Thursday, May 9, 2013


Our imminent departure from The News Centre after 43 years means a heavy dose of spring cleaning is under way. Some of this involves sorting through thousands of old photographs, many of which you can see in our regular Saturday pull-out Pictures From The Past.

One of the many intriguing photos I found was this one from 1978 of a 44-year-old Joan Henrietta Collins posing outside our Hilsea home.
But why was she visiting us? She certainly had not been circumnavigating Portsbridge roundabout for an hour and popped in to ask directions.
This was three years before she landed the part of Alexis Carrington Colby, the role for which she is best known, in the long-running 1980s television soap opera Dynasty.
But in the spring of 1978 Collins, turned up to promote her latest film The Stud in which she starred with Oliver Tobias. The book on which the film was based was written by her sister Jackie.
After touting the screenplay around American studios, Collins financed it herself.
In the interview that day at The News Centre, she said: ‘I wanted to make enough money to be able to do something a little more serious, on a more esoteric subject and more creatively fulfilling. But you need to have a successful film that’s going to bring in the money first.’
The Stud was panned by the critics, but Collins had the last laugh: it cost about £400,000 to make and took £11m at the box office.
Joan Collins at The News Centre in April 1978

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