Avenging his way around the world : PATRICK MACNEE

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Indy Lifestyle Online
The latest stamp in Patrick Macnee's passport is for Bangkok, where he's been filming for his weekly show Mysteries, Magic and Miracles which can be seen on satellite television in this country.

Macnee says: "I do these hosting shows, which is a suitable thing to do at my age! I went to do some stuff in front of temples and the Royal Palace. We travel with these shows - you can't just stand in your own back yard in front of a camera and talk about wonderful things all over the world and not occasionally go there." It's a far cry from the Sixties when he played suave secret agent John Steed in the television series The Avengers. "We travelled no more than 15 miles from Elstree studios in Hertfordshire," says Macnee, laughing. "In fact Di Rigg has fights on the same bridge almost every episode." When production on the original Avengers ended in 1969, Macnee settled permanently in America. He has dual citizenship and therefore possesses two passports. "I travel to and from the United States on the American one, but throughout Europe of course I travel on the British passport," says Macnee, adding sniffily, "I saw Joan Collins in the paper the other day getting an OBE saying, 'I am proud that I never gave up my British citizenship'. Well neither did I - you don't have to. Elizabeth Taylor hasn't given up her British citizenship - it's very important to her."

Last year Patrick's passports had several outings. In February he went to Brussels to judge science fiction and fantasy films, in March he visited the television festival in Cannes and in July he went to Nice. "I was invited by the mayor to go along with a lot of other golden oldies from Lee Majors to Henry Winkler," explains Macnee. "We all turned up at the Opera House and were awarded with very heavy gilt awards for our shows, which let's face it, have been on for years." The continued interest in The Avengers is partly due to Macnee's efforts. He explains: "I found the original negatives in a vault in Pinewood Studios and had them digitally restored, and Channel Four put them on throughout the whole winter." Work has also begun on a film of The Avengers. Says Macnee: "Ralph Fiennes plays Steed. He is a wonderful actor, and I hope it's successful. Obviously I have a small percentage of the profits and have done for the last 35 years, which has been very good to me. So the more it's in front of the public, the happier I am."

Patrick Macnee's book 'The Avengers and Me', has just been published by Titan Books at pounds 14.99.

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