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Leonard Rossiter character(s)

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Leonard Rossiter character(s)

Postby Ahrold! » Sun Feb 24, 2008 1:22 pm

As we know, Leonard Rossiter appeared in 2 episodes of Steptoe. Once early on in "The lead man cometh", then later on in "The desperate hours"

Also we know that both times, he played a villain. Once as a conman/thief and the next time as a convict.

Now, what I have always wondered is.....is the convict he plays in the later episode supposed to be the same character as the "welsh" conman we saw in the black and white episode, now imprisoned after years of crime?

Has anybody else ever considered this, or does anybody know if this is was what the writers meant?

I know he has a welsh accent in the first appearance, and a london accent in the next, but that could be explained by him being a devious type.

Look forward to your replies.
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Postby bob » Sun Feb 24, 2008 4:08 pm

Good Question

My view is that he plays two different characters.

It was common in the early days of "sitcom" to feature the same actor in different roles. Steptoe wasn't to bad at this although the winner for most Steptoe appeatances is Frank Thornton with 5 different roles.

Even the Vicar played a doctor in one episode.

Still the idea of the character returning in a different guise is a good one.
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Postby Rian » Sun Feb 24, 2008 9:55 pm

thats an intresting point to make
but seeing as in Steptoe they used the same actors more than once most probably means it was just a coinsidance
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Postby Archie » Thu Feb 28, 2008 4:50 pm

Yootha Joyce appeared in 'the Bath' as Harolds girlfriend. Then she was in the second movie 'Steptoe and son Ride Again' as a relative of the Steptoes :o
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Postby Rian » Sat May 17, 2008 11:43 pm

Ive just posted a review on "the lead man cometh" starring Leonard Rossiter,which is one of my favourite episodes.
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Postby thatsthatthen » Tue May 27, 2008 7:41 pm

Well I need to get something off me chest.

I'm reading the Steptoe and Son book. You know, the expensive one that was never reprinted.

It's pretty good as it goes through each episode and offers a commentary and analysis. Pity it came too late to do it properly by interviewing cast and crew...

Anyway. We all know the G&S liked to use titles which they have adapted from real plays, films, songs, phrases, Shakespearean soliloquies etc.

The Lead Man Cometh is no exception. It's from The Ice Man Cometh by Eugene O'Neill. I know this because I was sad enough to fly to London in order to see Kevin Spacey at the Old Vic when he first came over to the UK many, many years ago. Gawd I even met him and got him to sign (of all things) my baseball cap!!

So, page 83 of the book says the play was by Arthur Miller. It may have addressed similar themes to Death of a Salesman, but sorry you simply cannot forgive such poor research!


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Re:

Postby borethus » Thu Dec 07, 2017 1:42 am

Archie wrote:Yootha Joyce appeared in 'the Bath' as Harolds girlfriend. Then she was in the second movie 'Steptoe and son Ride Again' as a relative of the Steptoes :o


Joyce also appeared as Avis in 'A Box In Town' (1965).
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Re: Leonard Rossiter character(s)

Postby PhilGlass » Thu Jul 26, 2018 10:01 pm

Definitely not, in my opinion.

Remember, these were made in the days before home video so you would never watch "The Lead Man Cometh" and then "The Desparate Hours" together. They were almost a decade apart. Same reason there were continuity errors - if a character said something in 1974 how could anyone remember they said the opposite in 1964?

It does give the episode a different angle if you put that interpretation to it. I welcome your interpretation and think Steptoe is so well written we may all have different interpretations of the same episodes. And all are justifiable.
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Re: Leonard Rossiter character(s)

Postby Uncle Nobby » Fri Aug 03, 2018 8:45 pm

Another vote for Definitely Not!

Because in the Lead Man Cometh he is blatantly Welsh whereas in Desperate Hours he isn't Welsh.

Also in Desperate Hours it says that he was a Bank Clerk until the older Convict came into the bank...
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Re: Leonard Rossiter character(s)

Postby Dirty Old Yank » Wed Jul 24, 2019 12:01 pm

Uncle Nobby wrote:...in the Lead Man Cometh he is blatantly Welsh...

Hi Nobby.
We’re all agreed there’s no doubting Leonard Rossiter’s genius, his few Steptoe
roles are great fun and clearly they weren’t meant to be the same characters.
But…and I wish Ilovesteptoe were here, chances are he’d concur, Leonard’s
“Lead Man Cometh” accent was too broad to be Welsh. Bearing in mind the
wide variety of regional Cymraeg and having just watched the episode again,
I’m still not hearing a Welsh accent. Not implausibly, a possible explanation
is that Kubrick’s “2001” 1x4x9 monolith created the conditions necessary in
the time-space continuum so that all of Leonard’s characters might seem to
appear simultaneously. And they named that rectangular monolith, Telly :o.
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Re: Leonard Rossiter character(s)

Postby Uncle Nobby » Fri Jul 26, 2019 8:23 pm

Hi Dirty Old Yank.

I looked up the dates of the airings of both episodes.
The Leadman Cometh was Series 3, Episode 3 and was shown on 21 Jan 64.
The Desperate Hours was Series 7, Episode 7 and was shown on 3 Apr 72.

So there is a gap of 8 years and 3 months between the two episodes. The Leadman was a conman we know and he moved about, whilst Jonny in Desperate Hours was a Bank Clerk before he met the older convict who convinced him to rob the bank. The radio broadcast mentioned that the pair were serving a 7 year sentence for Armed Robbery and Jonny mentions that he had to get away from the Scrubs after serving 5 years of his 7 year stretch.

So there is still a gap of 3 years. Is this enough time to straighten himself and become a Bank Clerk? Maybe it is and maybe it isn't.

I still think that they are separate people.
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Re: Leonard Rossiter character(s)

Postby Dirty Old Yank » Sat Jul 27, 2019 11:02 am

Oh I agree! Rossiter’s two Steptoe roles were obviously different characters.
All I’m suggesting...and maybe I’m wrong, is that his Lead Man Cometh accent doesn’t sound like any Welsh
I've ever heard. It’s far too broad and sounds like caricature, like he’s sending it up. Or more accurately,
his character sounds like someone who's pretending to be Welsh to conceal his identity. An amusing
parallel is Mel Blanc (as the voice of Bugs Bunny) ostensibly doing an Hawaiian accent in the 1943
classic, “Wackiki Wabbit”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1aVKG96xv_c. We don’t need to
be Hawaiian to know that Bugs is speaking gibberish, although the muumuu he's wearing
looks quite comfy and pineapple is so tasty :o. Back in the day, Hawaiian themed pubs
were enormously popular, Tiki Gods and tropical drinks with tiny paper brollies :mrgreen:.
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