Symposium with James Mitchell, Joe Tomelty and Michael Pertwee


Dublin Core


Symposium with James Mitchell, Joe Tomelty and Michael Pertwee


Cork Film Festival, Symposium, James Mitchell, Joe Tomelty, Michael Pertwee, Bunny Carr


This is a black and white photo of a festival discussion panel chaired by the Irish television presenter Bunny Carr. The three panellists, sitting at a table in front of long-armed microphones, include the English writer James Mitchell, the Irish actor Joe Tomelty, and the English screenwriter Michael Pertwee.

Joseph Tomelty, sitting at the centre, was an Irish character actor, novelist and playwright known for his radio and stage work. He was a frequent visitor to the Cork festival, as far back as 1960, when that years programme noted that Tomelty presented awards to recipients in the presence of the then Lord Mayor of Cork Stephen Barrett. Tomelty was born in County Down, and was based in Northern Ireland where he made a significant contribution to its cultural history. Tomelty was instrumental in founding and managing the Group Theatre in Belfast in 1940 where his plays would be staged - apart from the controversial The End House (1944) which was premiered at the Abbey Theatre because Northern theatres wouldn't show it at the time. He wrote comedy dramas for the BBC, in particular The McCooeys which lasted seven years. Tomelty’s film work includes Odd Man Out (Carol Reed, 1947), and Moby Dick (John Huston, 1956) with Gregory Peck and the Irish actor Noel Purcell, but it was for his enduring commitment to the North of Ireland that he is fondly remembered.  

Michael Pertwee, sitting on the far right of the photo, was an English playwright and screenwriter born in 1916. He comes from a prolific family of actors including his father, the actor and playwright Roland Pertwee, his brother the actor Jon Pertwee, best known for his Dr.Who, and his nephew the actor Sean Pertwee. As well as TV work, Michael Pertwee’s screenwriting credits include Richard Lester’s A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (1966) and One More Time (Jerry Lewis, 1970) starring Sammy Davis Jr. At the time of this photo he had just finished Digby, the Biggest Dog in the World (Joseph McGrath, 1973) with Spike Milligan and the Irish actor Milo O’Shea.

The photo also identifies the writer James Mitchell on the far left, cigarette in hand raised towards his mouth. Born in the North of England, Mitchell (1926-2002) was a prolific writer writing under his own name and the pen-names James Munro and Patrick O McGuire. Mitchell wrote over 70 novels, mostly crime fiction and spy thrillers, and 100 television scripts. He will be remembered best for the successful television series Callan (Thames Television) and When the Boat Comes In (BBC) which ran between 1976 and 1981. Around the time of this photo, dated 1972, Mitchell had just completed Callan (1969-1972) starring Edward Woodward as the secret agent and hitman David Callan. The series went on to spawn novels, short stories, the film Callan (Don Sharp, 1974), and a TV movie Wet Job (1981) directed by Shaun O’Riordan. Interestingly, the full name of O’Riordan, who was born in Sri Lanka in 1927, is Shaun Stuart Harry Daniel O’Connell O’Riordan. O'Riordan also starred in the long-running popular British television sitcom The Larkins (1958-1964), playing the part of Eddie Larkin alongside the actors Margaret Rose Mount and David Kossoff, both of whom came to the Cork festival during the 1960s. In 1974 Mitchell served on the Shorts Jury for the Short Film Competition alongside Bernard Blin (France), Bill Starr (USA), Kevin Marron (Ireland), and Noel Ryan (Ireland).


University College Cork, Cork Film Festival, Finbarr O'Connell


Cork Film Festival Collection


University College Cork




Finbarr O'Connell


©Finbarr O’Connell. All rights reserved. Please credit Cork International Film Festival & provide a link back to this site.




English, eng


Cork, Ireland

Still Image Item Type Metadata

Original Format


Physical Dimensions

253 x 206mm



University College Cork, Cork Film Festival, Finbarr O'Connell , “Symposium with James Mitchell, Joe Tomelty and Michael Pertwee,” Cork International Film Festival Archive, accessed December 3, 2023,