Leonard Swindley - Great Character - Worthy of Dickens, Shakespeare, Chaucer and Many Others
This is the first comedy series that established Arthur Lowe in a leading role as a very good character actor, with a wonderful flare for humour.
The character of Leonard Swindley was first seen as one of the regulars on the famous soap opera "Coronation Street", and "if you'd pardon the expression" was one of his catchphrases.
In "Coronation Street" Leonard Swindley worked with Miss Emily Nugent (played by Eileen Derbyshire) in the Streets own outlet for Gamma Garments. I remember him saying things like: "Mr. Papadopulos won't like that!" and "What is Mr. Papadopulos going to say?".
(The character of Mr. Papadopulos was never seen in "Coronation Street").
"Pardon the Expression" was basically about Mr. Leonard Swindley taken on a management position at "Dobson and Hawks", and the difficulties he had with comic union disputes and other such humourous antics with the staff, which mostly consisted of women.
I remember one of the characters kept saying: "It was not like this in Sauchiehall Street". The character, Miss Sinclair, was the boss's secretary and was Scottish, and she was talking about where she worked before in Glasgow. I think the character was played by Joy Stewart, a reliable character actress of many television productions.
Another character was Wally Hunt, Swindley's boss, who was played by Robert Dorning.
There is also a connection with the singer and actress, Betty Driver who played Mr. Swindley's "right hand woman", Mrs. Edgeley. She later went on to play Betty Williams (nee Turpin), the barmaid at the Rovers Return, in Leonard Swindley's old stomping ground, "Coronation Street".
The character of Leonard Swindley also appeared in the shows spin off, "Turn Out The Lights", where Arthur Lowe and Robert Dorning, both played comic "ghost hunters".
Leonard Swindley was a great English character, worthy of Dickens, Shakespeare, Chaucer and many other literary geniuses. Arthur Lowe could breathe life into any part that he played. Even the small part he played as a reporter who tried to interview Dennis Price at the end of "Kind Hearts and Coronets" will always be remembered.
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