Timothy West recalled how show blunder led to Prunella Scales romance Terrible play

Timothy West looks back on his first date with Prunella Scales

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ITV garden host Alan Titchmarsh sat down to chat to seasoned actor Timothy West on his show Love Your Weekend with Alan Titchmarsh. The Gentleman Jack star is married to Fawlty Towers actress Prunella Scales, who played Sybil Fawlty in the BBC show. Divulging that the pair met over 70 years ago, it was a freak technical difficulty with the play they were starring in that allowed the two to spend more time together.

Sitting down with the gardening specialist, Timothy fondly reminisced about how he and his wife met but had spent many weeks and months apart due to their conflicting filming schedules.

Alan asked: “When did you meet? I don’t think I ever remember when you met.”

Letting out a sigh as he thought of the year, the actor replied: “We met in, I think, 1951, something like that.

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“We met in a terrible play called She Died Young. Subtitled by the cast – And none too soon.”

The pair laughed, but if it wasn’t for the doomed production, the two might not have had the opportunity to explore their feelings or have possibly ever met.

He continued: “And there was an electrician strike which went on and on and on.

“Eventually, the director came to us and said, ‘I am terribly sorry, we are unable to record’, ‘Oh goodness’ we said.

 

Alan joked: “Dear me,” and Timothy continued: “We were left with an afternoon vacant.

“And I said to Prue, ‘What do you want to do?’ and she said, ‘Well, let’s go to the pictures,’ and we did. And that was it.”

Alan and Timothy have been friends for years, and he let slip that he remembers the happy couple joking about hardly seeing each other while celebrating their anniversary.

The TV host said: “I remember, I think it was at your silver wedding [anniversary] you said, ‘We are celebrating 25 years together, but we have actually only been together for about seven of them as we are acting in different places.'”

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The pair married in 1963, and in 2014 his wife Prunella was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.

Replying candidly to the TV host’s question of how his wife was doing, he described: “She’s alright, yes, she has a bit of a serious memory problem, it’s meant we don’t have the same kind of conversations that we used to have, which is sad for us both.

“But she enjoys life, she gets about, we go to the theatre, we go to meet friends, and I’m very lucky, really. Very lucky.”

Also, while appearing on the weekend chat show, Timothy spoke about his son, actor Samuel West, and how proud he was of him.

The former EastEnders actor commented about how he speaks to his son about their joint enjoyment of bird watching, and Alan wanted to know if they spoke about acting and shared any advice or tips for the entertainment industry.

Alan asked: “Does he ask dad’s opinion about anything or?”

He replied: “No, not much, he used to ask about the theatre, but that is it, he doesn’t need it.”

Samuel appears as Siegfried Farnon in the Channel 5 series All Creatures Great and Small, with his father concluding: “Very proud because he is very good.”

Alan Titchmarsh airs Sunday from 10am on ITV.

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