Well, winter has come and I cannot stand walking on slippery pavements so this week I have borrowed the Tardis to transport us back 60 years to what was filming at Elstree Studios.

This is not the first time I have travelled on an alien spaceship, as I think I was once abducted and probed before finding myself in my own bed the next morning. My memory of the previous night had been wiped. Mind you I had enjoyed one or two sherbets at the pub so who knows whether a far away alien race now has my knowledge of Elstree-made movies?

By 1959 Elstree Studios was home to a mix of movies from low budget comedies for the home market to bigger films that also used location shooting around the world.

An obvious example of this was The Sundowners, which used real locations in Australia and starred Robert Mitchum. He was in fact not first choice for the role as Gary Cooper signed for the lead role but withdrew when it was realised he was suffering from terminal cancer.

Another film titled Moment Of Danger used locations in Spain and starred the ever-reliable Trevor Howard and the lovely Dorothy Dandridge, who shot to fame with films such as Carmen Jones and Porgy And Bess. Sadly she was a troubled individual and was to die aged only 42 from a drug overdose with only loose change to her name.

The film also starred Edmund Purdom, who was apparently born in Welwyn Garden City. He walked into sudden stardom by being cast in The Student Prince in 1954 to replace a rather bloated and difficult Mario Lanza, but from memory I think they dubbed in his voice for the songs.

Edmund was then given the starring role in The Egyptian and was granted the honour of having his hand and footprints immortalised in cement outside the Chinese Theatre, which is a rare honour. Alas the film was not a great success, so they were removed and replaced by those of Yul Brynner.

This is Hollywood and it does not take prisoners. I was once walking down Hollywood Boulevard with a studio executive and he saw a colleague in the distance who had been fired. He asked me to cross the road before we were spotted and when I asked why he said "it is best not to be seen with someone on the way down".

That is showbiz, but Edmund moved to Rome and continued his career acting and doing voiceovers until his death in 2009 aged 84.

Hell Is A City was a great black and white crime drama starring Stanley Baker and Donald Pleasence, which used many locations in a grim looking Manchester. I tend not to travel to the provinces but I am sure it looks better in colour nowadays.

An early example of Elstree making a spin-off film from a successful television series was Bottoms Up, starring Jimmy Edwards as a teacher at a boys school. I met Jimmy in 1984 when I was invited to appear on the sofa on a breakfast television show called I think TV-am with Anne Diamond and Nick Owen as the hosts. My fellow guests were Douglas Fairbanks Jr, Jimmy and a footballer named Jimmy Greaves. I was there to talk about the 70th anniversary of film making in Borehamwood. I cannot believe that was 35 years ago and although I still have a VHS tape recording I cannot bring myself to watch it and it may have rotted away anyway.

That reminds me, have I told you about my first television appearance in 1982? Well if I have, just pretend to please me as my memory fails. I was campaigning to keep our local cinema, which proved to be a lost cause. I was asked to stand in front of the camera in the cinema lobby and argue my case. It was only when it was transmitted I noticed a film poster behind me entitled Meat Balls. My head obscured the first word and the rest stood as a commentary on my television debut.

I can only mention some of the productions due to lack of space and I must return the Tardis to the BBC. Incidentally, who remembers those old police boxes in our high streets? I certainly remember the one in Shenley Road in Borehamwood, but I hope some have been preserved. Until we meet again watch out for ice as the older you get the less you bounce. Until next time Bottoms Up.