Jackie – 20th October 1979

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Not So Simple Simon

Simon MacCorkindale as Joe Kapp in QuatermassGorgeous Simon MacCorkindale who’s starring in the exciting if a little horrifying, series “Quatermass”, is one of those men you meet who are almost too good to be true – tall, dark blond hair and very, very handsome! And just to finish things off, he always looks impeccably dressed and he’s always smiling . .

You can meet Simon in any number of difficult situations but never see him being bad tempered. Whatever he may be feeling under that suntanned smile, it never shows.

Basically, Simon just has to be everyone’s idea of the perfect Englishman, and he’s certainly ours!

When I spoke to Simon at his home he told me that he’s trying very hard to lose this public school image.

“Although it is difficult,” he said, “because I went to public school.My whole background is typical of the image – public school and then the Army.

So you’ll realise that the decision to become an actor was a fairly difficult one.

It was a bit of a shock for my parents, but I must say that after the initial horror was over they took it pretty well. I suppose they had to, really, because by the time I told them, I’d definitely made up my mind!”

But it wasn’t until Simon starred in the film “Death On The Nile” that this career really got under way. And the next big event for him was co-starring with Michael York in the thriller “Riddle Of The Sand.” (Simon certainly knows how to pick his co-stars!) But Simon told me that he was most looking forward to watching the “Quatermass” series on TV.

“It’s really a fascinating story,” he said enthusiastically. “You see,the United States and the Soviet Union are completing this hands-in-space project, Professor Quatermass comes out of retiral to take part in the TV coverage of the event and is shocked when he sees what’s happened to the country during his retreat – killer gangs roaming the streets and appalling food and fuel shortages.”

Simon smiled wryly. “I suppose you could say that the subject matter of the series is all too possible . . . Anyway, Quatermass criticises the project, saying that it’s completely irrelevant in the face of what’s happening in Britain, and as he does so, the whole thing begins to go terrifyingly wrong.

Quatermass is accused of having something to do with the disaster and ends up being rescued by me, Joe Kapp – a radio astronomer. I take him to my observatory and on the way there we encounter huge groups of the Planet People – a sect looking for ‘The Place.’

“Anyway,” Simon said, pausing for breath and offering me some coffee “that’s enough of the plot! If I tell you much more there won’t be much point in you watching the series, and that wouldn’t do at all!”

I wondered how much Simon had enjoyed making the series as he was so enthusiastic about it. And also, if anything had happened to him on location that made him think that he’d have been better and safer staying in the Army!

“Oh, I enjoyed making ‘Quatermass’ very much indeed.It was great fun to do. All of it was filmed on location in England,” he told me.

“My worst moment must have come when I was bitten by a horse-fly one day while on set. It might have not sound like much to you, but if any one reading this has ever been bitten by the dreaded horse-fly, you’ll know what absolute agony I went through!”

But Simon being Simon, I was sure that he wouldn’t have let it interfere with his filming. As I left his home I was still cursing myself for not actually asking where he’d been bitten – mind you, looking at that still terribly English Gentleman face, I don’t think I could’ve possibly asked such an undignified question!

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