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Brian Clemens Interview

When did you first meet Roger Moore?

I first met Roger when he was making "The Saint" and I was making "The Avengers" almost literally next door.

The website is all about Roger’s career but it also mainly showcases his UNICEF works. As a friend of Roger has he told you about his efforts for the charity?

I haven't spoken to Roger in quite a while, but I know about his UNICEF work via various papers.

What are your feelings about "The Persuaders"? Having written the pilot episode “Overture” and followed that by two more episodes “The Old New and The Deadly” and “That’s Me Over There”. Did you feel that Roger and Tony gelled well on screen in their different characterizations?

I thought Roger and Tony Curtis brilliantly got the spirit of the series - and my pilot - and, as it progressed, honed their characters to perfection.

When you write an episode how do you approach the blank screen and form the whole plot?

It is hard to pin down the creative process - I usually "fix" the characters in my mind - put them into the most difficult situation and when I have 3 or 4 high spots (big sequences) I start to write. I have to know what page 60 is before I write page 1.

Were you ever present on set during the filming of "The Persuaders", if so what were your impressions of the atmosphere?

I visited the set several times - it was very professional - and, as a result, a happy atmosphere - everyone knowing just what was expected of them.

Did you meet Tony Curtis, if so how did you find him?

Yes, I met Tony Curtis several times. He was pleasant, amiable, but initially a little wary - Roger was an established TV star, whereas this was Tony's first attempt, and he didn't want to be upstaged. In the final analysis, he wasn't.

Even though "The Persuaders" was a big success in Europe it was not in America due largely to it being scheduled against Mission Impossible, do you feel it could have been extended into a second series by developing the characters?

Extending the characters would not have had effect on its USA reception - they either like it in the first couple of episodes or it fails - it did - although I can never understand just why, it seemed to have all the elements they wanted at that time: style, humour, fast action, two VERY bankable stars - maybe we got in on the tail end of the escapist series - just as the nitty gritty was about to take over. I'm not sure.

Recently Roger Moore told us on an interview he would love to bring back "The Persuaders" for one more outing (“Tony is a very talented actor and has a great sense of comedy and I would love to revive Wilde and Sinclair for just for one more appearance”) Tony Curtis was very fond of the programme at the time, we will be interviewing him soon and will ask him the same question but as the writer behind the pilot for the show, do you think it would be possible to bring the pair back together on screen. Or maybe an updated film version like "The Avengers", but hopefully with a better production, maybe with your script writing?

Reviving the series is an old man's dream. They are both too old - altough they might well play cameo parts - second fiddle to two younger actors recreating those parts. It would make a good MOVIE. Who knows?

We realise this is a very hard question but what project has given you most satisfaction?

The project that has given me the most is probably "The Avengers". Any of my stage plays. And the next project I am working on!

This is an exclusive by Brian Clemens, and  MUST NOT  be reproduced in any form without written permission from Alan Davidson and Marie-France Vienne (Brett)   copyright. Kind regards and many thanks to Brian Clemens

Photos: Jonathan Sothcott

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