The many faces of Michael

With next Monday being a bank holiday, you would expect there to be some special programmes on the main terrestrial channels. Unfortunately, what original programming there is on, tends to be rather uninspiring.

However, if you missed seeing it a couple of weeks ago, at 11pm on BBC2 there is another opportunity to see the extremely good documentary about the work of the multi-talented performer Michael Crawford.

You can learn quite a lot about this showman from this programme which includes an interview with the man himself. Crawford appeared in many television programmes in its earliest days before becoming a household name as Frank Spencer in the classic comedy series, Some Mothers Do ‘Ave Them.

In the 70s, Frank Spencer became the television character that all impressionists wanted in their act.

Despite his huge success in this role, when Crawford wanted to move on to a different character in a new television sitcom, Chalk and Cheese, audiences of the day did not seem to want to accept him in this new role.

However, he had a number of huge successes on the stage. He played the famous American showman Barnum and was also the original Phantom in Lloyd Webber’s epic musical. This documentary shows us that while a performer may cease to appear regularly on television, that does not mean that they are not having an even more successful career elsewhere. If you ever wondered what Crawford did before Some Mothers and what he did after that series was finished, then this splendid documentary will show you what that was. IAN K