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Honor Blackman to join 'The Avengers' 50th anniversary event

20-Mar-2011 • Event

Stars from the hit TV series The Avengers will be reunited for the first time in 40 years at the University of Chichester (UK) this summer to celebrate half a century since the programme's launch.

For two days in June, the University's Bishop Otter Campus in Chichester will be transformed, giving fans the chance to get up close and personal with big name stars from the series and experience some of the classic scenes from the series with life-size recreations. For media studies experts, the opportunities to hear from a wide range of actors, producers and directors in one place over one weekend will be a valuable aid in understanding how one of the most successful TV series of its time was developed.

Events on the main stage will be hosted by TV presenter and Avengers fan Paul O'Grady, and in front of a live audience of 300 people each day, he will be interviewing guests including Honor Blackman and Linda Thorson, who played Cathy Gale and Tara King respectively in the series. Exclusive video messages will be played at the event from Patrick Macnee, who played Steed, and Joanna Lumley, who starred as another of Steed's sidekicks, Purdey, in the New Avengers.

Other major names at the event includes Brian Clemens, who wrote series 1-6, producer Leonard White, directors Don Leaver and Gerry O'Hara, and Cyd Child, stunt double for Diana Rigg and Linda Thorson in series 5 and 6. The Avengers was produced between 1961 and 1969, and as its peak, it was shown in more than 90 countries, giving it a worldwide following that has continued this day. Guests at the reunion event are coming from across Europe and America, as well as in the UK.

As the University of Chichester is the main organiser of the event, it is more in-depth than the average fan event. Guests will talk in detail about their experiences working on or starring in the show, and how it influenced their later careers.

Other highlights of the weekend in Chichester will include an exhibition of memorabilia, including the Lotus that Emma Peel used in the series. There will also be a number of signing sessions, and an opportunity to visit a recreation of the Hellfire Club for a night out with a difference.

The event takes place on Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 June, and tickets are on sale through the University of Chichester. Accommodation is available on campus or in Chichester city centre. Further information is available by visiting www.chi.ac.uk/theavengers.

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