July 2000: Bill Maynard has had a very serious stroke! More details
Claude Jeremiah Greengrass
About the character
Claude Jeremiah Greengrass is the series' rogue. Whenever there are shady doings in Aidensfield, Claude is likely to have his fingers in the pie. Originally a supporting character, Claude and his lurcher Alfred now feature prominently in the series.
Claude is always full of schemes to make money, and his fortunes vary daily.
Claude has at least one brother, who is played by Stratford
Johns (Johns played a detective sergeant in "Z Cars," a very popular police
TV series in the 1960's.). His sister Bella, who appears in Season 9,
is played by the actress who played Daisy in Keeping up Appearances.
I'm told that viewers of Season 9 should watch out for Greengrass' venture into the pet trade, it seems to be quite an entertaining episode, several shots were filmed at Grosmont, so it should be quite good.
A criticism fans have levelled at Season 9 is that it seems the writers seem to be writing the same plots about Claude over and over. Claude gets into a scheme, he involves Bernie in it, he refuses to listen to Bernie and it blows up in his face in the end. Oh well...
About the actor
Bill Maynard was born on 8 October 1928, in Farnham, Surrey.
Bill is credited with stretching the character of Claude Jeremiah Greengrass - in more ways than one! It's hard to imagine him as the "skinny ferret of a man" that Nicholas Rhea describes in his books. Many of the clothes Greengrass wears are Bill's own, and others are remnants of costumes he has worn for other series.
Bill has worked widely in television. Other credits include the Spike Milligan film Hitler: My part in his Downfall and early 80's sit-coms Oh No, It's Selwyn Froggit and The Gaffer. He was Alf Garnett's neighbour on "Till Death Do Us Part," the original UK version of "All In The Family."
Bill Maynard recently appeared in a thirty minute regional television programme for Yorkshire Television entitled "Maynard's Bill". This involved Bill driving around the Yorkshire / Lincolnshire region visiting pubs and clubs interviewing the live bands and groups playing at these venues.
March 2000: Bill Maynard has said that he may be forced to leave Heartbeat next year due to having a knee replacement operation. He says that he will film the next 24 episodes (series 10) but he would then need to take at least eight months to recuperate from surgery. There is also the possibility that he may be confined to a wheelchair.(The odds are about 50/50.) The news report also says that Mr Maynard has suffered two strokes, the latest only ten weeks ago.
Stop Press! July 2000! Bill Maynard has suffered a serious stroke during the filming of episode 7 of Heartbeat Season 10. Although he has recovered from earlier minor strokes, it is now believed that he will be in a wheelchair for life, with his left side totally incapacitated. We understand that he can still speak OK, which must be a relief. Bill has told his TV company that he never expects to work again. Heartbeat fans around the world send Bill their best wishes at this trying time.
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