RE: The Music Adviser's Tale

Forum Forums General Discussions The Music Adviser's Tale RE: The Music Adviser's Tale


Yes please, all interesting

I did attempt to interest some
cast members in this list years ago, only Mike Billington actually responded,
which was a shame. I think an awful lot of the background to the Onedin Line
could have been recorded here.

I was also going to move the list
to the more used forum format, which is easier to read than a message list
like this, but activity declined and I think the opportunity was missed.

I was always fascinated by a
radio interview Cyril Abraham once gave where he talked about the story being
formed right up to the (then) present days (the late '70s).

Nobody else I have come across
seems to have heard of it.



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—– Original Message —–
Sent: Thursday, April 09, 2015 3:49
Subject: [shiponedingroup] The Music
Adviser's Tale

A couple of kind people wrote
to ask me how I got involved in The Onedin Line; I thought I might share it
with everyone, as it maybe gives some idea of the fairly random way things
worked in television in those days (not that I think it has changed much).
More crudely put, how did I get the job?
The answer is by a sort of
anti-nepotism. My predecessor in the job was Grant Hossack, whose first love
was the theatre, and he simply wanted to go back there – so there was a
vacancy. My (first) wife's cousin was an actress called April Walker, probably
best known to history as Jon Pertwee's unfortunate mistress and an occasional
face on Benny Hill and Fawlty Towers. However, at one stage April was the wife
of Anthony Isaac, the first Music Adviser on Onedin. She and Tony went through
a fairly bad divorce in 1977. Anyway, I met Tony Isaac at some function or
other; my fairly distant relationship with his first wife was no sort of
advantage, and it was a fairly frosty conversation. When Grant Hossack left,
the first thing the producer did was offer it back to Tony Isaac, who
accepted. However, he had no sooner done this than he was offered a contract
writing the full score for a new show that I had better not name. There was a
lot of money involved, so he accepted and phoned Geraint Morris back to return
the Onedin contract. Geraint took this very badly, but somewhere during the
blazing row that followed Geraint asked Tony if he could think of anyone else
to do it – and for some reason that I will never understand, Tony named me. A
couple of phone calls and an interview later, and I was in. That was it.
The awful footnote to all this
is that Tony's new show was cancelled weeks before production (sound
familiar?) just as the new Onedin started, leaving him high and dry. He had
just bought a new house on the strength of the new contract and cleared his
calendar for nearly half a year. Suddenly left with a huge mortgage that he
couldn't pay and a mountain of bills that should have been taken care of by
the new show, Tony hanged himself.
When I've a minute, I'll share
the sad story of the death of Gerald (Gerry) Blake, which shattered all of us
who knew and loved him.
Thank you all for your
Bill SM