Mr Swindley goes it alone

Meet Arthur Lowe, star of Coronation Street spin-off Pardon the Expression

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From the TVTimes for week commencing 19 June 1965

FOR the four years Mr. Swindley puffed and huffed his imperious way around the intrigues of Coronation Street, the man who played him, actor Arthur Lowe, had a problem on his mind.

As far as he was concerned, publicity, interviews and public appearances were OUT. “I don’t want to be type-cast,” he said.

Now, with the Chaplinesque-like Swindley projected as the star of Pardon the Expression (Wednesdays) the risk of lifelong identification seems higher than ever. Why the change in attitude?

“When I was first asked to play Swindley,” said Lowe, “I hadn’t the faintest notion that the part would last for four years. We all thought that Coronation Street was a modest little cameo of Northern life which would run for seven weeks and then finish.”

Arthur Lowe
Arthur Lowe: “This may be the start of Swindley’s rise to fame”

Arthur Lowe left Coronation Street for a spell earlier this year, to appear in the stage version of John Osborne’s play, “Inadmissible Evidence.”

“When the invitation came to star in Pardon the Expression, I was faced with a terrible decision. It took me weeks to make my mind up,” he said.

Why did he plump for Swindley? “Because I like to think of him as a funny man with international possibilities.

“I’m hoping that he will appeal to a much broader audience than Coronation Street. If we do well enough we might crash the overseas TV market and go some way towards fulfilling my next ambition to become an international star. ”

Arthur Lowe is an agile man — mentally and physically. He has many of Swindley’s mannerisms. He beams broadly, then his furrowed brow will crease in thought as he weighs your questions.

“Having made my decision to stand by Swindley,” said Arthur, “I am now wholeheartedly in the part.”

One thing he has learned to do is leave Mr. Swindley at the studio door. “I never take him home with me. I’m very fond of Swindley but he’s just another character whom I happen to have played longer than the rest.”

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