident cad in THREE UP, TWO DOWN, he tried to court Angela Thorne’s Daphne, much to the chagrin of Michael Elphick’s Sam. Defeated Sam in a game of poker in order to stop him stuffing a bear for his taxidermy hobby. Could well have asked Daphne to marry him, before being eventually exposed as a fraudster or bigamist, or possibly even both. Neil Stacy’s performance was basically his DUTY FREE schtick but swapping the anti-German paranoia for ex-military contempt.
5) Henry Newhouse
Titular gentleman gallivanter of CASANOVA ’73.
6) Hercules Grytype-Thynne
As in THE TELEGOONS.
7) Baron Bartram
He was up against Mr Benn in a balloon race.
8) Far too many weekly guest characters in JEEVES AND WOOSTER
Hildebrand ‘Tuppy’ Glossop, Cyril ‘Barmy’ Fotheringay-Phipps, Alexander ‘Oofy’ Prosser, Augustus ‘Gussie’ Fink-Nottle…all had a proclivity for acts of flagrant foppishness, not to mention regenerating between series, usually into Martin Clunes.
9) The Master
Some clarification is needed here. The First Master (Jon P’twee era) was most definitely a cad, but not the Second Master (Peter Davidson onwards), who was something of a dopey twat. The Third Master, who looks like being Derek Jacobi, will definitely be a cad, unlike the Fourth Master, who The Sun thinks is going to be John Simm, and who will therefore be a wide boy with a big gob. Should get on fine with Mr Tennant, then.
10) Miles from THIS LIFE
Placed an advert in Time Out’s Talking Hearts Service which included the line “Do you like dining by candlelight and taking every moment as it comes?” Case closed.