Banged f i l m-Film world mourns man who banged the (paper) gong for Rank | The Independent

Looking like comedian Harry Hill so let's call him Harry , but without the humour, big collars, or even a hint of an engaging personality, the "prison psychologist" in the final episode of Banged Up - Channel 5's much-hyped "prison reality show" - lumbered into young prisoner Daniel's cell as if he was searching for a lost joke. In fact what Daniel needed was obvious to anyone who had watched the earlier episodes. He needed his dad. For a short time in long-redundant Scarborough jail , the setting for the programme, Daniel had found such a model in even-tempered volunteer mentor Bob , the kindly ex-con Scouser with whom he had been sharing his cell, and who now runs a successful offender rehabilitation consultancy organisation. Earlier we had seen Bob's influence on the troubled boy.

Banged f i l m

Banged f i l m

Banged f i l m

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His gleaming, oiled torso became known to millions as he banged away at the gong whose bongs signalled the start of Rank films including Blithe Spirit and Olivier's Henry V.

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Looking like comedian Harry Hill so let's call him Harry , but without the humour, big collars, or even a hint of an engaging personality, the "prison psychologist" in the final episode of Banged Up - Channel 5's much-hyped "prison reality show" - lumbered into young prisoner Daniel's cell as if he was searching for a lost joke.

In fact what Daniel needed was obvious to anyone who had watched the earlier episodes. He needed his dad. For a short time in long-redundant Scarborough jail , the setting for the programme, Daniel had found such a model in even-tempered volunteer mentor Bob , the kindly ex-con Scouser with whom he had been sharing his cell, and who now runs a successful offender rehabilitation consultancy organisation.

Earlier we had seen Bob's influence on the troubled boy. Bob had persuaded his young charge to write a letter home. When Daniel's mother received it she thought she had won the lottery. Thanks to Bob, the fractured mother-son relationship was beginning to heal. Then, like all the other ex-con volunteer mentors, Bob had been taken away. It was the last night of the "experiment" - so called by the producers I suspect, as a sort of plea that viewers should take it seriously - and all the volunteer mentors were separated from the young prisoners they had been advising and guiding.

It was the prison's "governor", Prof David Wilson , who suggested to Harry that the boys might benefit from some "one to one intervention". In reality this involved the psychologist bumbling his way into cells, grinning, mumbling and gurning, and it was never made clear what this odd behaviour was supposed to achieve. After reminding Daniel of the emotional impact of the one visit the boy had had with his mother, and exclaiming that the cell looked "a bit empty without Bob" Bob is rather on the large side it has to be said , Harry muttered, "You take it easy, alright," and cleared off.

As always in the reality show format however there were lots of heart-warming moments. In this final episode the ex-cons sat in on the "parole board" panels of each of the boys they had mentored.

Seeing their charges again, all were clearly emotional. Steve was Partrick's mentor. When Patrick was asked by David Wilson what he now thought about Steve, Patrick said, "From now on I'm going to call him uncle Steve, he means so much to me. At the end of each hearing, mentors and mentored hugged. Nearly all shed tears. All the boys attested to changes having taken place in their lives. The way he cared for that baby demonstrated a sense of maturity way beyond that of any of his peers.

The biggest impact on the young men's lives seemed to come from their re-evaluation of relationships - with their mentors, with their families - and from their encounters with victims of serious crime. Apart from the group therapy sessions with criminologist Martin, very little of worth appeared to have been achieved from their interaction with the so-called professionals involved in the programme.

I hope Channel Five follows up - perhaps in a couple of years - on what happens to the prisoners, and lets us see whether they are living satisfying and fulfilling crime-free lives. Hopefully that will be the case.

If it is not, the programme makers will have no reason to shoulder the blame. Banged Up was, after all, just a show - a harmless mouthful of prime time entertainment. It meant us no harm. But is shouldn't have made the big claim of being a "bold, groundbreaking social experiment".

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Banged (TV Movie ) - IMDb

His gleaming, oiled torso became known to millions as he banged away at the gong whose bongs signalled the start of Rank films including Blithe Spirit and Olivier's Henry V.

Now the film world is mourning the baton-wielding Ken Richmond, who shared the secrets of his iconic part in cinematic history before his death, at the age of Yet behind those iconic biceps and the Tarzan skirt was one of Britain's unsung Olympians: a super-heavyweight freestyle wrestling champion who took Olympic bronze in the Melbourne games, fourth place in and a Commonwealth gold and bronze in and respectively. He was also a prolific film extra.

Richmond first made a living as a deck hand, cutting up whale meat on the Antarctic whaling ships which put out to sea for nine months at a time. A teetotaller, he gave his rations of rum to some of the men who were driven to near insanity by the long months at sea. But it was the silver screen that had fascinated him since childhood, as his mother brought him up near Rank's Pinewood Studios. Richmond's countless roles as an extra included one he cherished, as the wrestler, Nikolas, in Jules Dassin's film noir classic Night and the City in The Roman soldier was another favourite walk-on role of his and the greatest recognition of his contribution to Rank came when Michael Caine interviewed him for a film on the history of the film company.

A copy of this was to be found at his home, alongside pictures of him with James Cagney, a particular hero, and other celebrities. Richmond's stone frame and walk-on roles led Rank to approach him in about the gong role, which he immediately accepted.

That the job should have been there at all was largely down to chance. J Arthur Rank, a flour mogul and devout Methodist, originally sought a wolf to rival MGM's lion but the only available specimen was mangy. As every self-respecting cinema buff knows, the echoing gong accompanied the words: "A J Arthur Rank Presentation. He used a Chinese instrument called a tam tam for the gong noise. The millions of filmgoers who watched Richmond were looking at a man who had a marked aversion to violence.

He was a conscientious objector during the Second World War and served several months in prison, according to friends. But as gong-bangers go, he became irreplaceable. In , Rank discovered the bronzed, blond Martin Grace, who had been known for his Milk Tray adverts. Grace remained on the cutting room floor and Richmond was still used until Rank announced last year that it was preparing to sell its last remaining film assets. By that time, the former Olympian had long since devoted himself to a life as Jehovah's Witness.

His work as a missionary took him to Malta and he also doted on his wife, Valentina, whom he met in the film scene and married in the mid-Sixties. They had no children and she died 10 years ago. Richmond's medal collection included one awarded for his windsurfing at the age of He loved to surf at Highcliff, off the Hampshire coast. A car crash on the M25 five years ago had caused serious damage to a lung before he suffered a heart attack last Thursday.

The gong role was a part of him, through all his travails. That wasn't the nature of the man," said Mr Saunders. He started in and was still banging on in Because of deteriorating film stock, the sequence had to be refilmed every three years. It often took several weeks to get right, thanks to the bronze make-up covering Dane from head to foot.

Wells was one of the best fighters of the last century, though he lacked ruthlessness and confessed that he couldn't "smash a man whose jaw was sagging and whose eyes were blank". He continued in the role until after the Second World War, when the film extra Phil Nieman took over for seven years. You can find our Community Guidelines in full here. Start your Independent Premium subscription today. Independent Premium Comments can be posted by members of our membership scheme, Independent Premium.

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Banged f i l m

Banged f i l m

Banged f i l m