Actor & Model
does work occasionally as an actor and model, appearing
in films, TV adverts and plays.
In one film and many commercials he has taken the part
of Clark Gable. This came about after a shaving mistake:
in the early days of the Fab Poos he had a full moustache
and one day trimmed it a little too much. He recalls
– “I liked the look of the skinny, spiv-like moustache,
a mousedirt on my top lip. And it fitted the style of
the band. I didn’t notice the resemblance to Clark Gable,
and still don’t quite see it, but everybody else thought
it looked great”
Theatre Shows (all musicals):
1983 “Destry Rides Again”
at the Donmar Warehouse in London’s West End. Starring:
Alfred Molina and Jill Gasgoine.
BV made his West End debut playing a character called
the “Dude” in a musical version of
“Destry Rides Again” - the 1939 film
with songs but, alas, not “See What the Boys
in the Backroom Will Have”. In the show the
“Dude” was a card sharp, cool hired
gun (one of the baddies) and the violinist for Frenchie’s
saloon band in the town of Bottleneck. Type-casting?
Alan Dunn, the accordionist and vocalist
from the Electric Bluebirds, was also
in the cast as well as Julian Littman
and the three of them helped make the musical parts
of this musical more musical. Other cast members included
Danny John-Jules (“Cat”
from Red Dwarf) and George
Irving (Holby City, Dangerfield
and The Tudors).
1987 “C.H.A.P.S.” at the Theatre Royal, Stratford
(East) with the Hank Wangford Band.
A show which, apart from pantomimes, still holds the
house record. The previous record was held by “Oh!
What a Lovely War”
Bobby was accidentally “shot” during the show and of
his totally over the top death scene, he remarked -”This
wasn’t the first time I’d died on stage”.
The song “No Smoke Without Fire” was
written by Bobby and Hank for the musical but failed
to make the soundtrack album. See
1993 “Who killed St Valentine”
An Emergency Exit Arts production set and performed
on a Thames pleasure cruiser on the river. Bobby sang
and led the band. See
1999 “RKO281” (U.S.
title; “The Battle over Citizen Kane”).
Starring: Liev Schreiber; John Malkovitch; Melanie
Griffiths, and James Cromwell.
Directed by; Benjamin Ross. Bobby Played
The film is about the making of “Citizen Kane”,
directed by and staring Orson Wells,
and the meaning of “Rosebud” (watch the film and use
your imagination). Bobby even takes part in a scene
with the 4 stars around a banqueting table that is supposedly
in 1930s San Simian, Randolf Hurst’s
Californian mansion, but was actually filmed in the
Guildhall in the City of London – a much classier venue.
2001 “Bright Young Things”
Directed by Stephen Fry. Bobby played
a singer in a café singing “A Nightingale Sang
in Berkley Square”.
There is a sneaking suspicion that BV was only cast
in the rôle because his sister, Anne Dudley,
was responsible for the music in the film.
2004 “Alfie” Starring:
Jude Law. Directed by: Charles
Shyer. Again Bobby played a singer, this time
in a nightclub on New Year’s Eve.
A truly dreadful film.
There are too many to mention them all. But Bobby has
had Atlanta “burnt” behind him twice alla “Gone
with The Wind”: once in Spain for an advertisement
for cameras and once in Germany. A very successful one
was for Fresh and Low (skimmed milk)
in Scotland and the North of England. Click
here to view
He can be seen miming cello, and gently leering, in
the 2007 Marks & Spencer Christmas TV commercial.
here to view
One of Bobby’s favourite reminiscences is a fabulous
moment during the casting of a TV ad for Colgate
Toothpaste. He had already been cast and was
asked if he would help in choosing the young woman he
was to kiss during the commercial. About 11 o’clock
one morning he arrived at a casting-suite in Soho and
about a dozen of the most beautiful of London’s young
actresses and models were waiting, including the likes
of Sarah Stockbridge, who had appeared
with him in the Fresh and Low commercial.
In a room, darkened and made to look like a cinema,
with the director and producers looking on, the young
ladies were bought in one by one and asked to kiss Bobby;
that was the only instruction. None of them were chosen
for the ad, perhaps the director was just having fun
– Bobby certainly was.
One amusing point worth mentioning is that in many
of the commercials Bobby is seen kissing a young lady,
often taking the part of Scarlet O’Hara. On more than
one occasion, his wife, who works in post-production
in Soho, has been confronted by the image in an edit
suite…. We can only imagine what a strange situation
this creates at home!