Lover, Liberator, Legend

Mary Millington tribute

2016 has been quite a year for Mary Millington. In April my debut film,  Respectable – The Mary Millington Story, was released in London’s West End and then was made available on Netflix around the world. The reaction to the film has been wonderful. Additionally, Mary’s name has been immortalised forever in Soho, in the form of a blue plaque, erected in Great Windmill Street. Next month Respectable returns to the West End, and Mary’s unique life and career will recognised with a very special award. More on that soon.

But today, 19 August, we remember that it’s an incredible 37 years since Mary lost her life. She was an extraordinary woman. A lover. A liberator. A legend. I will never forget her; she changed my life.

“The song is ended, but the melody lingers on…” Irving Berlin

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Carrying On…

Carry On Behind

I’ve recently been interviewed by Carry On Blogging, the excellent ‘Carry On’ movie fan-site. They gently probed me about my love of British sex comedies, the making of my debut film Respectable, as well as getting me to reveal which is my favourite Carry On of all. You can read my interview on their website.

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Respect for ‘Respectable’

Respectable – The Mary Millington Story was released in London’s West End on 7 April 2015, the same day we unveiled an official blue plaque to celebrate her life. Respectable has been available on Netflix in the UK, US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand since 8 April 2016, and now has a DVD release, complete with a host of special features. I am so incredibly proud that the film has reached such a huge audience worldwide.

Respectable reviews

Predictably, of course, not everybody is going to like Respectable, but I’m extremely flattered, and gratified, by so many fantastic reviews, and an overwhelmingly positive reaction to the documentary. It’s my first film, and I worked incredibly hard to make it the best, most accurate, tribute as I possibly could. For me, personally, the fact that Mary’s family and friends unanimously loved the film is reward enough.

Thanks for all your support.

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Special Screening of ‘Respectable’

Mary Millington Gloucester

On Saturday 14 May, my film, Respectable – The Mary Millington Story, will be playing for one night only at the Gloucester Guildhall Cinema in the centre of Gloucester. I’ll be attending, to introduce the film on the big screen, and doing a Q&A afterwards. Tickets can be obtained from the Guildhall website.

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Celebrating Mary Millington Day

Well, 7th April was ‘Mary Millington Day’ in London, when we unveiled a plaque commemorating Come Play with Me and premièred my new film on her incredible life, Respectable – The Mary Millington Story, at the beautiful Regent Street Cinema. From beginning to end it was an amazing event, full of laughter, stories and a few tears. Thanks to all my wonderful friends for their continuing support, and to Mary’s family for making it a day never to be forgotten. Here’s a photo of myself with some Come Play with Me alumni – my friends Nicola Austine, Sue Longhurt, Willy Roe and David Sullivan – outside the old Moulin cinema in Great Windmill Street, W1.

David Sullivan at the unveiling of the blue plaque to Mary Milli

Photograph strictly © Alexandra Collins Photography 2016

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Première of ‘Respectable – The Mary Millington Story’

Today marks the climax of many years of extremely hard work.

7 April 2016 is the day when Mary Millington is at long last recognised with a blue plaque in London, and my feature-length documentary about her incredible life – Respectable – The Mary Millington Story – finally gets released on the big screen at London’s beautiful Regent Street Cinema. We had a test-screening of the movie on Tuesday, and here’s a photo of it below. For me, personally, it’s been a long, colourful, and sometimes tortuous journey, but we did it Mary… we made it to the end!

Mary Millington Respectable Regent Street Cinema

To those amazing people who have supported me through this – the cast and crew of Respectable, Mary’s family, David Sullivan, Baker Street Ventures, Pinewood Studios, Cheltenham Film Studios, Content Media, London Live and all my fantastic friends and family – I thank you all. To those bitter bloggers, naysayers and industry bullshitters – we proved you all wrong. 

Today we celebrate ‘Mary Millington Day’ in London, and across the world from tomorrow Respectable will be available to watch on Netflix in UK, US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. I have dreamt of this day. It is like a fantasy come true.

I owe an awful lot to Mary. She was a truly incredibly woman. God bless you.

Simon Sheridan

All words and photograph strictly © Simon Sheridan 2016

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A Very Blue Plaque

Mary Millington is unquestionably the most famous pornographic actress this country has ever produced, and her best-known film Come Play with Me holds the record for Britain’s longest-running movie ever. Why then, has this never been publicly recognised? Well, very soon it will be. As I hinted at last year, I’ve been working extremely hard to make sure Mary has a permanent memorial in her spiritual home, Soho, W1. I’m eternally grateful to David Sullivan, Soho Estates, Westminster City Council and The Soho Society for helping me make this happen. Finally, on 7 April 2016, Mary and Come Play with Me will take their place – forever – in Great Windmill Street. Here’s the very first, exclusive, glimpse of what’s to come…

Mary Millington blue plaque

All words and image strictly © Simon Sheridan 2016

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Mrs Slocombe’s New Pussy

My very talented friend, writer Derren Litten, the creator of ITV’s long-running hit sitcom Benidorm, has been asked to revive classic 1970s’ sitcom Are You Being Served? for the BBC. Recording for the new pilot episode took place at MediaCityUK in Salford this month and I can confirm the show is ruder and funnier than ever. Myself, and the rest of the studio audience, genuinely laughed ‘til our sides ached. A very auspicious cast led by Jason Watkins (Mrs Humphries), Sherrie Hewson (Mrs Slocombe) and John Challis (Captain Peacock) brought Derren’s inventive new script to life and the new episode should air on BBC1 in August this year. I predict it’ll probably air after the 9pm watershed!

Simon Sheridan, Sherrie Hewson, John Challis

Here I am pictured at the fantastic after-party with Sherrie, John and, peeking from behind, the very cheeky Jake Canuso from Benidorm.

Photograph strictly © Simon Sheridan 2016

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V is for Valentino

The latest DVD release which I’ve been busy working on has just been released by the British Film Institute in a deluxe new collectors’ edition.

Valentino Ken Russell DVD

Valentino, Ken Russell’s much-maligned 1977 masterpiece, recounting the colourful life of silent movie star Rudolph Valentino, finally comes to Blu-ray and DVD in the UK. Beautifully remastered, with a host of special features, the disc includes my interview with actor Dudley Sutton, who recalls working with Russell and playing the colourful character ‘Willie the wanker’.

Valentino can now be purchased from Amazon.

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Respectable is coming…

My début film – Respectable – The Mary Millington Story – is due out next month…

Respectable The Mary Millington Story

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