Friday Hoyden: Diana Rigg as Emma Peel

On some other forums I use a different avatar.

Someone commented on how much they loved this “ridiculous picture of the divine Ms Rigg”, so I posted the full picture from which I cropped the avatar, and from which I also created the image at the bottom of the sidebar (and one of the rotating header banners). However, I had to go searching for it, because I’d somehow filed it somewhere inexplicable and couldn’t find it on my hard drive. Here it is:

What I found during that search was interesting though: some other images obviously taken as part of the same shoot.

Two different crops of one shot:

You can see she is holding the same shoes that we see in the tonguepoking shot, so the likelihood is high that she is dissing Macnee in that shot.

Here’s some more (click on thumbnails to see a larger image):

One thing though. Going from the evidence of all those set shots above, Ms Rigg was wearing a watch on her left hand when the tonguepoking shot was taken, and the version I have has her watch on the other wrist entirely. I suspect this version of the image is actually the correct one.

I like it flipped better.

My favourite two shots (after the tonguepoking) from this series of photos are the two below:

I suspect that the shots where Rigg and Macnee are smiling most broadly here are from moments of horsing around on set, rather than shots during filming, as both Steed and Mrs Peel tended much more towards the cool, enigmatic smile and raised eyebrow than the broad cheesy grin.

Not that the series or PR shots taken for The Avengers were devoid of cheesiness. Far from it, in fact. Here’s some staged PR shots:

Yes, this is a flying carpet.

I was particularly chuffed to find the last two, because I’d always wondered how on earth they’d ended up with this shot which is also on another of our site banners:

My absolutely favourite shots of Riggs as Emma Peel are not any of the staged sexy shots, or the cool enigmatic screen shots. It’s the shots where she’s quite obviously having a good old chortle at how much silly fun it all is. Here’s just a few:

Because Ms Rigg Dame Diana is still magnificent, even though she probably can’t kick quite so high anymore, and is probably just a bit sick of overemphasis on her catsuit days, I’ll point out that she still works in theatre and occasional films, and is at present playing the part of Huma Rojo in ‘All About My Mother’ based on Almodovar’s film – until Nov 24th at the Old Vic Theatre, London. I bet she still has a fabulous chortle.

Categories: arts & entertainment

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18 replies

  1. Hope that link works.
    I ruined several catsuits trying to alter them into versions as fabulous as Mrs Peel’s, especially these boot garter thingummy’s. What really struck me though was that Macnee insisted on carrying an umbrella not any kind of weapon, while Mrs Peel delivered the kicks.

  2. But didn’t the umbrella have a sword hidden inside the tube? Or am I thinking of something else?

  3. Steed sometimes fenced with the umbrella, but I don’t think it was ever actually the sheath for a proper sword.

  4. Great work Ms Tog. Go to the top of the class.
    Don’t you love the phones with cords on the beach?

  5. I’ve just spent an entertaining 5 minutes trying to figure out if ‘tongue-poke’ is from the driver- or passenger-side of the car. I think it’s passenger side, which means that yes, the photo is flipped (independent line of evidence from the watch, y’see).
    You seem to have over-compressed the un/re-flipped version, the colours are all wonky.
    And gosh, doesn’t her face light up when she grins? Fantastic.

  6. You seem to have over-compressed the un/re-flipped version, the colours are all wonky.

    I didn’t touch it, actually – I found it on the web as well (that’s why it’s a different crop with more sky and less shoes). But I agree, the colours are weird.

    And gosh, doesn’t her face light up when she grins? Fantastic.

    Totally. Absolute Hoyden.

  7. You’re right, the original photo is flipped, and it’s very easy to prove: in other shots one can see that Macnee’s clothing has the buttons on the right, as you’d expect (it’s hard to see with the dark jacket, but you can definitely make out the buttonholes on the left flap of the jacket in the first of the other shots); and in those shots Rigg’s jacket has the outer flap on the right — so that right-handed dressers (or undressers) can more easily zip it for the little lady, dontchaknow.
    I’m delighted my comment inspired this little gallery.

  8. I have seen Diana Rigg on stage several times and we all know what a talented actor she is. But I once quite fortuitously sat next to her in the audience at the Cottesloe Theatre (can’t remember what play we saw, but it was performed by the Science Fiction Theatre of Liverpool).
    During the interval, I was returning to my seat as Diana was making her way towards the foyer and I stood to one side to allow her to pass. She smiled at me and said “Thank you”. It was like sunrise on the African Veldt accompanied by a choir of angels. She really is one of those people who can light up a room. Amazing.

  9. I’d forgotten your Diana Rigg anecdote! I would have included it, but you tell it better anyway.

  10. I could so see her as Huma Rojo. I love this post, and love this blog!

  11. I am a huge fan of this show and Dame Diana. She practically steals the show! This website is a great thing! Does anyone know where to buy those fabulous shoes? I live in America so I don’t know any store names, but if someone could provide me with a store that had her shoes or any similar shoes, I would appreciate it so much. The shoes are white with the stripe going up. They are ankle hight. I love them. To pay on the internet for the shoes, could I use American dollors?

  12. As a young man growing up in New York City I always watched this women Emma Peel who I thought was the fore front of women in televison. She is lovely but ruff enough to handle all kinds of situations. I was some what in love with her growing up in the early 50’s but she still held something special, You and will always be one of my great English Actress. Stay lovely and sweet.
    G. H. Mills

  13. Always set in autumn..I wonder if that means anything….??

  14. A few years late to the party, lol. I was trawling for shots of Mrs Peel the other day, ‘cos The Avengers will always mean her and Steed to me. I remember doing a fairly awful drawing of her when I was really little – like, early primary school – copied from a shot of her in one of her blue catsuits.
    I think you’re right about the pic being reversed, tigtog; apart from Diana Rigg’s watch, you notice that Patrick McNee’s coat buttons left over right in the other photos, which is how a man’s coat does up (or did then, anyway).
    I saw Diana Rigg on stage here some years ago, in The Hollow Crown. What a cast – her, Derek Jacobi, Ian Richardson and Donald Sinden. The show was mixed but it was fantastic to see them on stage!

    • I saw her in that show too, Kitteh’s. It was marvellous.
      I’m not quite sure how you managed to comment on this old post – I’m sure the settings are configured so that comments are meant to be closed. Nevermind, your comment is welcome anyway!

  15. I was kinda surprised at being able to comment, too! I just clicked on the pic at the bottom of the page, and the post opened. I thought, oh well, it’s relevant all the time, maybe you left it that way?
    Or else the mighty Mrs Peel has been hacking …

    • You’re quite right, this post has been set to keep comments open, I’d just forgotten and you’re the first person to take advantage of it since I changed the settings quite a long time ago!


  1. Is it possible to have too much Emma Peel? at Hoyden About Town
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