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Ghosts 

RentaGhost -  A supernatural gathering of ghosts who banded together to open up a ghost-for-hire business on the children's live-action series RENTAGHOST/BBC/1976-84.

Davenport, Claypole and Mumford

The Rentaghost employees hired themselves out for odd jobs like security guards, journalists, and taxi drivers among other odd jobs.

The company was started by Fred Mumford (Anthony Jackson), a recently deceased man in his late 20s (died in a shipping accident) who used the business as cover to convince his middle-aged parents that he was still alive (of course, never eating any food should have given them a clue).

Fred's fellow ghostly recruits in the business included:

  • Hubert Davenport (Michael Darbyshire), a well-dressed Edwardian gentlemen ghost;
  • Timothy Claypole (Michael Staniforth), the ghost of a mischievous medieval court jester;
  • Queen Matilda (Paddie O'Neil), Timothy's former employer; Hazel McWitch, a Scottish ghost,
  • Catastrophe Kate (Jana Shelden), an American ghost from the wild west;
  • Scandinavian ghost Tamara Novek (Lynda Marchal, aka Lynda la Plante), who sneezed and teleported elsewhere whenever she saw a flower;
  • Nadia Popov (Sue Nicholls), Tamara's cousin who suffers with a similar hay-fever problem;
  • Whatisname Smith (Kenneth Connor), a hopeless ghost who haunted the next-door neighbors;
  • fairy godmother Suzie Starlight (Aimi MacDonald);
  • Dobbin, an animated pantomime horse (William Perrie & John Asquith);
  • Bernie St John (Vincent White), an animated pantomime dragon skin who lived in the basement and used its fiery breath to keep the broken down boiler in the cellar heated.

The humans in the life of these ghosts included:
  • Mister Harold Meaker (Edward Brayshaw) who was the ghosts' landlord (who lived in South Ealing), and later their Rentaghost manager (when Fred couldn't pay the rent)
  • Mistress Meaker, Harold's new wife, Ethel (Ann Emery) with the high-pitched voice who was constantly warned by the ghosts "Don't go down the cellar!"
  • Fred's parents Mr. and Mrs. Mumford (John Dawson and Betty Alberge)
  • Department store manager Adam Painting (Christopher Biggins) for whom the ghosts eventually worked
  • Meaker's suspicious next-door neighbors Rose Perkins (Hal Dyer), her husband Arthur (Jeffery Segal) and their nervous Aunt Mable (Patsy Smart).

1983 Cast Photo of RENTAGHOST
The cast of RENTAGHOST (1983)

Originally titled 'Second Chance' the RENTAGHOST series ran for 58 episodes. It was created by Bob Block. The theme song lyrics were written and sung by Michael Staniforth (who played by Timothy Claypole, the court jester on the show). See lyrics below


RENTAGHOST THEME LYRICS

If your mansion house needs haunting just call, Rentaghost,
We've got spooks and ghouls and freaks and fools, at Rentaghost,
Hear the Phantom of the Opera, sing a haunting melody,
Remember what you see is not a mystery but ..... Rentaghost!

At your party be a smarty then hire Rentaghost,
If you want a fright climb the spooky heights, with Rentaghost,
You can let our spirits move you, and for fun play ghostman's knock,
Because we aim to shock, we hope you knees will knock, that's Rentaghost.

Let me say the most terrific simple ghost, not scientific,
Maybe supernatural ghouls of the day.
Heavy footsteps in your attic means a specter telepathic,
Is descending just to spirit you away .....Yaaay!

We are extraordinary fellas here at Rentaghost,
To be another Uri Geller come to RRRRRentaghost.
For a biography we've ghost writers,
And not forgetting a ghost script,

An apparition quipped from deep inside a crypt, Ring Rentaghost,
An apparition quipped from deep inside a crypt, Ring Rentaghost!


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