Hot on the heels of the Jimmy Saville scandal, writes Steve Pittard, the BBC has committed another dreadful faux pax, by axing Charters and Caldicott from their new production of The Lady Vanishes.
In the original 1938 Hitchcock film, elderly rail traveller Miss Froy disappears, but the biggest mystery in this new production, due to air on BBC 1 on 17th March, is that so do Charters and Caldicott. Those splendid bumbling cricket obsessives, rushing back to England to see the last days of a Test match, were played by Basil Radford and Naunton Wayne.
Stealing the show in the 1938 original, their roles went on to be reprised in other films such as Night train to Munich, and the pair took centre stage in the 1985 television series Charters and Caldicott. Yet the BBC did not consider them important enough to include in the new production of The Lady Vanishes. Is it not perhaps time for Auntie to start getting her priorities right?