Town’s tale of the unexpected
- Credit: Archant
It was one town's five minutes of fame on TV.
Back in the 1980s, Tales of the Unexpected was a cult series which ran for nine years.
Each episode consisted of a short, sinister story with an unexpected twist in the tail.
Galloping Foxley, which writer Roald Dahl claimed was based on a true story, brought no less than the great Sir John Mills to Platform One at Downham Market Station, in April 1979.
He starred as William Perkins, a commuter obsessed by routine. Each day he sits in the same seat, in the same carriage on the same train. Then one day, his peace is shattered when he finds a man sitting in his seat.
Mr P eventually recognises the interloper as an old schoolmate, Bruce Foxley. Foxley was a prefect who bullied and abused him.
Perkins decides to humiliate him, in front of other passengers. But Foxley denies it.
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Is it him, isn't it, wondered millions of Saturday night viewers.
The episode ends with Foxley resting his cane on his shoulder just like the school bully used to.
Tales of the Unexpected was made by Anglia TV in Norwich, with episodes filmed around the region. As well as the late Sir John, stars included Susan George, John Gielgud, Brian Blessed and Joan Collins.