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Emma Peel

The Avengers (from the Paul Rance book 50 Great Moments and Memories of the 1960s)


Pairing a middle-aged man with an attractive young woman is old enough when it comes to TV and film. But it has rarely been done as entertainingly, as when Patrick MacNee played the bowler-hatted, umbrella-wielding John Steed - with a succession of feisty women by his side fighting crime together.

Honor Blackman as Cathy Gayle, Diana Rigg as Emma Peel (m appeal = man appeal. Get it?) and Linda Thorson as Tara King appealed to men and women alike. This was down to their being strong women, but while still retaining their femininity. John Steed was really a cool throwback to a pre-War English gentleman, but the contrast between him and his hip young female companions worked.

Few shows highlighted trendy Britain as much as The Avengers. Though, skilfully, the creators of the show certainly included enough aspects of 'old' Britain to give The Avengers generational appeal.

Copyright © Paul Rance

Avengers DVDs available from

Gareth Hunt - Mike Gambit Of The New Avengers - Obituary
Date of Birth: 7 February 1942, Battersea, London, England.
Date of Death: 14 March 2007, Redhill, Surrey, England.

Written by Paul Rance
Tuesday, 24 April 2007

'The New Avengers' was a revival of the classic 1960s British TV fantasy series, 'The Avengers', and made big stars of Joanna Lumley and Gareth Hunt in the 1970s. Hunt played Mike Gambit, opposite Ms. Lumley's Purdey and Patrick Macnee's John Steed. Gareth also appeared in a number of popular British TV series, including 'Upstairs, Downstairs', 'EastEnders', 'New Tricks', 'Minder', 'Doctors', 'Space: 1999', 'Doctor Who', 'Bless This House', 'A Family At War', and 'Softly Softly', and was also famous for appearing in a series of Nescafe coffee ads.

Gareth Hunt finally succumbed to pancreatic cancer, which had blighted his life for two years, on March 14th. He was 65.

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