1947: June 12th – born Yorkshire and educated privately at Hymers College Public School. Christopher was part of the first experiment to include pupils from Newland High School for Girls in the annual school play. Appeared as Rev.Canon Chasuble in THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST in 1963 with Maureen Lipman as Cecily and later directed her as Lady Anne to his RICHARD III. In the same year he understudied the part of schoolboy Orton in THE FRENCH MISTRESS for the Hull Repertory Company at the New Theatre.
1963: NEWINGTON TRAWLER COMPANY: – went direct from public school onto the trawler PETER SCOTT as a deckie-learner for a three week work-experience sailing to Iceland and Greenland.
1964: BRITISH LION FILMS Ltd: Entered the Film Industry as assistant to the advertising manager under the auspices of Chairman Sir Michael Balcon (late of Ealing film studios) and The Boulting Brothers [ Mr. John & Mr. Roy] who were shooting ROTTEN TO THE CORE with Charlotte Rampling.
Other films he worked on distribution at this time were MODESTY BLAISE (with Terence Stamp and Dirk Bogarde) THE SYSTEM (with Oliver Reed), LORD OF THE FLIES, DR.WHO & THE DALEKS and DALEKS-INVASION EARTH 2150AD with Peter Cushing as the Doctor.
British Lion owned SHEPPERTON STUDIOS during this period and were also heavily tied-up with COLUMBIA PICTURES as BLC (BRITISH LION COLUMBIA):
1965: WIG CREATIONS Ltd: – worked directly for the legendary theatrical wig-maker and supplier Stanley Hall as his Floor Manager dealing with clients such as Vivien Leigh and Marlene Dietrich:
RANK THEATRES Ltd: – Assistant Manager based at The Odeon Swiss Cottage (which housed the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra live on Sundays attended on occasion by their patron Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother ) and doing relief managements at the Gaumont State Theatre and Grange Kilburn, Plaza Camden Town and the Odeons Wimbledon/ Mile-end Road / Haverstock Hill/ Temple Fortune and Hammersmith [now Apollo] (the latter during the legendary BEATLES CONCERTS)
1966: METRO-GOLDWYN-MAYER PICTURES Ltd:
Started as Special Roadshow Manager for the provincial release of M-G-M blockbuster DOCTOR ZHIVAGO and adapted Boris Pasternak’s 558 page novel and Robert Bolt’s 284 page screenplay into a 10,000 word five-part newspaper serialisation. Had dealings with Rod Steiger and Sir Alec Guinness.
Was very quickly promoted to TV & PRESS OFFICER where he worked on the huge MGM TV success THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. series and also DAKTARI. He hosted and escorted French actor Yves Montand to the European Premiere of GRAND PRIX, looked after American singer Roy Orbison on his visit to promote THE FASTEST GUITAR ALIVE, and spent a day with Cary Grant in the MGM private cinema acting as host in the absence of Chairman Michael Havas. Other duties included escorting actor Robert Ryan onto the chat show TONIGHT WITH DAVE ALLEN to promote THE DIRTY DOZEN (which was shooting at MGM British Studios in Borehamwood.) Christopher and Canadian broadcaster Bernard Braden put together the only TV tribute in the UK to film legend Spencer Tracy when he died – aired in ON THE BRADEN BEAT.
He also spent a deal of time with Ian Bannen, who had just finished the film PENELOPE at MGM Culver City Studios in Hollywood with Natalie Wood, getting the maximum press and TV coverage for the film’s release.
He took Elvis Presley co-star Annette Day on tours around the UK to promote DOUBLE TROUBLE and also worked on the Presley picture CALIFORNIA HOLIDAY. He got Kenneth More to many TV and Radio interviews for the film THE MERCENARIES and was heavily involved in the Michelangelo Antonioni cult classic film BLOW-UP starring David Hemmings,Vanessa Redgrave and Sarah Miles. He had many dealings with Leslie Halliwell (later of Halliwell’s Film Guide) who then worked on Granada TV’s CINEMA programme and between them were able to break the TV embargo on film-clips enforced by the two powerful Chairmen of MGM and Granada TV – Michael Havas and Lord Bernstein. Attended very first private screening of 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY at the Casino-Cinerama (now The Prince Edward) and started on preliminary release publicity.
1967: 12th CORK INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL: Was invited by Irish Film Censor and Festival Director Dermot Breen, to be Overseas Publicity Director at the 12th festival in Ireland. Hosted such luminaries as Trevor Howard, Dame Flora Robson, Sir Donald Sinden and David Tomlinson. Liaised with all international press and invited Presley co-star Annette Day over for the duration.
RANK FILM DISTRIBUTORS Ltd: Special Roadshow Manager for Julie Andrews star vehicle THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE. Did huge tie-up with BMC – “SEE ‘THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE’ AND WIN A THOROUGHLY MODERN MINI” competition nationwide.
1968: WHITEHALL THEATRE – Publicity Director on UPROAR IN THE HOUSE starring Joan Sims, Peter Butterworth and Nicholas Parsons.
Also acted as Publicity Director for parent company TALUS PRODUCTIONS Ltd: on their other theatrical tours and West-End presentations including Jack Hulbert, Dame Cicely Courtneidge, Derek Bond in DEAR CHARLES, Charlie Chester in JUST THE TICKET and John Cairney as Robert Burns in THERE WAS A MAN. Christopher was also responsible for all publicity and press matters relating to his two joint Managing-Directors, Anthony Marriott and Alistair Foot who were penning the now legendary NO SEX PLEASE – WE’RE BRITISH! He was invited to the House of Commons by Will Hamling MP and along with MP’s Sir Cyril Osborne and Sir Cyril Black, worked on THE SUNDAY ENTERTAINMENTS BILL – (a private Members Bill) attempting to allow the opening of theatres on a Sunday.
Concurrently, he also worked as a Theatrical Agent at Talus subsidiary company BROADWAY ARTISTES REPRESENTATION Ltd: for Peter Elliott (former Chairman of The EABF- ROYAL VARIETY SHOW): The Agency represented a great many acts and did split commissions on such as Frankie Vaughan, Lita Roza, Dick Emery (who Peter later Managed for 15 years) and Terry Scott etc: Christopher took Peter Elliott discovery – Welsh comedian Dave Swan onto Hughie Green’s OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS where he became a winner. They also supplied PONTINS with most of their incoming entertainment.
1969: DESPITE A TEMPTING OFFER TO JOIN PETER ELLIOTT ON HIS MOVE TO THE DELFONT-GRADE /LONDON MANAGEMENT AGENCY, CHRISTOPHER WOOD DECIDED TO ‘HAVE-A-GO-ON-THE-OTHER-SIDE-OF-THE-CAMERA’ AND CHANGED HIS NAME TO
CHRISTOPHER FARRIES (AN OLD FAMILY NAME):
HE BECAME A MEMBER OF BRITISH ACTOR’S EQUITY in 1969 (SEE ACCOMPANYING CV: CHRISTOPHER FARRIES FOR FURTHER DETAILS)
SINCE THEN, IN ADDITION TO HIS CAREER AS AN ACTOR, HE HAS ALSO DONE SOME OTHER FREELANCE WORK AND THIS IS LISTED BELOW:
1971/1972: CHRISTOPHER WENT ON A YEAR LONG WORLD TRIP OVERLAND TO AUSTRALIA THAT TOOK HIM THROUGH 21 COUNTRIES INCLUDING IRAN, AFGHANISTAN, INDIA, NEPAL, BURMA AND MALAYA – RETURNING VIA THE INDIAN OCEAN AND AFRICA.
1972: THE GREEN DRAGON INN & RESTAURANT: Welton – Yorkshire: Lived-in and acted as General Manager for three months in the owners temporary absence.
1973: LONDON UNIVERSITY: He lectured on drama in the Chancellor’s Hall and produced and appeared in the staff Christmas Cabaret Concert as the Dick Emery characters Mandy and Lampwick with the Head of Human Resources – Mike Root.
1975: THE GRANADA GUILDHALL LECTURES:
Worked for Lord Bernstein, Founder and Chairman of The GRANADA GROUP on his prestigious annual City of London Guildhall Lectures helping to organise invitations, tickets and dinner seating plans for the VIP’s. The Lecture entitled COMMUNICATION IN THE MODERN WORLD was given by The Secretary of State for the Home Department (The HOME SECRETARY) – The Rt. Hon. ROY JENKINS, MP: under the auspices of Lecture Chairman Sir Hugh Greene, KCMG, OBE.
GRANADA TELEVISION – WORLD IN ACTION: Worked in the London office for Editor Gus MacDonald – (now Lord MacDonald) – starting on the morning King Faisal of Saudi Arabia was assassinated – with an edition due out that very evening !
GRANADA TV – DISAPPEARING WORLD – worked with Producer/Director Brian Moser on the edition – THE KIRGHIZ OF AFGHANISTAN. As Christopher had travelled overland in Afghanistan only a few years before from Herat to Kabul via Kandahar he was found to be very useful in helping with the on-screen translation captions and also assisted with DISAPPEARING WORLD location equipment.
1976: FOX – RANK FILM DISTRIBUTORS: Supplied, organised and supervised a group of actors dressed in costume to advertise the Fox-Rank film THE ANTICHRIST in the West-End of London for the opening at the Odeon Haymarket.
THE TAMING OF THE SHREW: Acted as Mine-Host and later as General Manager of this Medieval themed restaurant in Beauchamp Place, Knightsbridge.
THE WAR ROOM: (The former Astor Club in Mayfair) – Costumed as a Waffen SS officer and acted as Mine Host and later General Manager of this HUGE Cabaret Night Club (which was the deepest in London).
THE GRANADA GUILDHALL LECTURES: Christopher was invited back to work on the 1977 GRANADA GUILDHALL LECTURES for Lord Bernstein. This was the first time there was more than one Lecture and he was heavily involved in ALL three – the first by SIR CHARLES CURRAN (BBC) –the second given by SIR BRIAN YOUNG (IBA) – and the third by LORD ANNAN (Provost of University College, London) on THE FUTURE OF BROADCASTING. On the actual night, Christopher hosted the table with Viscount Rothermere, Chairman of Associated Newspapers.
1978/1979/1980: THE PHILHARMONIA ORCHESTRA: For periods during the first two years, Christopher worked in various capacities for the Orchestra in their New Cavendish Street central London offices and in 1980 helped launch and administer the first SUBSCRIPTION TICKET SCHEME for the ROYAL FESTIVAL HALL Concerts Season.