Tribute to Peter Tuddenham
I was very saddened when I heard that Peter Tuddenham had died on Monday, 9 July 2007, as I had only spoken with him a fortnight previously, and he had seemed in very good spirits and looking forward to working at the Glyndebourne Theatre, where he was employed as a dialect coach for the Wiltshire accent. Anyone who attended this year's Star One convention will remember Peter's demonstration of his expertise in this particular speech form through his recital of a number of poems written in the Wiltshire dialect.
I first met Peter at a Doctor Who convention in Cardiff in the 1980s, and subsequently at many events, both Doctor Who and Blake's 7-related, for many years afterwards. Later I was to meet his wife Rosemary, who also frequently attended events with him. Aside from conducting a number of interviews with him for magazines, I also had the good fortune to be able to employ Peter in the roles of Zen, Orac and Slave, in the Blake's 7 audio play The Logic of Empire which I wrote and produced, with Alistair Lock, in 1998. It was a wonderful experience to hear him bring new life to the characters, and I remember him saying that he enjoyed returning to his Blake's 7 roles. Subsequently, when he heard that Jim Smith, Chris Boucher and I were developing a new series of CDs, Kaldor City, he asked if he could be involved, and so the role of Strecker was developed with his talents in mind.
Peter was always professional and optimistic, and had a ready line in wit and humour. Despite having had a career which involved working with the likes of Noel Coward and Ivor Novello (and, at one point, stealing Terry-Thomas' girlfriend on V-E night!), he was always willing to help out fans and smaller productions. I always felt, on some level, as if he would live forever, and, in a way, through his film, TV and radio work, he will.
15 July 2007