Malcolm McFee

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Malcolm McFee
Born(1949-08-16)16 August 1949
Forest Gate, Essex, England, UK
Died18 November 2001(2001-11-18) (aged 52)
Braintree, Essex, England, UK
Years active1967–2001

Malcolm Raymond McFee (16 August 1949 – 18 November 2001) was an English actor best known for his role as Peter Craven in the TV series Please Sir!, the film of the same name, and the spin-off TV series The Fenn Street Gang.


Malcolm McFee made his first appearance on television in 1967. In 1968, he began a three-season stint in the London Weekend Television situation comedy series Please Sir! playing the part of smooth wide-boy[1] Peter Craven. He continued the role into the 1971 feature film comedy version, also called Please Sir!. McFee had made his film debut in the 1969 satirical anti-war musical Oh! What a Lovely War.[2]

The Please Sir! TV series spawned a comedy sequel called The Fenn Street Gang, which ran from 1971 to 1973. McFee was unavailable for season one as he was appearing in the West End play Forget-Me-Not-Lane[3] and the part of Craven was played for that season by Leon Vitali. McFee returned for seasons two and three. He appeared on television many times in the 1970s but was only rarely seen after this, until 1993.

After turning to the stage, McFee made a career as an actor and director, working as a theatre director in small theatres in Greater London and the provinces.

His last TV role was in an episode of the long-running Thames Television police drama series The Bill,[4] in 1997.

McFee also appeared as a guest on This is Your Life for John Alderton in 1974, and presented three episodes of BBC pre-school programme You and Me in 1978.[5] He was the reporter and clown in the 1980s BBC schools science programme Science Workshop.[6]

Music journalist Simon Goddard has suggested that McFee is the subject of Morrissey's song "Little Man, What Now?" from his 1988 album Viva Hate,[7][8] although previous opinions have suggested Jack Wild[9] or Roger Tonge[10][11] as the subject. The song mentions an ATV series axed after four years, and Morrissey watching it on a Friday night (season 1 of Please Sir! was indeed broadcast on Friday nights although subsequent seasons went out on Saturday or Sunday nights), and tells of the fall of a TV star of the 1960s who later became unknown.[12]

Television appearances[edit]

Apart from Please Sir! and The Fenn Street Gang, McFee appeared in the following television programmes:[13]

Years Programme Episode
1967 Associated-Rediffusion's drama series Sanctuary Sisters & Brothers (Season 1, Episode 5)[14]
1968 BBC children's drama series Ramshackle Road[15] Episode 1 onwards.[16][17]
1969 Long-running BBC police drama series Z Cars Sunday... Sunday... Parts 1 and 2 (Season 6, Episodes 231 & 232)[18][19]
1970 BBC anthology drama series Play For Today I Can't See My Little Willie, by Douglas Livingstone[20] (Season 1, Play Number 6)
1971 BBC2's historical drama series Elizabeth R Episode 5, The Enterprise of England[21][22]
1971 Thames Television's detective anthology series The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes The Case of Laker, Absconded (Season 1, Episode 13)[23]
1973 Thames Television's situation comedy series Bless This House A Girl's Worst Friend is Her Father (Season 3, Episode 12)[24]
1976 Yorkshire Television's drama series Hadleigh Recurring character in Season 4 but episodes not known[25]
1978 Thames Television's crime panel series Whodunnit! Which Way Did he Go? (Season 6, Episode 10)
1978 ITV family comedy The Chiffy Kids Jam Session (Season 2, Episode 5)[26]
1978 Euston Films' police drama series for ITV The Sweeney Messenger of the Gods (Season 4, Episode 1)[27]
1979 BBC Schools programme Everyday Maths Ten Per Cent Per Ted (Season 2, Episode 1)[28]
1979 BBC children's comedy adventure series Graham's Gang Mildred's Party (Season 2, Episode 3)[29]
1980 Euston Films' long running comedy/drama series for ITV Minder Monday Night Fever (Season 1, Episode 9, uncredited)[30][31][32]
1993 Thames Television's crime drama series The Bill The Hard Sell (Season 9, Episode 135)[33]
1996 Alomo Productions' BBC situation comedy series Goodnight Sweetheart It Ain't Necessarily So (Season 3, Episode 1)[34][35]
1997 BBC police drama spoof The Detectives Mine's a Large One (Season 5, Episode 6)[36]
1997 Alomo Productions' BBC situation comedy series Birds of a Feather Relative Strangers (Season 7, Episode 4)[37]
1997 The Bill (2nd appearance) Playing with Fire (Season 13, Episode 81, playing a different character to 1993 episode)[38]

Personal life[edit]

From 1960 to 1965, McFee attended Plaistow County Grammar School. He was briefly the drummer in a band called The Abstracts with some schoolfriends before devoting himself to acting.

In 1971, he married Margaret Kearnan.[citation needed] They divorced in 1995.[citation needed] McFee had three children,[4] including a daughter, Victoria, born to Margaret in 1980.[citation needed]

In an interview in 1973, McFee said that he owned a Ford Capri and had a cat called Perdita Pusscat.[39][40]

McFee died suddenly on 18 November 2001, at the age of 52, at his home in Braintree, Essex, shortly before he was due to appear as a dame in a pantomime of Beauty and the Beast at the Elgiva Theatre in Chesham. He had been suffering from cancer.[41] McFee had been raising money for the Oncology Department of Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford, Essex as a "Thank you" for the treatment he received from them. David Barry and Penny Spencer, who both appeared with McFee in Please Sir!, attended his funeral.[42]


Year Title Role Notes
1969 Oh! What a Lovely War Frederick Percy 'Freddie' Smith
1971 Please Sir! Peter Craven


  1. ^ "Please Sir! / The Fenn Street Gang". Television Heaven. Retrieved 8 October 2011.
  2. ^ "Full cast and crew for Oh! What a Lovely War". IMDb. Retrieved 22 November 2011.
  3. ^ Daily Mirror, 7 August 1971
  4. ^ a b "Malcolm McFee Biography". uk. Retrieved 12 October 2011.
  5. ^ "You and Me". IMDb. Retrieved 17 November 2011.
  6. ^ "Programmes for Schools and Colleges, Module 3". TV cream. Retrieved 5 April 2013.
  7. ^ Goddard, Simon (2012). Google books, Mozipedia. ISBN 9780091927103. Retrieved 9 April 2013.
  8. ^ Goddard, Simon. Mozipedia. p. 224.
  9. ^ "Obituary: Jack Wild". BBC News. 2 March 2006. Retrieved 9 April 2013.
  10. ^ Bret, David (April 2007). Google books, Morrissey: Scandal and Passion. ISBN 9781861059680. Retrieved 9 April 2013.
  11. ^ Bret, David. Morrissey: Scandal and Passion. p. 109.
  12. ^ "Little Man, What Now? Lyrics". Lyrics Freak. Retrieved 9 April 2013.
  13. ^ "Filmography by type for Malcolm McFee". Internet Movie Database ("IMDb"). Retrieved 13 November 2011.
  14. ^ "Sanctuary, Sisters & Brothers". IMDb. Retrieved 15 November 2011.
  15. ^ "Ramshackle Road". IMDb. Retrieved 15 November 2011.
  16. ^ "Thread: Malcolm McFee". 16 April 2012. Retrieved 5 April 2013.
  17. ^ Radio Times, 19 August 1968
  18. ^ "Z Cars: Sunday... Sunday...: Part 1". IMDb. Retrieved 13 November 2012.
  19. ^ "Z Cars: Sunday... Sunday...: Part 2". IMDb. Retrieved 13 November 2012.
  20. ^ "Play for Today, I Can't See My Little Willie". IMDb. Retrieved 13 November 2011.
  21. ^ "Elizabeth R". BFI. Archived from the original on 19 January 2009. Retrieved 14 November 2011.
  22. ^ "Cast Elizabeth R: The Enterprise of England". BFI. Archived from the original on 1 June 2009. Retrieved 14 November 2011.
  23. ^ "The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes, The Case of Laker, Absconded". IMDb. Retrieved 14 November 2011.
  24. ^ "Bless This House, Episode Guide". The British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 14 November 2011.
  25. ^ "Full cast and crew for "Hadleigh"". IMDb. Retrieved 17 November 2011.
  26. ^ "The Chiffy Kids, Jam Session". IMDb. Retrieved 15 November 2011.
  27. ^ "The Sweeney, Messenger of the Gods". IMDb. Retrieved 14 November 2011.
  28. ^ "Everyday Maths, Ten Per Cent Per Ted". IMDb. Retrieved 15 November 2011.
  29. ^ "Graham's Gang, Mildred's Party". IMDb. Retrieved 14 November 2011.
  30. ^ "Minder, Monday Night Fever". IMDb. Retrieved 2 October 2012.
  31. ^ "The Sweeney Lounge, Appear in a "Minder" documentary in December". The TV Lounge. 20 December 2005. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 11 January 2013.
  32. ^ "The Sweeney Lounge, Sweeney actors together in other programs". The TV Lounge. 10 September 2007. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 11 January 2013.
  33. ^ "The Bill, The Hard Sell". IMDb. Retrieved 14 November 2011.
  34. ^ "Goodnight Sweetheart". BFI. Archived from the original on 8 November 2007. Retrieved 14 November 2011.
  35. ^ "Cast, Goodnight Sweetheart, It Ain't Necessarily So". BFI. Archived from the original on 10 January 2010. Retrieved 14 November 2011.
  36. ^ "The Detectives, Mine's a Large One". IMDb. Retrieved 15 November 2011.
  37. ^ "Birds of a Feather, Relative Strangers". IMDb. Retrieved 15 November 2011.
  38. ^ "The Bill, Playing with Fire". IMDb. Retrieved 14 November 2011.
  39. ^ Pink, issue 25, 8 September 1973
  40. ^ "Malcolm McFee, entry No. 17". Britmovie. 25 September 2011. Archived from the original on 19 April 2013. Retrieved 3 October 2012.
  41. ^ "Biography for Malcolm McFee". IMDb. Retrieved 3 April 2013.
  42. ^ "Please Sir Classic TV Show, Please Sir Fan Tributes, Item 5 by Victoria McFee". Classic Telly. Retrieved 9 November 2011.

External links[edit]