10* Questions With John Bowler

The team caught up with John Bowler who played the pivotal character in series 2, Howard ‘Hedgehog’ Radcliff. Howard even though not being on screen for very long, played an important role which fans will know culminated in bringing the lads to the ‘showdown’ fight at the end of the series 2 episode ‘Cowboy’s. *Actually 14. Copyright: The following images, articles and text are copyright awpet.com. Site Release Date: October 2017  Acknowledgement: John Bowler. 

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Auf Wiedersehen, Pet 1983 - 2016
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Q1: How did you get the part of Howard Radcliff, Architect and Client to villain Ally Fraser (Bill Patterson) and can you recall your audition reading? A1: I don’t remember much about the casting. I met Martin (Producer) and Roger Bamford (Director), had a chat and got the offer. Q2: Did you watch Series 1 when it first aired in 1983 prior to being offered the role and if so what did you think of it? A2: I thought the first series was brilliant. The writing and casting was superb. Q3: Your character was pivotal to the ‘Thornely Manor’ episodes and was executed superbly as a stereotypical upper-class Architect at odds with the working class. How did you prepare for the role as Architect and did you have any say in how your character was portrayed on screen? A3: The producers and writers wanted Howard to be from a completely different background than the other Geordie characters. I agreed. I chose the specs and thought the beard would be an interesting vanity for a young Architect at that time Q4: We know some cast members improvised. How much of your character was scripted and how much was influenced / brought to the table by you? A4: I didn’t change anything. The writing was so good. The boys probably changed and added a bit during filming Q5: Do you still get recognised as ‘Howard Radcliff’ by fans? A5: Sometimes by fans! Q6: What did you like/dislike about your character? A6: He is a bit pretentious, but I don’t particularly dislike him. I tend to like most characters I play. It helps. Q7: Looking back, would you change anything about your performance as Howard Radcliff? A7: No. That way madness lies! Q8: We recently held a fan gathering in Nottingham where John Strachen AKA ‘Big Baz’ made a guest appearance to discuss his time during rehearsals in a church basement in London. Can you recall your rehearsals prior to filming? A8: Rehearsals were fun, and a luxury not often found in modern day drama. Q9: We've interviewed many cast and crew over recent years, all of whom look back at their time on set with affection. Can you recall your fondest memory? A9: Fondest memories are scenes on location at ‘Thornely Manor’ with the boys and the late Kevin Lloyd who was also great company. Q10: Most of your screen time featured interaction with two big characters; Dennis Patterson (Tim Healy) and Ally Fraser (Bill Patterson). Can you tell us what it was like working with your fellow cast? A10: I’d worked with Tim (Healy) on ‘A World Cup – A Captains Tale’ back in 1982 so I knew what great company he is. Working with him and Bill (Paterson) was lovely. Q11: Episodes featuring your character are often referred to by fans as some of the finest written by Stan Hey, Dick Clement and Ian Le Frenais. In your opinion, what made these episodes so special? A11: Contrast of characters, The underlying politics of the time. The brilliance of the comedy based in reality. Q12: We know the external scenes of Howard’s rented Architect’s office was filmed in Bingham, Nottinghamshire, but little is known about the internal scenes filmed within purpose-built studios. Do you have any memories of the set and the impressive architectural scale model of Thornely Manor? A12: It was recorded in Lenton Lane Studios (Nottingham). State of the art at the time. The sets always felt real. Great designer and great production team. Q13: Such was the success of Auf Wiedersehen, Pet, a further two series were commissioned in addition to two ‘Specials’. More recently, it 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 program continues to have an incredibly strong and growing fan base. In your opinion, what is the secret of its continued success? A13: If I knew the answer to that I would bottle it up and keep it! Possibly because the writers / creators / producers were prepared to take big risks. Q14: Following Auf Wiedersehen, Pet, you established an incredibly successful and diverse career in theatre, film and television regularly staring in ‘Crocodile Shoes’, ‘Crossroads’, ‘Peak Practice’, ‘The Bill’ and recently ‘DCI Banks’. What’s next for John Bowler? A14: I’ve just finished a run of Patrick Marber’s ‘The Red Lion’ at Theatre Live (Newcastle) and have been working consistently since last May (2016). I need a little holiday! The team would like to thank John Bowler for taking part in his interview.

10* Questions With John Bowler

The team caught up with John Bowler who played the pivotal character in series 2, Howard ‘Hedgehog’ Radcliff. Howard even though not being on screen for very long, played an important role which fans will know culminated in bringing the lads to the ‘showdown’ fight at the end of the series 2 episode ‘Cowboy’s. *Actually 14. Copyright: The following images, articles and text are copyright awpet.com. Site Release Date: October 2017 Acknowledgement: John Bowler.
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 - 2017
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Q1: How did you get the part of Howard Radcliff, Architect and Client to villain Ally Fraser (Bill Patterson) and can you recall your audition reading? A1: I don’t remember much about the casting. I met Martin (Producer) and Roger Bamford (Director), had a chat and got the offer. Q2: Did you watch Series 1 when it first aired in 1983 prior to being offered the role and if so what did you think of it? A2: I thought the first series was brilliant. The writing and casting was superb. Q3: Your character was pivotal to the ‘Thornely Manor’ episodes and was executed superbly as a stereotypical upper-class Architect at odds with the working class. How did you prepare for the role as Architect and did you have any say in how your character was portrayed on screen? A3: The producers and writers wanted Howard to be from a completely different background than the other Geordie characters. I agreed. I chose the specs and thought the beard would be an interesting vanity for a young Architect at that time Q4: We know some cast members improvised. How much of your character was scripted and how much was influenced / brought to the table by you? A4: I didn’t change anything. The writing was so good. The boys probably changed and added a bit during filming Q5: Do you still get recognised as ‘Howard Radcliff’ by fans? A5: Sometimes by fans! Q6: What did you like/dislike about your character? A6: He is a bit pretentious, but I don’t particularly dislike him. I tend to like most characters I play. It helps. Q7: Looking back, would you change anything about your performance as Howard Radcliff? A7: No. That way madness lies! Q8: We recently held a fan gathering in Nottingham where John Strachen AKA ‘Big Baz’ made a guest appearance to discuss his time during rehearsals in a church basement in London. Can you recall your rehearsals prior to filming? A8: Rehearsals were fun, and a luxury not often found in modern day drama. Q9: We've interviewed many cast and crew over recent years, all of whom look back at their time on set with affection. Can you recall your fondest memory? A9: Fondest memories are scenes on location at ‘Thornely Manor’ with the boys and the late Kevin Lloyd who was also great company. Q10: Most of your screen time featured interaction with two big characters; Dennis Patterson (Tim Healy) and Ally Fraser (Bill Patterson). Can you tell us what it was like working with your fellow cast? A10: I’d worked with Tim (Healy) on ‘A World Cup – A Captains Tale’ back in 1982 so I knew what great company he is. Working with him and Bill (Paterson) was lovely. Q11: Episodes featuring your character are often referred to by fans as some of the finest written by Stan Hey, Dick Clement and Ian Le Frenais. In your opinion, what made these episodes so special? A11: Contrast of characters, The underlying politics of the time. The brilliance of the comedy based in reality. Q12: We know the external scenes of Howard’s rented Architect’s office was filmed in Bingham, Nottinghamshire, but little is known about the internal scenes filmed within purpose-built studios. Do you have any memories of the set and the impressive architectural scale model of Thornely Manor? A12: It was recorded in Lenton Lane Studios (Nottingham). State of the art at the time. The sets always felt real. Great designer and great production team. Q13: Such was the success of Auf Wiedersehen, Pet, a further two series were commissioned in addition to two ‘Specials’. More recently, it 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 program continues to have an incredibly strong and growing fan base. In your opinion, what is the secret of its continued success? A13: If I knew the answer to that I would bottle it up and keep it! Possibly because the writers / creators / producers were prepared to take big risks. Q14: Following Auf Wiedersehen, Pet, you established an incredibly successful and diverse career in theatre, film and television regularly staring in ‘Crocodile Shoes’, ‘Crossroads’, ‘Peak Practice’, ‘The Bill’ and recently ‘DCI Banks’. What’s next for John Bowler? A14: I’ve just finished a run of Patrick Marber’s ‘The Red Lion’ at Theatre Live (Newcastle) and have been working consistently since last May (2016). I need a little holiday! The team would like to thank John Bowler for taking part in his interview.