Walt Disney’s Story of Robin Hood and his Merrie Men had its Royal Premier in March of that year and Hayter’s Friar Tuck had ‘almost stolen the show.’ Another actor appearing in Pickwick would be next to put on the Franciscan habit of Robin’s faithful Friar, and go on to make 89 episodes of the classic television series, The Adventures of Robin Hood - Alexander Gauge (1914-1960) (bottom row-second from the left). Gauge played the character Tupman in Pickwick and had been a celebrated Shakespearean actor, but will always be remembered for his role as Friar Tuck, alongside Richard Greene as Robin Hood in Hannah Weinstein’s ground-breaking television production for Lew Grade’s newly formed ITC Company.
The Pickwick Papers was filmed at Nettlefold Studios, Walton-on-Thames in Surrey, where from 1955 to 1960, a hundred and forty-three half hour, black and white episodes of the hugely successful The Adventures of Robin Hood were recorded for the small screen. James Hayer would later appear as Tom the miller in two of the stories, following in the footsteps of two other stars from Disney’s Story of Robin Hood-Hal Osmond who played four separate characters and Patrick Barr, who re-created his role as King Richard the Lionheart.
(To read more about James Hayter and Patrick Barr, please click on their 'Labels' in the right-hand panel or below).