I was vaguely aware that actor Michael Angelis had an older brother, Paul, who was also an actor. However, it was only in comparatively recent times that I realised that he was a very familiar face which I had seen in a host of TV programmes, most notably Porridge in which he played scouse ex-seafarer ‘Navy Rum’. In fact, although by inference he seems to be considered the ‘lesser’ Angelis, his career was as full and varied as his younger brother. He just never found a Boys From The Blackstuff.
Unlike his London-born sibling, Paul Angelis was the genuine article, born in Liverpool on 18th January 1943. His parents, Greek immigrant, Evangelou Angelis, and Margaret McCulla, were married in London shortly after his birth. Following brother Michael’s arrival, the family moved back to Liverpool, living in the Dingle at 13 Woodruff Street L8. Their mother died while they quite young and this no doubt prompted the move to a flat at 111 Upper Parliament Street L8. Both these houses have since been demolished. Paul attended St Francis Xavier’s College. Their father died in 1959 and by 1962 the two brothers were living together in Maryhill, Glasgow. Both attended the Royal Scottish Academy of Drama and Music before taking up the acting profession.
He appeared in many of the top TV shows of the day, playing the part of PC Bruce Bannerman in 128 episodes of Z Cars and being a familiar face in crime series such as Callan, The Sweeney, The Gentle Touch, Bergerac and Juliet Bravo. Like his brother he was equally at home with comedy and besides Porridge he had parts in Robin’s Nest, The Liver Birds and George and Mildred. Again, like Paul, he made a brief appearance in Coronation Street. His film work included parts in some major movies, including Otley , Battle of Britain , Force Ten From Navarone  and For Your Eyes Only . In the 1972 film The Alf Garnett Saga he took on the role of Garnett’s ‘scouse git’ son-in-law, previously played by Anthony Booth.
Interestingly, he provided the voice of Ringo Starr for the 1968 film Yellow Submarine. Ringo had lived near the Angelis family in the Dingle and Michael took over his role as narrator of Thomas The Tank Engine.
Paul Angelis was also a writer who wrote a number of BBC Radio shows, a TV cooking programme and a novel. In January 1984 BBC Radio’ Afternoon Theatre featured his play Where Are You Now Margaret McCulla (their mother’s maiden name). Brother Michael appeared in the cast as did Blackstuff actors Tom Georgeson and Tony Haygarth. I have been unable to find a copy but the details exist on the BBC Programme Index.
Paul Angelis died in Lambeth on 19th March 2009, he was aged 66.
Paul Angelis in an episode of Man About the House with Yootha Joyce and Brian Murphy
© Liverpool Footprints