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Wigan Grammar Schools


Bernard Dowdall the Thespian.
Photo: Cliff Higham
Views: 3,673
Item #: 6888
Our Bernard, the Cross Country runner, in his first starring role as a priest defrocked for debauchery. Type cast I would think. Screened in November.

Comment by: Mark Conroy on 24th July 2008 at 20:09

Cliff, Sure I know you (SLC & BG?),Can you explain Our Bernard and the WGS connection.Thanks.

Comment by: Knowlsey on 25th July 2008 at 08:58

Maybe I can be of help Mark. Old Cliff maybe takes a while to get around to things these days. Sir Bernard as he is known amongst his friends was a Grammar School boy as was Cliff. They are very close friends. It looks like Bernard has got himself a starring role in a film to add to his other many achievments. I have no doubt Cliff will be only too happy to fill you in on the rest.

Comment by: Frank Healy on 25th July 2008 at 15:56

Bernard's rapidly becoming THEE celebrity of the web site.

Comment by: Miss P. Maskell on 25th July 2008 at 22:14

You do look handsome Bernard. Do I take it your on telly in November or is it a cinema release? What is the name of the film? If on the telly then what programme? I always had faith in you Bernard. I'm thrilled for you. Can't wait to see it.

Comment by: Curly Dowdall on 26th July 2008 at 20:30

Hello Miss Maskell..Nice to see I have a fan.Its a BBC six part series called Apparitions.Starring Martin Shaw.(he's the one in the empty chair at the side of me!!)We filmed in Knowlesley Hall suppposedly the Vatican.It also stars Cherie lunghi and The girl in Benidorm at the moment who youll remember from Rita ,Sue and Bob too.It looks good Supernatural and exorcisms.Something like End of Days.On in November

Comment by: Mark Calter on 28th July 2008 at 22:36

Your Jean says can she have you autograph,Aunt Peggy & Uncle Peter would have been proud of you

Comment by: cliff H on 29th July 2008 at 22:29

sorry Mark I still cant place you, give me a clue

Comment by: cliff H on 30th July 2008 at 15:45

Starring Martin Shaw my arse, *Starring Bernard Dowdall more like. NICE ONE CURLY woohoo! roll on November.

Comment by: Mark Conroy on 30th July 2008 at 18:43

Cliff, I'm sure I used to play 3 card bragg with you in the Swinley LC and used to bump into you in several Wigan Lane pubs in the late 70s.

Comment by: Marri Collier on 4th August 2008 at 13:26

Wonderful news. Young Bernie on TV. I wrote on the Greenough Street page about what a wonderful young lad he was collecting for poor children in freezing cold weather without a thought for himself. I wrote how I kissed him on his cheek to warm his little cockles. Its good to see his picture. He hasn’t change much in all the years. He looks such a little cherub and so appropriately dressed in religious attire. I shall download his photograph and treasure it. God bless my darling.

Comment by: cliff H on 5th August 2008 at 19:52

sounds about right Mark I must be gettin owd I still cant place you, who did you knock around with at the time ?and where was you livin then ? I,m tryin, Im tryin, to recall you, I,ll get there.

Comment by: jas holding on 9th August 2008 at 22:15

To think i once wnet fishin wi a tv star,hows that for a tenuous link,any more for any more

Comment by: Claude Higham on 11th August 2008 at 22:33

Bernard is now available in paperback.

Comment by: C. Glass on 12th August 2008 at 15:08

Jas. I once went trainspotting with Curly.

Comment by: Claude Higham on 13th August 2008 at 12:54

I think Bernard appeared in Confessions of a Window Cleaner as a small part actor.

Comment by: cliff (bloo) on 13th August 2008 at 22:17

if anyones bothered I now know young Mark, best card player on Wigan Lane.

Comment by: Mark Conroy on 20th August 2008 at 18:46

You said it was because I was a cheat Cliff but I remember those three kings you once had and 2 of them were spades.It takes one to know one!!!

Comment by: jymkahnna, on 21st August 2008 at 11:49

they dont call him Cliff The Crafty for nothing. crafty as a barrel o' monkeys our cliff.

Comment by: mary cummings on 22nd August 2008 at 03:06

gymk thingy, I remember clifford higham he was so cute I wouldnt say he was crafty, I always had a soft spot for him.

Comment by: jymkahnna on 22nd August 2008 at 17:00 must be blind..cliffs as crafty as a ship load of monkeys in peking harbourn in the year of the monkey.

Comment by: D, Morris on 22nd August 2008 at 20:01

I disagree. Cliff is as crafty as a ship load of monkeys in peking harbour in the year of the monkey, who have GCSE A level passes in Crafty Monkeyology, who are from Crafty Monketville, Crafty Monkeyshire, Monkeyland.

Comment by: Mary R on 23rd August 2008 at 21:42

I agree whole heartedly he was a card but had an great sense of humour always a smile on his face he was always willin to help people just a real nice guy I hope he,s doin ok.stars dont come out when he,s about, rock on cliffy

Comment by: Sharon Worthington on 25th August 2008 at 19:34

My mum knows Cliff Higham and says he was a rummun but he was easily led.

Comment by: cliff H on 9th September 2008 at 20:11

I didn,t know you had a mustache curls?

Comment by: Molly Mullqueeny on 7th October 2008 at 11:33

I remember Burnerd when he were a little gerbil. Me mam would take me int grocers shop in Goose Green and whilst Harry Hingingbottom shop owner were cutting her a slice ont counter I would watch little Burnerd. His little legs going round ont wheel twenty t dozen and when I gave him a peanut they would go even faster. Me mam said Molly luv yon little gerbil will make someat of its sel one day. Tha should marry yon little gerbil. I wish I had listened to me mam now Burnerds a TV star.

Comment by: Bernards Agent on 10th October 2008 at 22:24

Bernards latest show business job is doing the make up on the dancers legs in Come Dancing at £4 per hour. Not much?,,.It was all Bernard could afford!

Comment by: Oliver Tarquin Dowdall on 13th October 2008 at 16:07

I want to make it abundantly and crystal clear that I am in no way related or otherwise know or have anything what so ever to do with Bernard Dowdall.

Comment by: Bamber on 15th October 2008 at 10:36

Memo to Curly:
The perfume burned his eyes:
Holding tightly to her thighs:
And something flickered for a minute:
And then it vanished and was gone.

Comment by: granny cubin on 17th October 2008 at 11:12

I recal likle bernard wen he liked black pudin. his grandma would say ,, what dus want fer thi tee lad ,, an bernard wud say black pudin granma wi plenty o rasbery jam. he loved his rasbery jam on his pudin. but wi wer on poynts them days an his grany wer skint but she always managed to get his blak pudin an jam.

Comment by: Formery Father Kieran O'Shaughnessy on 21st October 2008 at 11:26

Finally Jon Barleycorn and the “Sisters of Mercy” got the better of me. If I had remained I would have become a parody of Father Jack. But enough of my troubles. I remember the young zealous Bernard collecting for poor kids and looking to help humanity as a whole. His wasn’t to offer a panacea for all evil but to say “I will do good work”. “Where I may find the bad, I will do the good”. I was hoping and indeed believing that my good friend Bernard would one day join me at Up Holland Priest College but alas the Lord had other plans.

Comment by: B. Taylor on 27th October 2008 at 09:06

I remember Curly showing his talent at school. He played Shakespeares Bottom in Midsommers Night Dream.

Comment by: Pikey on 27th October 2008 at 10:32

I remember Curly showing his talent at school. He got six of the best for it.

Comment by: Knowlsey on 27th October 2008 at 14:50

I too recall Bernard as Bottom ,, I thought he stank that role.

Comment by: Lanky Entertanes on 8th November 2008 at 10:58

*********** BREAKING NEWS ***********
Bernard Dowdall famous Wigan actor who recently senationally publicly sacked his agent has reputedly turned down a pantomine role in Puff in Boots. He feared type casting, after starring as Bottom in Midsummer Nights Dream he was offered the part of the rear end of the pantomine horse.

Comment by: Lanky Entertanes on 8th November 2008 at 11:43

************* WATCH THIS SPACE **************
A treat for all his fans and admirers, reknowned Wigan thespian Bernard "Curly" Dowdall stars in "Apparitions" on BBC TV this coming Thursday. I will be giving my critique on the quality of his performance. Maude Boyler.

Comment by: Peeping Tom on 19th November 2008 at 18:31

Wots hapened to this performance review on Bernard Dowdall?

Comment by: Jon Wood on 8th December 2008 at 09:23

Apparitions - saparationa - wheres Curly Dowdall from St Marys. Watched it every time not sin him yet. Somebodys taking the pistachio. Just that plonker from Body and Doyle. I thowt Bernard was star. Wot a wind up.

Comment by: Jon Wood on 19th December 2008 at 12:59

I watched Apparitions agin last neet but I didnt see Bernard. I think you men are taking the pistachio.

Comment by: J. Seddon on 5th January 2009 at 11:11

Jon Wood. I agree with you. I dont watch much telly let alone trash like Apparitions, mumbo jumbo fit only for daft kids and immature adults.
The wife Sky plussed all the episodes and we watched painfully in the xmas hols cos the g. kids wanted to see it. I didnt see hide nor hair of Peter B. Dowdall. By co-incident, the other day I noticed the Hovis advert on telly. Once again I saw nowt of Peter B. just the long haired fat guy on the photo below. Your right Jon, someones taking the pistachio.

Comment by: Fred Mason on 10th January 2009 at 19:15


Our Bernard is definitely a star in Apparitions...I have the photographic proof.....

Watch this space.......

Comment by: J. Mitten on 11th January 2009 at 12:44

Woody and Seddy you would not see Bernard normally. Seddy if you still have the recording of the last episode. Slow it down near the end when the bloke in the choir is being pulled up on a wire. You will see Bernard in a pew. He stands up. He opens his mouth like catching flies. He stumbles over the pew in front.
Bernard do you have arthritus in your back. You look like the ma-in-law climbing on her zimmer.

Comment by: J, Seddon on 14th January 2009 at 21:29

For goodness sake Joe I'm not fiddling about with Skyplus just for the sake of seeing Bernard stumble over a pew. Anyway we deleted the Apparitions stuff when the g. kids went home.

Comment by: Dorris Gill on 17th January 2009 at 21:35

Bernard I saw a chap they interviewed on Channel 5 about these folk who make blue movies. The chap looked like you on this photo but he had no clothes on so I couldnt tell. If it was you can you tell me what movies your in and were I can buy them please.

Comment by: Trencher on 22nd January 2009 at 22:43

I'm sure I read somewhere that Bern-nard was a small part actor in blue movies.

Comment by: Cliff on 2nd February 2009 at 23:09

HEY! chums, met our star last Friday he,s still the same fame,s not gone to his head just to his pocket, he,s keepin all his appearance money to himself. dont blame him, rock on curly !!

Comment by: Professor Critchley on 4th February 2009 at 18:19

************* PETER BERNARD DOWDALL & HOVIS ****************
******************* URBAN MYTH? LEGEND? *******************
******************* EXPOSED - THE TRUTH *******************

I have now completed my examination of said video and have sadly concluded it is impossible to confirm that the famous Thespian did indeed make an appearance. Unless firmer evidence is submitted I can only conclude it is a myth.

Comment by: cliff on 4th February 2009 at 22:41

Praps it was just an Apparition.

Comment by: Routh on 9th February 2009 at 10:46

I recall Curly and I getting a handful of dolly mixtures from this lady who lived near St Marys when we gave her a basket of spud peelings. I think they were for making pig swill.
Anyway, when we were nippers, Curly had this "great" idea. "Let's go around, door to door, and collect peelings. If we collect a sackful the pig lady will give us the whole toffee jar".
We collected all weekend. Got a sackful. Dragged it to the pig lady. You've guessed it, we got a handful of dolly mixtures each. If I had had a gun.........

Comment by: Archie on 9th February 2009 at 12:22

Rum card young Bernard. Remember him rolling up to the end of year fancy dress party wearing nothing but sandpaper coving his privates. I said wot have you come as Bernard - a rough handful. No said Bernard - Dick Emery.

Comment by: M. Gormley on 22nd February 2009 at 20:54

I was taking a great interest in Bernard Dowdalls acting career. I enquired at Wigan Little Theatre to see if he is due to appear but unfortunately there is nothing planned. So if anyone can tell me what Bernards future acting schedule is, it would be appreciated.

Comment by: Trencher on 27th February 2009 at 11:57

Last time I heard about Bern-nards career he was playing the back end of a pantomine horse in Puff in Boots. If he is working at the Little Theatre he's probably selling ice lollies at half time.

Comment by: Archie on 28th February 2009 at 21:12

Banter heard in Pagefield. Bernard to appear in Corrie. Villain who courts Liz MnDonald and gets shot down in street on wedding day by rival gang. You heard it here first - rock on Curly lad.

Comment by: J. Ince on 1st March 2009 at 09:28

Fine actor Curly Dowdall. Fine actor.

Comment by: M. Gormley on 6th March 2009 at 11:37

Does anyone know if Bernard Dowdall has a fan club or where I can get some photos of him?

Comment by: Madam Duval on 6th March 2009 at 18:59

Bernie Dowdall booked me a couple of times when he was Concert Secratary at Beech Hill Labour Club. Honey Duval. Exotic dancer.

Comment by: J. Ince on 6th March 2009 at 21:59

Rum jocky our Curly, Honey luv.

Comment by: Madam Duval on 8th March 2009 at 19:28

Yes J. Ince and a very cute little jockey at that. He doesn't pay well thoug.

Comment by: E. Dowdall on 9th March 2009 at 14:59

Glad to see Bernard doing well.

Comment by: LANKY ENTERTANEZ on 11th March 2009 at 13:19

************ LANKY ENTERTANEZ === REVIEW === Actor: Bernard Dowdall in Apparitions by Maude Boyler *************

Apologies for the delay but I have been filling in for a colleague at the Cannes Film Festival.

Bernard Dowdall is undoubtably a major actor of our time. His brooding screen presence reminds one of the early Brando. However Bernard didn’t have the benefit of the Stanislavski System of method acting and rather has honed his talents in the hard school of northern life. Bernard as Olivier might have remarked doesn’t need “method” to act. He played the part of a priest in Apparitions to perfection. The looks of horror and hopelessness in his face as the fire erupted was classical. The way he stumbled over the pew like a geriatric priest was truly remarkable. Truly we are witnessing the birth of a star. Will Bernard continue his career on the small and big screen. Will he challenge the standards set by Olivier and Richardson on stage. Time will tell. The world of acting is truly Bernards oyster.

Comment by: Johana Dainty on 13th March 2009 at 15:01

Maude. I am taking a degree in media studies and would like a job as a film critic. How can you judge what Bernard should do regarding his career. How can you tell if he was more suited to screen than stage? I would be interested to know.

Comment by: Trencher on 23rd March 2009 at 17:37

Johana get yourself a poper job. Oh and whilst your at it,,, get yourself a proper degree.

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