Dame Diana Rigg celebrates iconic television shows at Elstree Studios

PUBLISHED: 16:27 28 September 2017 | UPDATED: 16:51 28 September 2017

Elstree managing director Roger Morris, Dame Diana Rigg and chairman Morris Bright [Picture: Ila Desai]

Elstree managing director Roger Morris, Dame Diana Rigg and chairman Morris Bright [Picture: Ila Desai]

www.iwasthere.photography/Ila Desai

Victoria and Game of Thrones star Dame Diana Rigg helped celebrate the iconic television shows made at Elstree Studios in Hertfordshire.

Dame Diana Rigg and Elstree chairman Morris Bright [Picture: Ila Desai] Dame Diana Rigg and Elstree chairman Morris Bright [Picture: Ila Desai]

“We continue to make the very best television in the world in this country,” said Dame Diana Rigg at Elstree Studios’ celebration of iconic television productions of the 1960s and 1970s on Sunday.

Dame Diana was guest of honour at the event which was held on Sound Stage 9 at Elstree, the very stage where she filmed her final scenes as Emma Peel in The Avengers, back in December 1967.

Morris Bright, chairman of Elstree Studios and leader of Hertsmere Borough Council said: “It was fitting that for our last event of our 90th anniversary celebrations we saluted our glorious television heritage.

“To have Dame Diana Rigg as our guest of honour and to hear her speak so fondly of her years at Elstree was very special.”

BBC Elstree Concert Band [Picture: Ila Desai] BBC Elstree Concert Band [Picture: Ila Desai]

Dame Diana, who starred in 1969 James Bond movie On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, made 51 episodes of The Avengers at Elstree opposite Patrick Macnee, who played John Steed.

She can currently be seen on TV in Victoria as the Duchess of Buccleuch, and was also Olenna Tyrell in Game of Thrones.

During the past year bosses at Elstree have been celebrating the 90th anniversary of the world famous studios with a host of celebratory events, as well as the launch of a new book.

To round off the 90th anniversary celebrations, the Hertsmere Borough Council-owned studios celebrated the television productions of the 1960s and 1970s made at Elstree, from The Human Jungle to The Saint, The Avengers to Randall & Hopkirk, Return of the Saint to Jason King and more.

Elstree Studios Elstree Studios

Other celebrities who attended the event were former Carry On star Angela Douglas, Peggy Cummins, Norman Eshley, Derek Fowlds, William Gaunt, John Hough, Valerie Leon, Aimi MacDonald, Derek Martin, Derren Nesbitt, Marc Sinden, Jack Smethurst, Anita West, and childhood actor, now MP, Giles Watling.

Also visiting Elstree, sadly for the last time, was Darth Vader actor Dave Prowse, who has recently announced he will not be making any further public appearances due to ill health.

The original Star Wars movies were made at Elstree.

During the evening, tribute was also paid to the late Sir Roger Moore, who became an international star and future James Bond after his appearance in over 100 episodes of The Saint, which were made at Elstree.

Elstree Studios at 90 Elstree Studios at 90

Exclusive unseen interview material of Sir Roger talking about his days at Elstree was played to the 400 guests, after which celebrities reminisced about one of the most adored actors in the business.

The evening concluded with the BBC Concert Band playing music from Elstree film and television productions.

These theme tunes include The Pathfinders, The Third Man, Murder on the Orient Express, The Saint, The Muppets, Superman, The Avengers and The Dambusters.

Roger Morris, managing director of Elstree Studios, said: “Elstree’s reputation for high quality television continues to this day.

“Fifty years ago it was The Saint and The Avengers. Today, it is The Crown and Strictly Come Dancing.

“We remain very proud of our television work here at Elstree.”

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