Pamela Duncan, actress and writer, was doing scripts for ATV’s weekly advertising magazine Take A Note when Charmian Innes fell ill. She stood in as commere for a week and has stayed with the programme ever since.
“Now I write the scripts and appear,” she says. “It is a full-time job and leaves me little time for any other writing.”
Pamela Duncan was born in Grantham, but lived for a long time in Dublin.
After winning a scholarship at Dublin’s Gaiety School of Acting — where Eamonn Andrews was a classmate — she played in repertory and at the famous Gate Theatre. She was a founder member of the Dublin Globe Theatre Company two years ago.
In a Dublin radio programme called Living With Lynch, Pamela was the only girl in the show, and played all the female parts.
While in Ireland, Pamela appeared in films. It was a visit to a film studio that gave her one of her most embarrassing moments.
“I went to the studios with a friend who had an urgent message for her husband,” she told me. “He was working on one of Sir Laurence Olivier’s films and, of course, I had heard that Sir Laurence never allowed visitors on the set. But the doorman knew we were coming and gave us permission to walk on the set.
“We crept in and stood in the darkness, watching Olivier rehearse a scene. I was so fascinated that I didn’t notice the lights had moved slightly. Suddenly, there I was, standing in their full glare.
“Just as suddenly. Sir Laurence stopped the rehearsal and called out: ‘I see two strange faces over there — will somebody please find out what they are doing?’ It was one of the worst moments I have ever experienced.”
Pamela, who is single, lives in a London flat. Cooking is one of her main hobbies.
She also likes tennis, swimming and dancing.
She is proud of the fact that, so far, there have been no hitches in Take A Note.
“When you’ve played in repertory you are used to surprises,” she says. “Once, while I was playing in Little Women, ‘Meg’ brought her twins on stage. The juvenile lead had to say, ‘Aren’t they sweet?’ and pat a cushion. On this occasion, two moths flew out of the cushion. The audience roared with laughter — and so did the cast.”