A find via the Foyle’s War Appreciation Society and tumblr, Michael Kitchen and Joanna Lumley, the latter captured in this photo blowing a kiss with The Greatest himself, are among the celebrities in the audience at the taping of Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Hits in London on June 5, 1979.
Michael Kitchen sitting with his arms crossed again next to Joanna Lumley and her son at Sotheby’s Stars Auction in 1981.
Translated from an article in Dutch TV Guide, 1976:
Purdey herself is completely smitten with one Michael Kitchen….
….She’s now fallen for this Mr. Kitchen, but 30 year old, long legged Joanna doesn’t really feel like tying the knot. We’re just living together and having a great time! I don’t see why signing a piece of paper should make any difference in a relationship. But if he’d ask me, I’d do it. If he would say: let’s do this when we’re 60, I’d wait, because I’d still be with him then. I love him more than I love life itself. Love is something different than just being friendly. Love makes your heart beat faster and makes you go weak in the knees whenever you see him. And that’s exactly how I feel about Michael.
I’m thinking that prior to his latest feat at Trinity Church Tower, Michael Kitchen may have abseiled down a fair number of rock faces while participating in Scouts, first as a Church of the Martyrs cub scout in Leicester and then later as an adult volunteer in Shaftesbury:
I went to my barbers – sorry, hairdressers – recently for a pre-2005 reunion haircut. I explained the purpose of my visit to him and casually dropped into the conversation that I went to school with Michael Kitchen, the famous actor. The hairdresser replied that MK was one of his mates from Scouts. Not to be out-done, I went on to say that I invited MK to a school reunion a couple of years ago, but he declined the invitation because he was too busy. The hairdresser then said he went to a Scouts reunion some 30 years ago and MK was there in the company of Joanna Lumley – who was lovely. Out-done big time!!
– Frank Smith, Michael Kitchen’s classmate at the City of Leicester Boys Grammar School from 1960-66, contributing to the alumni newsletter
I have the privilege of being the Scout patrol leader who had Michael Kitchen as his number two. – Alan Mitchell reminiscing about living in Shaftesbury
Michael Kitchen was also head choir boy at the Church of the Martyrs in Leicester. “Great soloist” according to two persons commenting on Facebook.
Another local in Leicester had quite the celebrity encounter:
his mom was cutting my hair n he walked in with Joanna Lumley wow i turned to jelly bigtime
Just finished reading Andrew McCarthy’s soul-searching travelogue, The Longest Way Home, in which he describes in detail the difficulties of climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro. Naturally, it reminded me that Michael Kitchen accomplished the same impressive feat in October 2002 (just a few weeks before the premiere of Foyle’s War) as one of a group of 14 supporting the charity, The Guerba/Village Education Project. According to the organization’s newsletter, “his list of sponsors read like a Who’s Who in the theatre!”
Contributions came from some well know British actors and playwrights including Joanna Lumley, Dame Judi Dench, Jeremy Irons, Martin Shaw and Sir Tom Stoppard.
– Hamish Fenton
In 2006, MK was among the contributors to one of that year’s charity climbs: