Graham Seed Interview


Graham Seed played the mysterious character Smith in series one of C.A.B.

To celebrate the 30th anniversary of C.A.B I messaged Graham Seed on Twitter to see if he would like to answer a few questions about his time as Smith on the first series. Barely fifteen minutes later he kindly replied saying 'It would be a pleasure!' so over a few days I thought up some questions and duly sent them over to him.

Many thanks goes to Graham for his time in answering these questions and sharing his memories of his time working on the series. Hope you all enjoy the interview, it's a wonderful read.

The interview is below, in his own words.

1) How did you get the role of Smith? How was the series portrayed to you before filming? Were the scripts still being written after production had begun?
I remember going up for the part at Thames TV and I was told I was up for a children’s spy series. The scripts were certainly not complete at the beginning.

2) What did you think of your character Smith and the storyline for the series as a whole, the Egyptian theme, Colin as 'Secret agent C.A.B', the mysterious junk shop etc?
It all seemed rather fun. To do a three month television series was attractive. I seem to remember Smith’s incompetence was appealing to play.

3) You had several scenes by yourself as the character Smith (often trying on disguises), did you enjoy these scenes or did you prefer the scenes with the other cast members?
It was great to play to so many disguises and yes there were scenes in which I was on my own talking to myself, which was silly and fun. I do remember though enjoying working with the two children and Frank Gatliff.

4) Which of Smith's disguises did you enjoy the most and why (The American, The Laughing Milkman, Professor Sebastian Melmoth, The man from the authority, Rosemary, the painter/decorator etc)?
Of course Rosemary in ‘drag’ was an enjoyable experience! I’m not known for versatility but all the characters were fun and challenging and I had the advantage of expert make up and wardrobe facilities.

5) Would you have liked the character of Smith to have been different in any way? Did the character come to life from the scripts and did you have much input into the character? Did you keep anything from the series (scripts, props, photographs etc) as mementoes?
No. To be honest I can’t remember much about it now, but I have some amusing photographs taken in the studio to remember the series by.

6) What was it like and do you have any particular memories of working with the younger cast members: Felipe Izquierdo (Colin Freshwater), Louise Mason (Franny Barnes) and Celina Cherry (Jo)?
Felipe and Louise were great fun and very enthusiastic!

7) What was it like working with the adult cast members: Frank Gatliff (Mr Hellman), Lyndam Gregory (Anwar) & Avril Angers (Ma Mossop)?
Lovely memories of Frank, Lyndam and Avril. Sad they are no longer with us.

8) How do you feel the programme turned out – were you pleased with the final result?
Considering the limited budget, it looked rather good!

9) As I have no episodes from the end of series one can you tell us what happened at the end of the series?
I honestly can’t remember.

10) How long did it take to film an individual episode and the series as a whole? Can you remember when the series was filmed? Can you remember any particular locations that you filmed at?
It was an episode a week. It was filmed in the spring of 1986. I remember we had a lovely rehearsal room by the river in Kingston. Filming was done in Swiss Cottage and in the studio at Thames Television in Teddington which is no longer there.

11) Did you watch any of the episodes when they aired on TV?
Of course, I watched them all.

12) C.A.B continued for two more series, would you have liked Smith to have continued to appear in the subsequent series?
Sadly I wasn’t available for any other series as I went into Crossroads.

13) Do you think the series would appeal to children today and why? Would you like to see a commercial release of C.A.B. on DVD so it can be enjoyed by children (and grown ups) again?
Well I don’t know, children enjoyed it at the time. It could have a cult following if it was released now, especially from the fans at the time who are adults now.

14) What TV/Film/Radio/Theatre projects are you currently working on?
I recently guested in ‘The Durrells’ and am about to go on a national theatre tour of a play called ‘Dead Sheep’.

15) Have you any other comments you'd like to add or messages to those who remember the series?
Happy memories for me, and I hope so for all of you too. It would be lovely to meet up with Felipe and Louise and wonder how life has turned out for them.

Graham Seed