In addition to the upcoming release of the Callan reunion telefilm "Wet Job" (still not officially announced, but available to pre-order on Amazon), it looks like Network has another treat for Callan fans up its sleeve. It's The Edward Woodward Hour, and Edward Woodward variety show from the Seventies. Yes, you read that right. I think Network can do a better job of explaining it than I, so I'll let them do their thing. But don't give up now, Callan fans; be sure to read through. There really is a spy aspect to this odd release!
Though primarily known as a serious actor, drama was only one of the strings to Edward Woodward’s bow. A significant proportion of his stage work included musicals and music-themed shows, gaining him a Variety Club award for the Best Performance in a Musical. Singing was undoubtedly one of the great loves of his life, and his strong tenor voice graced numerous best-selling albums – the enthusiasm for his work shining through.Callan vs. Father, Dear Father sketch??? The tense Woodward spy drama versus the Patrick Cargill sitcom? What the who? I can't imagine what that is, but this I've got to see! Unfortunately, the original transmission master for this surviving special no longer exists, so Network has used an off-air recording, meaning that the quality won't be top-notch, but at least we'll have the opportunity to see this weird obscurity!
With the success of Callan, Woodward became a household name – this popularity giving him the chance to show his lighter side in three light entertainment specials in the early 1970s for Thames Television. Sadly only the first one still remains in the archive, but it ably showcases Woodward’s whimsical side; jokes and music abound, while his guests in this show include Beryl Reid, Patrick Cargill and Russell Hunter. The highlight of the show, however, is the Callan vs Father, Dear Father sketch – something that no self-respecting Callan fan can be without!
The Edward Woodward Hour, a PAL Region 2 DVD, will be available on March 28. Retail is £15.31, but it will be available from Network's website for £9.18. (Odd price points.)