This Septred Isle query

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dan_gale's picture
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Can anyone settle this once and for all.
there is a long running radio documentary about the british isles called This Septred Isle, which you can get on BBC tape from book shops and is currently on BBC7. It says it's written by Christopher Lee. I'll listen to it, sure, but before I do can anyone confirm this is our fav actor or a historian with the same name? I've never heard of it in any list of the actor Mr. Lee's work before, and yet here on the forum it mentions it on the TV listings section.

Is it or is it not the actor writing this?

And while we're at it, the comedy show mentioned in the listings that him also? As many strings as he has to his bow as an actor, singer, narrator, fencer, knife thrower etc. I wasn't aware of any situation comedy writing merits!Shock



Trevor Ball's picture
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Re: This Septred Isle query

It was written by a different Christopher Lee.




Purple_Pen (not verified)

Purple_Pen's picture
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Re: This Septred Isle query

This made me wonder too at first, but I can confirm that neither of these programmes are anything to do with our Christopher Lee. It just comes up on the 'TV Listings' section because this does an automatic search on DigiGuide for the search term "Christopher Lee".

The author of both 'Our Brave Boys' and 'This Sceptred Isle' is the same person, though. He is a former BBC foreign affairs correspondent who's written quite a lot for Radio 4 and he can be seen here:

Both 'Christopher' and 'Lee' are quite common names, of course, so this is bound to happen sometimes. There is also the case of the famous transsexual called 'Chris Lee' - confusion between him and the actor gave rise to this whole (rather silly) thread on the IMDb:

Andrés Verdú's picture
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Re: This Septred Isle query

Hi everyone,

Yes, Trevor B and Purple Pen are quite correct. The Christopher Lee who wrote This Sceptred Isle is not the same person as the actor Christopher Lee.

Moreover, this is not the first time that Christopher Lee the actor has been confused for someone else of the same name. Nor has it been unknown for people to cite the name "Christopher Lee" in connection with films that were either never made in the end, or that Mr Lee never starred in at all. I thought I would quote a relevant section from the book Christopher Lee: The Authorised Screen History, by Jonathan Rigby, (2001), relating to these kinds of cases of "mistaken identity." I am using italics to indicate that the following is a quotation:


A career as long-lived and wide-ranging as Christopher Lee's has inevitably given rise to more than its fair share of misinformation. Several published filmographies greatly exaggerate his number of credits - as can be seen above there are quite enough of them as it is - by listing the same film numerous times in the belief that its alternate titles (or even its pre-production titles) represent different films.
In addition, several projects that got no further than being announced in the trade press have been listed as finished films. These include An Unknown God (West German, 1985), The Avalon Awakening (British, 1988) and Il Monastero/The Monastery (Italian, 1989), together with a 1995 Kevin Connor project called The Knot. Further unmade projects to beware of, other than those mentioned in the main text, are Diabolica/La Diabolika Lady (Italian, 1965: to have co-starred Barbara Steele), Dialogue of Death (Italian-Spanish, 1971: to have been directed by Antonio Margheriti), The Farm (Canadian, 1972), The Spirit of England (Anglo-Spanish, 1974: to have been directed by Don Chaffey), Oltre il tempo/Beyond Time (Italian, 1977), Moon in Scorpio (Anglo-Canadian, 1979: possibly a second attempt to produce The Farm, to have been directed by Silvio Narizzano), The Khyber Horse (British, 1984: proposed follow-up to The Bengal Lancers, itself abandoned), Doom Ship (British, 1987: to have co-starred Britt Ekland) and Fire Below (American, 1987: eventually made, without Lee, as Bloodstone).
Completed films which wrongly appear in Lee's filmographies include The Luck of the Irish (a British comedy of 1948), 99 Mujeres/99 Women (one of the Harry Alan Towers/Jesús Franco pictures from the late 1960s) and two 1980 productions, Blood Beach and Sunday Games. The confusion surrounding the latter has arisen because Lee appeared in a US TV quiz show of the same name in the same year. Lee has also been erroneously credited with a 1983 US mini-series called Sadat and the 1997 Harry Alan Towers production Marco Polo. Late 1960s filmographies list a Swedish film called Deserve the Fair and a similar situation applies to a late 1980s item called Couleur Passion. It has not been possible to establish what these projects were, but Lee confirms that, whatever they were, he did not appear in them.
The most persistent errors - both proceeding, it seems, from commentators with poor eyesight - involve Obsession and The Longest Day. The former is a British thriller from 1948, directed by Edward Dmytryk, in which Lee is said to have played a policeman in the entourage of Naunton Wayne. A still exists of a PC bearing a passing resemblance to Lee, but Lee is adamant that it is not him. A lengthy US profile published in 1973 (in Cinefantastique Volume 3 number 1) made the ludicrous claim that, while making Ercole al centro della terra in 1961, 'Lee also found work doing several stunting bits in Darryl Zanuck's all-star production of The Longest Day.' This error proceeds from the presence in the film of a French actor vaguely resembling Lee. And, for the record, Lee is not to be confused with either the BBC Radio dramatist Christopher Lee, the Australian screenwriter Christopher Lee or the Cambridge historian Christopher Lee.


Rigby, Jonathan, Christopher Lee: The Authorised Screen History, (Surrey, England: Reynolds and Hearn Ltd., 2001), p. 245.

Gosh, that is a long quote, but I think it covers a good deal of ground. I would add a couple of names to this: The Meatcleaver Massacre, which is a US film. As Mr Lee starts to explain in the video on the front page from the recent event at Heathrow, what happened was that he had taped a series of documentaries on the Supernatural and the Occult, and scenes from these had been lifted and inserted into this film, without his knowledge or consent. Very recently it has been claimed that Mr Lee is to star in an upcoming film called A Plague of Spiders, which, again, is untrue. Those who are interested can read some more information on this, again on the front page.

Sorry if all of this is boring, but I just thought that maybe someone, somewhere, somehow, might find it interesting. I guess it's inevitable, given Mr Lee's extensive filmography, and the fact that there are other people called Christopher Lee out there.

Well, if you haven't fallen asleep by the end of this, kind regards to one and all,

poeraven Smile

TheWickerMan's picture
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Re: This Septred Isle query

No, no, no, that wasn't boring, it was an intersesting post my boy, thank you for the information!

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