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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Tasty Morsel 1: Elizabeth Hurley

Elizabeth Hurley and John Thaw in the Inspector Morse episode Last Seen Wearing (1988)

Agent Triple P is currently working his way through the complete Inspector Morse TV dramas.  Morse, for those who don't know it, is a detective show set in Oxford.  The grumpy, Wagner-loving, vintage Jaguar driving, near-alcoholic Morse battles his way through interfering superiors, red herrings and false conclusions to eventually solve murders with his chirpy Geordie assistant (Kevin Whatley).  Agent Triple P is not, on the whole, a fan of detective TV series.  Really he hasn't watched anything like this since the Jersey-set Bergerac in the eighties.  But just as Bergerac gains from its interesting location in the Channel Islands so Morse benefits from being set in Oxford where, of course, Triple P spent three years at University.

Triumphantly passes the Triple P "does-she-look-good-in-a-vest?" test

The first episode appeared in 1987, just five years after we left college and we certainly watched the first few.  After that we only caught the occasional episode.  There were 33 two hour episodes in all and we have just bought a boxed set of all of them for a very good price on Amazon.  Oddly, we have come to these after having watched the spin-off series Lewis, which is shortly to begin it's seventh series.  So far we have watched around half a dozen of the Morse episodes and although Morse fans will find it heretical, we aren't enjoying Morse as much as Lewis  because Morse, as played by John Thaw, is such an unlikable character. Maybe he mellows later on.

And again!

Anyway we don't watch the series for Thaw but for the Oxford locations and the splendid line-up of British character actors appearing in every episode.  It being set in a University town there are, of course, lots of roles for young actresses playing students.  Some of these, in early roles, have gone on to bigger things and as we come across them we will post them here.

Looks like a teenager but actually 22 at the time

Hurley (right) as a schoolgirl in Last Seen Wearing

Our first Morsel (sorry) is none other than a 22 year old Elizabeth Hurley in her first screen appearance.  For the episode Last Seen Wearing (series 2) she plays a schoolgirl called Julia and very fresh-faced she looks too.  

Hurley was born in the rather grim Hampshire town of Basingstoke, just about thirty miles from where Triple P lives, in 1965.  It was her wearing of a Versace dress held together by gold safety pins in 1994 that launched her into the international public consciousness when she was otherwise known for very little other than being Hugh Grant's girlfriend. 

Altogether splendid!

From this she has built a reasonable acting, modelling and presenting career that sees her, at the age of 47, still being used for Estée Lauder campaigns.

Blessed with a particularly splendid body she always looks fantastic in photos, even in ones snatched by the paparazzi.

Triple P actually sat on the same table as her at a charity lunch (which she organised to support her doctor brother's research) a few years ago and found her quite charming and stunningly beautiful in the flesh.


  1. Also am a fan of Lewis which later brought me to Morse. While the mysterys doesn't always work, they really have learned to use the beautiful Oxford scenery. I always ask myself how much they make up about the academic world.

    There are a lot of famous or later famous actors in this. Not all as nice as Miss Hurley, though :-)

  2. The other difference I have noticed is that Lewis always seems to be filmed in the sunshine, when Oxford looks its best, whereas Morse always seems to be filmed in grey weather. I certainly remember more grey and rain than sunshine when I was there!

  3. Great pictures of Liz - she did a great 'Showgirls' pictorial for one of the 'gentlemen's'' magazines before they gave up in about 2006. Nice to see how she's done very well for herself.

    And on Morse - I think the early shows have dated compared to Lewis filmed in the recent past. If you want something related, they're also running Endeavour - young Morse - at the moment. In line with the fetish for all things 50s/60s its full of period 'detail' (like digital trickery to put chimney smoke amongst the dreaming spires) but has the always watchable Roger Allam in it too...