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Issue 345
23 October 2011
Updated Weekly
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My Brilliant Career

OLD BAG: This is an archive story from Issue 260 - 18 Aug 2008
Steve McClaren

McClaren: Middle manager

Allo Allo

McClaren: Imperial phase

Van Der Valk

McClaren: Today

McClaren recalls when it all began

"Of course I had no idea until after that interview what was to come" says screen legend Steve McClaren in his luxury Beverly Hills mansion over looking Bel-Air. "I'd decided to affect a slight Dutch accent on TV for the benefit of the non-English speakers so that they'd understand me better."

Clean-up on aisle six

Steve had been laboring for years in the sports and leisure industry, moving from one middle management job to the next. That was until the day he was interviewed on Dutch television and people heard that accent for the first time. "When people who knew me heard the interview they laughed at me." he recalled with fondness "Some of my enemies used it as a chance to stick the boot in but it was me who came up smiling."

Shtop!

It was only a few days after that the offers came in. Advertising agencies looking to sell Dutch lager, novelty answerphone messages, cheap porno movies. However this was just the beginning. Steve's big break came after he got a call from the BBC. "They asked me to read for this part in a sitcom and the rest is history."

Good Moening

McClaren was cast in the long running wartime sitcom Pogrom Or Bust. He played an English Airman disguised as a Dutch SS officer. His Dutch accent gave birth to one of the most fondly remembered catchphrases in the history of British Comedy: "No shinging in the showersh pleash".

"I used to get people coming up to me in the streets begging me to say that line" Steve remembers with fondness "Unfortunately, things went sour after my house was set fire to by Anti-Nazi activists and my parents were kidnapped by Mossad. After that I decided to quit the show and move to Hollywood.

Cheap plug

Steve is currently working on a cinema adaptation of Van Der Valk. When asked if he had any regrets he says just one "I wish I'd done the Onion Bag's Premier League Podcast. They certainly could have used my help".

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Also in Issue 260