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The sunny side of Britain's gloomiest actor

Features | By Valerie Grove | July 2017


Geoffrey Palmer is ninety and has been amusing us for more than six decades, on TV, film and stage. Valerie Grove took him to lunch in Highgate

Geoffrey Palmer is so instantly recognisable, so familiar, that I want to fling my arms around him on sight. He is waiting for me outside Highgate Tube station – he was at the station’s opening, he tells me, in 1941— in a jacket and smart jeans, carrying the Times and a stick, though the stick proves purely decorative. ‘Too geriatric,’ he says, ‘even if it is for The Oldie.’  He turns ninety on 4th June. When people stop him on the Tube and say they admire him, he tells them they must have a long memory. But he has been amusing us for more than six decades, and we shall carry on watching him on box sets for ever. As Time Goes By (67 episodes, 1992–2005) is my favourite.  Judi Dench once told me she could never have done that sitcom without Geoffrey. He tells me he couldn’t have done...


You can find the full story in the July 2017 issue. Subscribe Now