Paul Darrow and Michael Keating panel
To everyone's amusement, Michael and Paul came acting like doddery old men, holding hands for support and helping each other onto the stage.
I couldn't take many notes during this, it was so rapid-fire. Paul and Michael are a polished and very funny double-act, and they've done this so many times before, they were finishing each other's sentences.
They reminisced about being in Julius Caesar together when Michael enunciated his Ss so enthusiastically he sprayed Paul.
Paul told a story about Michael going into a pub when he was in a play in Belfast (Romeo and Juliet?) and the Falls Road troops raided it just after a bombing nearby. "What the hell are you doing here, Vila?" one of them said. "I have to be here—you don't!"
They talked about cons in the US when Michael unnerved his hosts by going on long walks alone around dangerous cities; in one place they assigned him an armed guard.
They also talked about Gan's death in Pressure Point. They were told to imagine how they felt for a close-up on each of their faces when Blake told them Gan was dead. Paul said, "Avon only had one expression," and did it—the cold expressionless look. [laughter] Michael said he didn't show any emotion either, and the director asked him, "Don't you miss Gan?" Michael said he'd thought about it and had decided there weren't many cabins on the Liberator. Blake had one to himself as he was the leader, the girls would have shared one, and no one would want to share with Avon, so that left Vila and Gan together. So Vila wasn't too unhappy as he now had a cabin to himself.
Paul tried to embarrass Michael with tales of his flirting with female guest stars in Blake's 7, especially Carol Hawkins (Kerril; he was very taken with her. It was a Blake's 7 tradition for the male stars to kiss the female guest stars as they left, and Michael would be first in line, all puckered up ready, then he would run around the line to get them a second time. "Don't listen to him, Sue!" Michael called out to his partner at the back of the hall. "It's all lies!"
"You'll be in trouble tonight," Paul said, then confided to us, "He gets Sued every night."