Lizzie’s Pictures, four-part drama series shot in Studio A and on location in Birmingham, Warwickshire and London. Directed by Nick Renton.
Transmitted in 1987. Critically well-received but unfortunately got lost as it was aired alongside ‘Porterhouse Blue’ which was very popular. Starred Lisa Harrow, Robert Stephens, Sheila Ruskin, Philip Jackson and Pam Ferris amongst others. Crew included myself on lighting, Sally Engelbach (designer), Al Barnett (costume), Gill Hughes (make-up), Dave Doogood (camera supervisor), Dave Baumber (sound) and Ivor Williams (VT editor).
It wasn’t a hosted show it originated in Brum – I was the AFM. My main recollection is having to keep Sir Robert Stephens out of the nearest pub. Gareth Williams and I had an interesting time in London looking after him – including an unusual night in Primrose Hill at his flat and later his local. Sadly the drink did for him despite a liver and lung transplant. A legend and probably the greatest actor of his generation.
I was the Studio PA (1986-7) on Lizzie’s Pictures and Jane Barton was the PA on Location. I was summoned out to Location sometimes and recall Director, Nick Renton, asking me to go “retrieve” leading English Actor Sir Robert Stephens (div. 1974 from Dame Maggie Smith) from the nearby Pub. Sir Robert however simply insisted I join him for a drink and I had no choice but to sit back and enjoy his glorious stories and reminiscences! I also recall Robert gazing deeply into my eyes during an outside rehearsal and informing me that I had the same colour eyes as him – hazel (until that moment I had simply thought of them as brown). Sir Robert went on to marry Patricia Quinn (Lady Stephens) in 1995 whom I met once with him. I remember him fondly and with respect, and greatly admired his work. I especially think of him when I see his two actor sons, Toby Stephens and Chris Larkin on screen. Sir Robert Stephens was indeed one of the most respected actors of his generation and was at one time regarded as the natural successor to Sir Laurence Olivier.