Wednesday, 24 June 2009

1985: Diana Davies And Richard Thorp On Mrs Bates And Alan Turner...

"Well, he's a bit of a nasty person on the screen, but in real life he's quite likeable," said Diana Davies of Richard Thorp, as the pair were interviewed by Richard Whiteley for the Emmerdale Farm 1,000th episode TV special celebration in 1985. The "quite likeable" was said tongue in cheek - the two were in very jovial mood, and appeared to have an excellent rapport.

When Mrs Caroline Bates turned up as Alan's "temp" secretary in 1984, nobody suspected that this was the beginning of one of the show's best-loved comic partnerships. But with Mrs Bates ever-ready to see through Alan's bluster to the wally underneath, great fun was had by we lucky viewers.

And many of us actually began to like Alan as a result - which was a tremendous change as, since his arrival in 1982, he'd aroused feelings of irritation and even, sometimes, vehement dislike amongst viewers.

"You've taken a bit of stick in real life as the 'JR' figure, haven't you?" said Richard Whiteley to Richard Thorp on the 1,000th episode celebration programme.

"Yes, I have - and particularly at home," replied Richard Thorp. "My wife always insists Alan Turner leaves the room before she has a chance to chat to Richard Thorp!"

Richard Whiteley: "But I hear that when you go into restaurants, people have left the restaurants and taxi drivers wouldn't give you lifts?"

Richard Thorp: "Oh, yes, yes - 'Not you, you walk!' they say!"

Richard Whiteley: "What we all want to know, really, are you two going to get it together ever do you think?"

Richard Thorp (suddenly becoming Alan Turner): "That's down to you, Mrs Bates. I think you can answer that one."

Diana Davies: "Well, we don't know, we just think it's probably not a very good idea because it's good fun the way it is now."

Richard Whiteley: "What about just something for now on this special occasion?"

Diana Davies: "All right."

Richard Thorp, after the kiss, becoming Alan Turner again: "That's in lieu of a rise - you don't get everything for nothing!"


  1. Anonymous25.6.09

    Bryan Higgins: These two proved a great combination back in the day. Whatever happened to Diana Davies, I've not heard anything of her since her last appearance in Emmerdale back in 1999.

  2. Cerys25.6.09

    Bates and Turner: One of the most adorable things about 1980s Emmerdale Farm. Especially when she was his NY secretary (1984-1988).

  3. I think the first time Alan made a wally of himself in front of Mrs Bates was shortly after her arrival in 1984: Alan bought a coffee percolator ("no more of that instant stuff!"), told Mrs Bates it was a doddle to use, then spilt coffee all over the place as he tried to open a packet.

    Mrs B's eyes went down to her keyboard, and there was that famous secret smile.