The Avengers 50th anniversary celebration

Leonard White, original Avengers producer, interviewed on stage
Leonard White, original Avengers producer, interviewed on stage

I’m just back from a weekend in glorious Chichester, where the town’s University was celebrating the 50 anniversary of one of my favourite TV shows, The Avengers.

Around 350 of us sat in the audience while over 40 members of the cast and crew of the 1960s series discussed the creation and development of one of the most unusual series to come out of the studios of ABC television.

Highlights included an appearance by Avengers stuntman and director, Ray Austin, who worked on the show before making it big in Hollywood, and Avengers girl, Linda Thorson, who played Tara King in the programme’s final years.

Ms Thorson was a revelation, full of energy and love for the show, and her double act with her good friend, and celebrity Avengers fan, Paul O’Grady, was a delight to witness.

Though I was off duty for the weekend, there as a fan rather than press, I couldn’t resist taking a few photos, tweeting from the audience and catching up with one of the organisers, Dr Adam Locks, for a short audioboo.

The Avengers celebration was one of the finest TV-related events I’ve had the pleasure of attending, a fitting tribute to the many people who worked to bring such an iconic series to our screens.

Sadly, as O’Grady mentioned a few times, ITV, the original home of the series, now wants nothing to do with the programme and won’t stump up the cash, or the air time, to transmit their own tribute. A real shame, and another reason why this weekend was so important, as I tweeted last night:

For more on the event, head over to the official blog or see Frank Collins’ live blog (well, it was live over the weekend). There’s also this short clip from BBC News:

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