Call of beauty

Proving that even in the multi-channel age the BBC remains a national unifier, Tulkinghorn recently passed a pint of porter discussing Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs with Pinsent Masons‘ local government head Nick Dobson.

“I enjoyed Joanna Lumley’s recent appearance,” Dobson revealed, “but was disappointed she didn’t mention episode 1,750 of Coronation Street.”

An intrigued Tulkinghorn peered quizzically over his pince-nez. It appeared there was more to Dobson than met the eye.

“It was the one where she appears as Ken Barlow’s girlfriend,” Dobson went on. “Ken was known as the street’s intellectual and always had girlfriends who looked up to him for his brains. I was at a script conference in 1973 and suggested it would be fun if he had a girlfriend who was cleverer than he was.”

A then little-known Lumley was cast as Barlow’s girlfriend Elaine Perkins, before going on to achieve fame in The New Avengers, The Curse of the Pink Panther, Sapphire and Steel and Absolutely Fabulous.

A bit of gratitude wouldn’t go amiss, Joanna.