‘Make him charge hand....’

We caught up with the legendary actor Bill Paterson who played series 2 villain ‘Ally Fraser’ to bring you an exclusive two-part interview! Bill shares many fond memories with us of his time filming Auf Wiedersehen, Pet and offers an incredible insight into life 30 years ago both on and off set! In Part 1 of our interview we discover an interesting fact you couldn’t possibly know, how he was offered the part of such a pivotal role, what went wrong during filming and what was it like working with our magnificent 7. Copyright: Images, articles and text are copyright awpet.com. Acknowledgement: Bill Paterson 

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Auf Wiedersehen, Pet 1983 - 2016
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Q1: How did you get the part of such a pivotal roll of series 2's Ally Frazer and can you recall your audition reading? BP – It was a straight offer. I didn’t need to audition, but I think it was because I had a reasonable resemblance to the much-missed AP produce Alan McKeown. It was a nice in-joke. I also had the occasional job since 1967 to back me up. Q2: Had you watched Series 1 prior to being offered the part and if so what did you think of it? BP – Not all of it. I was all over the place in the mid 80’s and there was no catch up TV in those days. When I watched it, I loved its originality. Q3: Your character was executed superbly as the Series 2 villain. We know some cast members improvised. How much of your character was scripted and how much was influenced / brought to the table by you? BP – Pretty much as scripted. You couldn’t improve on Dick and Ian! Great thing was that Ally only said what was needed. No padding or waffle. Q4: The thirteenth and final episode of series 2 was left somewhat open ended with your character on the run from Spanish immigration officers. Whilst filming series 2 there were rumors of a third series to be set in Moscow. Did you hear of any plot lines and was your character penciled in? BP – No. At the end of series 2, with the death of Gary and general difficulties with Central TV production, no one seemed to have the appetite for a third series. I guess that’s why there was a wait of about 15 years for series 3! Q5: From memory, did anything not quite go to plan? BP – Going to Spain. The whole shoot there was on, off and then on again. The unit trucks turned back twice on the way down to Marbella. The cast got on the plane at a days’ notice. It very nearly didn’t happen! Q6: What was your favorite memory about making AWP? BP – Evenings in Puerto Banus Q7: Who was your favorite character out of the main 7 lads? BP – I loved Barry. Funny and touching. Q8: What was it like working with 'The Magnificent 7', Tim Healy, Jimmy Nail, Timothy Spall, Gary Holton, Christopher Fairbank, Pat Roach, Kevin Whately? BP – I had worked a few times with Tim Spall and loved his style. In fact his very first filming job was in “The Vanishing Army” with me in 1978. I loved working with all the guys. I had most scenes with Tim Healy. Terrific truthful actor. Denis Paterson and Bill Paterson! Q9: Do you still get called ‘Ally Fraser’ by fans? BP – Yes – especially the old timers! Q10: What did you like/dislike about your character Ally Fraser? BP – I loved playing him. He was an extension of a character called Andy MacChukemup I had created in the 70’s for the 7:84 Theatre Company. What’s not like to about dear old Ally apart from his shocking treatment of Vicki. Q11: The tragic untimely passing of Gary Holton forced writers to amend the script and alter plot lines. To what extent - if any - was your script revised? BP – Ally’s storyline wasn’t much affected, but his loss had a profound effect on the mood of the other lads. Gary was a crazy guy but he always treated me with great respect and generosity. I sat beside him on the flight back from Spain. A few days later he was gone. Q13: The series recently topped the ‘Evening Chronicle’ poll for ‘best north east television series of all time’ and ‘Radio Times’ readers ‘Best Ever ITV programme’ poll beating The Thunderbirds (2nd) and Coronation Street (3rd). The programme continues to have an incredibly strong and growing fan base. In your opinion, what was the secret of its success? BP – It was honest right from the beginning and it was ‘discovered’ by its audience, not by the critics. There was no hype or baggage beforehand. Almost impossible nowadays when a whole PR industry has to be maintained. Q14: The fans are pretty clued up when it comes to all things AWP but can you give us an interesting fact we couldn't possibly know? BP – Tim Spall, Jimmy, Kevin and I brought our families to Spain. We all had babies and toddlers at the time so it was more like being at the childminders on the beach! Nothing like the Magnificent Seven! Q15: Which place was easier to work in? HOT Spain? or did you prefer Nottingham and Newcastle? BP – Are you kidding? I’m afraid the Costa Del Sol just had the edge over Nottingham. Q16: The series produced some fantastic unforgettable Ally Fraser scenes and one-liners. What is your most memorable 'Ally' quote / scene and why? BP – About building work on Thornley Manor: “I WANT NO CORNER LEFT UNCUT!” Q17: Your character is much loved by many. If asked, would you consider bringing Ally Fraser back to our television screens? BP – Love to. Nice to see Ally in his old age provided he’s not in jail. He’s 70 now, you know. The team would like take this opportunity to personally thank Bill for taking time out of his busy schedule to answer our questions. Special thanks to Team Member Gavin Owen for his valued contribution! © The text & images are copyright awpet.com and are not to be used or copied without permission.

‘Make him charge hand....’

We caught up with the legendary actor Bill Paterson who played series 2 villain ‘Ally Fraser’ to bring you an exclusive two-part interview! Bill shares many fond memories with us of his time filming Auf Wiedersehen, Pet and offers an incredible insight into life 30 years ago both on and off set! In Part 1 of our interview we discover an interesting fact you couldn’t possibly know, how he was offered the part of such a pivotal role, what went wrong during filming and what was it like working with our magnificent 7. Copyright: Images, articles and text are copyright awpet.com. Acknowledgement: Bill Paterson
Do you have something to add? If you have something to add, whether it be pictures, a magazine interview or something else, we would love to have it on the Fansite! Please use the Contact link above in the navigation bar and Email us.
Auf Wiedersehen, Pet 1983 - 2016
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Q1: How did you get the part of such a pivotal roll of series 2's Ally Frazer and can you recall your audition reading? BP – It was a straight offer. I didn’t need to audition, but I think it was because I had a reasonable resemblance to the much-missed AP produce Alan McKeown. It was a nice in-joke. I also had the occasional job since 1967 to back me up. Q2: Had you watched Series 1 prior to being offered the part and if so what did you think of it? BP – Not all of it. I was all over the place in the mid 80’s and there was no catch up TV in those days. When I watched it, I loved its originality. Q3: Your character was executed superbly as the Series 2 villain. We know some cast members improvised. How much of your character was scripted and how much was influenced / brought to the table by you? BP – Pretty much as scripted. You couldn’t improve on Dick and Ian! Great thing was that Ally only said what was needed. No padding or waffle. Q4: The thirteenth and final episode of series 2 was left somewhat open ended with your character on the run from Spanish immigration officers. Whilst filming series 2 there were rumors of a third series to be set in Moscow. Did you hear of any plot lines and was your character penciled in? BP – No. At the end of series 2, with the death of Gary and general difficulties with Central TV production, no one seemed to have the appetite for a third series. I guess that’s why there was a wait of about 15 years for series 3! Q5: From memory, did anything not quite go to plan? BP – Going to Spain. The whole shoot there was on, off and then on again. The unit trucks turned back twice on the way down to Marbella. The cast got on the plane at a days’ notice. It very nearly didn’t happen! Q6: What was your favorite memory about making AWP? BP – Evenings in Puerto Banus Q7: Who was your favorite character out of the main 7 lads? BP – I loved Barry. Funny and touching. Q8: What was it like working with 'The Magnificent 7', Tim Healy, Jimmy Nail, Timothy Spall, Gary Holton, Christopher Fairbank, Pat Roach, Kevin Whately? BP – I had worked a few times with Tim Spall and loved his style. In fact his very first filming job was in “The Vanishing Army” with me in 1978. I loved working with all the guys. I had most scenes with Tim Healy. Terrific truthful actor. Denis Paterson and Bill Paterson! Q9: Do you still get called ‘Ally Fraser’ by fans? BP – Yes – especially the old timers! Q10: What did you like/dislike about your character Ally Fraser? BP – I loved playing him. He was an extension of a character called Andy MacChukemup I had created in the 70’s for the 7:84 Theatre Company. What’s not like to about dear old Ally apart from his shocking treatment of Vicki. Q11: The tragic untimely passing of Gary Holton forced writers to amend the script and alter plot lines. To what extent - if any - was your script revised? BP – Ally’s storyline wasn’t much affected, but his loss had a profound effect on the mood of the other lads. Gary was a crazy guy but he always treated me with great respect and generosity. I sat beside him on the flight back from Spain. A few days later he was gone. Q13: The series recently topped the ‘Evening Chronicle’ poll for ‘best north east television series of all time’ and ‘Radio Times’ readers ‘Best Ever ITV programme’ poll beating The Thunderbirds (2nd) and Coronation Street (3rd). The programme continues to have an incredibly strong and growing fan base. In your opinion, what was the secret of its success? BP – It was honest right from the beginning and it was ‘discovered’ by its audience, not by the critics. There was no hype or baggage beforehand. Almost impossible nowadays when a whole PR industry has to be maintained. Q14: The fans are pretty clued up when it comes to all things AWP but can you give us an interesting fact we couldn't possibly know? BP – Tim Spall, Jimmy, Kevin and I brought our families to Spain. We all had babies and toddlers at the time so it was more like being at the childminders on the beach! Nothing like the Magnificent Seven! Q15: Which place was easier to work in? HOT Spain? or did you prefer Nottingham and Newcastle? BP – Are you kidding? I’m afraid the Costa Del Sol just had the edge over Nottingham. Q16: The series produced some fantastic unforgettable Ally Fraser scenes and one-liners. What is your most memorable 'Ally' quote / scene and why? BP – About building work on Thornley Manor: “I WANT NO CORNER LEFT UNCUT!” Q17: Your character is much loved by many. If asked, would you consider bringing Ally Fraser back to our television screens? BP – Love to. Nice to see Ally in his old age provided he’s not in jail. He’s 70 now, you know. The team would like take this opportunity to personally thank Bill for taking time out of his busy schedule to answer our questions. Special thanks to Team Member Gavin Owen for his valued contribution! © The text & images are copyright awpet.com and are not to be used or copied without permission.