Oh, for the days of the knights!

Kay Callard on the men in her life

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From the TVTimes for week commencing 1 November 1959

BLONDE Kay Callard was quite emphatic. “Men,” she said, “are the limit. Why do they have to be so patronising when they meet a girl who has looks and intelligence?”

Canadian-born Kay, who plays Liz Parrish, John Knight’s “Girl Friday” in Granada’s Knight Errant ’59, pursued the point.

“It’s a tousand pities there aren’t more knights in shining armour around these days,” she said, referring to men who aren’t patronising to girls who have taken their education seriously. “Maybe it’s a thing with me but I hate patronising men. Why do they have to be so supercilious?”

Kay Callard

Kay is in the mood for talking and she goes on speaking for a long time and says a whole lot of things that are most interesting.

Like how her boy friends react when they find out she goes in for sculpture.

“They pat me on the head,” said Kay, “as though they think there might be something mistaken in the works, or they look all sympathetic and say something like ‘Oh well, if it pleases you, my dear… It makes me so mad.”

There was an angry glint in the Callard eye, but she brightened as she added: “That’s why when I meet new boy friends I always talk to them about their business rather than mine. I find it saves a lot of eyebrow-raising.” She laughed.

Kay laughs, too, about the crazy situations in which she finds herself. “They seem to crop up frequently at my flat in Chelsea,” she said. “Mainly because I am probably the world’s most untidy person.

“When I am going out, I can never find anything I want. The dress I decided to wear is always at the cleaners.”

Callard with a suit of armour
At least this man is not patronising, thinks Kay

Kay claims she lives in “an almost perpetual state of panic stations.” Evenings that begin quietly at home are apt to have a different ending.

She explained: “My friends and I take it in turn to meet in our own homes. I remember not so long ago one of these so-called quiet evenings ended up with Scotch and strawberries in Covent Garden and a stroll through Hyde Park at the crack of dawn.”

Kay, who started her career as a writer on a Toronto newspaper and ran her own advertising agency when she was only 19, has made many television appearances and has been in a dozen films since she came to England six years ago. Six years of crazy situations. And improvisations. Like the evening she had been invited out to cocktails.

“I was at my wits’ end for a hat,” said Kay. “Then I came across an old black sweater and thought it might be a good idea to cut off the sleeve, wind it round my head and stick a pin in it ”

Was the hat a success?

“I suppose it was really,” replied Kay. “But I don’t think it wise to admit authorship of anything until you know how the land lies.

“I was asked where I got the hat so I said it was just a little something I had picked up on my travels. They seemed quite impressed, so I thought it best to leave well alone.”

Our conversation drifted back to men. Said Kay: “When it comes to picking my man I shall look for a sense of humour. That’s very important because he will have to put up with my peculiarities.

“He will have to be a good listener, too, because I talk a lot.”

She laughed and said she was firmly convinced men were here to stay and she believed the situation was not really so terrible after all.

Patronising on the part of Kay?

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