Senior Citizen Smith? Jeremy Corbyn’s rise could see the return of Robert Lindsay’s leftie

My Family actor tells RadioTimes.com that interest has revived in the much-loved 1970s character - though he stresses that nothing has been set in stone

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The rise of Jeremy Corbyn may breathe life into another told warhorse from the 1970s – renegade leftie Wolfie Smith. However like Wolfie’s hapless attempt to spread Marxism in south London, the project is only in the ideas stage, RadioTimes.com can reveal.

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Robert Lindsay, the actor who played the beret-wearing Marxist in three series of the classic BBC comedy Citizen Smith between 1977 and 1980 says that interest in the show has intensified now that Corbyn looks like leading the party. The results of the Labour leadership election will be announced tomorrow (Saturday).

“It’s funny that so many people are all talking about Wolfie now.“ Lindsay told RadioTimes.com at a press junket for his new comedy for Gold, Bull, about an antiques dealer who lives with his sister played by Maureen Lipman. “Senior Citizen Smith? I like the idea.

“But there have always been plans afoot to bring Wolfie back for many many years. People have always tried to do it. Whether that will happen I don’t know. [Writer] John Sullivan sadly passed away but…I have been approached by some people,recently but there is nothing concrete and it is just an idea.”

In the comedy Wolfie made various hapless attempt to foster a Marxist revolution in his native south London but the attempts of him and his rag-bag friends in the Tooting Popular Front always ended in disaster.

Asked what Wolfie would have made of Corbyn he laughs: “Jeremy Corbyn is Wolfie isn’t he?” 

Lindsay, however, has high hopes for Corbyn and revealed that he was a supporter.

A onetime marcher for the miners and a staunch opponent of Tony Blair and his foreign wars, he adds: ”I left the Labour party around the same time as Wolfie when it was being taken over by these Champagne boys. When Neil Kinnock didn’t get in, we saw how…. the Labour Party was being manipulated by the right wing.”

One BBC source confirmed that were “no current plans” to bring the comedy back while another assured RadioTimes.com that it had not been pitched to the BBC.

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A Channel 4 source said that it was not an idea the broadcaster was looking at.