Do you remember Rentaghost? If you grew up in the 80’s then you surely do. It’s one of those 1980’s tv programmes that you either loved or hated.
Written by Bob Block it was initially only commissioned for 5 episodes. It has been described as a pantomime comedy, which on the face of it is a very good description – it did have a pantomime horse! Perhaps the best known character was medieval poltergeist Timothy Claypole, played by Michael Staniforth. Staniforth also wrote, composed and performed the title track.
Rentaghost is also well known for having Sue Nicholls (Audrey Roberts) as Nadia Popov the sneezing, flower allergic ghost (I wonder if that ever did anything for Alf Roberts?!). Molly Weir also featured, as Hazel the McWitch, so did Kenneth Connor as Whatisname Smith. Perhaps the most famous alumni of Rentaghost is Lynda la Plante. She briefly played Tamara Novek (a cousin of Nadia Popov – and she also was allergic to flowers). Definitely cementing the show’s reputation as a pantomime comedy was Christopher Biggins, who starred as Adam Painting, a local entrepreneur.
It is unlikely that you’ll ever be able to see this popular children’s 1980’s tv programme on DVD due to the complex copyright issues that surround it. In the days before videos and DVDs became popular, many of the actors’ contracts did not contain clauses for video royalties. Subsequently, some of these actors are blocking the release of Rentaghost on video or DVD. The first series is available, but it’s from 1976!