Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 29 May 2016

Ooh Betty! I'm having a bit of trouble with the health and safety people

Published 08/03/2016

Michael Crawford is reprising his 1970s character Frank Spencer in a collaboration with Sir Bradley Wiggins for Sport Relief
Michael Crawford is reprising his 1970s character Frank Spencer in a collaboration with Sir Bradley Wiggins for Sport Relief

Actor Michael Crawford has admitted today's health and safety rules would prevent many of the classic scenes from Some Mothers Do 'Ave Em.

The 74-year-old star said he believed one of the most dangerous scenes he filmed with on-screen wife, Betty, played by Michele Dotrice, involving a car hanging over a cliff, would no longer be allowed.

Crawford, who is reprising his role as Frank Spencer for a one-off special for Sport Relief, told the Radio Times: "When Michele's mother saw that scene, she slapped her daughter's face and she never spoke to me again.

"Of course these days it's all much more difficult with health and safety rules. We didn't have those 42 years ago."

Discussing other stunts which would have been abandoned today, he added: "I think the one where I am taking my driving test and I drive off the end of the pier into the sea. I don't think they'd allow that now."

Crawford said he had refused a number of requests to revive his famous character since the sitcom ended on Christmas Day in 1978 and denied there were plans for a new series.

The actor will reunite with Dotrice for the Sport Relief sketch, which will be shown on BBC One on March 18.

The scene will see Frank land himself in a few of his usual comedy disasters, culminating in a meeting with Olympic cyclist Sir Bradley Wiggins at the cycling centre in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London.

Following the TV show's conclusion in 1978, Crawford went on to star in the original production of The Phantom Of The Opera and other successful Andrew Lloyd Webber productions such as The Wizard Of Oz.

:: Sport Relief Night airs on BBC One on March 18 at 7pm.

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