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Wednesday 18 July 2012

Prismatic Reflection

So What Has The Prisoner Ever Done For Me? {Or What I Have Done For The Prisoner!}Part One

    Well there was a time way back when ‘the Prisoner’ held my sanity together, too much drinking, too much gambling but that is when I was single, a wasted youth they call it. Me and the prisoner go way back, way back to October 5th 1967 in fact. Oh he never knew me, and I had only met him for the first time, but I was held captive from that moment on, like No.6 a prisoner of the village!

    It was back in November 1986 when I bought the first two Channel 5 videos of the prisoner oh how I enjoyed watching those first four episodes whenever I wanted to, and could not wait to collect the rest of the prisoner series as they were issued in the coming months.

    Strangely on the back of the said videos was the postal address for Six of One the Prisoner Appreciation Society, I wrote off for information straight away and joined the said society in December 1986, and was a proud member for almost 15 years. writing letters and articles for the society magazines "Number Six" and "In The Village," not to mention numerous Local Group newsletters. Local Groups were affiliated to Six of One and during the 1980's covered most of the country. There were few big towns and cities which did not have a Six of One Local Group, such was the size of the network, the Leicester group being just one part of that network.

    I began to attend Prisoner conventions at Portmeirion, my first being in 1989, in the convention of 1990 I took my first roles in re-enactments of scenes taken from the Prisoner, as No.6 and No.113, the reporter during the election parade. But it was not until 1994 when I took the real big parts in re-enactments, not only that but my wife, by this time, Morag and I were actually organising re-enactments. With myself as No.6 in both the election parade and human chess match , and Morag No.8 the white Queen. We brought new and exciting re-enactments to Prisoner conventions, action, fighting and fencing, nothing had been seen of their like before.

    But today Six of One the Prisoner Appreciation Society is not as it once was, nor enjoys the Prisoner conventions it once enjoyed at Portmeirion. Gone are those hot heady summer convention days, to be replaced by the cold, often wet, convention days of March. It would seem that Six of One has drunk the last of the summer wine, days which my wife and I sometimes look back upon still with a sense of enjoyment and achievement.

    Then there were the external achievements, outside Six of One I mean. Performances as the prisoner-No.6, because I had grown a reputation for being a look-a-like for Patrick McGoohan himself. In fact when performing re-enactments at Portmeirion people actually thought I was Patrick McGoohan! The election parade of 1994 with myself as No.6 was the largest ever, with 200 and more people wanting to get involved in the parade, and that included members of the general public, day visitors to Portmeiron who had nothing to do with the convention at all! today those members of the general public who go on a day visit to Portmeirion are "pressganged" into taking part in both the chessmatch and election parade. Not only that but these days the roles of No's 6 and 2 are played by females, which turns re-enactments into nothing more than representations!

Bloody hell! There I was writing this blog when it went and happened... the elctricity went off and with it the blog I was writing, only for a few seconds but it was enough! Just as well I had posted part of what I had written, otherwise it would all have gone... oh well where was I now?

    Other achievements I have known, well appearing with Australian singer Carmel Morris was certainly one of them, although back in May of 2000 I had appeared with Ed Ball and The Times as look-a-like for Patrick McGoohan during the song "I helped Patrick McGoohan escape" at both the Cavern Club in Liverpool and the 100 Club, London’s foremost Jazz club. But not only did I appear in one Carmel Morris pop video, but three ‘Another Number,’ ‘I'll BCNU’ and ‘Falling Out.’ And then there is the different Promo of I'll BCNU and the banned version of Another Number, of course Carmel was No.6 whilst I played the unfamiliar role of No.2 with the line "don't worry number six, you'll be cured." But I was voiced over for the video, by actor David Nettheim, one of the doctors in the episode .the Schizoid Man. not many people can boast that, an outstanding achievement for me.

Next time the BBC comes to call and the film Village day.

Be seeing you

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