Rumpole of the Bailey (1978–1992)
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Rumpole and the Genuine Article 

Rumpole defends an eccentric artist in a forgery case before the newly appointed Judge Featherstone.


Robert Knights


John Mortimer



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Leo McKern ... Horace Rumpole
Peggy Thorpe-Bates Peggy Thorpe-Bates ... Hilda Rumpole (as Peggy Thorpe Bates)
Emlyn Williams ... Harold Brittling
Brenda Blethyn ... Pauline
Peter Bowles ... Guthrie Featherstone
Joanna Van Gyseghem Joanna Van Gyseghem ... Marigold Featherstone
Julian Curry Julian Curry ... Claude Erskine-Brown
Jonathan Coy ... Henry (credit only)
Sylvia Coleridge ... Nancy
Madeleine Christie Madeleine Christie ... Miss Price
Diana Fairfax ... Mrs De Moyne
Vernon Dobtcheff ... Edward Gandolphini
Frances White Frances White ... Auctioneer
Richard Syms ... Mr Myers
Alan Penn Alan Penn ... Usher


After an apparently lost painting of a nude by a noted painter sells for 38,000 pounds at auction, the consignor, an aging, eccentric artist, is accused of forging the canvas and retains Rumpole to defend him. Rumpole's problems are exacerbated by having his pompous friend, newly appointed Guthrie Featherstone, as the judge on the case. Although his client seems unconcerned that he may be convicted, Rumpole correctly assumes that locating the model for the portrait may hold the key to saving his client. Written by Gabe Taverney (

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery


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Release Date:

11 October 1983 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Thames Television See more »
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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


When the regular actors in this series turned up for the first read-through of this episode, they were astonished when guest star Emlyn Williams handed each of them a new version of the script written by himself, keeping to the broad outlines of the story, but rewriting the dialogue and giving himself rather more lines. No-one had asked him to do this, and he was carefully informed in no uncertain terms that John Mortimer's original script would be used with no alteration. He complied. See more »


[Harold Brittling, an artist, is looking at a painting on the Rumpoles' living room wall]
Harold Brittling: What's this objet d'art?
Hilda Rumpole: [proudly] Oh that's a watercolour of Lamorna Cove, done by my old school friend Dodo MacIntosh. She lives in the West Country and she has sent in to the Royal Academy on more than one occasion. Do you like it, Mr...
Harold Brittling: Harold. The point is, Hilda, do *you* like it?
Hilda Rumpole: Oh I think it's rather fine. Beautiful, in fact. The way that Dodo has caught the shadow on those rocks.
Harold Brittling: If you think it's ...
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User Reviews

Rumpole and the Genuine Article
1 October 2019 | by Prismark10See all my reviews

It is the start of the third series and I sense that Thames Television has thrown a bit of money at the show. It seems to have more extras and the actors are better turned out.

Guthrie Featherstone has given up on politics. He joined the SDP!

He has also become a judge. His first case is Rumpole defending an eccentric artist accused of forging what was thought to be a long lost nude painting by a famous British artist.

It was sold at an auction but the buyer was later informed that the painting might not be genuine.

Rumpole has his hands full in this case. Actually he is told to keep his hands out of his pocket by Featherstone.

The accused does not make the best defence witness and seems to be going out of his way to antagonise the jury.

Wily Rumpole gets directed to an elderly lady who might have posed for the painting and the pieces soon fall together.

Brenda Blethyn plays the younger girlfriend of the accused artist. There are some nice moments such as Featherstone getting embarrassed by not knowing as much about art as he makes out.

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